Over the land (and in the kitchen) is April
Over the land is April
|Coconut and pine nut cookies|
Over the land is April,
Over my heart a rose;
Over the high, brown mountain
The sound of singing goes.
Thanks to Robert Louis Stevenson for the title of this entry.
This month I made Chetna Makan's coconut and pine nut cookies. Distracted by something, I left them in the oven a little too long. Even so, I quite liked them but I'm not sure that my tasting audience was hugely impressed.
|Easter bark with Smarties|
Sometimes I have to remind myself of why I started writing this blog: to encourage myself to work through The Soup Book. Starting in December 2009 I worked my way through 170 of the 200 recipes. Nowadays I dip into the book occasionally. My most recent dip was into the fish recipe section. I made cotriade again (previously made in 2010 and 2014). When shopping for fish, the young man in the supermarket guessed I was going to make a fish soup and tried to persuade me to buy some pre-packed fish mix. I can't say I liked the look of the packs so I persuaded him to let me choose my own whole pieces of fish. The recipe in The Soup Book is quite simple but if anyone is interested in a more complex version here's a link to the French Country Food website recipe.
|Scandinavian banana cake|
|Spiced quails eggs|
The May bank holiday weekend began in April. The spouse and I invited the mother-in-law and an old friend for supper. Himself having been rather unwell lately, I was in charge of the menu and the cooking. Flicking through some of our older cookery books, I chose to make spiced quails eggs (Jane Dupleix's Simple Food), Rick Stein's jambalaya (Fiona Beckett's Sausage and Mash) and Nigella Lawson's ginger passionfruit trifle (Nigella Express). What a celebrity line-up!
Tracking down quails eggs proved tricky. I have often seen them on display in the butcher's shop we go to. Of course, when I wanted to buy some they weren't available. The spouse put in a query and the butcher kindly checked with another branch: no, none there either. It was also proving difficult to get hold of ginger wine for the trifle. A local off-licence didn't appear to understand what I was talking about. The spouse rang a few other off-licences and found a few suggestions for substitutions. Eventually I bought low-sugar ginger beer in good old M&S. I also found an abundance of quails eggs in a butcher's shop in Moore Street.
|Ginger passionfruit trifle|
If you can find the recipe for the ginger passionfruit trifle (I found the US version on line. NB, pound cake = madeira cake and heavy cream = double cream), I would advise you to use more of the ginger wine (or ginger beer) than stated. For a less horrifyingly calorific version, I used half double cream and half low-fat creme fraiche. A very simple and impressive dessert.
Over and out.