How To Make Trifles

Trifles are layers and layers of delicious ingredients. It is like having several desserts in one: sponge soaked with liqueur, fruit, home-made custard and lashings of whipped cream. And a trifle need not stop there. Fruit, nuts, crushed caramel, chocolate, glace and crystallized fruit can all be used as decorations. Sugared trifle sponges are nicest … Read more

Batters, Biscuits And Scones

MAKING BATTERS Traditionally batters are associated with Shrove Tuesday and pancake tossing, or with Yorkshire pudding served as a starter or as an accompaniment to roast beef. This mixture of milk, eggs and flour can be made into a large number of other exciting dishes: fruit pancakes, fritters and crepes suzettes. Proving the pan To … Read more

Making Sauces

Sauces enrich cooked foods in different ways. They may use some of the cooking liquor, with added thickening, to enhance the taste. They may act as a contrast: a sharp apple saute cuts across the richness of pork; cheese sauce boosts the mild flavour of a cauliflower. Or you may use a cold sauce — … Read more

Making Your Own Soups

There are many varieties of soup, both thick and thin, ranging from consommes and broths to iced soups, bisques (fish soups) and fruit soups. All soups are simple and enjoyable to make at home. You can make good use of chicken carcasses and uncooked bones and, if there is a glut of tomatoes in your … Read more

Making Stock

This is an all-important cooking liquid which is used as the basis for soups, casseroles and sauces. It should be well flavoured but be complimentary to the ingredients of the finished dish.Vegetables with strong flavours, such as parsnips, should be used sparingly. Fresh bones and those left over from joints can be used, together with … Read more

Dried Foods

Textured vegetable protein (TVP) Processed soya bean is used mainly for extending fresh meat. Pearl barley Polished grain, used to thicken soups or included in meat dishes. Oatmeal Dried and husked grain ground to different grades of fineness, and used traditionally in porridge, biscuits and parkin. Rolled oats Crushed, partly cooked grain, used to make … Read more

Cooking Times For Pulses

Dried beans, peas, split peas and lentils. These should be soaked overnight in cold water or for 2-3 hours in boiling water. Allow 25-50 g (1- 2 oz) per person; drain and cook in fresh boiling salted water. Lentils do not need soaking. Butter beans and dried peas Usually used in soups and stews or … Read more

Store Cupboard Foods

RICE Originally associated in this country with traditional rice pudding, the economical versatility of rice is being recognized and it is now used in many exciting and popular dishes. Long grain rice originates from many countries, but look for patna and basmatti rice from India, and long grain rice from the USA. Use in savoury … Read more

Cooking With Eggs

The colour of the egg you buy does not affect its food value — although a speckled brown egg, fresh from a farm, boiled and served in an egg cup with home-baked, toasted bread and creamy butter is the image of an ideal breakfast for many people. Commercially produced eggs are generally sold in date-stamped … Read more

Types of Cheese

Cheese is made from the milk of a cow, goat or sheep. Milk is ripened by the addition of a ‘starter’ culture of lactic acid bacteria which turns milk sugar (lactose) into lactic acid. The milk sours as it ripens, separating into the solid curds and the liquid whey. The curds form the basis of … Read more

Yogurt Tips

Usually made from skimmed milk, the food values of yogurt are increasingly appreciated and many people make it at home. Use it, in its natural flavour, to make a health-giving breakfast, with a tablespoon of bran or muesli, with brown sugar and fruit. When you make a curry, add sliced cucumber or onion to yogurt … Read more

Types of Butter

Butter, with its unmistakable taste, is another versatile dairy product. Salted or unsalted it can be used in a variety of dishes or simply spread on toast. TYPES OF BUTTER Lactic butter This is made from ripened cream which has been soured by the addition of a culture. Its flavour is full and slightly acidic. … Read more

Types of Cream

FRESH CREAM Because of its rich smoothness and versatility, fresh cream is much used in cooking. It can be used to thicken soups, enrich sauces, and cover puddings as well as being the main ingredient in such desserts as syllabubs and ice creams. It can be used as a pouring cream or whipped and is … Read more

Milk And Cream

Milk should be stored in a cool place, preferably in the refrigerator, as it is highly perishable. It is packaged in sterile bottles or cartons and so will keep best in its own container. Cover jugs, even in the refrigerator, to prevent milk from absorbing flavours from other foods. Wash milk jugs well before refilling, … Read more

Nuts In the Shops

Almonds Available shelled or unshelled. They are covered in a thin brown skin, which can be removed by blanching in boiling water for about 2 minutes. They usually have a slightly bitter flavour. Brazil nuts Often associated with Christmas, these long, hard brown nuts are sold both shelled and unshelled. Chestnuts Available fresh in a … Read more

Choosing Fruit

Fruit provides roughage and citrus fruits are an important source of vitamin C. Buy fresh, firm fruit and eat within a few days. Store in a cool, dry place. All fruit is seasonal but there are good supplies of imported fruit when nothing home-produced is available. Seasonal gluts can produce bargains. In the shops, fruit … Read more

Preparing Salads Through The Seasons

Salads are marvellous. Everyone knows about their nutritional value but, using a few basic dressings, you can provide everything from a refreshing, palate-cleansing finish to a dinner, to a meal which is satisfying, varied and complete in itself. Spring Buy early-crop, thin-skinned new potatoes. Scrub and boil for 10-12 minutes in salted water, with sprigs … Read more

Cooking Shellfish

All shellfish should be bought fresh and clean. Molluscs — mussels and oysters among them — are bought live. Look for tightly closed shells which open as they are cooked. Prawns, crabs and lobsters are crustaceans. They are usually sold boiled before you buy them. Clams Serve raw — or you can cook them like … Read more

Cooking Fish

Fish should be cooked at a relatively low temperature to prevent the flesh from becoming tough. The fish is cooked when the flesh parts easily from the bones. Baking Bake in the centre of a pre-heated oven at 180°C (350°F) Gas Mark 4 allowing 25-30 minutes for whole fish and 10-20 minutes for fillets and … Read more

Preparing Fish

Scaling and cleaning Put a few layers of kitchen paper on your work surface or chopping block. Using a blunt knife, scrape away the scales from tail to head. Rinse thoroughly under running water. Cleaning a round fish Take a sharp knife and split the fish along the belly. Scrape out the entrails (inner parts). … Read more

Cured Fish

Fish used to be cured at home, in salt, vinegar or by smoking, as a method of preservation when fresh food was not available. You may still pickle fish: keep it in the refrigerator and use within a few days. A hot smoker adds flavour but does not preserve the food: cold smoking preserves the … Read more

Choosing Fish To Cook

White and oily fish are both rich in protein, and oily fish contain vitamin D which helps develop good teeth and strong bones. It is often prescribed to pregnant women and young children in the form of cod liver oil. Although we are surrounded by waters which are extensively fished, it is difficult to buy … Read more

How To Roast Turkey

  Buy a plump, young turkey bird. Look for a pliable breast bone. When you buy a fresh duck or goose, choose one with yellow feet and bill. Poultry, with or without a stuffing, is often trussed. This is not necessary for most small birds and roasting chickens, but it helps keep a turkey in … Read more

Choosing Poultry

Fresh or frozen, poultry of excellent quality is available all the year round from butchers and supermarkets. Poultry is defined as a bird bred for the table: chicken, boiling fowl, duck, goose and turkey come into this category. So does guinea fowl, which used to be a game bird. As with meat, decide in advance … Read more

Carving Meat

This is simple if you have a good carving knife, a two-pronged fork and a steel for sharpening the knife. The same principles apply for roast or boiled cuts. The meat will keep hot for about ten minutes once it has been removed from the oven or from the boiling liquor. Put it to rest … Read more

Methods of Cooking meat

OVEN ROASTING Only tender joints are suitable for oven roasting. Beef may be served underdone, but make sure veal, lamb and pork are cooked thoroughly. There is no agreement about the best heat; the temperatures given here are for slow roasting, an increasingly popular method. Pre-set the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas Mark 4. Put … Read more

How To Use Offal

Offal are the parts left after the slaughtered animal has been dressed: the liver and kidneys are most popular but all are highly nutritious. Calf’s liver The most expensive liver, with a mild flavour. Lamb’s liver The most popular liver, excellent for grilling or frying. Pig’s liver Stronger in flavour than lamb’s liver but softer … Read more

Choosing Bacon, Gammon And Ham

For centuries, pork has been ‘cured’ with salt to preserve it. As bacon, gammon and ham, it is still very popular in Britain. Grilled or fried, served roasted, braised or boiled, cuts of bacon combine good flavour and food value with cheapness. There is little waste and the cooking water after boiling makes excellent stock. … Read more

Choosing Best Lamb For Cooking

Most lamb is slaughtered at about six months; mutton comes from sheep at least 18 months old. British lamb is available between March and November and is most plentiful between August and November. New Zealand lamb is at its best between December and June. What to look for Young lamb is firm, fine-grained, and pale … Read more

How To Choose The Best Pork

Pork is a rich, succulent meat. It doesn’t keep well, which is why, in the past, it used to be eaten fresh only in the winter months. However, thanks to good refrigeration, British pork is now available throughout the year. Almost every part of the pig is used, whether as prime roast or sausages. What … Read more

Choosing Beef to Buy

BEEF Comes from steers or uncalved heifers. It is still the most popular meat in Great Britain, for its versatility as well as its flavour and food value. British beef is most plentiful in autumn, but imported beef is available throughout the year. All beef should be hung by the butcher or wholesaler for about … Read more

Choosing Meat

Throughout Great Britain you will find the widest possible variety of cuts and joints of meat. This is the result of a partnership. The farmer rears the kind of stock the butcher demands, and this in turn is dictated by his customers’ preferences. There are regional variations in cutting carcases of meat, and the names … Read more

Gathering, Harvesting And Storing Vegetables And Fruit

Having gone to so much trouble to grow your crops well, you should also be at pains to ensure that they are stored properly. This way you can extend the season of your vegetables and fruit to its utmost limit. Fruit Apples and pears are the principal garden fruits grown for storing and for use … Read more

How To Dry Fruit And Vegetables

How To Dry Fruit And Vegetables

DRYING OF FRUIT AND VEGETABLES This process can be carried out without any difficulty, and requires very little expense. Trays can be made by nailing together four wooden laths in the form of a square, and stretching ‘between them some cheese cloth, or wire gauze, but it is important to protect the latter with some … Read more

How To Gather And Store Fruit And Nuts

How To Store Apples

Possibly one of the most essential self sufficiency skills is knowing How To Gather And Store Fruit as it provide the means eating vitamin rish produce all year round. How To Store Apples Different varieties require different treatment. Certain early dessert kinds, such as Beauty of Bath, Lady Sudeley, ‘James Grieve and Grenadier (cooking) are … Read more