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Eat the Seasons - October 2013


Fruits, Nuts & Fungi

Apples, blackberries, chestnuts, elderberries, figs, grapes, pears, quince, tomatoes, walnuts.  Lots of lovely mushrooms; chanterelles, chestnuts, horse mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, parasol mushrooms, puffballs, giant shaggy ink caps and summer truffles

Vegetables & Herbs

Beetroot, borlotti beans, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, chard, courgettes, fennel, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, onions, peppers, potatoes, pumpkins & squash, rocket, salsify, scorzonera, spinach, turnips

Meat & Game

Duck, wild goose, grouse, guinea fowl, hare, mallard, partridge, pheasant, rabbit, venison, wood pigeon

Fish & Shellfish

Cod, crab, eels, lobster, mackerel, mussels, oysters, prawns, scallops, sea bass, sprats, squid, brown and rainbow trout


I am always surprised by how; almost overnight the season can change.  Suddenly there is a real Autumn nip in the air and Summer Salads have most certainly lost their appeal in favour of soups, stews and hearty roast dinners.  Much as I love the summer, nothing beats the aroma of a gently bubbling casserole or a Sunday roast.

Even though it is late in the year some fruit and vegetables will be at their best now – look out for figs, apples and quince growing locally.  Mushroom & beetroot will also be at their very best, not to mention pumpkins of course.

If you decide to carve a pumpkin for Halloween don’t throw the flesh away; there are loads of easy ways to use it including soups, casseroles or as part of a roasted vegetable dish.  The seeds can also be roasted with a little olive oil and salt to make a really tasty snack.  If you find a recipe you love then look out for Pumpkins on special offer after 31st October – you can pick up some real bargains, and they will keep in a cool dry place for at least 6-8 weeks, or if easier you can cook and freeze the flesh for use later.

 

Pumpkin & Cinnamon Tea Bread

This is a wonderful moist cake bread which is best served thickly sliced and buttered with a cup of tea.  It is also great for lunchboxes.

Ingredients

  • 175g butter, melted
  • 140g clear honey
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 250g raw peeled pumpkin, or butternut squash, coarsely grated (about 500g/1lb 2oz before peelilng and seeding)
  • 1 grated English apple
  • 100g light muscovado sugar
  • 350g self-raising flour
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon (or ginger as an alternative)
  • 2 tbsp Demerara sugar

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 1800C/gas 4/fan 1600C.  Butter and line the base and two long sides of a 1.5kg loaf tin with a strip of baking paper.

  2. Mix the butter, hoey and egg and stir in the grated apple and the pumpkin or squash.  Finally mix in the sugar, flour and cinnamon.

  3. Pour into the prepared tin and sprinkle the top with the Demerara sugar.  Bake for 50-60 minutes, until risen and golden brown.  Leave in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn out and cool on a wire rack.  Serve thickly sliced and buttered.