Well it seems I was being a bit optimistic about blueberries being ready in our gardens this month, though I have seen British blueberries on sale in the shops. We don’t have blueberries down on the plot, but my mother’s crop still has a way to go before it’s ripe. Luckily, this set back didn’t deter some of you from entering this month’s We Should Cocoa and of course blueberries are pretty much available all around the world at any season these days.
When a friend kindly left me a multitude of courgettes on my doorstep the other day, I was delighted. Not only were they freshly picked, but were small, multi-coloured and pretty. My friend was equally delighted, she can’t give them away fast enough. Any number of recipes have been developed to make the most of this seasonal abundance. When I consulted Twitter, the oracle spoke: courgette fritters it was.
Once upon a time, long long ago, I had an Iranian boyfriend. He introduced me to a whole new cuisine, which, although similar to the Middle Eastern one I was more familiar with, was distinct and flavoursome. It was rare that he did any cooking, but when he did he always made the most delicious rice in the classic Persian way, complete with tahdig.
Having set blueberries as the ingredient for this month’s We Should Cocoa, I’ve not managed to get my act together to bake what I had planned and I don’t think I’m going to before the deadline. However, a couple of years ago, I made these rather scrumptious blueberry and white chocolate flapjacks with some local blueberries, but for some reason never got around to posting about them. Here goes.
When I was given some gooseberries from my mother, my first thought was crumble – the weather had taken a turn for the worse and it was cold and wet. However, by the time I got around to actually using them, the weather had improved. Although a gooseberry fool or other such dessert might have been more appropriate, I had “baked gooseberry something” on my mind. A sudden flash of inspiration and gooseberry galette it was – both baked and summery.
Whereas chocolate peanut butter cups have long been popular in the US as has peanut butter and jelly (jam), the salty sweet combination has only recently blossomed here in the UK. Following on from the craze for salted caramel, comes chocolate combined with peanut butter and it seems to have taken the nation by storm. I’ve become rather enamoured too.
Our potatoes went in very late this year so we don’t yet have any to harvest. However a friend has just given us some of hers and whilst they were still fresh, eating them boiled with some delicious garlicky aioli seemed just the thing. And our garlic was ready to harvest.
With my sweet tooth and lifelong addiction to sugar, I was fascinated to find a whole encyclopaedia has been devoted to the story of the human predilection for sweet food – ah, it’s not just me then. The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets, edited by Darra Goldstein, has just been published and happily a copy landed on my desk.
It will perhaps be with a sense of shock that Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial sees me join her In My Kitchen series for the second month running. Up to now I’ve only managed about one a year. However, today is my birthday and these posts are in themselves a sort of celebration of what is going on in so many kitchens around the world, so it seems fitting that I share this with you.
I’d not heard of The Dumpling Sisters until their newly published book passed my way recently. This endearing name for Amy and Julie Zhang highlights their passion for dumplings. It’s a lovely book with recipes for easy homemade Chinese food, but it’s heavily meat orientated, so not really one for me. However, there were a couple of baking recipes in the back which drew my attention and their sweet and salty walnut cookies were one of them.