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Friday, 28 June 2013

Summer Strolls in Staffordshire...

As some of you will know - one of my favourite pastimes is to walk with my pal Stan the Simply Border through Staffordshire countryside. It is where I feel at home, calm and I can take time to dream, plan and be inspired by the unspoilt views. Stan always, always leads the way...

Despite the fact that we are bemoaning summer as a somewhat fail this year, strolling through the fields, you can see that the seasons are still rolling on. The long meadow grass is slowly being cut filling the air with that unmistakeable smell of high summer. Crops have happily coped with what the climate has thrown at them and local farmer's report no major disasters in summer crops like Rapeseed. 

At the centre of summer sits food - local, home grown, full of flavour and full of memories. One memory that sends me straight to childhood is Gooseberry Fool...creamy, sweet, sharp and delicious. Here Is Nigel Slater's classic recipe:

Serves 6
450g sharp cooking gooseberries
3-4 heaped tbsp sugar
300ml double cream

Top and tail 450g of sharp cooking gooseberries. Tip them in a pan with 3 or 4 heaped tbsp of sugar and one or two of water, then bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes until the fruit has burst. Cool then chill. Crush with a fork. Whip 300ml double cream till thick, but stop before it will stand in peaks. It should sit in soft folds.

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