in my kitchen – May 2013

Once again I’m joining in with Celia’s In My Kitchen where bloggers around the world link to Fig Jam and Lime Cordial to give a peek into their kitchens.

In my kitchen this May …

 

hedgerow pesto

… hedgerow pesto made with stinging nettles, wild garlic leaves, cleavers, jack-by-the-hedge leaves, walnuts, rapeseed oil and cheddar cheese. On melba toast. Is melba toast so retro that’s it’s back in fashion? Maybe if it’s made with sourdough bread. Maybe not.  Anyway, it reminds me of chicken liver pate with melba toast in the 1970s and fashionable or not, it’s easy to make by toasting a slice of bread on both sides, cutting the slice in half horizontally ie making two slices out of one, then toasting the cut sides. It keeps crisp in a tin.

In my kitchen this May …

asparagus spears

… asparagus. I don’t mind whether the spears are short and fat or tall and spindly, so long as there’s asparagus in May. I put a saucepan of water on to boil, nip out to cut the asparagus and put it straight into the water. From garden to plate in a few minutes. We’ve only just started cutting and are still happy to eat platefuls of asparagus with melted butter but after a couple of weeks we’ll dip the spears in soft boiled duck eggs and roll them up in brown bread and butter.

In my kitchen this May …

rhubarb and raspberry gin

… rhubarb. The first fruit of spring and a very welcome sight as it pushes its way through the soil. We’re never organised enough to cover the emergent stalks, so ours isn’t the gorgeous bright pink of forced rhubarb but cooks to a slightly sludgy coloured pink. Poaching rhubarb in sloe gin (or raspberry gin or bullace gin) adds to the pinkness and does away with that horrible furred up feeling on teeth.

In my kitchen this May …

muesli biscuits

… muesli biscuits made using Celia’s recipe. Sort of. George’s breakfast in a jar was confiscated by airport security on his way to work (too much liquid apparently) so I thought these biscuits would make a pleasing alternative. I started with great gusto, only to realise I was missing several ingredients. I really should learn to read through the whole recipe before I start cooking but substitutions were made (including stewed rhubarb for apple butter) and the biscuits were baked. Unfortunately for George, most of them were eaten before his next early shift but I’ve promised him that I’ll buy all the ingredients so he can make them properly.

In my kitchen this May …

jelly moulds

… jelly moulds. I have a small collection of jelly moulds that I thought I should take down from the dresser shelf and clean up if I’m to become The Jelly Maker. The ceramic moulds have lovely patterning but it’s a pain to extricate the jelly and the larger one has sharp angled patterns, which needs a firmly set jelly rather than the voluptuously gentle wobble that I prefer. My favourite is the larger copper mould whose shape makes a rounded, quivering jelly that threatens to slowly flow off the serving plate.

In my kitchen this May …

vegetable garden

… the view through the kitchen window. Although vegetable beds remain resolutely brown and bare, apart from the stand of rhubarb and the green tops of regrowing parsnips that I thought we’d dug up, the horse chestnut has burst into leaf and the cherry tree is flowering. A very welcome sign that spring has well and truly arrived and we can cast off our heavy coats and gloves.

What’s happening in your kitchen this month? Why not join in with Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial?

 

23 thoughts on “in my kitchen – May 2013

  1. rusty duck says:

    Asparagus is something I really want to grow when we have enough space. I must go out looking for rhubarb though. I feel a crumble coming on before the weather gets too hot (ho ho).

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  2. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial says:

    I love your IMK posts, Anne! Possibly for the same reason you love Jane’s (Shady Baker) – it’s just so nice to get glimpse of the happy bits of a friend’s life on the other side of the world. Actually, I love all your posts, come to think of it. 🙂

    I wish I could taste your hedgerow pesto! You made me wonder if one could make melba toast in the sandwich press – they’d end up very straight though, without the lovely curl. And your rhubarb looks great – ours is consistently green, when it grows (it’s not looking so good at the moment). I think your muesli cookies with stewed rhubarb would have been even better than apple butter ones – no wonder there was none left for George! And I love your jelly moulds – I’m now imaging quivering, delicately shaped, alcohol infused jelly treats.. 🙂

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    • Anne @GtSlamseysFarm says:

      You’re too kind Celia. It might be worth trying the sandwich press – I put my toast into the oven to toast the second side as I stand less chance of burning it (unless I forget about it). The muesli cookies would presumably work with any stewed fruit, which is the thing I love about recipes like that where you can keep changing some of the components but keep the base ingredients.
      I like to think of jellies as like a quivering Rubenesque bosom.:)

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  3. heidiannie says:

    That pesto made my mouth water- I make one with mint and sesame seeds that we like very much- but yours sounds daring and is so very GREEN! 🙂
    Asparagus – fresh from the garden to the pot- sounds heavenly. I am also on the lookout for some rhubarb!

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  4. lizzygoodthings says:

    Oh Anne… I so love to visit your kitchen and garden via IMK! That pesto sounds amazing… am in awe that you are growing asparagus… and the jelly moulds are something I always covet in antique stores! Thank you so much for sharing.

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    • Anne @GtSlamseysFarm says:

      I have to admit that Bill did all the hard work preparing the soil and planting the asparagus – I just cut and eat it! We visited Holkham Hall recently and in their “Victorian” kitchen there were rows and rows of the most fantastic jelly moulds for every conceivable size and shape.

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  5. Glenda says:

    Hi Anne, Your posts make me realise how different England is to Australia -cultuarlly similar but so different. Your list of pesto ingredients is amazing….

    I always love the view from your kitchen window, again it is so different from a view from any Australian kitchen window, maybe I should post mine …:)

    And your jelly moulds are fab. Don’t forget to post photos of each jelly you make.

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    • Anne @GtSlamseysFarm says:

      Yes, do post a view from your kitchen window. One of the things I enjoy about the IMK posts is the differences; just as your tomatoes come to an end, mine are only tiny seedlings and I often have to look up ingredients that you use because I haven’t heard of them.

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  6. Jane @ Shady Baker says:

    Hello again Anne, I want your pesto now! Yum, seriously! Asparagus is right up there on my list of beautiful things…my grandmother used to grow it and we would eat platefuls simply with melted butter. So good. I am growing my own now and expect a bumper crop next spring after waiting patiently for the recommended 2 years before harvesting. Rhubarb…same story.

    Love your jelly moulds and the sunshine in your garden too!

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    • Anne @GtSlamseysFarm says:

      I could happily eat asparagus with melted butter all season, but others in the family need a little variety. It seems an age to wait before you can start cutting, but once it’s in full production it’s wonderful!

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  7. Thomasina Tittlemouse says:

    Goodness that hedgerow pesto looks gorgeous! And what a nice way to have it on Melba toast. Interested that cooking rhubarb with sloe gin removes that tannic feel – must give it a go if I can bear to use the sloe gin on the rhubarb! Sorry to hear George’s breakfasts in a jar have been snaffled by security – perhaps they knew a fabulous breakfast when they saw one and consumed it themselves! Love your jelly moulds and your description of them as Rubensesque gives them a wonderful new angle of voluptuousness! Have a lovely weekend Anne! E x

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  8. Olallieberry says:

    My goodness, that pesto looks and sounds amazing. And I love the view from your kitchen window! No green here yet, but we are hopeful it will burst forth any day now :

    Janine

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  9. Pat Machin says:

    I’ve got to comment first on your comment “I have gallons of sloe gin to hand”..I have problems up here finding enough blackthorn to make ANY slow gin. Most of our field boundaries are dry stone wall.

    Like you, I find the difference in climate and time of year quite fascinating. BTW don’t get too relaxed about spring. We had a frost last night and they had snow in Devon – where they hardly ever get any.

    Your pesto looks great – so green!

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    • Anne @GtSlamseysFarm says:

      Much as I admire a stone wall, there are lots of advantages to a blackthorn hedge. We had problems finding sloes last year as the wet weather rather did for them.
      I think spring has deserted us too, though thankfully no snow … yet.

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