All posts tagged: tea

Newark Show “Cut and Butter” Cake

It is told that the illustrious, and slightly scary sounding, Nottinghamshire Women’s Institute Catering Committee devised this fruit loaf for the Notts County Show held at the Newark Showground every May. I don’t have any dates for this recipe, it appears in Angela Greary’s 1994 local recipes book and follows a similar fruitcake recipe from Southwell, dated 1890. However, it is clearly a very traditional and, indeed, a very simple recipe. Given the array of food choices and exotic street food that characterise so many shows and festivals nowadays (not that I am complaining, you understand ūüėä) ¬†it is nice to think that such a simple and traditional tea loaf was the talk of the show. Apparently it was sold in the refreshment tent, sliced and buttered (hence the name) and was always a popular choice. This recipe (in post-Brexit Imperial measures, I’m afraid) ¬†makes two solid loaves or cakes (put one in the freezer or store in an airtight tin). Ingredients ¬†1 and a half lbs mixed dried fruit, 3/4 pint hot tea (or …

Sunday morning coffee…maybe!

I was, once upon a time, a confirmed coffee drinker, I rarely touched tea, except possibly a mug of Builder’s with a fish supper but after a reaction to some medicine I was on a year ago, I lost my taste for coffee and now go weeks or months without touching a drop, incidently saving a small fortune on Nespresso capsules. Well, following this admission, the lovely people at PerkuLatte, offered to try to persuade me to revisit coffee. PerkuLatte deliver Artisan coffees by mail order, and when this arrived the aroma was wonderful even before I opened the pack. Beautifully packaged in a robust, reseable, packet with a little widget inside to keep the coffee fresh & dry and lots of information about the bean, blend and origins. The smell was wonderful and the flavour smooth & comforting, and brought back memories of coffees lost. I enjoyed my first cafeti√®re of coffee in months ¬†(retrieved from the dusty recesses of the kitchen cupboard) and it made a proper Sunday. I think this may become …

A Lovely Talk on Herbs by Rachel Petheram, but remember to wash your Lemon Balm first..

I popped out of the Kitchen once again, on a balmy July evening, to listen to award-winning herb grower and florist Rachel Petheram speak at the School of Artisan Food on the best way to care for and propagate kitchen garden herbs. This year I have in my garden, Mint, Rosemary, Sage, Lemon Balm, Lemon Verbena, Marjoram, French tarragon, Lemon Thyme, Thyme, Catmint, Sorrel and Sage and something which tastes wonderful but I can’t remember what it is. You can’t beat cooking with fresh herbs, can you? Rachel talked us through the medicinal properties of many of these herbs and showed us the compact herb garden at the rear of the School’s kitchen. In the middle of this little herb patch was a huge Lovage plant. I had no idea they grew so tall! Someone in the group suggested a little lovage would go a long way in a Bloody Mary. This I must try. Rachel is an engaging speaker and clearly very enthusiastic about her herbs, many of which she uses in floral arrangements …

Fresh Mint and Lemon Verbena Tea – from a Nottinghamshire Garden

The heat, sun and rain has meant that my herbs this year are the most verdant and healthy I have seen for years. The pots are positively overflowing with greenery. What better use to put them to then, that a herb tea. I am not a fan of commercial fruity “infusions”, it’s got to be said, always prefer a good cup of “builder’s tea” to be honest, but on the hottest day of the year, this fresh and simple tea, hit the spot just right. And, what a pretty colour! Lemon Verbena has the most amazing flavour of Lemon (I know,what a surprise eh?) but truly, it is an arrestingly strong scent that can flavour teas, recipes, ice-cream, sorbets, vodka (going ty try that) and even flower arrangements. Easy to grow in a pot (it doesn’t like the cold and damp though), it is a native of South America brought to Europe by Spanish explorers in the 17th Century. It was traditonally said to aid sleep and, more recently, considered a great anti-oxidant. Recipe Large …