Sunday, 21 August 2011

Purple Podded French Climbing Beans

I got the seeds for these from a seed exchange that is organised every year by the Cottage Garden Society. The flowers are rose pink and the beans purple. When cooked they quickly turn green. They have a very good flavour. I have saved my own seeds from the last two years for planting the next year and passing on to friends.
Details of the seed exchange are here

A Package of Seed

Now seeds are just dimes to the man in the store

And the dimes are the things he needs,

And I've been to buy them in season before

But I've thought of them merely as seeds;

But it flashed through my mind as I took them this time,

"You purchased a miracle for a dime".

by Edgar A. Guest

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Plum Muffin Cake

Victoria plums are in season at the moment. Uncooked ripe Victorias are sweet. When cooked they become sharper with an amazing and intense flavour.
I experimented by making a muffin mix based on this Delia's online recipe. I doubled the basic ingredients and used plums in place of blueberries and pecans.. Please see Delia's recipe for metric measures and mixing instructions.
10oz SR flour
2 eggs
3 oz sugar
4oz butter
I tsp pure vanilla extract
10 oz SR flour
8 fl oz milk
pinch of salt

I had some buffalo milk so used this in place of the cows' milk which gave it a creamy taste. I used 1lb (454g) of stoned plums. Half were chopped and mixed into the muffin mix and the other half arranged around the top. The mixture was put into a 10in dish flan dish and baked for about 50 minutes at gas 6. The plums should be slightly caramelised. I added some flaked almonds and a sprinkle of sugar while still hot. This could be eaten hot as a pudding or cold as a cake. I did both.

A nice cake but the vanilla taste was not very strong so I would use 2 tsp pure vanilla or one of artificial vanilla. I would use 4 oz sugar next time.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Chilli Fiesta, West Dean, West Sussex

This will about my fourth visit to the Chilli Fiesta at West Dean This is where I first discovered chipotle bought from Chillipepperpete Wandering around from stall to stall in the sunshine picking up wafts of delicious cooking smells and the sounds of Latin music playing is a treat though the hardest bit for me was choosing from Moroccan, Carribean, Thai, Indian etc To drink there were locally brewed Ballards ales and apple juice from West Dean's own apples.
There are lots of samples to try such as hot sauces, relishes, chilli chocolate etc.
It is held in the grounds of West Dean College which is set in some lovely landscape and has gardens that are worth visiting in their own right.
At the end of the day lots of people head back to the car park in the fields laden with bags of spices and a big chilli plant tucked under one arm.

Chilli 'Masquerade' heat level 8
Salsa on the lawn

Lunch came from Masala Monkey
Plenty of Latin music to listen to

and advice on how to grow chilies

A giant wire chili with seats insideIn the Victorian greenhouses there are over 200 chilli plants on display.

and more music