Autumn Fayre

Hi Everyone,

The Autumn is half way through, clocks go back this coming weekend as a reminder that winter is creeping ever closer.

The wind has been blowing the last of the fruit from the trees and I baked a family favourite of whole apple pudding which I shall share with you along with two other special apple recipes; Apple Roll, an apple pie with a difference and Apple Charlotte, a very satisfying pudding that is great with vanilla icecream.

apples I am still getting free apples from generous friends that had loaded trees so the apple recipes will keep on filling the recipe pages.  I was given some quince fruits which I traded with a large beetroot, I also picked some crab apples which a lady down the road said I could harvest from her tree after I put a note through the door asking permission.  Don’t forget to do this yourself next year if you notice fruit not being picked, ask if you can harvest it and say thank you by cooking extra to give to the owner of the tree.

I have been to my Sister-in-Law’s for dinner last week, which is always a treat as she is a brilliant cook and invariably does something new and exciting, for the latest meal she had cooked a John Torode recipe (of MasterChef fame) of Turnip, Potato & Mustard Gratin, which was a side dish with a stuffed slow roasted shoulder of pork.  I have asked her to share the recipe with us all so you will find it in the link or on the recipe pages.  She says “everyone enjoyed this side dish,  it is very rich and creamy and a bit of an effort to slice all the veg, but well worth it for a special occasion.  The recipe states it feeds eight but I am of the opinion that it goes much further, we were eating it all weekend!”.

At this time of year those that have been growing tomatoes hopefully have a glut, my neighbours have passed some over the fence and a friend growing plum tomatoes in her greenhouse has plenty to share so I made tomato soup for dinner last night.  I just chopped up an onion, a couple of sticks of celery and a few cloves of garlic, fried these until soft then added the chopped tomatoes with a little water and simmered for about an hour adding salt, pepper and basil leaves before taking the pan off the heat and mashing it to a pulp.  tomato soup Once it was mashed and I had removed the skins I added about half a pint of milk (if I had some cream or creme fresh in the fridge I would have also added that to make it even more creamy but unfortunately I didn’t this time) brought the soup back up to temperature and seasoned to taste.  We had this with some lovely crusty bread which I had put in the oven to heat through.

Top Tip:  You don’t have to worry about taking the skin off the tomatoes before you start cooking them as the skins rise to the top of the mixture when boiled so you can just spoon them out.

Another Top Tip:  Tomato soup can be made with tinned tomatoes, you don’t have to use fresh.

I really enjoyed the ratatouille cooked by the chef at the Lion Inn, Boreham.  I love ratatouille with lamb or with pasta covered with grated cheese.  I thought I would share my recipes for this dish and a couple of rabbit recipes too as we should eat more rabbit, it is a cheap and a very tasty meal, low fat also I believe.

I bought a large butternut squash from the market this morning so be ready for recipes to hit the pages soon!

This week I wanted to share my experience of eating at several restaurants that I have had the pleasure of visiting during the month – just for those of you that live locally, or if anyone is planning on visiting the area:-

The Lion Inn, Boreham –  Enjoyed sharing a fish platter to start – this was gorgeous, plenty of variety. Then I ordered the Filo parcel, with ratatouille and parsnip chips for a main course,  the parsnip chips were well cooked being soft on the inside and crispy on the outside, chunky just like potato chips and I enjoyed them just as much.  All was truly delicious and finished with a dessert of dark chocolate torte which came with a large helping of clotted cream.  A strong cup of coffee added to a couple of other drinks during the evening and the bill came to £30 including a tip, which I didn’t consider over the top.  The ambience reflected what I imagine a Gentlemans club to be, lighting quite dimmed with lots of dark wooden furniture and winged chairs. There is a no booking policy for tables, but also there was no wait for a table of three on a Friday evening, even though the place was buzzing!

The Riverside Inn,  Chelmsford  –  Enjoyed lunch here with a large group, we had pre booked a table, quite a long wait for our food order, but once it arrived it was very tasty and everyone enjoyed their tucker.  I ordered a burger with cheese and when the chips came up I was disappointed at the amount but actually the portion was more than adequate by the time I had finished the burger, I really didn’t want any more.   Looking forward to going back and sitting in a cosy settee for an afternoon chill out.

The Fox, Finchingfield –  Hadn’t been here before always been to the restaurant next door, but glad I tried the pub for a change as the food was truly scrumptious, I enjoyed a plate of fricasseed mushrooms, really creamy and rich, served with rice yummy, yummy!  This visit was at lunch-time on a Wednesday so looking forward to going next time for an evening meal.

The Fox and Goose, Cooksmill Gn, Chelmsford –  Been frequenting this eatery for a few months and really enjoy the ambience and the food.  Went last on a Friday evening, early (7pm) and enjoyed medium rare rump steak with chips and salad and a good bottle of Shiraz, before our main course we had bread and olives.  There was a little mix up with our main courses but once sorted our meal was really well cooked and we had a lovely evening with the staff being very attentive.

I’ll be writing again soon and in the meantime I’ll be filling the recipe pages.

Bye for now!




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