Thursday 15 April 2021

More flowers...

 Azaleas, this time. In their all-too-brief flowering period. Pictures snapped in yesterday morning's sunshine...

Tonight's dinner:

Asparagus a la Parisienne

Salmon, in mushroom and Phyllo, with a puree of creamed leek

Vanilla Bavarois

Portobello Mushroom, roast with Balsamic Vinegar...

...and then dressed with toasted, herbed breadcrumbs and a gorgonzola sauce. 

Simple, quick, and straightforward. And an excellent combination of edgy flavours.

For two.


2 large portobello mushrooms; 6 tbs olive oil; 1 tbs balsamic vinegar; 6 tbs breadcrumbs; 1 tsp dried thyme; salt and pepper; 100 g gorgonzola; 2 tbs milk; parsley (for garnish).


1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees C.

2. Place each of the mushrooms in an appropriate sized oven-proof dish. Drizzle each mushroom with 1 tbs oil and 1/2 tbs balsamic vinegar, so that the oil and vinegar seep into the gills of the mushroom. Roast for twenty minutes.

3. In a small roasting pan or similar, mix together the breadcrumbs and thyme, and season to taste; drizzle a further 2 tbs olive oil over the breadcrumbs, and add to the oven for the last eight minutes or so of the mushroom roasting time.

4. Meanwhile, combine gorgonzola, milk and the remaining oil and heat gently, stirring, as the cheese melts into the oil and milk.

5. At the end of the roasting time, divide the toasted breadcrumbs between the two mushrooms, and spoon the cheese sauce over the top. Garnish with chopped parsley, and serve.

Wednesday 14 April 2021

Flowers and stuff

Rosa Laevigata

Always the first rose in the garden to bloom

After three days of rain...the sun came out!

Apple blossom... the last of the fruit trees to
mark the arrival of Spring

One of the few remaining 'old' trees in the Old Orchard



Tonight's Dinner:

Portobello Mushrooms, roast with garlic breadcrumbs, and served with a gorgonzola sauce

Pork Chops, baked with artichoke and tomato; roast salsify

Fresh Pineapple with Mascarpone

Tuesday 13 April 2021

Blueberry Almond Meringue Tart


Without question, the best way of using up leftover egg whites! One of my all-time favourites, this is yet another splendid recipe from Jill Norman, from her edition of Penguin Cookery. Which appears to have been largely unsung, and I really cannot understand why...

Ingredients: 1 shortcrust pastry shell, 8"; 180 ml egg white (from 6 or so medium eggs); 150 g ground almonds, plus 1 tsp almond essence; 190 g sugar; grated zest of a medium lemon (or, even better, a medium bergamot, if you can get it); 250 g fresh blueberries.


1. In a 180 degree oven, blind-bake the pastry shell, to a biscuity crispness.

2. Using an electric beater, whisk the egg whites until thoroughly stiff and risen; as they become dense, gradually add the sugar and  whisk it into the egg white as you proceed.

3. Fold into the meringue mixture first of all the ground almonds (plus essence), and the lemon zest.

4. Into the blind-baked shell spread half of the egg-white mixture, and then fold the blueberries into the remainder of the mixture and pile this on top of the mixture which is already in the pastry shell. 

5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top is golden brown.

Leave to cool before you cut to serve.