Recipes from my Suffolk Kitchen

Cheese Straws
8oz cold butter
12oz plain flour
A little salt
2 egg yolks
8oz Cheddar cheese - preferably nice and strong ( I replace one ounce with an ounce of Red Leicester for a bit of colour)

Rub butter into flour and salt, stir in 2oz of the cheese add egg yolks and about 2 tablespoons of ice cold water to make a stiff dough.
Wrap in cling film and chill for half an hour
Then form dough into an oblong, roll out very thinly and sprinkle half the remaining cheese over half the rolled out dough. Fold over the plain bit and repeat.
Roll out again - about 1cm thick trim the edges and cut into fingers, as neatly as possible(Ha Ha!)
Brush with beaten egg.
(I usually add a sprinkle of grated cheese and paprika)
  Lift with a spatula onto a greased baking sheet then hot oven 220C/gas 7 for 10 to 12 minutes.
Lift off tray with a spatula to cool on a wire rack.

Lemon and Grapefruit Marmalade 
Variation using a tin of commercially prepared marmalade

WARNING - People on statins have to avoid grapefruit!
Prepare 7 x 1lb jars by washing in hot soapy water, rinsing in hot water and heating in hot oven for 15 minutes at least.

1 Can of commercially prepared lemons
540g can of grapefruit in own juice ( not syrup)
2kg sugar

Tip can of prepared lemons into preserving pan
Strain the grapefruit so the juice goes into a 1 pint jug, add water to just under a pint = 550ml
Using scissors, chop the grapefruit segments and add to pan with the sugar and liquid.
Heat gently to start with, stirring to dissolve sugar, then increase heat to boiling stirring frequently.
Turn down heat to keep at a rolling boil for about 15 minutes.
Test for set on a plate that's been in the freezer ( a finger drawn across a spoonful of mix on the plate should wrinkle).If it doesn't wrinkle boil on for another 5 minutes and test again. Take pan off heat and leave to stand for a few minutes then stir so all the peel is well mixed.
Pot into sterilised jars and cover.

Recipe from WI Jams,Pickles and chutneys by Midge Thomas and accredited to Edith Calvert of Chapel-St-Leonards WI

 SIMPLE AUBERGINE AND TOMATO PASTA SAUCE.( 3 Large portions or 4 normal)
1 Aubergine chunked
1 Onion - chopped
1 tin of plum tomatoes
Good squirt of Tomato Puree
2 teaspoons brown sugar
A little hot water
Black Pepper

Soften the onion in a little sunflower/rapeseed/olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the aubergine and cook and stir for a few minutes. Add the tinned tomatoes, squirt the tomato puree into the empty can add third/half a tin of hot water, swish around and add to the pan. Sprinkle the brown sugar and mix in, cover and turn down the heat and leave to cook for about 15 minutes stirring regularly. Add the ground black pepper and serve with pasta (preferably tagliatelle).You could grate a little strong cheese over the top for extra calories and have some crusty bread or my Tomato and Herb rolls to mop up the juices.


Half a pack of puff pastry ( when I buy these I always cut them in quarters before putting them in the freezer)
The narrow end of 1 small squash
Colander of chard (or equivalent bought spinach leaves), wilted, chopped and drained really well.
Half Tub of mascarpone cheese.
Ground black pepper
Squirts of tomato puree ( or mustard)

I rolled out the pastry as thin as possible and cut large circles,fitted them carefully into the bun tin and put a squirt of tomato puree in the bottom of each (one recipe said mustard ). Slicing the narrow end of the squash into very thin rounds - after peeling of course. I then layered squash slices, spinach and cheese finishing with squash-  ground pepper on each layer, brush the edges with water and cut circles to fit. Slide the tray into a big freezer bag and freeze. If only I had thought of it I could have cut some holly leaves from the pastry off cuts.

 I made these for the first time last week to check they were going to be OK. After taking out of the freezer I cut a couple of slits in the top of each pie and brushed with egg.
They were cooked on a medium oven temp for about 30mins I think ( I'm a bit vague about temps and times sorry.) Anyway we ate them with roast potatoes and parsnips and Brussels sprouts and they were very tasty. I've made them again today and added a few snips of dried tomato with the cheese.
When these are served on Christmas day, I'm going to warm some cranberry sauce to spoon over the top.

4lb prepared marrow ( peel and seeds removed, cut flesh into small chunks)
3 tablespoons salt
2lb prepared cooking apples ( peeled, cored and cut into chunks)
1lb onions peeled and chopped
1lb dark brown sugar
2pints spiced pickling vinegar
1tsp ginger

The day before you are making the chutney prepare the marrow and layer it into a bowl with the salt.

The next day rinse the marrow and leave to drain while you prepare the apple and onion.
Put HALF the vinegar into a large preserving pan add all the other ingredients and bring slowly to the boil, cook, stirring regularly until everything is pulpy.
Add the rest of the vinegar and continue cooking and stirring until there is no loose liquid ( probably about 2 hours in total)
Pour into sterilised jars, cover and label.
Keeps well


4oz Butter- Softened
4oz Dark brown sugar
8oz Mincemeat
8oz SR Flour ( The recipe says wholewheat but I just used white)
3 eggs
2-4 tablespoons milk - to make a soft consistancy

Mix everything together and put into a lined round 7" cake  tin.
Bake for about 1¼ hours at around 160C. You may need to cover the top with a bit of foil for the last 15 minutes if it's getting too brown.


1lb cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped small.
8oz Shredded suet - I always use Vegetarian Suet
12oz Raisins - chopped
8oz Sultanas
8oz Currants
8oz Chopped candied peel
12oz Soft dark Brown Sugar
Grated zest and juice of 2 Oranges
Grated zest and juice of 2 Lemons
2oz whole almonds, cut into slivers ( I just use flaked)
4 teaspoons mixed ground spice
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Grated Nutmeg
6 Tablespoons Brandy

Mix everything together  EXCEPT the brandy  in a large ovenproof bowl. Cover with a clean cloth and leave for 12 hours or overnight.
Next day cover the bowl loosely with foil and put in a cool oven Gas ¼, 225F (120C). For 3 hours.
The reason for this is to melt the suet so it coats all the fruit with fat, sealing in the juices and this will stop the apple fermenting which can be a problem.
Remove the bowl from the oven and it will be swimming with fat - don't worry.
As it cools, stir from time to time. When it is completely cold stir in the brandy.
Pack in clean dry jars and seal.
Keep it in a cool dark cupboard and it will keep for a year.

3lb Mangoes ( 3 Very large or 5 small)
½tsp salt
1 Large Red pepper
12oz cooking apples
15 fl oz distilled vinegar
1 large onion chopped
7oz sugar
1tsp ground ginger

Slice the mango flesh, place in a non metallic bowl, sprinkle with salt and set aside.
Put vinegar and sugar in a preserving  pan and heat gently until sugar is dissolved.
Add the peeled, cored and chopped apples, mangoes,onion and ginger to pan, bring to boil stirring regularly.
Reduce heat and simmer gently for about an hour, stirring more frequently until chutney is thick with no excess liquid.
Pour chutney into sterilised jars and seal with new sterilised lid.
Leave to mature for 2 weeks and use within a year.


One of the tomato plants in the poly-tunnel went rotten at the bottom of the main stem where a side shoot had been removed. It was loaded with green tomatoes, absolutely perfect for making a batch of green tomato chutney. This is a very easy chutney. Nothing to go wrong really and easy to make half the amount.

This is how it was made

Yesterday 4½ lb of tomatoes and 1½lb of onions were sliced and chopped and put in a bowl, then sprinkled with a little salt - about an ounce, covered with a tea towel and left overnight. ( The recipe is really 5lb and 1lb but altering the combination won't matter). This brings a lot of water out of the tomatoes.

Today I  put 2 pints vinegar into a large pan (I didn't have spiced pickling vinegar, which is what the recipe states or pickling spices to make some,  so used ordinary malt vinegar with a couple of teaspoons of mustard seeds and a dried chilli pepper) 1lb sugar, 1lb chopped cooking apples and 1lb of sultanas ( or half and half with raisins) were added and brought  to the boil stirring well to dissolve sugar. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Strain the tomato and onion mix and add to the pan.
Bring it back to boiling and then simmer it for about an hour until there is no loose liquid and it's nice and thick. You need to stir quite often to make sure it doesn't catch and burn on the bottom.
Pour into sterilised jars ( 15 minutes in a hot oven) and cover with clean lids. This made 10 jars of various sizes. It's best left for a few weeks to mature and it keeps for a couple of years. Col likes it with cheese and I also use it in curry.

I have a couple of things that help with jam and chutney making, neither are necessary but just make things easier. A big wooden spoon with a flat edge gets right along the bottom and into the edges of the pan and a wide mouthed funnel for getting the chutney into the jars without making a mess.

1 large aubergine
olive oil for frying
4oz pasta shapes
3 tablespoons tomato puree in a jug with half pint water
4oz grated strong cheese
Ground black pepper

Cook the pasta and drain
 Slice the aubergine and fry in the oil until brown on each side.
In a baking dish put layers of aubergine, pasta, tomato sauce, seasoning each layer and finish with a good covering of cheese.
Bake for 25 minutes 180C
Serve with some crusty bread to mop up the juices


Leek Fritters - slice a couple of leeks length ways and then into thin slices. Soften in a little butter in the microwave. Leave to cool, mix in 3oz plain flour, 1 beaten egg and enough milk to make a thick batter. Then add plenty of black pepper. . Heat some oil in a frying pan and put in large spoonful of mixture and flatten, cook 'til golden and turn over to cook the other side, Drain on kitchen paper -towels. Lovely with bacon or ham.

Leeks Braised with Thyme. - Soften some butter in the microwave, with a tablespoon of chopped thyme and stir in leeks that have been trimmed and cut into thick slices. Tip into a roasting tin so they are in one layer. Pour over ½ pint hot vegetable stock. Dampen a large piece of greaseproof paper and scrunch it up then lay over the top of the leeks. Cook in a fairly hot oven for 30mins. Remove the paper and pop back in oven for 10 minutes until the edges of the leeks are browned a bit.

Leek and Ham Bake - Cut some leeks into thick slices and cook in water until they have just softened a bit. Drain really well and tip into an oven proof dish. Mix in some pieces of ham. Pour over a thick white sauce. Sprinkle plenty of grated cheese and dried breadcrumbs over the top and bake in the oven for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Leek, potato, mushroom and Stilton bake - Much the same as above but cut potatoes into thick slices and boil with leeks sliced to same size until starting to soften. Add the sliced mushrooms for a couple of minutes. Drain really well. Tip into oven proof dish and cover with a thick white sauce that has had a couple of ounces of Stilton crumbled in.  Scatter dried breadcrumbs over the top and bake for 20 to 30 minutes.


Sorry I'm still not into metric so

Some dried cranberries soaked in boiling water and cooked in the microwave for a minute or so 'til soft, then drained.

4oz carrots }   Boiled and mashed
4oz parsnip}        together with some black pepper

2oz unsalted cashew nuts whizzed in the nut chopper thing, but not too fine
3oz breadcrumbs
1 small onion                     }    chopped finely and cooked 'til soft in a teeny bit of butter in
2 smallish stalks of celery }                          the microwave

Mix the celery,onion,nuts and breadcrumbs together with a beaten egg.

Line 2 mini cake tins with parchment paper and put a layer of the nut mix in the bottom.
Press down tight.
Then a layer of parsnip/carrot mash and smooth down again
Next some cranberries
Then another layer of the nut mix.
Press down firmly again.
I used medium hot oven and cooked them for about 40 minutes until they were firm and golden.
Because I wanted to check that they froze OK I then left them to cool, popped each one still in the tins into the freezer.
They were taken out of the freezer in the morning and left to defrost in the kitchen and then reheated, with a bit of foil over the top, for about 25 minutes to serve hot for dinner.


BACON,LEEK and CHICKEN PASTIES (stretching a recipe from Jane at Frugal Queen)
I noted it down from her blog a few weeks ago because it sounded good. The idea is a pie filling using bacon, potatoes,onion, leeks and a tin of condensed chicken soup. It sounded very tasty and I finally got round to making it today.
I had a thought that making pasties instead of a pie would make it easier for me to put some in the freezer for another day.
And this was how many I made

Because it was being divided up into more meals I used a bit more bacon than Frugal Queen, 250g rather than 150g which was fried gently then 1 diced onion added and stirred around for a while. Two big leeks chopped small and 4 medium sized peeled potatoes diced quite small were then added to the pan with half a cup of water. Lid on and cook gently for a few minutes until soft. Finally stir in one can of condensed chicken soup , mix really well and let it go cold. Spoons full into centre of shortcrust pastry circle, seal up using water brushed round the edge then top shelf of oven 'til brown and lower shelf for another few minutes.

A pastry case that's been baked blind
 3 or 4 Cooking apples depending on size
2 eggs seperated
2 tblsp Cornflour
Castor sugar

Peel,core and chop the apples and cook them, with a bit of sugar to sweeten in a tiny bit of water, until they are like a puree.
Mix the egg yolks with the cornflour and then stir quickly into the apple, keep it on a low heat for a few minutes to make sure the cornflour has cooked.
Leave to cool for a while before pouring it into the pastry case
 Whisk the egg whites until stiff and add a couple of Tblsp of castor sugar and whisk again.
Swirl the meringue mix over the apple
Cook in low oven until the meringue is crispy.
I can't give you timings or temps, I usually do it in the Rayburn and being wood fired it's always a bit random!
 Our eggs are the ones we can't sell so I count them as free, apples are free, pastry case is home made and cooking it = free too.



2lb gooseberries, topped and tailed
6oz dates, chopped
12oz chopped onions
1lb soft dark brown sugar
1tsp mustard seed
pinch cayenne
4 tsp salt
1 pint malt vinegar

Put everything into the pan and bring to the boil slowly, stirring to dissolve sugar.

 Boil gently  uncovered for approx 1 and a half hours. The gooseberries should be thoroughly pulped and the mixture should be thick and pulpy but not dry.

 This makes a lovely dark fruity chutney, I did a double batch in separate pans and then tipped them in together just before potting up.
A good way to check on a chutney being ready is to quickly pull a wooden flat edged jam  spoon across the bottom of the pan, if you get a glimpse of the metal base then probably enough liquid has been cooked off so  the chutney is thick enough to pot up.
I had to get C to take this picture as it's impossible to stir and click at the same time!
Chutney usually thickens up a bit as it cools.

2lb Strawberries, fresh or frozen
1lb gooseberries , ditto
3lb sugar
Half sachet of pectin

The night before. Put Strawberries in a bowl and cover with sugar. If the strawberries are fresh stand the bowl in the fridge, if they are frozen leave it out but cover with a clean cloth or cling film.

Next day put the gooseberries in a saucepan with  a very small amount of water ( just enough to stop them catching on the pan). Bring to boil gently and cook slowly until the are mushy. I usually mash them with a potato masher once they are soft.

Put the strawberries and sugar mix in a jam pan and bring to the boil slowly, stirring well until the sugar has dissolved. Then cook gently until the strawberries are soft. Tip the gooseberries in, mix everything together and bring to the boil. Add the powdered pectin and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and test a spoonful for set on a plate that's been in the freezer. The jam should wrinkle when you push it gently with your finger. If it doesn't, cook for another couple of minutes although the pectin should make it set after 4 minutes.
Leave to stand for a few minutes, skim off scum and stir so the strawberries don't rise.
Pot into jars that have been in a hot oven to sterilise.


For each person - The sauce recipe here is for 2-3 people
1 large, 2 medium or 3 small belly pork slices. (This depends how much meat you like to eat)

Cut each slice into pieces about 2 to 3 inches long
Cook them in a hot oven about 200 C for15 to 20 minutes,turning once. Drain off fat.

Combine together 5 Tablespoons Hoi Sin Sauce.( DON'T USE a cook -in sauce that already has water in it. I use Sharwoods Marinade. You will only need about a third of the bottle but this keeps OK in the fridge once opened.)
2 Tbsp soft brown sugar,
 2 fl oz Soy Sauce,
3 fl oz water,
2tsp Chinese Five Spice Powder,
1tbsp vinegar.

Pour this over the slices and baste well
Cook for another 30 - 40 minutes. Same temp. Baste frequently
Serve with stir fry vegetables and noodles or rice.

Our stir fry is usually just carrot, onion and peppers ( courgettes in season) I don't go and buy a packet of stir fry veg - too expensive.

This is not a particularly frugal meal,  The Hoi sin sauce is over £1 a bottle, but  is a tasty way to use a cheap cut of meat.

 1 onion, 1 carrot, 3 sticks of celery, softened in a little butter and water, a squidge of tomato puree and a couple of tablespoons of flour to thicken and the juice saved from a tin of plum tomatoes. Add some more water, pepper, a teaspoon of sugar, whizz in liquidizer and it tastes very much like a famous tomato soup. If I can make tomato soup without tomatoes, do they?

8oz plain flour
5oz butter
1oz caster sugar
1 egg yolk
few teaspoons very cold water

Keeping everything as cold as possible
Rub butter into flour
Stir in sugar
Mix in the egg yolk and just enough cold water so that it all binds together.
Wrap in cling film and pop in the fridge for an hour.
Roll out half at a time as thin as possible
Cut out with a big cutter should make 12ish
Gather the trimmings and roll out and cut small circles or stars for the tops.
Ease the big circles gently into a bun tin, fill with mincemeat and cover with the small circles pressing down the edges gently
Cut 2 small slits, with the point of a sharp knife in the small circle to let steam escape.
Brush the tops with a little beaten egg and then sprinkle on a pinch of castor sugar. 
Bake at about 180 in fan oven for 10 minutes. Check and turn the tin around then another 5 to 8 minutes until golden brown


2 boxes of 8 meringue nests ( or equivalent homemade meringue )
2 value bars plain chocolate, broken into small bits
Large pot double cream about 
Melt the chocolate gently and leave to cool ( I do it on medium heat in the microwave a few seconds at a time.)
Break the meringue into small chunks
Whip the double cream until just forming peaks.
Mix everything together gently
Spoon into a lined, loose based cake tin, ( or individual ramekins) press down gently.

Melt a little white and plain chocolate for the top and sprinkle with any chocolate decorations. (The photo is taken before doing that). Then wrap and freeze for as long as you want.

 Remove from tin and stand at room temperature for about 10 - 15 minutes before serving.
Needless to say,It's extremely  rich and extremely delicious
ROAST PUMPKIN AND SPINACH LASAGNE Serves 6 This is the recipe as written and the way I changed it is below
The introduction says this is a bit of a faff to make but easier if separate parts are done on different days. I roasted extra squash the day before and I had made a big batch of tomato sauce  several days earlier and put in the freezer.

750g Crown Prince Pumpkin or butternut squash, de-seeded and peeled and sliced
2tbsp olive oil
500g spinach - washed
1tbsp butter - plus extra for greasing
fresh lasagne sheets
100g Parmesan
Tomato Sauce
I medium onion finely chopped
1tbsp olive oil
1 celery stick finely chopped
400g can cherry tomatoes
2tsp light muscovado sugar
Bechamel Sauce
500ml full fat milk
Black pepper
half onion
1 bay leaf (remove before using sauce)
50g plain flour
50g butter

Roast the pumpkin with the olive oil until tender approx 40minutes
Make the tomato sauce by softening the onion and celery, adding tomatoes and sugar and leaving to simmer for 30 minutes to make a thick puree, season to taste
Put the spinach in the saucepan with the water that still clings to it after washing, cover and cook over medium heat for a few minutes until wilted, turning with tongs frequently. Leave to cool and squeeze out excess water. Chop and put in pan with butter, gently heat until spinach is coated. Season inc nutmeg.
Make the bechamel sauce as usual.
Assemble the lasagne as normal in layers starting with pumpkin,then tomato sauce, lasagne,  bechamel, spinach, cheese, lasagne,pumpkin,tomato sauce,lasagne and bechamel and all the rest of the cheese.
Bake for 40 minutes until bubbling and golden 180C fan/gas6

I used our own butternut squash,
I used a colander full of chard from the garden.
My tomato sauce was made using my big plum tomatoes from the freezer, no celery.
I never use full fat milk.
I forgot about the nutmeg with the spinach.
I always use value packets of dry lasagne.
I made 1 lasagne for 4 and a small one for 2 people
I used Cheddar instead of Parmesan
I'm sure I didn't do the layers exactly as written.
After cooking I wrapped them in foil, popped them in a plastic bag and put them both in the freezer as I wanted to make sure that they froze well.

I defrosted the two portion lasagne in the fridge over night. Reheated starting on a low heat and then increasing it for about  35 - 40 minutes in total.


1lb mixed dried fruit including peel, soaked in quarter pint of cold tea, sherry or brandy for 3 days, stir daily.
Add 4oz chopped raisins, 4oz glace cherries, rinsed of gloop, dried and halved, 6oz butter ( softened by beating well), 6oz muscovado sugar, grated rind of one lemon and one orange, 4oz plain flour, 2oz self raising flour, 2oz blanched chopped almonds,1tsp mixed spice.
Stir everything together.
In a jug beat 3 eggs and 1 tbsp black treacle.
Add this to the mix and stir everything until well mixed.

Turn into a greased and double lined 8 inch cake tin. Level top.
Bake in centre of oven at Gas 1, 275F or 120C Fan oven for about 3 and a quarter hours.
Cover the top of the  cake with a bit of foil if the start to look a bit too brown
Store up to 3 months in a cake tin. ( The cake can be "fed" while in store by making small holes in it and dripping some teaspoons full of brandy into them).



2 and a half pound prepared pumpkin after peeling, de-seeding and cut into small pieces.
1lb cooking apples,peeled,cored and chopped
12oz onions, chopped
2 red peppers, de-seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoon ground ginger
 1 teaspoon  black pepper
2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 and a quarter pints of white vinegar
1lb gran sugar

Put everything except the sugar in a large pan and mix well
Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring often until everything is very soft
( I use a potato masher to squish everything)
Stir in the sugar until dissolved and then continue to simmer and stir frquently until it is thick and there is no liquid on the surface.
Pot into sterilised jars and cover and label.
NOTE - this is quite a dry chutney and you have to watch that it doesn't catch on the bottom of the pan

12oz white breadcrumbs
12oz suet
30z plain flour
9oz dark brown sugar
Mix well then add
1ib chopped raisons
12oz sultanas
8oz currants
6oz mixed peel
3 eating apples peeled and grated
4tbsp black treacle
3 large eggs
Juice and grated rind of a lemon
Cold tea to mix ( add a little at a time)

Mix everything together really well
Spoon into pudding basins, level surface, don't fill right to the top.
Cover each with greaseproof paper, then foil and tie around with string, making a lifting handle.
Steam for 3 to 6 hours depending on size
Check and add boiling water as required
Re heat by steaming for 1 to 2 hours depending on size.

3 small puddings made using half the recipe, pudding 3 is hiding at the back!
 I realise that this is a rather vague recipe and relies on things looking right which if you've not made a Christmas pudding before might be a bit daunting.
The full recipe makes 1 large pudding and one small one, but even that sounds a bit vague too!
Because I have the Rayburn alight I can steam these at no extra cost and as I don't own a pressure cooker I can't give you details about using one.


Third of a pack of puff pastry (I buy from the chilled counter and divide into 3 before freezing)
2 sausages skins removed
2 tablespoons of value stuffing mix.(  about 15p a box, I tip boxes into a storage jar)
1 small onion chopped       }    Home grown
1 small courgette chopped  }      "           "
1 eating apple grated          }        "           "
Soften the onion and courgette in a spot of water in the microwave ( or in a teenie bit of oil in pan)
Add the stuffing mix and enough hot water to make the stuffing wet.
Leave to cool, then add the grated apple and the squidged sausage meat, and mix it all together.
Roll out the pastry into an oblong and put the meat mix down the middle.
Make cuts in the sides from the meat, out to the edge about an inch apart.
Fold the sides in alternately and stick it with water or beaten egg.
Brush with egg or a little milk.
Place on a greased tray
Cook in hot oven for about half an hour, turn it round to cook evenly.
Best eaten cooled a bit or cold.
( home made shortcrust could be used, but ready made puff can be rolled thinner)



2 and half pound onions ( Red or normal). Peeled
2 tablespoons salt
Three-quarters pint of white distilled vinegar ( or red wine vinegar if using red onions)
Teaspoon of cloves tied in a square of muslin
2lb white sugar
2tsp caraway seeds

Slice onions thinly ( food processor or mandolin slicer)
Put into a couple of colanders and mix a tablespoon of salt into each. Then leave to drain for an hour.
Rinse salt off and leave to drain again. Then tip onto a clean tea towel and pat dry.
Put the vinegar and sugar into the preserving pan, tie the muslin bag of cloves to the handle of the pan so its in the vinegar ( this is so you can find it easily later) and bring slowly to the boil stirring to dissolve sugar. Simmer for a few minutes.
Add the onion and caraway seeds.
Bring back to the boil then simmer until it turns thick and sticky with only a little loose liquid.
Using a slotted spoon and a jam funnel, put the sticky onion mixture into the( sterilized) jars almost to the top. Then pour whats left of the liquid in the pan into a jug and use it to top up each jar. Pour some boiling water over a knife to sterilize it and wiggle it about in each jar to get rid of air bubbles. Screw lids on tight and label.  Keeps well but is probably best eaten within a year. I've got some 3 years old which is still OK.
 On the right hand side of the plate is some of the 3 year old which was made with ordinary onions and white vinegar ( or maybe cider vinegar, I cant remember). The spoon full on the left is red onion from the half jar. There is a bit too much loose liquid as I tipped the final bit into this jar. We will use this up first.
I have found it not really necessary to do the salting, rinsing and draining thing as I seemed to get bits of onion everywhere. Without salting it just means that you just have to cook for a little while longer to cook off the liquid. I also seem to get everything sticky when I make it too!


Delicious with a burger( veggie or meat) this is a variation on a traditional piccalilli.

1 large can of sweetcorn                                                   2 tablespoons cornflour
1 red pepper,deseeded and diced                                      1 tablespoon Mustard powder
1 green pepper, deseeded and diced                                 1 tablespoon Tumeric
1 Large white onion, finely chopped                                1 tablespoon curry powder
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped                        1/4 pint white vinegar
2 tsp mustard seed
2 tsp celery seed
Half pint white vinegar
2 1/2  cups gran. sugar

Drain the tin of corn and put in a preserving pan with everything from the first list except the sugar. Bring to boil slowly and cook for 5 minutes. Add the sugar slowly and then return to boiling and simmer for 20 minutes.
Blend everything on the second list together. Pour slowly into the pan, stirring all the time.
Return to boil and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring all the time.
Pot into sterilised jars and seal



5lb Green Tomatoes
1lb onions
2tablespoons salt
1lb sugar
2 pints spiced vinegar
1lb sultanas( or half and half sultanas and raisins)
1lb cooking apples

Slice tomatoes and chop onions and mix in a basin with the salt, cover with a tea towel and leave to stand overnight
Next day tip the tomatoes and onions into a colander and leave to drain, the salt draws out lots of water.
Put the vinegar and sugar into a preserving pan  and heat slowly, stirring to dissolve sugar
When its just boiling add sultanas and apples and simmer for a few minutes.
Add the strained tomatoes and onions and simmer until thick - about 1 hour.
Pot into sterlised jars and seal.


3lb Marrow flesh cubed. ( Chickens will love the middle seedy bit and the skin)
Ginger. - Can be a piece of root ginger grated, 2 tsp ground ginger or some stem ginger preserved in syrup whichever you want.
2lb Gran sugar
Either the juice of a lemon or few tablespoons of bottled lemon juice.
1 sachet of pectin

Cover the marrow cubes with water, bring to boil  and then cook gently until they are starting to go soft and translucent. About 10 - 15 minutes.
Tip into a colander and leave to drain well for several minutes.
Into a preserving pan put 3/4 pint water, lemon juice and the sugar and heat gently until sugar is dissolving.
Add the strained marrow and cook until thickened. Keep stirring frequently as there is not much liquid.
I usually mash the marrow cubes up a bit as I'm cooking it rather than leave cubes.
Add sachet of pectin and boil for 4 more minutes.
(This is a soft set jam and I have sometimes had it go mouldy in the cupboard, so Keep in fridge once opened )
Pot into sterilised jars and cover.



4lb Plum tomatoes, skinned and rough chopped. ( I used the giant Andine tomatoes, only needed about 10!)
2 Very  Large red peppers, finely chopped
1lb Red onions chopped small
1 - 5 red chillies (depending how hot you want it. I use 2.) de-seeded and finely chopped ( Wear rubber gloves!)
2lb Gran sugar
1 tsp each salt,ground ginger, allspice.
1 pint white vinegar.
( For the best colour this really does need the red onions and white vinegar, and it doesn't work very well with normal tomatoes which have too many seeds and are more watery)
Put everything except the vinegar into a pan.
Stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved
Bring to boil and cook gently for approx 1 hour until thick
Add the vinegar and cook for 30- 50 minutes until thick again.
 Put into hot sterilised jars, cover, seal and label

1lb strong white bread flour
1 level tsp baking powder
1 heaped tsp instant yeast ( I use Doves)
half tsp. salt
1 tsp sugar
Just over third of a pint tepid milk
1 egg beaten
2 tablespoons cooking oil
(We like plain ones but you could add coriander and garlic if you prefer)

Mix all the dry ingredients together, make a well in the centre and stir in all the wet ingredients.
Mix well and then knead well for 10 minutes.
 Put in an oiled bowl and cover and leave to rise, until doubled in size.
Knead again and divide into 8 pieces if you want big Naans. I make 12 smaller ones.
 Put onto 3 oiled baking sheets and leave for another hour or so to rise a bit.

Pre-heat grill to very hot
Prick each naan with a fork a few times, then sprinkle a little water on each naan on the first tray.
Place under the hot grill for about 2 minutes until golden, turn over prick and sprinkle again.
Shove under grill again usually less than 2 minutes until golden brown again. WATCH THEM!
They burn quickly if you take your eyes off them.
Repeat with second and third trays.
Leave to cool

 Freeze. Reheat in microwave when you want or under the grill for a few seconds.

8oz SR Flour
4oz Butter
4oz Caster Sugar
3oz currants
1 egg
Egg  for brushing on and caster sugar for sprinkling.

Rub fat into flour stir in sugar and currants, mix in egg.
Roll out as thin as the currants will let you. Cut into squares, oblongs, whatever.
Put on greased baking sheets. Brush with a little beaten egg and then sprinkle just a little sugar.
Bake in medium not TOO hot oven for 10 - 15 minutes until golden. Watch them to make sure the currants don't burn. Leave for just a couple of minutes to cool then use a fish slice to move onto cooling racks.

8oz Plain flour         }
1tsp baking powder }     sieved together
Pinch salt
4oz butter
4oz caster sugar
1 egg

Plus one of the following : 2oz chopped nuts/ 2oz coconut/grated zest of a lemon/2oz chocolate chips.

Rub fat into flour, add rest of dry ingredients then add beaten egg, mix to bind.
 Roll out as thin as possible, cut into rounds, put onto greased trays and bake for 170C, Gas 5 for 10 - 12 minutes, until just changing colour. Put straight onto wire trays to cool and crisp up.

1lb Bread Flour
Good Teaspoon instant yeast
Half Teaspoon salt
2 heaped teaspoons dried herbs ( Herbs Provencale or Italian Mixed herbs)
2 Big Tablespoons of Tomato Puree dissolved in a little hot water then use cold water to make half pint tepid water.
Mix all the dry things add the water, mix well then knead really well for 10 minutes.
Leave to rise until doubled in size
Knead again but only gently then divide into 8 rolls, put on greased tray, leave to rise again then bake for about 12 to 15 minutes at 200C Fan or Gas 7
Cool on a wire rack

8oz SR Flour
4oz Butter or hard spread ( I use Willow)
1 oz lard
1 egg
 Rub fats into flour and mix in the beaten egg.
Roll out to about 2cm thick,
cut into rounds, put on greased tray.
Cook for about 10 minutes at 170 for fan oven or Mk 7 for gas or whatever your equivalent is.
Until just colouring brown
Tip each on edge and using the point of a sharp knife split into 2 where the crack is.

Pop back in oven,Until golden , about 3 or 4 mins.

(These are very short and crumbly so sometimes they break . When this happens leave to cool a bit then eat all the broken bits with a little butter!!!! :-)


HOT CROSS(less) BUNS  (from Bread - River Cottage Handbook by Daniel Stevens)

500g flour, half and half strong white bread flour and plain white.
125ml warm water
125ml warm milk                                                 ( 50g plain white flour and 100ml water
tsp instant Dove yeast                                                if you want to do crosses)
tsp salt
50g castor sugar
1 medium free range egg
50g butter
100g mix of sultanas and currants and chopped mixed peel                                 
1tsp ground mixed  spice
1tbsp jam and 1tbsp water to glaze

This is VERY sticky to do without a food mixer and dough hook!
Combine flours, water, milk, yeast, salt and sugar. Add the egg and butter and mix.
Then add dried fruit and spice and knead with dough hook on low speed until smooth.
Cover dough and leave to rise  in a warm place until doubled in size.
Knock back dough and divide into 8 (for very large) or 12  for more normal sized.
Shape into rounds and dust with flour. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise again until double in size.
Preheat oven to 200C/Gas 6. use flour and water mixed in a piping bag to add crosses ( I don't bother)
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
Heat jam and water in a cup in the microwave ( or in a saucepan) and brush over to glaze as you take them from the oven. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.



4oz butter softened
3oz castor sugar
1 egg separated
7oz plain flour + pinch salt and half tsp mixed spice
2oz currants
1 - 2 tbsp milk
a little castor sugar

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk
Fold in flour, salt,spice and currants.
Add enough milk to give a soft dough.
Lightly knead and roll out  to ¼ inch thick, cut out circles and place on greased baking trays
Bake at Gas 6/ 200C or 180C for fan oven for 8 minutes.
Brush with beaten egg white and sprinkle with caster sugar, return to oven for a few minutes until just beginning to brown - watch them.
Cool on a wire rack

This was the amount I used for 4 chicken wings, served up with noodles and stir fry veg (carrots,onion,courgette and pepper - all home grown of course) it's was enough for us.

Make a few slits or cuts in the fleshy part of the chicken wings
In a bowl mix together 4 tbsp tomato ketchup, 3tbsp clear honey, 2tbsp soy sauce, 1tbsp sweet chilli sauce and 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar. Add the wings to the bowl and mix them round , then pop in fridge for at least an hour, give them another mix round if you remember.
Turn the mix into a roasting tin and cook at 170C Fan oven or Gas 5 for 45 minutes, basting once or twice.
Lift out the wings, add a little boiling water to the remaining sauce, just to thin and loosen all the sticky bits, stir well and mix with the veg and noodles.


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