Happy St Patrick’s Day!

St Patrick’s Day may have been yesterday but there’s the perfect excuse to knock back those Guinesses and Irish whisky shots, along with some wonderful Irish stews, for the weekend. Can’t go wrong with this version that with the wonderful bacon flavour and texture that pearl barley brings. Use your celery for the lamb stock (or any other stock base) per this version. Go it cheap with middle neck or scrag cuts, or stick with the stewing lamb chunks as suggested here.

Turnips make a perfect addition to Irish stew or you can use in the traditional Irish side dish of colcannon along with your cabbage. Or your turnips can also go into this double jack stew laced with whisky – guess where the “double jack” is coming from? And on cabbage, do try this corned beef and cabbage recipe, richly infused with stout.

And for the perfect green side (gotta have some emerald on the table right?) use your chard to make this winter greens with bacon butter.

Finish off with a country apple cake – it’s spiced chocolate sponge packed with fruit. For the slightly more ambitious try your hand at making a traditional Irish apple tart. Or an apple custard fool if you think your stomach needs something a little lighter…

Definitely one for the Sunday lunch.

For more ideas on how to eat the vegetables in this week’s box, try searching on our webpage for past blogs!

This Week’s Bounty

Standard Box
* Sarpo Mira Potatoes, Perry Court
* Turnips, Perry Court
* Carrots, Lincs
* Red Onions, Norfolk
* Celery, Spain
Kohl Rabi, Spain
Swiss Chard, Spain
White Cabbage, Yorks

Small Box
Items starred (*) above

No-Potato Substitute
Extra carrots

Fruit Supplement
Bananas, Dom Rep (standard only)
Gala Apples, Kent

 

Autumn Equinox

The autumn equinox (supposedly the first day of autumn) occurred yesterday, September 23. Google has even designed a new Doodle to reflect this – squashes are definitely on their way, just not in this week’s box.

Derived from the Latin, the word equinox means equal night. After the autumnal equinox, the days get shorter and the nights get longer. Also, theoretically, there should be same amount of daylight in both of the Earth’s hemispheres. Traditionally it signified when the farmers brought in the harvest, which may explain why the full moon nearest the equinox is often called the harvest moon.

Salvation Army on Copeley Street, literally a stone’s throw from Stepney City Farm, is having a Harvest Celebration this Sunday so do join in!

With autumn here we now well and truly have our apple and pear fruit staples back, a kale. Why not try a kale and apple soup? Mildly sweet with a bit of apple, and it has that beloved pancetta/bacon edge that goes so well with sautéed greens, topped off with a dollop of crème fraîche. Don’t even bother to peel the apple or de-stem the kale – all that fibre is good for you and get blended in the soup anyway.

Celeriac and pear also pairs well make it into a delicious creamy mash with a slight sweetness which goes well with strong-flavoured cuts of meat like ribs or pork belly. It also works well as a soupwith blue cheese if you like (or with the same ingredients in a salad). Alternatively, a creamy version with bacon or with sausage bites. Celeriac pear and rocket salad is also another option.

As for your pears and apples, knock together a pie with custard or crumble with walnuts infused with rosemary (or keep with simple with vanilla or lavender), almond sponge, crisp with oatmeal streusel or cobbler with oatmeal muffin crust. Or simply sautee with cinnamon (and other spices). Other ideas include the easy French clafoutis or cake – these recipes call for the use of either apple or pear, but why not try using both? Still not inspired? Check out this 50 apple and pear dessert link…

For more ideas on how to eat the vegetables in this week’s box, try searching on our webpage for past blogs!


This Week’s Bounty

Standard Box
* Valour Potatoes, Perry Court
* Kale, Lancs
Onions, Norfolk
Carrots, Lancs
Spinach, Perry Court
Celeriac, Perry Court
Rocket – Perry Court, Old Orchard
Sweetcorn, Kent

No-Potato Substitute
Red Kuri Squash, Perry Court

Small Box
Items starred (*) above
+ Parsnips, Perry Court
+ Broccoli, Lancs
+ Leeks, Kent

Fruit Supplement
Pears – Conference, Kent (standard only)
Apples – Red Pippin, Kent

 

Autumn’s Round the Corner

We still have a rather summery box this week but the greater regularity of local Kentish apples appearing in our boxes mean that autumn is just around the corner. Perfect for the lunch box with the start of the new school year.

Or why not make a tarte tatin this weekend?

Simply use off-the-shelf puff pastry in Marcus Wareing’s recipe or ready made shortcrust pastry. Or read Guardian’s analysis of which pastry to use (and other technical debates) in Guardian’s “How to cook perfect tarte tatin” article. Add calvados as suggested by Jamie Oliver (or brandy maybe?) or a squeeze of lemon to the apples. Delightful!

For sorrel and celery eating ideas check out our previous blog post. If you are new to bulls blood, it’s an heirloom beet grown for tender, sweet, deep red-burgundy / magenta foliage. It’s a little like chard so cook them similarly (or as you will for spinach). We are also seeing a return of kale, of the most vibrant pink and green variety, enjoy!

For more ideas on how to eat the vegetables in this week’s box, try searching on our webpage for past blogs!

This Week’s Bounty

Standard Box

* Valour Potatoes, Perry Court

* Carrots, Lancs
* Celery, Lancs
* Spinach, Perry Court
* Sorrel, Perry Court
Pink and Green Kale, Lancs
Mini Cucumber, Kent
Bulls Blood, Perry Court – Old Orchard

Small Box
Items starred (*) above

No-Potato Substitute
Courgettes, Perry Court

Fruit Supplement
Peaches, Spain (standard only)
Apples – Discovery, Kent