Monday, 15 October 2012


I just realised that I don't have enough cake recipes on here, I have two staple cakes that fill our family like nothing else,

My mother in laws apple cake
In theory perfect at this time of year when apples should be in abundance,
1lb cooking apples-  I often use a mix of cookers and eaters
2oz raisins (optional)
1oz walnuts (never put in!)
4oz butter
40z sugar brown or white
5oz self raising flour
1 egg
Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the sugar, flour then egg. Next add the peeled chopped apple and any of the other ingredients you fancy using.
Bake in a small spring form tin at about 180c for 30 minutes.

Lemon cake.
Zest of two lemons
6oz butter, sugar, sr flour
3 eggs
Juice of two lemons
31/2 oz caster sugar
Cream together the butter and sugar, add the lemon zest then the eggs with alternate spoonfuls of the flour.  Combine, I bake mine in a shallow rectangular tray 25x18(ish).  Bake at 180c for 25 minutes, Mix together the topping and when golden and cooked through pour over the hot cake.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

foodbank crumble recipe

Today we have been loving the most perfect autumn day, awaking to the first frost and bright sunshine was enough to put an autumnal spring in our step.  This beautiful day was well timed as today was our community orchard day.  We joined with our neighbours celebrating the years crop and harvest, or as it was this year the celebration of the one noble apple that grew alone.  This mighty lonesome apple was given pride of place at the centre of the table, a beautiful symbolic apple, shining red and green for all an apple represents and this year sadly, our crop of one was testimony of a terrible year for growers.  As we hear wheat prices are set to go up by 40% and the dismal statistics across europe from food growers, who knows what effect it’s going to have .  It makes the notion of food waste all the more repugnant. At our school’s harvest festival the kids sang a very relevant tune, “7 million tonnes of food thrown in the bin every year”.  
As dependable as the trees turning, for us harvest time means a good fruit crumble, but with only a few bramley apples on the tree in our garden I turned to my foodbank ingredients to make one.
Tinned apricot crumble recipe.
1 tin of apricots
40g cold butter
40g oats
40g flour
2tbsp sugar
Drain the tin of apricots keeping back the juice, place them in a small dish that goes in the oven. Cut the butter into small pieces, rub into the flour until it looks like sand, stir in the oats and sugar.  Pour over the apricots and bake in an oven until golden brown, serve with the leftover juice poured over, custard, cream or all three. 

Friday, 12 October 2012

Food bank fish cake recipe

Last week we were able to join in a great celebration of our area's finest food at the Cotswold Life food and drinks award.  This highlighted just how amazing a food hub Gloucestershire is, and how over the last 10 years our area has really put itself on the culinary map. At the awards we had a great salmon starter from the Coln Valley Smokery.  And it has been my inspiration for this week's dish, looking at my pyramid of food tins to create this Food Bank recipe.
So I made fish cakes, you could easily make these fish finger shaped. I had some breadcrumbs in the freezer which I covered them with for extra crunch, you can also use crushed ritz crackers. If you ever have some leftover stale bread you can freeze them into breadcrumbs to use for all sorts of wonderful purposes.

Fish cake recipe.
30g smash
150ml boiling water
Large tin of salmon
Slice of onion
2 tbsp Flour
1 egg
Breadcrumbs or crushed ritz crackers

Chop the onion very finely and fry in oil with a pinch of salt until softened. Make up the smash by adding the boiling water into the powder, stir until blended and thick. Then add the drained salmon, fried onion and season well. Stir together with a fork.
Put the flour in a wide shallow bowl.  To make the fish cakes, roll a tablespoon of the mixture in your hand then roll in the flour.  To give the fish cakes more crunch after flouring dip in the beaten egg then the breadcrumbs. Then fry on both sides until golden then put on a baking tray in a180c oven for 15 minutes.
We ate ours with a mixture of green vegetables heated in some butter, to form a filling balanced meal for us all.

Food bank chilli recipe

My new project, to provide The Stroud Food Bank with recipes started this week with a different type of shopping list.  I filled my basket at Horsley village shop and carried the weight home. Once the kids had built towers with my new ingredients I set about working out what to do with my tins of food, the majority were savoury but a few are sweet.
Inspiration struck and I decided a Corned Beef Chilli would be a good start.
1 onion
1 clove of garlic(optional, dried could also be used)
Cooking oil
Pinch of chilli powder( or any form of chilli you've got, fresh, dried or Tabasco)
1tin of corned beef
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tin of carrots (optional)
1 tin of kidney beans
Firstly I fried the chopped onion in a splash of oil with a pinch of salt, as this softened I added the clove of garlic, this was then followed by the corned beef, the tin of tomatoes (always swill the tin out with a splash of water then add), the carrots, then the drained rinsed kidney beans. This was simmered for 15 minutes over a low heat until reduced.
We ate ours with gusto and some, rice, grated cheese and homegrown lettuce.
How to cook rice.
I always cook rice in the same way and it always works whatever the quantity.
Heat a spoon of oil or butter in a saucepan, fry the rice grains in this until they are coated and golden.  Add twice the amount of cold water to the rice to the saucepan, bring to the boil, stir for the last time, put on a lid and after ten minutes keep checking and cook until all the water has been absorbed. Cover the rice with a clean tea towel, replace the lid and leave for up to an hour or until your ready to serve.
This recipe feeds 4.