Today I say goodbye to my blog here on British Food. For 6 years we have met almost daily but no more. I actually feel a little sad about it but times, as they say, "are a-changin".
Coming very soon is an exciting new website for British Food - in fact for all the About.com network - and blogs will no longer feature. Social media it seems has taken over. I hope you have enjoyed the past 6 years of news, recipes, reviews and opinions. They will still appear here on the site, just in a slightly different format.
Thank you for sharing those years with me, and look out for the new site, it really is lovely.
Photo © RFB Photography
I have a brand new website on British Food coming very, very soon. It is an exciting time, lots of changes most of which, I think you will love. However, as with all change, some things have to go and as from next week the blog which has been the central part of the site is being retired. I shall miss it and I shall miss all your comments, suggestions, discussion and debate. But not to worry, we can continue the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or whatever your favourite social media is. I look forward to it.
This weekend is the Spring Bank holiday weekend. Up to press the weather is lousy with promise of better weather on the way. So, with fingers crossed, there may some village cricket on Sunday. Local cricket is very much a British institution and there is nothing more pleasant on a sunny afternoon than to unwind in a deckchair, listening to the 'thwack' of leather on willow, the sleepy applause from postprandial snoozers and my favourite bit, the cricket tea.
It will come as no surprise that the perfect cricket tea is not unlike the traditional Afternoon Tea. I am assured from my cricket mad family and friends that sandwiches, scones, cakes, fruit squash (not juice) and lashings of tea are obligatory.
The preparation for the tea was, and in many clubs still is, the responsibility of the wines and girlfriends of the players (sexist I know but that's how it is). So, if you have the responsibility, or fancy making a tea here are some hints, tips and recipes to set you on your way.
All I can say is, the recipe for this open apple tart my seems long but believe me it is worth it. The recipe comes from the delightful baker Brendan Lynch.
Photo © Elaine Lemm
What a great celebration. British tomatoes are lovely especially when they have been kissed by the sunshine we have had recently. When the tomatoes are fresh and tasty, recipes should be quick and simple to keep the maximum amount of flavour.
It's National Vegetarian Week here in the UK, a campaign run by the Vegetarian Society to raise awareness, and debunk myths about vegetarian eating. I like to do my bit every week with my Meat Free Monday recipe, but this week is a chance to go the whole - I nearly said the whole hog, oops - way.
You may think that British food and its dependence on fur and feather would not lend itself to a vegetarian lifestyle but that's so not true. Have a look at my small collection of vegetarian recipes below or if you want tons of inspiration, About.com's Vegetarian Guide Jolinda's site.
Choosing beer to go with food is actually quite easy and for a general rule-of-thumb, lighter beers usually complement lighter summer foods. Don't however limit your options to lager. Although this is a fine match to many summer foods, there are other interesting combination's and experimenting can reveal some surprising winners - try a glass of chilled Guinness with white fish, for example?
The British Beer and Pub Association gave me a few pointers on choosing the right beer for your food and you can read what they had to say to me.
Make the most of wonderful British asparagus now. The season is short and ends in June, should the growers continue to cut after this time then next year's crop will be compromised. So now is the time to buy and eat as much as you can to help support this very valuable industry.
- Asparagus Soup with Poached Egg
- Asparagus and Cheese Muffins
- Asparagus and Rocket Salad
- Asparagus Twigs
- Asparagus and Sweetcorn Cakes
Photo © British Asparagus
The great British sausage is called a Banger, their common name during WWII as the sausages contained a lot of water and would explode in the pan. 5 million bangers are eaten every day from breakfast sausage through to lunch, at barbecues and for dinner. They are a favourite food in this house but we don't eat that many.
Photo © Elaine Lemm
As you know by now, one of my favourite traditional British baking recipe s is the Baked Egg Custard. I love my mum's recipe and one of my fondest childhood 'cooking' memories; my mum making one. However, I am going to say, and I am sure Mum won't mind, this recipe by my friend, Chef Richard Walton Allen is a bit of a corker. I discovered it when I watched him teach the recipe at new school of food in Yorkshire, Cooks. Using double cream, it is richer than I am used to, and a little slice goes a long way. Delicious.