Hawera plum jam (January, 2021)

“If you’re going to eat something with lots of sugar in it, may as well make it really nice home-made jam!”

3 kg fresh Hawera plums (red flesh)

1.5 kg organic sugar

Wash the plums to remove any spider webs etc, checking for bug damage as well.

Halve the plums & remove the pips, putting all the flesh & skins into a large pot.  Add a little water to pot (just to stop plums sticking to bottom of pot), bring to boil & simmer until soft & pulpy.

Add the sugar, bring back to boil, then coook until set.

Sterilise 10 x 250 ml jars, and fill them while still hot, putting lids on.  As they cool, lids will pop down to seal.

Makes absolutely delicious red plum jam!

Marrow with fennel & tomatoes (January, 2021)

Ingredients for two:

½  marrow

Olive oil

1 sprig rosemary

pinch of fennel seeds

1 red onion, finely sliced

pinch of dried chilli

½ fennel bulb, finely sliced

1 clove garlic, finely sliced

250g tomatoes, chopped

1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tbsp capers

1/2 can beans, drained (can be butter, borlotti, whatever)

Halve, deseed and chop the marrow into chunks. Toss in some salt and leave the chunks to drain in a colander for 30 mins to remove excess water.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the rosemary and fennel seeds and cook for a few mins until the rosemary is sizzling. Add the red onion, dried chilli, fennel and a large pinch of salt, and cook for 10 mins until the onions are starting to colour and sweeten.

Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for another min. Turn up the heat slightly, add the marrow and a good grind of pepper, and cook for 10 mins.

Add the tomatoes and red wine vinegar. Stir to combine everything, then turn down the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, on the lowest heat for at least 35 mins, until the tomatoes have concentrated and the marrow has taken on all the flavours in the pan. Stir in the capers and beans to warm them through.

Serve with toast, sprinkled with grated goat’s cheese if you have it.

Tomato pasta with spinach & chickpeas (January, 2021)

Ingredients (for two)

1 bag red tomatoes

1 bunch fresh spinach, washed & chopped

Your favourite pasta, qty for two

½ can chickpeas

1 onion, sliced thinly or chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 lg sprig of fresh parsley, 2 or 3 leaves fresh sage

Parmesan cheese

1 pinch of Himalayan salt or sea salt

Black pepper to taste

Put some water on to boil, and get the pasta on.  When pasta cooked, add the chopped spinach and mix through until just wilted.  This way you’ll get maximum nutrition from the spinach.

Meanwhile fry the chickpeas until golden brown in a little oil, adding the salt & pepper, then garlic just before the end.  Set aside.  Using same pan, add a little more oil & fry the onion.  Chop the tomatoes into quarters and add to pan, cook to your preference (not for long…), then add the cooked & drained pasta, chopped fresh herbs, & mix through.

Serve on a hot plate, sprinkle with parmesan cheese, then top with the chickpeas right at the end.