I first discovered pickled chillies at my local Chinese restaurant here in Zurich. Yes, Zurich. Despite having grown up in Australia where south-east Asian food abounds, and despite my countless trips to Asia since I was a wee tot, I only came across this delightful condiment during what would be the first of many stir-fries that I like to indulge in frequently at my local because I’m rather terrible at making stir-fries at home.
The end of summer has meant some frantic jam-making sessions in my kitchen, trying to preserve as much of summer as I can into little glass jars. I have made several batches of Peach & Raspberry Jam, as well as a simple apricot jam (using my recipe for Apricot & Vanilla Jam but omitting the vanilla this time), not to mention the Strawberry Jam which has been disappearing as fast as I make it.
And whilst oranges are not quite in season yet, I wanted to have orange marmalade with my toast at breakfast one day and the domestic goddess in me wouldn’t allow me to just simply buy a jar from the local supermarket. I had to make my own. Thanks to the year-round supply of oranges from Spain, I was able to make marmalade even though purists would probably tell me that I should have waited a few more months.
On a recent trip to London, I was reminded of my fond affection for Devonshire Tea, essentially a scone served with jam and cream. In fact, my desire for a daily scone fix made me brave enough to venture into a café on my lonesome most afternoons, just so I could sit down to a proper cup of tea with a plate of warm scones. There is nothing more restorative if you have been on your feet all day, visiting museums and shopping on the High Street
One such lovely establishment serving scones (although not proper Devonshire Tea) was the Patisserie Valerie in Covent Garden, a branch of what seems to be a patisserie/café chain store in the UK, although each one I came across seemed quite charming and unique, not necessarily catering to the masses. I found them to be welcoming enough to enter and sit by myself, sipping a warming cup of coffee or tea with something sweet on the side while I attempted, with travel guide books and street maps spread out around me, to plan my next place of visit. Stay tuned for an upcoming, although brief, travel post on London …
I always look forward to seeing the vivid pink of the forced rhubarb at this time of the year, its season generally lasting from January to March in the northern hemisphere.
I love to have a jar or two of rhubarb compote in the fridge, which makes for a great accompaniment to have at breakfast with your toast or perhaps dolloped alongside a serve of natural or Greek yoghurt.
This recipe comes from Donna Hay magazine and, like most of her recipes, it is super quick and super easy to make. I make it so regularly that I doubt I will ever try any other tomato chutney recipe, lest it disappoint me. I love this cherry tomato relish served with anything from meat pies, sausage rolls and hamburgers, to something a bit more upmarket like a proper roast beef dinner.
Given the amount of jam which my husband and I go through (about 1 jar of Bonne Mamam per week), it’s rather surprising that I only recently got into jam-making. For a long time, I always thought that you needed a gluttony of fruit in order to make jam. And in Switzerland, a gluttony of fruit comes at an extortionate price.
I recently had some good friends from Germany come to stay with me at rather short notice. They had been hiking in the Swiss alps but were forced to abandon their trek due to bad weather. So they wound up at my place, thoughtfully bringing with them a box of apricots which they bought on the way down the mountain (and a bottle of sweet wine for hubby).