September’s First Fruit-in-the-Spotlight: Blackberries

11 08 2009

Blackberries are in season from late August into October. They are best used as soon as possible after picking. Luckily they freeze well, so you can enjoy them for longer. Click through for blackberry cake and blackberry iced tea recipes, for picking and freezing guidelines and to find out how blackberries and romance are inextricably linked, at least for me!

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Scrumping Greengages and Stewing Them

31 07 2009
little green beauties

little green beauties

Earlier in the week we mentioned that there was a greengage tree in our neighbourhood (which used to be an old orchard, apparently), and that we had no idea about greengages. Thanks to you, radiant readers, we weren’t left in the dark for long. Find out what happened when we scrumped and stewed.





Left-Over Pizza with Seed Thinnings On Top!

27 07 2009
sunday night monday morning

sunday night monday morning

Left over Sunday-night pizza and a dislike of food waste bumps up against a Monday-lunch-time craving for greenery and some much needed seed thinning activity. Can you guess what happened?! Read on





Salad Blue Potatoes

27 07 2009
salad blues

salad blues

Our neighbours just gifted us with a wild strawberry plant, branches of bay leaves and a bag of Salad Blue potatoes (pictured) from their allotment. But we want to know – how do we cook them and still retain their gorgeous colour? Read on to find out about our experiment and leave us your own suggestions.





At Long Last: Wholewheat Blueberry Muffins!

24 07 2009
finally - muffins!

finally - muffins!

Since we’ve added blueberries to the VegBox ingredients database, and given our August feature on blueberries, it would be most remiss of us not to include a recipe for blueberry muffins! Let us know if you try it and what you think, and we’ll reply as soon as we’ve washed the crumbs off our own fingers ūüėČ





August’s Second Veggie in the Spotlight: Cabbage

17 07 2009
the red, the white and the green ...

the red, the white and the green ...

OK I have a confession to make.

I started learning about British seasonal veg two years ago, and I STILL hadn’t figured out what cabbages are in season when.

I found the whole cabbage debate very confusing.

And despite trawling all my seasonal growing and eating books and online resources, I have never been able to find a definitive guide.

I expect I’ve become slightly obsessed now, but I was determined to get to the bottom of it, and so I contacted the Brassica Growers’ Association with a plea for information.

Within three hours they had sent me a DEFINITIVE guide to brassica seasons in the UK, including a breakdown on types of cabbage. Thank you, Jayne Dyas at the BGA!

So here’s the low down from the folks who should know.





August’s Third Fruit in the Spotlight: Pears

8 07 2009
its all going pear shaped

it's all going pear shaped

If we’re lucky, we’ll start to see pears in our seasonal fruit bags / boxes (or ready for picking in our back gardens!) from the end of August all the way through to the beginning of February.

Pears come from the same family as apples but when ripe usually have much softer flesh than ripe apples. Unlike other fruits, pears ripened on the tree are less delicious and smooth than pears that are harvested and finish their ripening off the branch. If they are left to ripen on the branch, pears develop a particularly gritty, woody texture.

One of the most interesting things about pears is, I think, that they cause the fewest allergic reactions in people of all the fruits. Which has lead many people (although not vegetarians, I’m afraid) to live on a “lamb and pears” diet for a short while whilst they reintroduce foods they suspect they may be allergic to, as lamb is also very rarely associated with allergic reactions.

Read on to find out more about buying, storing, preparing and cooking pears, and (more importantly!) to drool over our latest addition to the VBR recipes database – “Particularly Piggy Pear Pie”!