Friday, 17 September 2010

Judging by the number of chutney recipes books I sold this week, the preserve season is definitely in mid-flow. It was good timing then, to be invited to a local gardening club on Tuesday evening to give my talk "What to do with the stuff once you're grown it". I spoke about jam and chutney making of course, but also how to use up fruit and vegetables in a variety of different ways so as not to get sick of it. I had my recipe books and some of my jams and chutneys available for sale too that evening and most people went away with something in their hands as well as a few more ideas in their heads, I hope.

Hopefully, I'll sell a few more books and preserves tomorrow too when I go to the first fete of the season. As it happens, I'll be selling the last few jars of last year's stock as my current preserves are in boxes awaiting their pretty labels before they will be ready for sale.

One way or another it has been a week of busy evenings. Monday was OK, then out on Tuesday to the gardening club. My mum came over to dinner on Wednesday so she could drop off a few plants for me to look after whilst she's on holiday for two weeks. The girls were particularly interested to see the orange pips and peach stones in a jar that she had managed to get to germinate. Oh, that stem of lemongrass I stuck in a jar sprouted its first root this week by the way.

Despite it being midweek, I still thought I ought to make an effort to make a special dinner so after collecting the girls from school we went round to the allotment to gather a few more windfall apples to make an apple crumble. Whilst we were there we also gathered a few bean, mini corn and a diddy little cauliflower. Back at home, my youngest helped me make the apple crumble then I put some potatoes in the oven to bake and some gammon on the hob to boil then squeezed in a quick bath before Mum arrived. It was a lovely meal and tasty dessert.

Thursday night my eldest had her first karate lesson. All very well except the class runs from 5.30 to 6.15pm, which clashes with the time I'm usually making dinner. When she had asked if she could do the lessons we had decided it would only work if I dropped her off and Steve picked her up on his way back from work. Unfortunately, Steve was out at a meeting and didn't get back in time for his part of the arrangements so just for once I found myself drawn to the Chinese restaurant outside the class. Well, sometimes you just have to!

With everyone stuffed with Chinese take-away Thursday evening, there was still crumble left over after dinner Friday, which was handy. But with me being out most of Saturday I figured I wouldn't have time to make something for dessert on Saturday. So after dinner I made some lemon and lime cheesecakes. I came across this recipe a couple of weeks ago and it's fantastic - so simple you can make it in about 20 minutes or slightly longer if you choose to make it with the help of a child or two. I think it has a lot of potential for some fiddling with to make some different flavours so watch this space.

Lemon & Lime Cheesecakes (makes 4 individual ones)

1 and half oz butter
6 digestive biscuits
1 lemon
1 lime
250g tub marscapone cheese
1 and half oz icing sugar

Melt the butter. Crush the biscuits in a blender or in a bag hit with a rolling pin. Mix together the biscuit crumbs and butter then press the crumbs into 4 small dishes or large glasses. Refrigerate the dishes whilst you make the topping. Grate the zest off the lemon and squeeze out its juice. Grate some of the zest off the lime but do not use all of it unless you particularly like lime flavour. Squeeze out the juice of the lime. Mix the cheese, juices and sugar together until smooth. Dollop the cheese mixture onto the biscuit bases and smooth. Refrigerate and serve chilled.

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