An Angel in the Kitchen is a real food and family recipe blog.
A place to be able to find our recipes again & remember how we made stuff!

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Elderflowers- Jelly & Fizz

Every October I start looking out for the first elderflowers.
 I just adore the sweetly scented bridal flowers.
They are also lovely medicinal plants- both the flowers & the berries being good medicine.
I am often drawn to posts with recipes for using the fragrant flowers, but when I look further I realise that they are really quite impractical- fritters & sugary cordials don't particularly work for me as useful food.
However, healing jellies & elderflower fizz certainly do!
So here is our simple little recipe for making both, in small batches, using 1 litre Agee or Mason jars.
As soon as the elders begin to flower we keep our eyes peeled for accessible bushes.
And gather just what we need- a little at a time.
This way we can make a dozen batches over the flowering season.
So- to a large Agee jar add 6-8 flower heads (no leaves & no washing- just shake the flowers out a little to dislodge any insects) & the juice of a lemon.
Add some lemon slices too, if you like.
Then pour boiling water over the flowers to fill the jar- once it's cooled a little, add a large tablespoon of honey. I'm sure you can use sugar if you like- dissolve it in to the hot liquid.
Pop the lid on & leave to sit for 24- 48 hours.
Strain through a sieve & using a funnel fill a small grolsch (or similar) bottle.
Clip down the lid & leave for 3-7 days.
You can check on the fizz from time to time if you like- it'll re-carbonate itself.
Take care when you take the lid off as it can froth everywhere.
The fizz is created by the action of the natural yeasts & pollens in the flowers.
Adjust the amount of honey to taste.
Chill well before serving.
The other half of the strained liquid is what we use to make elderflower jellies.
The quantity left will fill two small (225ml) Agee or jam jars perfectly.
How to make the jelly:
In a small pot soak 2 level tsps of powdered gelatine in half a cup of the elderflower liquid.
Stir together & then leave to soak a few minutes.
Set over gentle heat & stir to dissolve the gelatine.
Cool, then and in the rest of the liquid.
Taste & add more lemon juice or more honey to taste.
Pour in to the two jars, pop on the lids & in to the fridge they go.
 Perfectly portable, great for picnics & travelling. Lovely with roasted strawberries & yoghurt.
Makes a delicious breakfast or dessert. And best of all, is wonderfully healing & nourishing for the digestive system.


Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Sardine or Anchovy Pate

Whoever would have thought that a couple of tins of sardines could make the the most delicious, nourishing pate- ever so versatile & utterly delicious!
I found the concept over at the Western. A. Price foundation here.
Since then (as I do) I have made it a couple of times & tweeked the original recipe.
Look at all those herbs- in they go:
Chickweed, apple mint, coriander, chervil, parsley, spring onions, native celery, tender violet leaves, calendula flowers & anything else that takes your fancy.
Add 2 tins of sardines
& some anchovies- if you have them 
1/2 cup of softened butter (never, ever margarine!!)
salt & freshly ground black pepper
zest & juice of a lemon
dsp whole grain mustard
 Blend all together until smooth-ish in a food processor or with a hand mixer.
 Lovely in artichoke hearts..
 or for lunch- on a violet leaf tortilla, with sauerkraut
and equally good as a dip
 fabulously nourishing & so delicious (not the slightest bit sardiney! Truly.
Katie x

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Violet Honey Syrup

Violets are one of my most beloved flowers.
I adore their fragrance, their beauty & their capacity to heal.
I have learnt to make a magical potion this winter- violet honey syrup.
It tastes delicious & it is also very helpful for coughs & sore throats. 
Such simple little fragrant flowers that come in many colours & forms.
A basket-full of violets smells like heaven, to me.
I was very glad to come across the recipe for violet honey paste a month or so ago when Rob had a cough that woke him through the night. 
 I made the paste just as was described & have now made it again & again & each time tweeked the recipe a little more.
I have discovered that these delightful Parma violets are the easiest to pick & the most fragrant of all.
I got the best results by using my simple old "whizz stick".
Each batch has been a little different but in the end I have decided that simple is best:

1 cup of packed violets
1 cup of clover honey (or other light coloured honey)
juice of a large lemon
Blend all together until smooth
Pour in to a clean jar & store in the freezer.
Enjoy a spoon full at a time for coughs & tickly throats or just because its delicious.

Yummy on porridge.
And amazing in this simple little violet honey & guava mousse.
After making some guava jelly in early winter I pushed the fruit through a sieve, sweetened the pulp & popped a bag or two in to the freezer. 
To make the mousse I added a tbsp or so of the violet honey in to the defrosted guava pulp,
stirred in some cream & thick, creamy Greek yoghurt, soaked 2 tsps of gelatine in a little water for 5 minutes, dissolved the gelatine over gentle heat- stirred it in to the guava mixture & popped it in the fridge to set. That simple!
Katie xx

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Best Cheese Scones

Well, thanks to my lovely friend & magnificent cook Suzanne we now make fabulous cheese scones in our house.

Here is our slightly adapted recipe:

Pre heat oven to 220 degrees celsius

2 cups organic spelt or wheat flour
2 tsps baking powder
Sift flour & baking powder together, then add:
1 1/2 cups grated vintage cheese
1/2 c grated butter
2 tsps sugar
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of cayenne pepper

3/4 c slightly warmed full cream milk

Mix all the dry ingredients together then make a well in the centre- pour in the milk & work the whole lot together.

Knead a little in the bowl- to save mess, until you have a really nice smooth, cogent texture.
Tip out on to a very lightly floured baking paper lined baking sheet.

Cut in to 8 or so pieces & separate.
Sprinkle over extra cheese.

Bake for 10- 15 minutes until crisply golden brown.

Serve with loads of butter.

Original recipe came from The Ministry of Food Cafe in Wellington- you may prefer to make their version:

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Mango Burfi

These Indian sweets are just delicious- flavour filled, a tad exotic & wholesomely satisfying too.
Made with oats, cashews, coconut flour & mango pulp they are quick & easy to make & will happily accomodate some tweaking.

1/2 c rolled oats
1/2 c cashew pieces
2/3 c coconut flour
a pinch of salt
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp honey
 Ground cardamom to taste (crush whole seeds in a mortar & pestle or use ground powder)
1 c ripe mango puree- canned

Grind oats in to a fine flour in a food processor & then dry roast in a skillet for 3 or 4 minutes
(stir often so that it doesn't catch)
Process cashews to a fine crumb, add coconut flour & continue mixing until they too have become a fine flour.
Add to the pan- stir to mix.
Add salt, cardamom, oil & honey & mango puree- comes in lovely large can available from Indian shops.
Continue stirring over a low heat until it all starts to come together & thicken.
There'll come a point where it all seems very think & smooth & shiny.
You're done.
Pour on to parchment paper & make a nice thick square with a spatula.
Chill for an hour or so overnight.
Cut in to small squares when firm.
Keep in the fridge.

I am going to experiment with other nuts such as macadamias & ground almonds next time round. I made the addition of the coconut oil & am glad I did as it made it all lovely & smooth & helps digest the grain.

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