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Devon Apple Cake - Award Winning Recipe

This is a regular autumnal warmer in our house that is dead simple to make and uses up at least one or two of your surplus cooking apples at...

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Kippers!



I popped in to Marks and Spencer yesterday looking for something cheap, tasty and easy for dinner and spotted a pack of kippers for £1. Took them home, boiled them in the bag for 12 minutes (drained off most of the buttery sauce to save our arteries) and served them with wholegrain mustard mashed potatoes and a mixture of peas and chopped green beans.

According to Wiki:

"A kipper is a whole herring, a small, oily fish, that has been split from tail to head, gutted, salted or pickled, and cold smoked.
In the United Kingdom and North America they are often eaten grilled for breakfast. In the UK, kippers, along with other preserved fish such as the bloater and buckling, were also once commonly enjoyed as a high tea or supper treat; most popularly with inland and urban working-class populations before World War II."

Well there we go: kippers have a history of being working class food, frugal, but definitely not breakfast fare for me.

The mustard mashed potatoes were reheated potato from the night before mashed with some Extra Virgin Olive oil and French grainy mustard.

The result was surprisingly delicious. Kippers are smoked herrings (oily fish, so counteracts the butter they were smothered in) and served warm they have a melting, comforting taste that is reminiscent of childhood. I remembered that they used to stink our house out when Mum cooked them, but these ones were fine - perhaps as they'd been boiled in the bag rather than grilled.

Currently on a mission to use up the contents of my freezer and larder (merely to make room for fresher, newer ingredients). Spring clean for my kitchen! In Nov 2009 Nigel Slater wrote in The Guardian that he was using up all his half packs of old pulses and grains that are half spilling out in his cupboards. I'm doing the same thing and it feels re-assuringly frugal and creative. Something out of nothing.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Cakes in the Rain in the Woods



Made my usual banana and chocolate cake today, plus some iced fairy cakes with sprinkles on. Took them to Haldon Forest Park and (after a two mile walk) ate them in the rain with a flask of tea! Oh, the English weather is a joy. The (two year old) twins called the iced cakes 'pink' cakes (they were white but did have hundreds and thousands on them) and loved them (ate two each in the space of five minutes). The adults and older kids preferred the choc and banana cake (even though I made it with cheap milk chocolate rather than the usual 85% cocoa Fairtrade stuff). S managed to tuck away 3 slices! Will note for future reference. The cheap chocolate that is.

Welcome to Grazing Kate


This is Day One of my new venture that is going to be a space for my reviews of Devon and Cornish cafes and restaurants, recipes that I attempt and random creative endeavours.

I am a busy mother, based in Devon, England, who cooks, writes and eats her way through the day. I am very excited by this prospect of actually recording some of the far-from-perfect results. I'll upload plenty of pictures to keep you entertained.

Welcome, glad you are here to visit and I hope I provide a moment's entertainment, information and, dare I say it, inspiration....


Cornish Sea Salt - is a great product and was on TV two nights ago. An organic baker, Tom Herbert was on a (rather contrived) quest in search of an elusive new recipe for prize-winning bread. The programme was not as satisfying as anticipated. He went down to The Lizard in Cornwall where they harvest and package the sea salt. Apparently you can use less of the salt than normal salt as it is more pungent. I enjoyed seeing Cornish Sea Salt on his programme as I try to cook with it when funds allow. It's extra pungency obviously means they can charge more for it. The area where they harvest it is one of the most beautiful places in the world and we try to go there as often as possible.

However, the salt may be top notch but there was something not quite ringing true about old Mr Herbert's presentation style. It was almost as though the director was telling him to 'big' it up (a la Hugh or Gordon) and he could manage it for the first half of his sentence and then the true Tom took over and....it all...just faded away...and he looked slightly embarassed about his phony quest to find this bread recipe for a competition. And he didn't win the competition...secretly pleased about that.