Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Want to know how versatile a Chef's Cloth is?

Well, we're not going to tell you...

Jenny Gibson, a happy Chef's Cloth owner, is going to do it for us.

"What did I ever do before I had my chef's cloth, I can keep scones warm to take to church, lift hot trays and pop them down onto the wooden table with it beneath them. Fabulous, who ever needs silly old oven gloves again so much more practical. X" Jenny Gibson 

We were so pleased when this appeared in our feedback section on our website that we had to share. 

We think Jenny says it all.

If you'd also like to lift hot trays without fear of burning or take fresh, warm scones to church (and who doesn't?), pop into our kitchen and nab yourself a Chef's Cloth.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Kitchen... garden

To double denim or not to double denim?

That definitely is the question - or at least it was on our recent photo shoot for the brand new and rather fabulous Denim Mini Pinny.

So, we opted for a range of outfits, including a very splendid frou frou extravaganza of a frock. (Model's own. Lucky her.)

Our model, Frances, loved wearing this particular pinny. "I'd love this for the whole kitchen garden thing - might even make me revamp the veg beds," and was very relaxed. To the point of actually doing some gardening on the shoot... we weren't sure shots of weeds were quite the thing though.

With very many thanks to our model and photographer and (not very) sincere apologies to William Shakespeare for the homage...

Double denim or not to double denim?
That is the question. Whether 'tis gardener
In your allotment be or sling back wearing
Outrageous hostess. Or you take into arms
A sea of potatoes and by roasting them
Feed friends. To wear. To eat. Need we say more?

Friday, 6 May 2011

Coming over all British

So, it was the Friday of the Royal Wedding and the Bickerstaffs were having a little gathering in the garden...

Drinks with bubbles, good food and the fire pit ready to warm us all through when it got chilly.

I offered to make Vanessa Kimbell's gorgeous Star Anise and Orange Bread Pudding but realised too late that I had precisely one of the ingredients in the house. So, focussed on that ingredient and decided a pavlova was the only option.

But! Disaster! Apparently Penny was going to make a Pavlova and I instinctively knew that hers would be MUCH better than mine (she runs the flower festival, for goodness sake, it was going to be fabulous). 

So, I decided to opt for form over function (generally like to follow both those principles but... needs must and all that). And Da! Da!

A delicious Union Jack with chewy meringue, fresh strawberries and a wonderful blueberry jam. 

How I made it...
And here's one I made earlier

The basic meringue recipe came from The River Cottage Family Cookbook. They explain everything beautifully so it's best to read it there but, in brief, you'll need:

4 free range egg whites
200g caster sugar

Whisk the egg whites 'til you get soft peaks then add half the sugar and whisk 'til stiff. Fold in the remaining sugar. Next grab a piping bag (I always make them out of grease-proof paper) and pipe your shape onto baking parchment - it's ESSENTIAL you use this and NOT greaseproof paper or your meringue will stick and you will be sad.

The fresh English strawberries came from Waitrose and the blueberry jam came from my head...

Put a packet of frozen blueberries into a small pan, throw in some sugar and cook them on a high temperature until they reach a pleasing consistency. Let it cool and add some lemon juice to loosen it and give it some gloss. Really tasty and at least hinted at being the right colour for the flag!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Just in... beautiful Cookbook Hooks

Very excited that the new stock of Cookbook Hooks has just arrived...

Handmade for us in Brighton and so pretty I want them all!

They make beautiful little presents - light, easy to post and really unusual.

Each one is unique and delicious enough to eat!

Can be used on any book but we love them in the kitchen - adding a touch of practical glamour.

Cookbook Hooks - £6.50

Beautiful things that work