My kitchen is full of green tomatoes, rescued from the greenhouse just ahead of an attack of blight. Sadly, we're not very creative with the way we use them in this country. My mother's chutney recipe is the best I've eaten but there are only so many cheese and chutney sarnies and cold cuts you can eat in a year. So I've been looking further afield for inspiration.
These fruity, feather-light scones are the work of minutes and it's lucky that they're best eaten on the day they're made, as they never last any longer in our house. Split them and butter them while still warm, put the kettle on and enjoy a break.
I love quince, it's one of my favourite fruits and I'm always a bit bemused when people say they don't know what to do with them, because they're so versatile. I suppose it's a lack of familiarity: because their shelf life is short, supermarkets tend not to stock them.
If you have a) too many courgettes, b) one that got away and turned into a mini zeppelin or c) a partner who claims to hate summer squash, I may have the answer to your prayers. These bhajis are the business.
It sounds a bit like something Harry Potter would shout, pointing his wand desperately as the minions of evil swarm towards him in the nether regions of Hogwarts. It is, however, the Latin name for the European pilchard, known for marketing reasons these days as the Cornish sardine (or as Voldemort might say, ssssardine).
I was in his shop the other day looking for cod, as you do. Chris, who's always happy to advise on the day's best buys, suggested cod cheeks, cheaper but just as good as premium cod loin. These plump, juicy cushions were perfect for what I had in mind. If you can't source them, try fresh, firm cod loin and cut it into large bite-sized chunks.
Strictly speaking parkin, a North Country ginger cake, contains oatmeal and this doesn't, but I couldn't resist the alliteration. It departs from tradition too in being topped, or rather bottomed, with pears (it's a sort of upside down cake).
It takes a bit longer to cook than some sauces, involving as it does a couple of reductions, but it repays the effort and it's worth making double quantities so you have some ready-made for another occasion, freezer space allowing.
People keep telling me autumn is underway, and according to the weather experts in Britain's Met Office it started on September 1st, but they just carve the year into quarters to make their statistics easier to calculate. Clinging to summer, I prefer to stick with the old astronomical calendar and by that measure, the seasons change on the 22nd. That doesn't stop me wanting autumnal food though.
08/09/2017 11:42 BST
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