Friday, 15 May 2015

Kitchen & Garden

I had completely forgotten about this luscious patch of Red Veined Sorrel hidden away in the garden until my blog friend Gina mentioned Sorrel in one of her recent posts. 
This week we have been enjoying its lemony flavour mixed with other delights also currently growing in our garden. I shred the sorrel adding chopped chives, sage, pineapple mint and then dress with an olive oil, lemon and balsamic dressing adding a sprinkle of parmesan cheese at the end. You can use this sorrel like spinach, make a soup from it, and also make a sorrel cream to pour over poached salmon - so thank you Gina for the timely reminder

"Life has given me lots of lemons" (not the literal meaning) so this week I have made lemon curd.
Many recipes are unnecessarily complicated - mine is easy & delicious
Simply take 
zest and juice of 4 large wax free lemons,
250g caster sugar
125g salt free butter
4 large free range eggs lightly beaten
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put lemon zest, juice, sugar and butter in heatproof bowl
place over simmering water i.e. bain marie
(I use a large saucepan & place a ovenproof dish in it)
stir with wooden spoon until sugar dissolves
Add beaten eggs, continue to gently cook in the bain marie until thick enough to coat the back of spoon - approx 20 mins
Pour into sterilised jars
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Use in sponge cakes, on scones, pancakes, topping for yogurt or liberally spread on crusty bread or toast
I have neglected photographing the garden this year - a quick run-around with the camera reveals
Convallaria majalis - Lily of the valley filling the kitchen with its sweet perfume
Prinula veris - cowslips -
lots of these have migrated to our garden from the common land surrounding us 
I love this Geranium phaeum - mourning or black widow - so much detail in such a tiny flower  

Clematis montana Elizabeth
Forget-me-nots are looking lovely at the moment but soon they will be pulled out - they return year after year having left hundreds of seeds in the ground
Clematis Freda
Paeonia Tree - Yellow crown
Cartmanii Avalanche
Muscari Grape hyacinth - past their best
Cultivar Tree P. delavayi
 Tree P. lutea var. ludlowii
Allium - Purple sensation
Laburnham
Paeonia Tree - Ballerina - almost open

54 comments:

  1. Beautiful flowers! Green leaves in your garden looks good!

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    1. Thank you for your kind comment Weekend-Windup

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  2. lGorgeous pics of your flowers - you are way ahead of me - no peonies yet. Love the sound of your mixed salad I am really boring when it comes to salads - must try harder - I will definitely be using my red veined sorrel which I haven't used as yet - I just planted it because it was pretty - ha! And home made lemon curd is my favourite - so different and so much better than shop bought - don't you agree.

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    1. The trouble with the lemon curd is that it is just too morish - I agree with you Elaine, homemade is a completely different creature to the shop bought and so simple and easy to make.

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  3. Your tree peonies are gorgeous Rosemary. I had one in the last garden, it's time to get another!
    Funnily enough I sowed red veined sorrel just last week.

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    1. I love tree peonies Jessica and have to stop myself from buying more.

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  4. I love lemon curd. I haven't had any for a donkey's age!

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    1. If you have the ingredients to hand, you could wipe some up in less than an hour.

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  5. Hello Rosemary, Several sorrels grow wild in the U.S., and they have the same pleasant, sour taste. However, none of them feature that exotic red veining like yours! I used to gather sheep sorrel and also the non-related but similar tasting wood sorrels (oxalis), but now I would go very easy on them because they all are sources of oxalates which I am trying to cut out.

    The wood sorrels are perhaps prettier flowers, but I also love the ruderal, meadowy quality of the sorrels and docks.
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - I am not sure what oxalates do to you - my book on Food from the Wild suggests that it should not be eaten continually because sorrel does contain oxalic acid but having it from time to time will do no harm.

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  6. When I was a child my mother made each of us 'our own' special birthday cake and mine was always a sponge cake filled with homemade lemon curd and iced with boiled icing. Yummy!
    Such lovy colour in your garden. We inherited a near-empty garden in the seaside cottage. There is one peony and one tree peony. That's about it. I don't know why they were left. As I olan the new garden I will add Sorrel to the list of 'must haves'.

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    1. You will be able to go mad in your garden and fill it with all the things that you like. Space is now at a premium in my garden.

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  7. Such wonderful colours in your garden. Lovely photographs Rosemary.
    Regards, Margaret

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  8. Incredibly beautiful flowers.

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    1. Having been away I have neglected photographing the flowers this year, and I am also trying to catch up with some belated spring cleaning in the house which luckily is almost done.

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  9. Dear Rosemary,

    At the moment, I am between breakfast and lunch, but the photograph of your lemon curd has made me salivate, and I think it's going to be an early lunch today! As always, the photographs of your many varieties of flowers are beautiful and make me wonder — have you ever opened your garden to tours?

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    1. Dear Mark - you could make some of this lemon curd - I suspect that you get gorgeous lemons in Florida, and you don't even have to switch on your oven to make it.
      No, I have never opened the garden to tours.

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    2. Well, now that you've shared on your blog, I think that qualifies as having given tours. Would you ever have believed it 20 years ago if someone had said to you that you would show your garden to people from all around the world?

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    3. That is quite a thought Mark - I am always surprised when I look at my 'stats' and see countries viewing that I have hardly heard about or know exactly where they are in the world!

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  10. Your third picture is amazing. A garden on the plate. Nice.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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    1. Thank you - I had fun making that photo, firstly I did the wood bowl, then made the slices of lemon which I then added onto the original photo.

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  11. Gorgeous pictures of your garden and lovely recipes , lemon is one of my favourite flavours too1 Sarah x

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    1. I have been very remiss at not taking photos in the garden this year Sarah.

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  12. A great series of lovely flowers Rosemary. The scone with lemon curd and cream looks delicious, thank you for the recipe.

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    1. I hope you give the recipe a try Janneke it is so delicious and especially so if you like lemons.

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  13. Dear Rosemary, I can never get enough photos from your garden. Everything looks so well taken care of. The flowers are so healthy. Yours is one garden I would like to stroll through.
    Is this your new camera?
    Thanks for mentioning my Sorrel Post.

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    1. Dear Gina - the flowers do seem to be very good this year mainly because it has not been really hot and we have not had any strong winds to knock the blossom off the trees.
      No, sorry, I haven't got the new camera yet - I am hoping to get one next week, time permitting. I will let you know when I have it.

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  14. Your garden is filled with colorful life , what a beautiful sight. Your recipe of lemon curd is really easy , a must try !

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    1. If you make some Jane, hope you enjoy. The colours do seem to be lovely and fresh this year

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  15. Such wonderful blooms in your garden Rosemary!!I must try the lemon curd!It looks so delicious!
    Have a lovely weekend!
    Dimi...

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    1. The lemon curd is so easy Dimi and very delicious, especially if you like lemons. Lovely to see you and happy weekend to you too.

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  16. Oh if I could only take photograph like you. They are amazing. I can almost smell those beautiful flowers. I can make lemon curd though! I make it every summer for our Victorian tea....Janey

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    1. Lemon curd is so delicious isn't it Janey - I am sure that many people think that it is harder to make than it is, just so long as you take it slowly to prevent curdling.
      It is kind of you to say about my photos thank you. I am actually getting a new camera next week with a bit of luck. This camera has a limited zoom so I am hoping for better things from a new one.

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  17. So love all of these different flowers blooming in your garden Rosemary. I'm actually working on a blogpost about our garden at the moment and you may recognize some similarities between your and our garden. Work in progress though, forgot how much time goes into making a blogpost.
    Hope the weather is treating your plants ok.
    Marian

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    1. Dear Marian - I am so pleased that you are really back, I did miss you.
      I shall look forward to seeing your post soon. You will soon get up to speed again making posts once you get into the swing of it again.
      The weather is lovely today, and I have done lots of tying up of flopping plants to stakes, weeding around the pots - oh and I killed a few red lily beetles!

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  18. It seems there's nothing, nothing and then everything blooms all at once! Lovely photos of a lot of my favourite flowers. Love the soft pink colour of your last peony. Oh, and a timely reminder that I wanted to try making lemon curd from your recipe last year :)

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    1. Hello Rosemary - the flowers are showing their faces so quickly that it is difficult to keep up with them all - I usually have a quick peek around the garden first thing in the morning.
      This recipe is for proper lemon curd, I think the one I showed previously was made with marrow instead of eggs which does actually keep for longer without the eggs. Do give this a try it is so simple but very delicious.

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  19. How I would love to see your garden - although your photos give a wonderful impression of a marvellous place. As for sorrel, I am always rather surprised that it's not more popular. It's so distinctive and delicious.
    It's always nice to see cowslips out - they don't make such a wonderful show as primroses but there always seems to me to be something particularly charming about them

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    1. The cowslips are wonderful this year I don't think that I have ever seen them with so many flowers on each stem before. There is something about this particular spring that is making the blossom abundant - perhaps it is the lack of very hot sun and no wind.

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  20. What a wonderful tour of the garden. It makes me want to get outside with my camera.

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    1. Hello Jo(e) - thank you for your comment and visit - hope to see you again

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  21. Rosemary, your pictures are incredible as always. I'd like to try out your salad recipe looks delicious. I think I will try planting sorrel this year and see if the rabbits will leave it alone. :) All the scents from the garden is so good for the soul. I can't wait until my lily of the valley opens up. Beautiful garden.
    Have a great Sunday
    Hugs
    Rosemary

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    1. Thank you for your kind comment Rosemary - we are really enjoying the perfume from our little vase of lily of the valley. Try and get the red veined sorrel if you can, I think that it looks more attractive and its leaves stand upright making a nice display when clumped together.

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  22. how yummy, healthy+happy colourful! the second pic is my fav...I love cooking with home-grown/collecting herbs and foraging too:-)) I also had the smell of the lily of the valleays while looking at your pic of them...magical! have a wonderful new week!

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    1. Herbs are lovely all mixed up and used together. Years ago I would use the mint only for lamb etc but they are lovely in a salad and supposedly have medicinal qualities too.

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  23. You have really so many lovely flowers. Your spring is much earlier than ours.
    (But soon lily of the valley is also in blooming here, too.)
    Have a happy springtime with all those flowers.

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    1. I think that yours starts later but with all your long light days I think that you soon catch us up.

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  24. I've been out of blog land for awhile and just saw the posts about Kashmir--fabulous! I have never tried lemon curd. Maybe once my school madness ends I will make a jelly roll filled with it--something I've always wanted to do. Thanks for the inspiration.

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    1. I have two Kashmir posts still to show - India was a wonderful experience.
      I like the sound of a jelly roll filled with lemon curd - do give the recipe if you make it.

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  25. A lovely look at you garden in May. So many plants are popping up in my new home-plenty of roses and climbers too. I should record it, but decorating is taking over!

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    1. Dear Suzie - I have been very remiss not photographing the garden this year. I completely missed making images of all the early spring bulbs.
      It must be very exciting watching what is appearing in your garden for the first time, and I hope that you find some little treasures as the seasons pass.

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  26. Oh, your garden must be glorious, Rosemary, if these photos are anything to go by! You give me something to aim for, as I start to try to make more of the garden at the new house.

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    1. All the gardens seem to have excelled themselves this year, I don't recall so much blossom, and wildflowers in the verges since I was a child.

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