Ledbury Big Breakfast 2021 – at home

We can’t have a Ledbury Big Breakfast this year … let’s have a Ledbury Virtual Breakfast

Picture by Juliette Ainsworth (for Ledbury Celebration 2018)
Picture by Juliette Ainsworth (for Ledbury Celebration 2018)

This year celebrate Ledbury’s annual celebration of Breakfast – the Ledbury Big Breakfast – by treating yourself to a special breakfast at home on the weekend 29th, 30th and 31st January.

This is when we normally celebrate the Ledbury Big Breakfast, but we can’t do this in the traditional way this year due to Covid, as our cafes, pubs and hotels are closed.

Instead we ask you to create your own special breakfast at home buying produce locally and supporting local retailers and producers as part of your shopping.

We are blessed with shops stocking the ingredients to make all kinds of breakfast goodies from the famous Full English, Eggs Hollandaise, Smoked Salmon and Poached Eggs, Porridge, Pancakes, Hams and Charcuterie, to Cheese dishes.

Local butchers can serve you with bacon, sausages, ham, eggs and that favourite for some – black pudding.  For fruit and vegetables try our two greengrocers.

Local independent shops stock lots of locally produced ingredients such as smoked fish, eggs, yogurt and dairy products, preserves and honey, cereals for porridge and bread.

Ledbury Country Market at the Burgage Hall on Friday 29th January morning will have specials including charcuterie and dim sum Chinese goodies.

We will be putting up some breakfast recipes on the Ledbury Food Group website to stimulate your creative juices. You can find lots more recipes at http://www.shakeupyourwakeup.com/breakfast-recipes.

For those who are isolating or reluctant to go shopping, some shops are able to take orders for delivery or collection – see the website’s Local Food Information Page for details.  Allow time for deliveries.

Please observe Government requirements and guidelines re Covid 19 when shopping and at home.  You can always share the experience with others by social media or Zoom.

Send photos of your Big Home Breakfast to us at bb@ledburyfoodgroup.org – we will put the best on our website.

Lastly consider helping others less fortunate by contributing the cost of a breakfast to charity e.g. to Ledbury Food Bank at http://www.ledburyfoodbank.org/ or NHS Charities Together at https://www.nhscharitiestogether.co.uk/.

 

Local Food Updates – Monday 11th January

Please continue to support our local food producers and food retailers – safely!

We have news of two new offerings to help you (see below).  We have also updated our Local Food Information Page on our website following the latest change to Covid 19 Regulations click here to access the pageto help you find local businesses that are here to serve you.

Ledbury Country Market is operating again on Fridays from 15th January at the Burgage Hall between 10am and noon, and also offers an order and collect service.

Ledbury Charter Market is running on Tuesdays and Saturdays with several food stalls.  Max the Fish had supply issues on 5th January but hopes to be back on Tuesday 12th January.  More details on our Information Page – or check out the market’s Facebook site – Ledbury Charter Market.

Our Local Cafes are closed for table service again.  One or two are offering takeaways or call and collect ordering to enable you to continue to enjoy their wares.  

Local Pubs are closed again for bar sales – several are still offering a takeaway service (order in advance) as they did before.  Check with your favourite by phone or Facebook to see what’s on offer, booking and collection arrangements etc.

Food Deliveriesdetails of local businesses who continue to provide delivery, order and collect or takeaway services have been updated.

And news of things NEW …

Fruit and Veg Stop – the team behind The Strawberry Stop’s fruit and veg box service have gone further by opening a fruit and veg shop in Bye Street (in the former Fishing Tackle shop).

 As well as the obvious, they also sell local apple juice (Townsend Farm, Stretton Grandison) and Peter Cook’s Bread with more local products planned.  They offer a call and collect service.

Coop Ledbury – now offers an Online Call and Collect or Delivery Service in addition to their existing shop for delivery service on a restricted range of food products (sadly not many local) – See  https://www.coop.co.uk/store-finder/HR8-2EZ/new-street.

Please let us know of any services we have missed so that we can include them in our next update – phone 01531 633637

“Shop Safe Shop Ledbury”…

January Recipe – Roots, Barley and Lamb Cawl with Cheddar Puffs

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 tbsps. olive oil
2 medium lamb shanks, about 425g. each
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 leek, trimmed, halved lengthways and chopped
2 medium parsnips, about 250g., chopped into 1cm. cubes
250g. peeled celeriac, chopped into 1cm. cubes
350g. carrots, chopped into 1cm. cubes
2 bay leaves
3 tbsps. thyme leaves
100g. pearl barley, rinsed
2 tbsps. tomato puree
1 x 500ml. bottle of ale
1.5ltr. vegetable, chicken or lamb stock
150g. shredded kale

For the cheddar puffs:

1 x 320g. sheet ready rolled puff pastry
100g. mature cheddar, grated
3 tbsps. milk

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 150C / fan 130C / gas mark 2. Heat 1 tbsp. of the oil in a large, heavy based casserole.  Season the lamb shanks, brown them all over on a high heat and remove to a plate.
  2. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan with the onion and leek and cook for 4 – 5 minutes until starting to soften. Tip in the parsnips, celeriac, carrots, bay leaves and thyme with some seasoning and cook for 2 – 3 minutes.
  3. Add the pearl barley and tomato puree and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Pour in the ale and the stock and return the lamb to the pan,  The pearl barley will absorb a lot of the liquid.  Bring to the boil, then cover and cook in the oven for 2 hours.  The vegetables, barley and lamb should all be tender, with the meat coming off the bone easily.  Cook for another 15 – 30 minutes if necessary.  Remove the bay leaves, check the seasoning and add the kale and stir through.  Return to the oven for another 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, unroll the pastry sheet and give it another roll with a rolling pin until it is quite thin. Cut the pastry in half, scatter most of the cheese over one piece, and put the other piece on top.  Roll together to seal in the cheese and using a 6cm. cutter stamp out 18 or so rounds and place on a lined baking tray.  Brush with the milk and sprinkle the tops with the rest of the cheese.
  5. Remove the casserole from the oven and increase the temperature to 200C / fan 180C / gas mark 6. Bake the puffs for 12 – 15 minutes until crisp and golden.
  6. Lift the lamb shanks out on to a board and use 2 forks to pull the meat apart into large shreds. Stir back through the casserole.  Ladle into bowls and serve topped with the cheddar puffs.

Tips

You can vary the vegetables used e.g. use swede instead of celeriac if preferred.  Portions can be adjusted if cooking for less than 6.  I would just use one lamb shank if I was feeding 4 but probably stick to the same number of vegetables, stock etc . as it could always be eaten the following day as a hearty soup.

Christmas Recipies

I have spoilt you and given you two recipes this month, one sweet one savoury!

MINCEMEAT PANFORTE

Makes one 20cm. panforte

100g. plain flour
40g. cocoa powder
good pinch of salt
1 tbsp. gd. cinnamon
2 tsps. gd. ginger
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. freshly gd. black pepper (optional but gives good heat)
300g. assorted whole nuts (I used almonds and hazelnuts)
100g. candied peel
100g. dark chocolate buttons, or dark chocolate chopped
200g. caster sugar
100g. runny honey
200g. mincemeat

Preheat the oven to 170C / 150C fan / Gas 3 1/2 and line a 21cm. round, loose-bottomed or springform tin with baking parchment.

In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, cocoa powder, salt, spices, nuts and candied peel.  Mix to combine.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of boiling water or use a microwave set to low-medium, giving the chocolate short, sharp bursts until melted.

Heat the sugar and honey in a small pan over a moderate heat, stirring to help the sugar dissolve, then rapidly boil for 45 to 60 seconds.

Remove from the heat, stir in the mincemeat and pour this mixture over the melted chocolate, stirring to combine.

Pour the mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix well.  The mixture should be very sticky and dense.  Tip into the prepared tin and press to flatten it out (use wet hands if you like).

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the top is firm to the touch and no traces of chocolate are left on your hand when you touch it.  Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely before removing from the tin.  It will keep for a month in an air tight container.  Wrap whole or in wedges to give as a gift. 

SPICY TURKEY FAJITAS – Serves 6

A good way to use left over turkey.  Marinate it for up to 24 hours before cooking.

about 700g. cooked turkey, cut into thin strips
juice of 2 limes
a dash of Tabasco
2 tbsps. olive oil, plus a little extra
salt and pepper
12 fajitas or tortillas
8 spring onions, finely sliced on the diagonal
1 large red pepper thinly sliced
3/4 tsp. each of gd. coriander, turmeric and paprika

To serve:

soured cream or creme fraiche, romaine or Cos lettuce, mango chutney

Preheat oven to 160C / 140C fan / gas 3.

Marinate the turkey with the lime juice, Tabasco, olive oil, salt and pepper, for at least 30 minutes.  Wrap the 12 fajitas or tortillas in foil and heat for 5 minutes in the oven.

Heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry the spring onions and pepper until cooked.  Add the turkey to the pan with the spices and fry for a further few minutes.  Pour over any remaining marinade and cook for a further minute.

Put the soured cream or creme fraiche, lettuce and mango chutney in 3 separate bowls.  Transfer the fajitas to a basket and spoon the meat into a warm serving dish.  Everybody helps themselves.  Spread half the fajita with mango chutney, sour cream, lettuce and turkey and vegetables.  Roll up and enjoy. 

Here’s wishing you all a happy Christmas and good cooking.

Best Wishes,

Liz

Pear, Marsala, Coffee and Chocolate Trifle

Serves 8

Ingredients

125g. raisins
275mls. Marsala
150mls. strong black coffee
1 tbsp. soft light brown sugar
145g. sponge fingers
15g. hazelnuts, toasted and very roughly chopped
6 tbsps. cocoa powder
300mls. double or whipping cream
2 tbsps. caster sugar

For the custard:

4 large egg yolks
65g. caster sugar
2 1/2 tbsps. cornflour
250mls. whole milk
300mls. double cream
1/2 tbsp. vanilla extract

For the pears:

300mls. dry white wine or cider
125g. granulated sugar
2 strips of lemon rind
2 tsps. vanilla extract
4 Williams pears, peeled, halved and cored

Method

  1. Put the raisins in a saucepan and add 200mls. of Marsala.  Bring to just under the boil, remove from the heat and leave the raisins to plump up.
  2. For the custard, Put the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in a large bowl and mix well.  Heat the milk, cream and vanilla in a large pan until just below boiling, then take off the heat and slowly pour over the sugar and egg mixture, whisking continuously.
  3. Clean the pan, put the egg and cream mixture into it and whisk over a medium heat for 2 – 3 minutes until thickened.  If any lumps appear whisk the mixture or beat hard with a wooden spoon.  Pour into a large bowl, cover with greaseproof paper or baking parchment and leave to cool completely.
  4. Put the wine, 200mls. water, the sugar and lemon rind into a saucepan and heat, stirring to get the sugar to dissolve.  Add the vanilla and pears and cook gently until the pears are just soft.  Leave the pears in the liquid until they are cool.
  5. Put the hot coffee into a dish and add the light brown sugar and the rest of the Marsala.  Dip the sponge fingers in the coffee mixture and lay 2 for every portion in the bottom of eight glasses or bowls (each with a volume of about 250mls.), breaking them up if necessary.
  6. Spoon the raisins on top of the sponge, scatter on the nuts and sift some of the cocoa powder over the top.  Slice the pears thickly and divide between the glasses, then add the custard.
  7. Put the glasses / bowls in a roasting tin, or something similar, cover with clingfilm and put in the fridge for 2 hours.
  8. Before you serve sift some cocoa powder on top of the custard.  Whip the cream and add the caster sugar and spoon this on top of each trifle.  Sprinkle the rest of the cocoa powder on top and serve.

Notes

You can use tinned pears in a natural juice, not syrup, if you do not want to poach your own.  Fresh pears are, of course, in season this month.

If you do not want to make fresh custard you could use custard powder at a push.  If you make fresh custard you do not have to use cream.  I make mine with all milk but I use gold top.  Do not have the heat too high when you have mixed in the eggs as otherwise you will end up with scrambled egg.  You can buy fresh custard in the chiller cabinet also if you wish.

You could replace the Marsala with sweet sherry if you do not have Marsala or wish to buy it.

I use Greek yoghurt on top of my trifles as it is less sweet.  I also use Greek yoghurt on my pavlovas as it adds a bit of tartness.  I can also kid myself that I am being healthier by not using cream!!

I thought this might be a nice recipe for Christmas.  You could always make it in one large bowl if you preferred or didn’t have the glasses to make individual ones.

October Recipe – Cabbage and Sausage Hotpot

(Serves four)

A really easy recipe this month:-

Ingredients

2 tbsps. olive oil
12 sausages (that allows for 3 each so you might want less!)
2 tsps. fennel seeds
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. cayenne or mild chilli pepper
1 white cabbage (weighing about 1.5kg.)
1 large glass of wine (about 200mls.)
1 large pear
black pepper and salt
1 tsp. brown sugar

Method

  1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan on a medium flame.  Add the sausages for a few minutes with the fennel and mustard seeds and the cayenne pepper.  Allow them to become a little brown and then remove from the pan.
  2. Finely slice the cabbage.  Then add the cabbage and wine to the saucepan and core and roughly chop the pear and add this.
  3. Place the lid on the saucepan, or hob proof casserole, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Turn down to a low flame and return the sausages to the pot, along with salt, pepper and the sugar and simmer with the lid on for a further 20 minutes.

This was, I thought, a good recipe for this time of year and we are lucky to have good butchers in Ledbury who make a large variety of excellent sausages!

Almost but not quite – no Big Apple 2020 for Much Marcle

The apples are coming in, the presses are at work, and it’s almost that time when the Big Apple has welcomed visitors to the Marcle Ridge for the past thirty years.  But, sadly, not in 2020.  The event, which was scheduled for 10th and 11th October, has been cancelled.  The community organisation behind the Big Apple had come up with a programme and a delivery plan designed to keep the event within COVID-19 secure guidelines, but the latest changes proved a step too far.  “We’ve been outrun by the virus”, said spokesman Jackie Denman.  “We’d like to thank the Public Health team at Herefordshire Council for their advice and support – they really tried to help us make it happen.  In the end, the decision to cancel was our own.  The timing just wasn’t right.”

Messages of support followed the announcement late last week.  “Everyone agreed that we had made the right decision, but they also took the trouble to tell us that we would be much missed.”

This annual opportunity to enjoy the orchards, to see, hear and smell cider being made and to taste many different varieties of apples, local ciders, perries and apple juices has become an established part of the calendar for many people.  Apple growers and cider makers depend heavily on events for sales of their produce, and almost all had already been cancelled.   “We tried so hard to keep the Big Apple going, especially because we were almost the only apple event that was still in this year’s calendar.  We’ve put a special area on our website at https://www.bigapple.org.uk/harvestime2020/, with information about the producers that would have been there, and some ways to get hold of their produce.”  Many familiar Big Apple venues are there, including Gregg’s Pit, Woodredding, Lyne Down, Pope’s Perry, Westons, Dragon Orchard and Jus Apple Juice.

A Poem from Sara-Jane Arbury

The Big Apple has started to plan its events for 2021, including Blossomtime on 2nd/3rd May and Harvestime on 9th/10th October.