Mrs Bee's beetroot and orange chutney
1 lb chopped red onions
600ml white vinegar
6oz chopped Bramleys
1lb 8oz just cooked beetroot chopped into 1 cm chunks
8oz white sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
Rind and flesh of 1 orange
1oz fresh grated ginger
1 teaspoon powdered allspice
1 teaspoon powdered star anise

I tend to cook my chutneys at a high heat, quite quickly and stir all the time so they don't catch. I find it gives a chunkier texture instead of a mush.

You can double this recipe.

Source; Forum, Allotments and Gardens


Bread and butter pickle

3 large cucumbers.

3 tblsps salt.

4 onions - sliced.

1 pint white vinegar (some times I used a pickling vinegar for extra flavour).

6 ozs sugar.

1 tsp tumeric. (or celery seed)

2 tsp mustard seed.

Place the sliced cucumbers, sliced onions and salt in a bowl and leave for about an hour. Rinse well. Gently heat the vinegar, sugar, turmeric and mustard seed until the sugar melts. Place the cucumber and onions in to sterilized jars, cover with the hot vinegar mixture and seal.
You can eat this almost straight away - but it tastes better if you keep it a couple of weeks. I always find it best to eat within about 2/3 months (and that was the advice given to me by my cousin) but I have seen comments on USA websites that if you water bath the jars it will last longer. Anyway in this house it gets eaten very quickly. Hope you enjoy it.

Source; Forum, Allotments and Gardens



1 butternut squash, peeled and chunked
6 slices of smoked bacon, chopped
2 leeks, sliced
15g butter
225g rice, washed
20 fl oz white stock

Put the squash, leeks and bacon in a large microwaveable bowl, mix together, add the butter and cook on high for 5 mins.
Add the rice and stock, stir and cook for 10 mins.
Add the seasonings, stir and cook for another 10 mins.
Stand for 5 mins
(I like a wettish mix, a bit like risotto, but is nice dry too.)



Serves 8

  • 900g butternut squash
  • 225g onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 850 ml chicken stock
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp curry powder
  • ¼ tsp each ground nutmeg, white pepper, ground ginger.
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 115 ml single cream

Pre heat oven to 180C/350F/gas 4
Cut squash in half and scoop out the seeds.
Place in a roasting tin cut side down in about an inch of water.
Bake for 40-45 mins.
Allow to cool, remove skin and cut into chunks. (Prepare other ingredients while squash is baking.)
Sauté onion in the oil until transparent, about 3-5 mins over a medium heat.
Stir in chunks of squash, chicken stock and seasonings.
Bring to the boil in a suitably sized pot, reduce heat and simmer for 15 mins.
Remove the bay leaves and blend the soup to a smooth purée.
Reheat before serving and add cream.

 Ready in 25 mins

Courgette and fennel soup


Serves: 6
  • 1 fennel bulb with green top
  • 1 medium courgette
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon mild curry powder
  • Dash of white wine vinegar

Preparation method

Prep: 10 mins |Cook: 15 mins
Wash the fennel. Trim the top from the fennel bulb. Retain the green bits to use as a garnish. Dice the fennel bulb.

Peel and slice the courgette into thin slices. Finely chop the onion.

Heat the butter in a saucepan and fry the onion. Add the fennel and courgette and cook for 3 minutes, stirring.

Add the chicken stock and heat the soup in a lidded pan for 10-15 minutes over a low heat until the fennel is soft.

Puree soup. If it is too thick, add a little more water or stock. Season with salt, pepper and curry powder. Add a dash of vinegar.

Chop the fennel greens finely and garnish soup before serving.


Elderberry Jelly

(copied from “Elderberry jam” thread on cooking forum of Allotments & Gardens)

Take the berries off the stalks using a fork then swill em in water and drain.
Into the jam pan and slightly over-cover with water.  May wish to slap in juice of a lemon or two or a glug or two of PLJ. Up to a boil, simmer for about five minutes and get stuck in with a potato masher and a really mean attitude.

Cool the gunge down and process through the jelly bag, being really, really careful not to spill any wayward drops anywhere that doesnt look good with purple blotches.
I then poured into (thoroughly washed) plastic milk containers and store in the fridge.

Either make as jam with c1lb sugar to pint of juice but you will need to add pectin too (one sachet per two pints seems about right).

I instead usually churn out a batch of crab apple and strain that also overnight, aiming for about five pints of that to four pints of the elderberry. 

Mix the two juices and then add your sugar - broadly same c1lb per pint of the mix - but you should be OK for pectin at least for a gentle set.

A breathtakingly good jelly when it works out perfectly and pretty good even when it doesn't.  I even get 'reminders' at this time of year from people who have had my elderberry and crabble in years past to get busy and not to forget them.  As luck would have it, making one 4pint brew of pure elderberry plus a six pinter elderberry and crabble has been keeping me out of mischief for much of the last week, with the latest lot just cooling!

The pure elderberry is extra faffing and the added pectin but is magnificent in taste, smell and appearance (pretty well gleaming jet black in the jars, it is so thick).
What I've finally found works with the apples (and it has been trial and error) is to roughly chop your apples - peel, pips, core and all - and then put them in a pan and just cover with water.  I then slow simmer them until they go mushy (my cooking apples from my tree turn to mush pretty fast and I end up with a puree) and then the whole lot gets emptied into a jelly bag over a container and left to drain over night.

Mind you, apples through a sieve or bag and then boiled down really hard ie reducing the volume by heading on for half and only then adding your filtered elderberry juice gives you the easy set with close to the clearness of a jelly.  Just sayin')


Source; Good Housekeeping Cookery Book

Green Tomato Chutney or Relish

3lb green tomatoes, sliced
1lb cucumber or marrow, peeled and sliced
2oz salt
½ oz garlic, skinned and chopped
1 large red pepper, seeded and chopped
1 pint malt vinegar
1 level tablesp dry mustard
½ level teasp ground allspice
½ level teasp celery seeds (I used fennel seeds)
½ level teasp turmeric

A soft smooth textured pickle.
Place the tomatoes and cucumber in a bowl, sprinkle with the salt, cover and leave overnight; drain well, rinse and place in a large pan. Add the garlic and red pepper to the pan. Blend the vinegar with the dry ingredients, stir into the vegetables and bring slowly to the boil; reduce the heat and simmer for about 1 hour, until the mixture is soft. Pot and cover. Leave for 3-4 months before use.


Source: Nigel Slater writing in the Observer 4/10/09


I tend not to make gallons of chutney or jam or marmalade, but prefer to make smaller quantities, a couple of jars at a time. It is essential to make sure your jars are spotlessly clean. I pour boiling water into mine and let them sit for a few minutes before carefully pouring them out and allowing them to dry. Others put theirs into a warm oven for 10 minutes. This will make a couple of jam jars' worth.

900g tomatoes, mixed green and red
350g onions
90g raisins
250g light muscovado sugar
1 medium sized, hot red chilli
1 tsp salt
2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
300ml white wine vinegar

Halve the tomatoes. Put the green fruit together with the peeled and roughly chopped onions, into a large stainless steel or enamelled pan with the raisins, sugar, chilli, salt, mustard seeds and vinegar. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and leave to simmer for an hour, giving the occasional stir to reduce the risk of the chutney sticking. After about 25 minutes cooking, add the ripe tomatoes and continue to simmer. Then spoon into sterilized jars and seal.

Toasted pumpkin/squash seeds

Wash and dry the seeds to get rid of the slimy coating.
Put in a dry frying pan with a few sprays of frylite (it doesn't need much oil, only enough to get the salt to stick)
Sprinkle over salt, garlic salt, curry or chilli powder, or anything else that takes your fancy and fry shaking the pan for a few minutes until brown and crisp.  (Keep an eye on them though as they will burn as soon as you turn your back)

Source BBC Good Food

Hairy Bikers' Stuffed Marrow (my version)

  • 1 large marrow/courgette/squash
  • 250g beef mince
  • 1 tblsp oil for frying
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, diced
  • 2 small carrots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed with the thyme and some salt
  • some thyme or italian seasoning
  • 2 tblsp tomato puree
  • 500g tomatoes, skinned and chopped,OR 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 150g mixed grated cheeses (cheddar and parmesan)
  • seasoning
Light the oven allow to heat to gas mark 6.  Meanwhile...
Split marrow lengthways, scoop out seeds and stringy bits and discard.  Hollow out some of the flesh and reserve, making a suitably sized hollow for the meat sauce.  Microwave the marrow face down in a shallow dish of hot water, 10 mins on high or until partly cooked.  
Set aside while the sauce is prepared.
Soften the onions, celery, carrot, crushed garlic and herbs in the oil for about 8 mins.  Add the mince and brown.  Add the tomato puree, the tomatoes and the reserved marrow flesh, and cook for about 10 mins.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly for a minute.  Stir in the beaten egg and half the grated cheeses.
Level the bases of the marrow halves and place in a roasting tin.  Turn the meat sauce into the hollows and top with the remaining grated cheese.
Cover loosely with foil and cook in the hot oven for about 20 minutes.  Remove the foil and continue cooking for another 20-25 minutes until top is brown and bubbling.

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