This is a work in progress as I learn how to make new fun things – apricot and scented pelargonium jam, anyone? And also stay true to my classics such as strawberry and rose petal jam, elderflower syrup, raspberry and white currant sorbet.
All my recipes share one important concept; they have to be simple and quick. I have no time to linger over a hot stove on a boiling summer’s day. I’d much rather be out picking fruit than laboriously pickling. So I hope they inspire you to do the same.
I have divided them by month so you can follow along if the fruit variety in your part of the world permits.
The old and the new. Like all good French cooks I follow the seasons and particularly the fruit. When we first bought this farm, the variety of fruit dropping from the trees in the orchard and around the property amazed us. And in the very first month of chomping my way through my first ever mirabelle plum I vowed that I would make jam, cordials, preserves, booze, sorbets and infusions out of every single crop.
And like all people who love to cook, you tend to carry about a folder of recipes torn from magazines, written notes after a sublime restaurant meal, and ingredient splattered old cookbooks. Mine have gone from Sydney, to Moscow, to London and now to France.
Luckily for me I have brought to the farm one of my very own folders: The Wistful Gourmet. Here you too can revisit my youthful cooking adventures.
For those of you who have asked where they can find a copy of The Wistful Gourmet cookbook, here it is.
It was published in Russia back in 1993 (the Dark Ages) and went out of print long, long ago. I have tracked down one copy from a bookshop in rural Wales (thank you Abebooks.com) for a friend’s birthday. And I posted my second last copy to my friend Daisy in Prague. But I’m keeping hold of the last one for myself.
If you have ever wondered how to make khachapuri, or lobio bean dip, or just wanted to know what festive fun we managed to have back in the febrile years of the former Soviet Union read on.