Plenty of strawberries at Macalla farm!

We rarely have too much strawberries. In past year, strawberries that made it to the house (most of them where eaten straight from the plant by kids and helpers) were turned into Strawberry frozen yoghurt. But this year, thanks to the diligent care of Adriana and our fantastic of helpers, we actually have a very abundant crop of strawberries.

So we’ve turned to jam making with this delicious recipe that combines strawberries with rhubarb.

Strawberry and Rhubarb jam

  • 1 kg strawberry
  • 1 Kg rhubarb stalk, chopped fine
  • 2 Kg sugar

Put the rhubarb stalks and the sugar in a pan and cook until the  rhubarb is tender. Add the strawberries, bring to the boil, and cook for a further 20 mn.  Put in sterilized jars, close immediately.

 

Ice cream — Macalla Farm style

A good ice cream maker is an expensive piece of kitchen equipment, but every time we use ours, we find that it was money well spent.
As we have plenty of sheep’s milk yogurt in the summer, we make plenty of delicious frozen yogurt (we refer to them with the generic term: ice cream). This greatly increases our range of desserts.  Furthermore, there is usually very little work required, as can be seen in the recipes below: Read more

Rhubarb and elderflowers

We have several elders bushes on the farm, and they have just started producing their annual crop of creamy-white,  musty smelling flowers— a bit later than usual.
I love elder flowers. They have a subtle and light aroma and are traditionally used to make cordial.  We also make gallons of elderflower champagne with them, and drink it throughout the summer.
But the real treat is this recipe, which I devised a few years ago. It makes use of the rhubarb which we also have in abundance at this time of the year. This is actually a double recipe, as it makes delicious jam and then, equally delectable cordial–in one go! Read more

Wild garlic and rocket pesto

Allium ursinum

Wild garlic (Allium ursinum), also known as ramsons, doesn’t need to be wild at all. It’s growing happily in a shady patch in our garden so we don’t have to venture very far to forage for it. However, being “wild”, it doesn’t need any work, other than harvesting–no planting, weeding or pruning, and no need to buy seeds, as being wild, it’s a perennial.

But the best thing is its subtle taste of garlic which includes a vibrant sharpness and a very definite pungency, and the fact that it comes up at a time when there’s not much else to harvest outside.

Read more

The Art of Lacto-fermentation

lacto fermented food

It first occurred with samphire, this only-locally-known marshplucked food became haute-cuisine overnight, in fact timbales lain with samphire sprigs in chic London restaurants are now so commonplace they are nearly passé. Then nettles: not just in soups, but in gnocchi, in vinaigrettes, and before long, the likes of sautéed foie-gras and roasted veal sweetbreads were being served on a bed of wilted Dorset nettles. Then game: woodcock on toast, head still on, beak spiking through body, became the sexiest starter. Now, with the latest rustic DIY trends, nudging into foodspeak is lacto-fermentation. It may sound horribly Heston Blumenthal, but lacto-fermentation is not only simple, but a highly nutritious, tasty, ethical and low-energy way of preserving vegetables and dealing with autumnal garden gluts. Read more