Once again, I’m joining Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial as she spearheads the In My Kitchen series. So, what’s happening this month in my kitchen?
In my kitchen …
A Sunday tea special of sponge cake filled with cream, jam and fresh loganberries, devoured in one sitting by the assembled family. I thought I could disguise the sunken top with icing but I think it probably just drew attention to it.
In my kitchen …
Now that the raspberries and loganberries in the garden are ripe, the rhubarb has lost its appeal and I don’t suppose there will be much more rhubarb pulled this year. A dish of baked rhubarb is ready to spoon over yoghurt while the rhubarb, white chocolate and almond cake doubles as a pudding or a cake, depending on your fancy.
In my kitchen … green walnuts.
Every year I pick green walnuts in an effort to outwit the squirrels, who always steal a fair proportion of the ripe walnuts in the autumn. Back in 2009, I made a batch of Green Walnut Liqueur, following the recipe carefully and storing it in a dark cupboard for six months. When I took the bottle from the cupboard, the liquid looked like sump oil and a dark ring of scum had formed at the neck of the bottle though the recipe stated quite clearly that after six months it would be ready and not to let friends taste it as they’d finish the bottle there and then. I strained out the walnuts and poured a little of the liquid into a glass. It smelt disgusting and tasted even worse. We quickly screwed the cap on and hid the bottle at the back of the cupboard. At the second tasting in 2011, it had definitely improved, but still wasn’t something you’d willingly drink, so once again it went back in the cupboard.
But then I found another recipe and thought I’d see if that was any better. Last night we had a tasting. The 2009 vintage is now rather pleasant. I wouldn’t exactly call it delicious, but we had an almost full shot glass each and the bottle hasn’t been hidden away. We may even try another (small) glass of it. The 2011 vintage shows promise, but isn’t quite ready.
In what must surely be an act of hope over experience, I made a 2014 batch at the weekend using the original recipe. It’s sitting on the dresser as I have to shake it every day for ten days. It started as a beautiful clear liquid with chopped walnuts and lemon peel floating decoratively. By the end of the day, the liquid was going green and the lemon peel had turned orange. Now the liquid is even darker and the walnuts have turned a shade of bluish green. It’s interesting, if nothing else.
Not in my kitchen …
… but outdoors.
As summer takes hold, I’m spending as much time as possible not in my kitchen, but cooking and eating outside. We’ve been sitting out, catching the last rays of sunshine at the end of the day, enjoying the garden and not taking any notice of the weeds that need pulling or spent flowers that need deadheading. Oh, I do love these summer days.
What’s happening in your kitchen? Why not join in or at least pop over to Fig Jam and Lime Cordial to see who’s sharing their kitchen this month.
Rhubarb cake adapted from this Waitrose recipe