Rhubarb & Baobab Jelly

I had what seemed like a forest of rhubarb. I also have a bag of the superfruit baobab. You can almost see the halo above this guy. Baobab has six times more vitamin C than an orange, more antioxidants than blueberries and more calcium than milk. Baobab originates in Africa where its tree, aka the ‘tree…

Gooseberry & Elderflower Martini

The pain of picking gooseberries seems worth it when you consider they’re rammed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Mine were ripe for the picking, the green fruits swollen and tinged with red. They team well with elderflower and I managed to get hold of some new J. J. Whitley Elderflower Gin, subtle in flavour with real elderflower…

The Chicken Mushroom

I’d never heard of it, but when I was almost blinded by its brightness I have to say it scared me. Mushrooms mean danger – at least in the countryside where I grew up they do. If they’re not magic they’re downright poisonous and you shouldn’t go near them, and certainly not eat them. This…

Himalayan Margarita

I probably should have written this before drinking the margarita. A couple of hundred million years ago in the pristine snowy environment of the Himalayan Mountains, beds of crystallised sea salt were covered by lava, which was thought to have protected this special salt from pollution, leading to the belief that Himalayan pink salt is the purest…

Riverside Wild Garlic Pesto

Some may call it child labour, I call it Free Easter Holidays Foraging Fun in the Fresh Air. Agreed, it needs a catchier title. Our local banks of the River Etherow are covered with a carpet of wild garlic, the smell is enough to speed up your metabolism as you walk past. A relative of chives, wild garlic is also…

Saturday Night TV Dumplings

I just love Wing Yip. I can spend a good couple of hours admiring and deciphering the myriad of colourful Chinese ingredients. I can spend another couple doing mental calculations of the spice prices in comparison to my local supermarket. Seriously the margins the mainstream supermarkets must be making… for less authentic, lower quality products. Tonight…

Lotus Root Crisps

An Asian aquatic plant, this is not something I’ve grown in the garden but something visually appealing and which also plays a tune as it’s sliced, akin to a diminutive church organ. An intriguing vegetable. I bought mine from Wing Yip, it was in four attached sections. I used some for Chinese dumplings and the…

Thyme for a Whiskey?

With St Patrick’s Day looming it’s only right to bring out the whiskey. Not just any old whiskey, this is The Pogues’ Irish whiskey, a blend which has been specially crafted by the famed Celtic punk band. So here’s a tribute tipple to help you on your way to the type of raucous celebration The Pogues would…

Naturally Pink Tequila Rose Fudge

Tequila Rose is the best selling strawberry cream liqueur in the world and a friend suggested I make some fudge with it, so after two failed attempts I finally managed to create some pink fudge which tasted perfectly of Tequila Rose – hoorah! Not a big fan of artificial colourings, I made my own red…

The Power of Pomegranate

Jam-packed with anti-oxidants, pomegranates are in abundance at the moment. And despite the sweet taste of the fleshy pips, it’s proven that this fruit is a tough cookie, boasting diabetes and cancer-busting properties. Not lucky enough to have a tree of this superfruit myself – although I’d happily give growing one a go – I…

Are you a Geek too?

Usually a lover of colourful, thick stock, hard-backed cookbooks, I panicked on receiving Cooking for Geeks as memories flooded back of when my science doctorate father asked the newsagent to swap my Twinkle comic for New Scientist. True story. From the first chapter though, I was hooked. If you love eating and cooking and are…

Easing into Sprout Season

Sprouts are a key focus at Christmas time and I’m limbering up the family’s taste buds with a more gentle introduction to this often bitter  vegetable. Sprout tops grow on top of the sprout stalk and resemble a cabbage – they’re almost flower-like in appearance and have a milder, almost creamier flavour to sprouts themselves….