Early Birthday Treats

My birthday isn’t actually until next week and I do know you aren’t supposed to open presents early, but I have never been especially patient.  So I went a little mad on Amazon and picked up a few titles that have been on my wish list for a while.  Nigel Slater’s The Kitchen Diaries is a cookbook I know well, having extensively flipped through it at various friends’ houses and in bookshops (much to the frustration of friends and shopkeepers).   However, I’ve never actually owned a copy- until now.  I don’t really know how I managed without it, it’s absolutely gorgeous, packed with ideas and beautifully written.  A proper treat. 

But then I went out to a dinner with friends only to be presented with another birthday delight- take a look at this beauty!

Massive thanks to the herd for this amazing gift, I’m quite blown away.  I can’t wait to start experimenting, the only problem is what to go with first- mojito sorbet?  Ricotta and honey ice cream?  Brown bread? Lemon and thyme? Popcorn and salted caramel? Who wants to be a guinea pig?

A way with…

Green Tomatoes! Instalment no. 2

Chutney seemed the way forward as a good way to get those pesky green toms used up. Our fridge is now completely filled with preserves- chili jam, tomato chutney and pear chutney. Prepared for the winter months? Absolutely!

This is a Nigel Slaterism- a mixed red and green tomato chutney, to balance out the tartness of the green ones.

You will need:

900g tomatoes (red&green)

350g onions

90 g raisins

250g light muscavado

1 hot red chili

1tsp salt

2 tsp mustard seeds

300mil white wine vinegar

Halve all the tomatoes.

Put green fruit together with roughly chopped onions, raisins, sugar, chili, salt, mustard seeds and vinegar.

Bring to boil, turn down to simmer, stirring once in a while. Simmer for an hour, adding red tomatoes about halfway through the cooking process.

Spoon into sterilized jars and seal.

On the same page….

… as Nigel Slater with the whole pear thing.

The cake looks particularly good.

And that’s the last thing I am going to say about pears. PROMISE!

Next: green tomatoes! Watch this space.