Tag Archives: Cooking

Hang Out The Flags!

29 Apr

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Last year with the Silver Jubilee and the Olympics I think we did rather well at national enthusiasm! It was hard not to succumb to a frenzied bout of bunting clad flag waving. But this year things are pretty much back to normal. It was St. Georges day last week and while there was a flurry of morris dancing here and there, it came and went in a rather self- deprecating ‘lets not make a fuss’ way.

It seems that we continue to be a bit embarrassed by our food. Having been the butt of many jokes by some of our european neighbours we often fail to embrace our own cuisine and the hugely rich culinary heritage of our little island. When I lived in France it was not uncommon for friends to eat before visiting us for dinner (to be on the safe side I suppose!) and for the butcher to part with a leg of lamb with great reluctance, terrified that I might boil it boil it! I was also once treated to the translation of ‘Bon Appetit’ as being Good Luck!
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Humble Pie.

25 Apr

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It seems Winter blinked and Spring jumped out of her hiding place! The temperature is well into double figures and as I walked the Labrador (Lovelydor) along paths spotted with violets I had to remove a jumper on the home stretch. It is also the first day since september that I have not lit a fire. Even so I feel a pie coming on!

Chicken and Leek pie is the stuff of life in our house; the promise at the end of the M4 on a wet friday night , the last night of the holiday’s dish of choice and the medicine for all ills and heartbreak. I have to admit that I am not a fan of the anaemic, skinless chicken fillet and so prefer to roast a whole chicken whenever I can and, as I have been preparing a lots of Chicken in a quince and lemon sauce with Alsace wine for someone’s freezer I have canteen quantities of cold chicken leftovers. Perfect for a pie!
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Brunch Break

15 Apr

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I have been keeping baker’s hours this week, and today was no exception, but with all the cooking done for the events and the market I was free to get out into the garden at first light. With pyjamas and wellies on, a pot of tea under a cosy and accompanied only by the dawn choir of birdsong in their cathedral of beech trees, I make a start on the planting.

The beans which have uncurled themselves and are now reaching joyfully skywards are the first to go under the polytunnels, carefully tucking a little fleecy blanket at one end to stop the draft. I know I sound like an anxious mother but I am new to this! I flirted with
vegetable gardening to get me through a tricky patch some years ago, then like many flirtations it became a dalliance and then a heady passion! Although any skill or success I may have is due to a religious adherence to the RHS allotment handbook and asking very nicely! I have yet to have anything but beginners luck but my annual sense of pride at the tangle of beans and regimented lines of lettuce is disproportionate!
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This Little Piggy Went To Market

15 Apr

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The “Cuckfield Local ” was a lovely event, with lots of gorgeous produce and hand made goodies on offer. It was so enjoyable to see so many families out with their children and baskets (and dogs!) sampling and choosing pies, cakes and bread. I am sure that the sunday lunches in and around Cuckfield today will be the envy of the county, we were spoilt for choice for meats and fish and vegetables, although any plans we may have had to save the divine Italian cheesecake for today’s lunch were abandoned; devoured it straight from the box on the way home!

We had some rays of weak sunshine but towards lunchtime it swiftly turned back to winter and became an afternoon suited only to soup and knitting! I love parsnip soup in any form, whether its combined with the sweetness of leeks and the sharpness of a cox apple or cubed in a barley broth and mopped up with a leek and onion scone, but for a real bowl of sunshine there is nothing to beat Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup.
For a generous potful you will need:
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Thank Goodness It’s Friday!

12 Apr

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It’s going to be a busy weekend for Bailey & Bond, with the Cuckfield Market, a lovely little country market with some delicious Sussex produce available.
So far we have, ready to go, Red Pepper and Goats Cheese Filo tarts (pictured above), Caramelised Onion and Roquefort Tart, the more-ish Parmesan and Stilton biscuits.

A new addition to the stall this month is fresh soups. The flavours are Sussex themed, the first is a traditional local favourite, Parsnip and Cox Apple. As a nod to the town Peas Pottage, we are also serving Spiced Bean Pottage with pine nuts. Both of which are warming and delicious, perfect for a lazy weekend!

We are also catering a couple of landmark birthdays. One of the centrepiece pudding is a vast profiterole mountain, I lost count of exact numbers when the baking went well beyond three figures.

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The Seedlings Are Up!

12 Apr

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Because of the cold and bitter weather, which went way past Radio 4s description of inclement and became downright depressing; the garden has had to come inside. The conservatory is now absolutely full of pots containing the seeds for this years crop of vegetables and herbs, which are finally starting to sprout!

The broccoli was first past the post. To me this little army of peat pots with their tiny green shoots is such always such a sign of hope.

While I love broccoli, particularly the purple sprouting variety, I have never really understood the popular combining of this tender vegetable with stilton in a soup.
But I do recognise that it does go very well with blue cheese. By way of compromise, therefore, and in honour of the broccoli to come we made this; we wrapped the steamed, and very well drained, heads of purple sprouting broccoli in thin slices smoked Brunswick ham and made a creamy sauce of Roquefort and Gorgonzola (this was a great way of using up Easter leftovers).. We put this in an oven proof dish and sprinkled with parmesan and breadcrumbs. Once baked in the oven for around twenty minutes, it was rich and delicious. This recipe also works really well with whole braised Chicory heads!

The weather looks set to warm up, so hopefully the brave little seedling will be planted later this week!

Welcome to Bailey & Bond!

9 Apr

Welcome to Bailey & Bond! I’m very excited to be starting this blog, where I will not only be posting information about the company, menus  deals and offers but I will also be sharing foodie news, tips and recipes from my little Sussex cottage.

We will be uploading details of our full range of cooking services as well our seasonal menus over the coming week.  (so please be patient and keep checking the page!)