If you are lucky enough to be given or bought a lovely home made Stollen this Christmas, you MAY have some left over, along with some drops in the bottom of your liqueur bottles!!!!
For this leftovers recipe you can use Brioche, Croissants or any other bread product you happen to have to hand.
Christmas Stollen with Home made Marzipan
INGREDIENTS. ALLERGENS IN BOLD. Serves 6 Oven 180c 350F Gas MK 5 Time taken 20mins + Standing time & Cooking
Slices of Stollen,( I used my own Homemade, filled with Cranberries, Pistachios & Marzipan) or any of the above.
3 Large Free Range Local Eggs
150ml Double Cream
2 Tbspns Rum, or Cointreau
Grated rind of 1 large Orange
1/2 Tspn Freshly grated Nutmeg & Cinnamon.
Butter a large oven proof serving dish & lay the slices of Stollen over the base, building several layers.
Beat together the eggs, cream, orange rind, liqueur & spices.
Pour over the sliced Stollen pushing the slices down to cover in the liquid.
Leave to stand for 40mins.
Bake in the centre of the oven for approx 45mins until the pudding is just firm in the centre.
Allow to cool slightly, before serving, dust with Icing Sugar and add a good dollop of Clotted Cream or clotted cream Ice Cream. ( Marshfield Farm do a superb clotted cream & gingerbread Ice Cream if you really want to go mad).
If you want to use Croissants slice them & spread with Nutella. The addition of some of those bananas, wasting in the fruit bowl, also compliments this dessert. Omit, the alcohol, for a fruity childrens pud.
For more ideas on what to do with your Christmas Leftovers. I will be on The Graham Rogers morning show at 9.10 on Boxing Day morning. BBC Radio Wiltshire
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We all like those little pies full of tangy, vine fruits & spices, I say all, but, thats not quite true. Vegans are appalled by the addition of suet, in these festive fillers.
All is not lost dearest Vegans, you shall have a pie. For I have created this luscious mince meat, especially with you in mind. Bursting with a tangy lemon flavour, using dried, cherries, berries & ginger & soaked in a shot or two of Greek Metaxa. Delicious.
Vegan Lemon Mincemeat
Makes 2.5 kg Time taken 1 hour G/F D/F Vegan, Vegetarian Allergens:NUTS
Autumn is the time for fruitfulness. The hedgerows are a free food bonanza abounding with different fruits & nuts. So, a foraging I will go & who doesn’t like food for free?
I remember – just – as a child, my maternal Grandmother, a country woman born & bred. had a large Japonica bush, growing under a front room window. How I loved the beautiful pink flowers it produced during the summer months. My Grandmother however, didn’t have time for growing things you couldn’t eat, to her, the Japonica bush earned it’s keep in the autumn, by producing its fruits, which she turned into a delicate translucent pink jelly, which was served at tea time, with huge floury scones. I can still taste them today.
Walking my faithful hound the other morning, we passed trees laden with cob nuts, sloes elderberries, cooking apples, tiny crab apples & mulberries. Wild red currants & white currants dangled in tempting clusters, while brambles were covered in fat juicy blackberries, some white & pale pink, awaiting more sun to ripen them, others the deepest, darkest maroon, just begging to be picked.
We all know the old favourites Blackberry & Apple Pie/Crumble, Elderberry Wine etc but what about some of the more unusual things you can make with your foraged food?
Below are a couple of recipes you might like to try. Hopefully they may encourage you to get out into the countryside & enjoy the fresh air, knowing that on your return you have that feel good factor from the exercise & the means to produce some delicious, home-made goodies. They will also make, well received, Christmas presents.
ELDERBERRY SYRUP. GF/DF/V/Vegan
2.25 kg Ripe Elderberries. Weight when stripped from stalks
600 ml Water
1 small egg white, whipped to a froth. ( For Clarifying)
Wash the berries, crush lightly. Place in a large oven proof casserole (Not metal) with the water. Cover & place in a low (160c/180f /Gas 3) oven until the fruit is pulpy.
Strain through a jelly bag. Measure the juice, allowing 325 g sugar per 600 ml.
Place the juice in a saucepan, with the frothy egg white & bring to the boil, whisking occasionally. When boiling, remove all the scum & froth& add sugar. Reboil, skimming frequently, allow to simmer 3-4 mins.
Remove a couple of tablespoons of the syrup, set aside to cool to test the thickness of the syrup. Continue to simmer if necessary.
Pour into sterilised bottles, adding a teaspoon of brandy to each bottle. Seal & store.
Use as a drink, diluted with water or soda ( full of Vit C), or best of all add a small measure to your favourite Gin & top up with tonic. Cheers.
Here is a recipe to use up those windfall apples, or those you have foraged from the hedgerows.
You are paying for the food & service, but how do you like it?
We Brits are known for a lot of things, but not for complaining. Especially about the food. In particular, food served in our restaurants, sulky serving staff or waiting a long time for our bill.
Yesterday, listening to Marie Lennon’s morning show, Marie spoke of a report she had discovered, regarding our dissatisfaction with restaurants and asked listeners to let her know about their experiences. Apparently a skewed survey, published by a card payment company! suggests, only 7% of us are happy with the food & service we get in eating establishments. The biggest complaint being the time it takes to pay our bill [Well it would have to be that wouldn’t it].
Listening to the Phone In comments, it got me thinking. What do we mean by good food? How terrible does the Waiter/Waitress have to be to be described as bad & how long is a protracted wait for your bill? All of these things, mean different things to different people.
Now, I run a food establishment myself. Stables Kitchen, Great Chalfield & I can quite honestly say 75% of my customers are satisfied & the remaining 25% have various gripes. But are they justified?
Most of my visitors know my food is take away, totally home made, cooked in small batches daily & is vegetarian, with a huge slant towards healthy eating. These customers choose to frequent my establishment because this is the kind of food they enjoy. It is their choice of food & they are happy little foodies.
Other people, who stumble upon me by chance, are not so happy, neither are they foodies. These are my most common complaints, if you can call them complaints.
“What no chips ? what sort of place do you call this ”
“Can I have sliced white bread instead of salad with my Ploughmans” ?
“I only like Mr Whippy Ice Cream”?
“I don’t like vegetarian food”
As I type this blog, a lady has just come up to me & said: “You have too many things written on your black board, I haven’t got the time to read it, so I won’t buy anything”
Totally Home made seasonal food, by Truffleicious
Stables Kitchen, Great Chalfield, Wiltshire
To be fair, the gentleman who said he didn’t like veggie food, did order my Chickpea, Tomato & Rye Pastry Pie. When finished, he informed me it was the nicest thing he had eaten in a long time & in future he would try different foods, which made me feel extatic. I like people who are willing to try something new.
Are the above comments, complaints or just statements of fact? or do some people just like to have a whinge about anything!
Bad service, as it is only me, who cooks, serves takes payment & washes up, I am usually a cheerful little bunny. In busy periods, maybe the wait for service is too long. Most people understand this & are happy to wait, when I have acknowledged them & explained. However, there are the odd few, who feel they are special & need to be served at once. I just smile & carry on.
As to waiting for the bill, my business is “Take away”, – which conjures up to some, a Burger & Chips joint -. I “Take away” the money, when the order is placed – everybody happy -. As for card payments, the signal in my area is so bad, it’s rather a hit & miss affair.
To sum it all up. Food, as you like it, means different strokes, to different folks. What are your thoughts on complaints and the catering trade?
Why not tune into Marie Lennon’s Morning Show, BBC Wiltshire, weekdays 10-12noon, You can find snippets of current affairs, news worthy items & learn something about the Wiltshire way of life. Who knows, it may inspire you to write a blog.
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