I was asked by Adam at Seedhead Arts if I wanted to do a talk for this year’s Out To Lunch festival (part of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival). He suggested ‘Preserving for the Apocalypse’ might be an amusing and timely title. With over-buying during the early (and some of the later) stages of lockdown and Brexit bumps (or almighty earthquakes) causing custom hold ups it definitely feels like an appropriate time to rediscover some of the forgotten skills of food preservation. I can’t promise you will be able to live off jam and chutney should the apocalypse actually come – but a really good jar of chutney might make those bugs we’ll be eating a bit more palatable!
You can watch the video I made for the talk, where I show you how to make all the recipes, on You Tube here.
Chutney is really easy to make. You don’t need to worry about setting points or pectin or anything tricky. You basically just chop up the veg you have and boil it up with some sugar, vinegar and spices until is starts to break down and reduces by about half of the original volume. Continue reading
Making ketchup is not a dissimilar process to making chutney – you are basically simmering ingredients up with vinegar and sugar. But I think it something most people don’t think to do as it seems like a product made in a factory, rather than something you can easily make at home. I first make ketchup at Ballymaloe Cookery School, and ever since then I’ve been hooked. I discovered that a staple (often ultra processed) product that we eat all the time was actually super easy to make, lasts absolutely ages and was way more delicious when homemade! Continue reading
Making jam is super rewarding (the jars look so beautiful) but it can be tricky if you have never made it before or no one has shown you how to do it. Here are a few tips I have found really useful. Continue reading
Sauerkraut and other fermented foods are different to most of the pickles that you buy – or indeed make – as instead of using vinegar to preserve the vegetables you are creating an environment where certain bacteria thrive and it is those bacteria that will both create flavour and preserve your vegetables. Continue reading
*** UPDATE: We’re delighted to say that we’re now SOLD OUT ***
*** Thank you so much for everyone who has ordered a pork box from us ***
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Back in May 2020, we bought some new Oxford Sandy and Black piglets from Robbie at the fabulous Stonebridge Cottage Farm – our second pair of pigs, that we will have nurtured from piglet to pork.
This December I was lucky enough to contribute to the Northern Ireland Human Rights Festival (all the details here) in the form of an online talk about Human Rights and Organic Farming. Thanks for the invite Jacqueline.
Alongside two other speakers, I talked about fairness, the principles of organic growing and human rights. I really enjoyed taking a wee bit of time out to think about these interesting topics and prepare a little 5 minute talk about the subject. Here it is:
Why I believe food is uniquely placed to change the world – and how organic growing is at the heart of this transformation.
This is my autumnal take on a classic lemon meringue pie. I’ve been inspired by my friend, Clare McQuillan, who is a talented forager and cook. Clare made a number of delicious meringue pies over the last year or so using wild ingredients, a couple of which I have been lucky enough to taste. Making a curd (which is basically the filling in a meringue pie) is a great way to use wild and trickier to process ingredients as you can just boil them up whole (without a lot of peeling, chopping, deseeding) and then strain them through a muslin to get the juice for the curd. This year the little crab apple tree in my Mum’s garden was laden down with glossy, bright red crab apples, so after making as much crab apple jelly as any one family can reasonably eat I was inclined to do something a bit more decadent and hence this Toffee Apple Meringue pie!
The combination of sharp apple curd and salted caramel gives this pie a Halloween/Bonfire season feel – hence the Toffee Apple name. Admittedly, this is not a quick or easy recipe, there are lots of elements and quite a few processes too, so it is a bit of a labour of love! Totally worth it of course! Continue reading
It’s hard to believe, but it’s birthday time again! This weekend the Edible Flower is four years old.
That means it’s time for my year-end finance report published for all the world to see. As usual, this annual blog is a chance for me to reflect on the year gone by and share the nitty gritty of the finances of our business – a 2,500 word antidote to the perfection of the Instagramable life Erin and I lead. Continue reading