Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Homity Pie and Ice Cream

Well after all the computer issues, it’s a relief just to get back to the simple life, a bit of cooking, seeing family and general relaxation. The plan was always to live with less, but sometimes stuff happens and you realise that it is very hard to disconnect completely.

 While we were up in Kent, I gave my daughter some of the home made balsamic glaze with summer fruits that I recently tried making. She said that it was as good as any that you could buy, so I rather bravely went into our local craft shop and asked if they would be interested in selling it. I almost wish I hadn’t bothered, once again the real world intervened and I discovered that I need a registered kitchen, a qualification in Food Hygiene and Public Liability Insurance before they will take the product.

Now I understand that the food must be properly prepared and that no-one should be at risk from eating it, but the cost and effort involved, for what will be about 10 jars of vinegar makes it a non-starter. No wonder things are more expensive than the cost of making them yourselves.

The shop owner told me that these rules don’t apply if you give it away or sell it for charity, which leads me to wonder if the whole thing isn’t just a money making exercise.

So I will just make the stuff and give it to friends and family, to be honest the idea was not to make money, just to share what I like with others.

On to the serious stuff now, followers of my blog will know of my passion for potato peelings, well here is my version of Homity Pie: a Devon delicacy usually made with potato cubes, garlic, onion, cheese and herbs, in a pastry case.

Mine involves caramelising shallots and garlic in oil and brown sugar

Then add your blanched potato peelings and brown

Finally, mix in with the grated cheese in a casserole dish and top with breadcrumbs

Spray with Olive Oil and cook in a 180 degree oven for about 20-30 minutes, or until the top is crisp and the cheese is bubbling, Serve with salad.

I have an ice-cream maker, brought in a rush of enthusiasm when I was a rich metropolitan type, having said that I do prefer home made to most of the commercial offerings.

Well I picked some mixed berries and made a compote

Whilst that was cooling I made the ice-cream, not the egg custard type, this is just double cream, milk and caster sugar. The machine takes about an hour to work its magic, and this is what you get

The next step is to ripple your cooled compote into the tub

Then put it back into the freezer until you are ready to serve.

I have never seen so many Blackberries as this year; they are everywhere I go, out with the dog, in my garden or even just walking to get a paper. Some seem to be nearly ripe now, whilst some are just in flower, and others not even that far on. So I think it will be a long season, I have plans for Wine, jam, compote and Balsamic Glaze.

Now that I have become detached from the urban rush I feel more in tune with the seasons, and can see the natural progression of the year, it all makes sense whereas before it was a bit of a mystery. I haven’t quite got rid of my impatient ways yet and can’t wait for nature to hurry up sometimes, I want the fruit to be ripe now, but I think I’m improving.

1 comment:

  1. I love your blog - keep up the good work. I'll be coming back to read more!