Winter Salad

Here’s a lovely simple recipe for a crisp winter salad using local seasonal produce. It’s nice on its own or served with some lovely Cornish Blue cheese, or even a chunk of rib eye steak if you fancy!

  • 1/4 red cabbage, finely sliced
  • 1/4 savoy cabbage, finely sliced
  • 2 carrots, sliced into matchsticks
  • a handful of walnuts, lightly toasted & roughly chopped
  • 4 tbsp walnut oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1tsp grain mustard
  • sea salt & cracked black pepper, to taste

Toss all the sliced cabbage and carrots together in a large bowl. In the top oven of the aga or in a dry pan on the hob, lightly toast the walnuts until they smell wondrous (technical cookery term!) and remember to keep them moving so they don’t catch and burn.

Mix together the walnut oil, red wine vinegar and mustard. Season to taste. Pour the dressing over the salad, mix well to coat and serve.

Damson Gin & Jelly

Beautiful dusky damsons have a very short season, so if you spy them out and about snatch up a couple of pounds if you can. Either use them straight away for making Damson Gin, Jelly or just stewed with a bit of sugar to make a deliciously simple dessert.  Or you can freeze them for use later in the year. Anyway, here’s inspiration for you in the form of a lovely Damson Jam or Damson Jelly. Also in abundance this time of year are blackberries, sloes and elderberries. The hedgerows seem to be dripping in fruit, its hard to know what to make next! You can find a delicious Bramble Jelly recipe here or you can make good use of those sharp little sloes and make some Sloe gin in time for Christmas, so get picking folks!

Damson Gin

  • 1lb Damsons
  • 1/2lb Sugar
  • 1 litre Gin (doesn’t have to be top quality)

Prick the Damsons all over with a pin or fork. Place in the bottom of a sterilised kilner jar (or two) with the sugar and gin. Turn the jar everyday until the sugar has completely dissolved. Then store away in a cupboard for at least three months, you can leave it up to a year for best results but you may not want to be waiting that long!

Damson Jelly

  • 6lb Damsons
  • 3 Pints of Water
  • Sugar

Simmer the damsons in water for 1 hour until soft. Strain through a jelly bag (or a fine sieve) and measure the juice. Allow 1lb (454g) sugar to each pint of juice. Heat the juice gently, stirring in the sugar until dissolved. Boil hard to setting point and pour into hot jars.

Dower House Chutney Recipe

Here’s a recipe for the deliciously rich Dower House Chutney. Once made, store it for at least three months before eating it, even better save it for Christmas and enjoy it with some strong cheeses and of course left over ham & turkey!

1.5lb Plums
2lb Red tomatoes
1.5 Pints malt vinegar
1/2lb Prepared Apples (eaters not cookers)
1/2lb Prepared Onions
1/2lb Dried Fruit
1 Clove of Garlic
1lb Demerara Sugar
2oz Salt
1.5 level tablespoons Pickling spice (tied in muslin)

Wash the plums, halve and remove stones. Skin & slice the tomatoes. To make this easier, cut a small cross over the top of each tomato and blanch in boiling water. The skins should peel away very easily from the cut you made. Put both in a preserving pan with the vinegar and cook gently until soft and mushy. Remove any stones if any bob to the surface.
Slice the apples, onions & garlic finely and add them to the pan with the dried fruit, sugar, salt and pickling spice. Simmer slowly until it thickens. A good test is being able to drag a wooden spoon across the bottom of the pan and the chutney separates and leaves a ‘trench’ so you can see bottom of the pan. Have patience, its not a quick process, but you are rewarded with a lovely chutney! Store in sterilised jars, cover with wax toppers to stop it drying out and stow it away in the cupboard for 3 months or more.

above: I used what was available to me for free! In this case an old Cornish variety of apple & Victoria plums. This time of year though, there are many types of English Apples available, so use what’s local to you if you can.

above: gorgeous Victoria plums, halved and stoned.

above: stirring up the tomatoes and plums in the vinegar.

above: the plums and tomatoes quickly turn to mush!

above:  perfectly crisp apple, ready for slicing into the pot.

above: the finished article, ready for storing for the winter. ‘Ansome!

a little seasonal recipe for you…

Gooseberry, elderflower & vanilla fools

Serves 6

300g topped & tailed gooseberries (or frozen gooseberries – thawed)

2 tablespoons  caster sugar

2 tbspn water

3 tbspn Bottlegreen Elderflower cordial (or your own homemade)

300ml Trewithen Cornish Farm Dairy double cream

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

250g fresh custard

 

  • Put the gooseberries in a pan with the sugar & water
  • Gently stew until the gooseberries are soft & pulpy.
  • Mix in the cordial & leave to cool
  • Whip the double cream with vanilla extract.
  • Mix the gooseberries with the custard.
  • Take 6 glasses & fill with alternate layers of cream & gooseberry custard.
  • Decorate with whole poached gooseberries

 

“Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like & let the food fight it out inside”

Mark Twain

Elderflower & Sunshine

Its time to recycle a recipe I’m afraid! You may’ve spied some lovely Elderflower blossoms around, make the most of them with this easy recipe for Elderflower Cordial it really is a refreshing taste of summer.

Golden Autumn

This time of year is pretty lovely isn’t it? It’s mellow and golden, less of a technicolour assault on the senses than high summer. The food follows suit, with warm pots of slow cooked things, roasted vegetables and perhaps some fruity things thrown in for good measure, apples and plums are still very much around. The nights are closing in and with a little bit more of a chill in the air, these warming flavours are welcome. It is also of course the season for game, we sell pheasants from our local Heligan shoot on our shop website, available for delivery across the UK. A slow roasted joint of Belly Pork with baked English apples and juniper berries is perfect for a cosy night in. Of course there are pumpkins and squash to consider, soup? pie? roasted? Whatever you choose, make sure its lovely and any great ideas you’d like to to share with us post them along to lobbsfarmshop@btconnect.com

It’s also a great time of year to take a hike around this beautiful corner of Cornwall. If you haven’t explored the path across Lobb’s farm and into tranquil woodland, autumn is a fabulous time to do so, the rich earthy smells of the woodland are intoxicating. There’s always a chance of spotting some wildlife too along the way. Just remember your wellies, it does get rather muddy! You can find more information on our ‘Permissive Path’ page on this blog.So get on out there this Autumn, take a long muddy walk before heading home and cooking up something rich and warming for the dark evening. It’s an awesome time of year!

food file

Nice one Richard…. a little back page feature in the September-October issue of Food Magazine

We now know when to hide the chocolate biscuits when you’re around then!

The fruits of late summer

After some truly torrential rain over the last week, it was a relief to see the sun make an appearance on friday afternoon (in your own time sunshine!)

Time to get out and about and make the most of it. With blackberries, plums and sloes in abundance it could mean only three things jelly, jam & gin! A very lovely way to spend an afternoon in the warm late summer sun, picking fruit. The most satisfying kind of food, seasonal, local and best of all, free. It just takes a little time & effort to make the jams and jellies. Store some jars away and enjoy it in the middle of the cold dark winter, ‘ansome! Find the recipes for Plum Jam & Bramble Jelly here. Sloe Gin is very easy to make, again just a little time invested from picking the fruit through to the making. Its worth making a couple of bottles if you can, one to drink this coming Christmas and save one for the following winter or longer still, the flavour matures enormously over this time, so if you can bear to wait that long, do so!!

Finally, here’s a very lovely and thoughtful meditation on blackberries.

above: bottling up the plum jam

above & below: Sloes ripe for the picking.

Beef & Balsamic Onion Burgers

Summer (what there is of it) is coming to a close with the evenings drawing in quite noticeably now. Still there are still some very British barbecues to be had, i.e in the rain! So make the most of the good weather that does come our way with some good food on the grill. Check out this new recipe for you here

There’s some nice fat blackberries to be had if you’re out and about in the countryside and also some lovely apples starting to ripen. I think some bramble jelly, apple chutney and perhaps a crumble are in order in the near future!

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