The Sunday after I got back from my short but sweet holiday in Nairn we went to the mega boot sale in Polegate. Since I started my supper club (next one on 4th October, book now folks!) I’ve found yet another reason to spend cash on old toot, and boot sales are great places to pick up cookware. A few weeks back I bought 26 gorgeous Weck paté jars for just £10, and the Sunday before last I found a stall selling crates of cherries for about £1 per pound.
So, money spent, I decided to finally test my hand at making some jam. I followed the mighty David Lebovitz’s no-recipe recipe for cherry jam, not realising that my grandmother’s book that I brought home from holiday also contains a version; that would have been oh so much more romantic to blog about.
I spent all afternoon pitting cherries and then made the jam late in the evening, by which point I was so knackered and concerned about overcooking it that I didn’t get the jam up to gelling point, resulting in nine jars of chunky cherry coulis.
I’m trying not to beat myself up about this as it’s true that you learn from your mistakes. This time that, a.) novice jam makers should start with a fruit that is high in pectin, like citrus, or raspberries. And b.) buying 8lb of cherries is not a bargain if you’re going to make a crap jam with half and then let the rest go soft.
Still, my daughter and I have been eating this failed jam quite happily, spooned over that nice thick Chobani strained yoghurt, but I would welcome any further suggestions of how I might get through it in the comments.
Sadly the jam was not my only recent kitchen failure. This Sunday I made these pretty butterfly cakes but if you look very closely you’ll notice I split the cream. I should really stop making these cakes for guests as I can’t help but tell them that they look a bit like fannies, not so much in this picture mind, that’s good photography.
My friend Fi brought me this beautiful basket of goodies from her garden: courgette, new potatoes, sweet peas and a bunch of sorrel that really brightened up our chicken risotto last night. In fact, I think that risotto was one of my best, made with real chicken stock, leftover roast chicken, grilled courgette, thyme and sorrel.
We’ve also had two very fine Sunday roasts. Grilled courgette and raw beetroot salad dressed in honey and lemon really brightens up a standard roast chicken and tatties on a hot summer evening. Speaking of beetroot, I also made this tasty beetroot and potato curry from the Monsoon Spice blog for a tasty midweek dinner.
And if you thought potato waffles weren’t posh, you haven’t eaten them the way I like them. I had forgotten how much I like this brunch dish of fried egg and potato waffles with a tomato and parsley salad so I have now immortalised it on the blog, see recipe below.
If you would like the recipes for any of the other dishes mentioned in this post, please let me know in the comments. I will be posting my recipe for spinach and ricotta cannelloni (as requested by readers of this post) later this week.
- 2 potato waffles
- 1 egg
- A little oil for frying.
- 3 small ripe tomatoes, cubed
- 1 tbsp roughly chopped fresh parsley
- 1 spring onion or small shallot, finely chopped
- Drizzle extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (be generous!)
- Put the potato waffles under the grill for 2-3 minutes on each side.
- While the waffles are cooking, combine the tomato, onion, parsley in a small bowl, dress with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season generously with salt and pepper. Stir well.
- Fry the egg.
- Place the fried egg on the cooked waffles and serve the tomato salad to one side.