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Showing posts with label alys fowler. Show all posts
Showing posts with label alys fowler. Show all posts

Halloween Preparation

This afternoon was a hive of activity in the Taylor household.  We were whipping up a spooky storm in the kitchen.

Pumpkins were carved, biscuits & muffins made and seeds were toasted.

Dan was chief carver of the pumpkins (a job he absolutely loves doing), and helped the boys create the most amazing scary lanterns.

These have to be the best he has done yet.

(Thanks to Uncle Jonathan for bringing over the most amazing pumpkin carving kit from Canada, on his recent visit, it really helped).

Charlie made some creepy looking Bat Biscuits.

I love this one!  Smiling faced bat.

The concentration and attention he gave them. He couldn't wait to taste them, secretly nibbling away when I wasn't looking.

I also used the pumpkin innards to make pumpkin & choc chip muffins using a pumpkin shaped silicon muffin tray from Sainsbury's. These didn't turn out too great, as they got a bit stuck inside their cases.  I don't think I buttered the cases enough.

I also had a go at making Spicy Pumpkin Seeds a recipe by Alys Fowler in her book the Edible Garden.

Basically, I rinsed the seeds of all the gloop, the spread them out on a baking tray.  Gave them a good drizzle of olive oil and sprinkled them with sea salt, chilli powder and cumin powder  Mixed them all up until they were really coated.  Then popped them in the oven for 15 mins til puffed up and toasted.

Totally yum!  I've had to put them away, as I couldn't stop stuffing my face.  These will perfect to nibble on Bonfire Night with a glass of real ale.

Hope you are ready for tomorrow's shenanigans.


Dried Runner Beans

This summer our runners beans produced so much we found it hard to keep up.  We made Chutney, froze lots, ate masses & gave some away.  Then one day I read this article in the Guardian newspaper by Alys Fowler.  And I thought genius!

Alys suggested we should leave the pods on the plant til they become really big, stringy and rather inedible. Then we should do like the Europeans, dry them, store them and use them in soups and stews throughout the winter.

Well, after reading that, we stopped battling with the masses of Runner Beans and just left them to their own devices.

Last week we tore down the canes and picked all the drying pods.  I then left them to dry on my window sill for a week, and today I opened the brittle pods and found these beautiful beans.

I don't know why we didn't do this sooner!

I have here White Lady (the white bean, which has also white flowers) and Sunset (the pink dappled bean, which has peach coloured flowers). 

I plan to keep a few of each variety to re-plant next year.

The rest will be thrown in hearty stews over the winter.


Alys Fowler's Apple Rings

We all know of my girl crush on Miss Fowler, I have posted of it before.  After watching her series the Edible Garden, I was given her book on the series for my birthday.

I have made many a recipe from here, including my courgette cake, and they have turned out great.  One of the recipes she made on her series was for homemade apple rings.  It looked so simple, yet delicious, I couldn't wait to have a go.

Last week, my mum gave us a bag full of apples from her ancient apple tree, mainly windfalls as most of the tree hangs in next doors garden now.  I decided to have a go at making the apple rings.

Alys Fowler's Apple Rings Recipe:

Wash the apples thoroughly, discarding any that are too damaged or insect eaten.

Core the apples and slice them into 5mm (1/4 inch thick).

Soak the slices for 10 minutes in a lemon juice solution (she says citric acid, but lemon juice will do) made with a juice of lemon and 400ml (3/4 pint) of water.  This stops the apple rings from becoming discoloured.

I put my rings onto wire racks and put them into a low oven (around 100 degrees) for 3 hours.

Alys dried hers on bamboo poles held over a radiator for a few days (I was too impatient).

The dried apple ring should feel a bit like a chamoix leather and springy to touch, once dried.

Store in an air tight container.

A low-fat moreish snack!

These Apple rings were destined for Charlie's lunch box, but he doesn't like them! 

Oh well, just as well I do!