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This week's seasonal recommendation

 

What to cook this week?

Sun, 3 September, 2017

I pruned the lavender border going round my patio yesterday, a hell of a lot of little shrubs but it was the nicest smelling job you can imagine. Pruning is probably my favourite gardening task – give me a pair of secateurs and let me loose in a garden and you might end up with lots of dwarf vegetation.

I am quite a destructive force out of doors but I’m undoubtedly constructive in the kitchen - hopefully. I saved some of the pruned lavender blossom and I’m going to use it this week in the lovely orange and lavender cake – the recipe calls for dried lavender so use that if you can’t get hold of fresh.

Raspberries are abundant – I never knew they were in season so late in summer. So another proposition for this week is a raspberry sponge cake – light and fluffy – if you have similar bumper crop on the raspberry canes.

If not, just stick your head outside the fence, look by the side of a country road, hedge or even in the park: brambles are ripe and they are free so wake up your inner forager. They are tarter than cultivated blackberries but give them a try in the above cake. They will also make good jam or, if you think them too pippy and can take the trouble, make bramble jelly.

I started with sweets and desserts which isn’t a bad way to start the week but man shall not live on sweets alone. I might make the calamari rings with chorizo for lunch one day this week, or double the amount and serve it with rice for dinner. Another lunch-dinner fishy dish I might fancy is spicy prawns. Use frozen good quality jumbo prawns like I usually do – fresh seafood and fish are blindingly expensive these days.

For a meatless option my spinach casserole will do well – and it’s the only way to serve spinach to those who are not too keen. Or make roasted cauliflower: the fact that people now appreciate the dish is the only good outcome of the silly clean eating fad…

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