Saturday 12 Apr


pie-butter-breadLast night I had a “ploughmans lunch” for supper. Boring I know, but let me tell you about the meal.

The bread, the pie, and the butter are homemade, by me surprisingly (I bet you don’t believe a grumpy old git like me could cook did you?).

I have just bought a blender/mixer thingy so to try it out I made a veggie smoothie. Then I made some butter. It took a long time, longer that I expected, but the result was worth it; it’s really yummy! I kept the left-over buttermilk to make some Irish soda bread today. Some of the resulting butter is in the dish, which I duly spread on the bread. I added a tomato (grown at a nursery in heated tunnels just 4 miles away), some coleslaw, Leicester cheese, pickled onions and pickled gherkins.

The bread I made to a recipe from Betsy’s blog, but strangely it turned out nothing like her version. Maybe the flour in England is different to the all-purpose flour in the USA. Normally I make my bread to my own secret recipe that I have used for years. I NEVER buy supermarket bread, I don’t know how it’s made but I do know it’s not proper bread like my Grandma used to make.

The pie was made using the first lovage of the year, together with finely chopped onion and chunks of chicken. I won’t give the details here, but if you go to my previous post about the virtues of lovage just here you will find a recipe and a description of the plant.

If you are one of the unfortunate people who have never tasted lovage then you are missing out on on of the most fabulous tastes ever! The taste of it is nothing like you have experienced before, it’s a whole new taste sensation, there is nothing else on this earth that tastes like it. I have introduced it a lot of my friends and neighbours over the years, and the look on their faces when they had their first taste of it was a picture! Last year I grew about 60 plants from the seed of my mother plant and everybody had one, plus I divided my mother plant into several pieces (it is a prolific grower) and gave those to people.

lovage-biscuitsEvery body loves it in pies, putting it on the Sunday roast instead of the usual rosemary, and one local lady makes savoury biscuits with finely chopped lovage in them and sells them every week at the Women’s Institute fairs in the local church during the summer months. She can’t make enough of them, they all go straight away! Even I buy some from her, they are lovely with a bit of Leicester cheese. If you are interested in making some of these little bits of heaven then go ye to this site, from whence cometh the recipe she useth. (She’s a Quaker). Just here, or click on the picture.

The downside of lovage is that:
a) It dies back in the late Autumn and does show again until April,
b) It doesn’t dry very well and it tends to lose a lot of it’s flavour, and
c) Not being a well known herb it is difficult to source. You might find it under it’s popular name of Sea Parsley.


Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Saturday 12 Apr

  1. Gosh, Keith, I did not know you were a kitchen guru!
    I am absolutley hopeless in the kitchen, but better than I was!! . . . . which shows how bad I am!
    It will be light years before I can do something like that, even with Betsy’s magic formula! Until that it is baked beans on toast – done in a variety of ways!

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    Nothing wrong with baked beans, except they taste ruddy awful. In the Army we had them with everything, even the Apple Crumble! – Keith.

    • I love baked beans! Don’t knock them! Every once in a while I add some burnt cheese and a bad fried egg! Of course I have to pour gallons of ketchup over it and if it has really gone off I resort to thick brown sauce which dronws the taste of everything – or chuck a jar of pickalily over everything!!
      Now what ARE you complaining about Keith? Lovely

      Oh gawd I’ve just read somewhere “You are what you eat and right now I look like a bag of Salt and Vinegar crisps. LOL

  2. Betsy says:

    I love your dinner! It looks fabulous. The pie is beautiful, too. Sorry the bread didn’t turn out. It has to be the flour differences and the measurements. At least you have your own recipe and it sounds like it really can’t be improved upon!

    We would call those crackers that the lady sells with lovage in them. They look delicious.

    I do agree that there is nothing like real butter. Homemade would be even better! I don’t buy anything but real. Margarine? Yucky!

    So, what are we going to do with Ed? He can’t possibly manage to survive eating baked beans on toast!

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    Don’t worry about Eddie. I will send him some tins of catfood that Dinky won’t eat and I think I’ve got some old dog biscuits I need to get rid of. Thay should keep him from starving! – Keith.

    • Betsy says:

      a step up from baked beans, I presume? ha.

      . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
      Well anything is better than beans; even old dog biscuits! Eddie hasn’t risen to the bait has he? I was expecting some sort of comeback from him. Perhaps he’s at the “Red Lion” pub and hasn’t seen it yet. – Keith.

    • Oh ye of little faith! Baked Beans on Toast is not the only culiany masterpiece in Eddie’s repertoir!!
      I do a real mean Spaghetti on toast! with a baked potato as a special treat for guests. I serve them on our very expensive dinner service and lay the table brautifully. If the guests are lucky they get a can of lager. For desert they get a custard crean biscuit. LOL

    • Oh ye of little faith! Baked Beans on Toast is not the only culiany masterpiece in Eddie’s repertoir!!
      I do a real mean Spaghetti on toast! with a baked potato as a special treat for guests. I serve them on our very expensive dinner service and lay the table brautifully. If the guests are lucky they get a can of lager. For desert they get a custard cream biscuit. LOL

    • Thanks for the dog biscuits Keith and the Catfood, Betsy. I’ll save them when you and Keith visit as a special treat.

  3. Betsy says:

    Take Eddie to France with you and drop him off at the cooking school. The school will never be the same! I bet they make a TV series out of it and he becomes famous!

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    You mean like Julia Child? Did you see the film, sorry, it’s “movie” in the Colonies isn’t it? “Julia & Julie”, I bought a copy of THE book, it’s brill!. – Keith.

    • Betsy says:

      No, not like Julia Child. I was thinking more of a reality tv show where all this mishaps of Eddie in the kitchen were filmed for comedy purposes. 🙂

      I haven’t seen that movie but I heard it is good! The book is on my wish list!

      • Betsy says:

        ok…better run and hide before Eddie comes and reads this! haha…

      • I’ll have you know I have been approached by a writer/editir/publisher who has asked me to write a humorous cookbook incorporating British history and contemporary counterparts, like Alfred burning the cakes abd Eddie making burnt offerings and rock cakes designed to crack anyone’s teeth!

        • Where is Betsy?
          She’s given me the slip! . . . . . . again!!

        • Betsy says:

          You really do need to write that book! It would be hilarious!

          Actually, all kidding aside, you must have some culinary skills for all those lady friend to continue coming for tea! And I have no doubt your table settings are as special as your picnic baskets. 🙂

          • Oh! I can turn on the charm, get the candles lit in a romantic setting, get very intoxicating music playing, and talk the talk, walk the walk and treat them to fish and chips! It works a treat every time!! LOL

            No, to be fair I can rustle up something acceptable. No complaints yet, but maybe they are being kind!! LOL

  4. Where is Keith?
    He is supposed to be the host at this joint! Betsy, fancy you and I going somewhere a little more private and you can call me darling! And don’t tell the Mister! ROFL

  5. Suzanne says:

    Looks delicious. Had heard of lovage – mainly in poems of old! I have never tried it though. The biscuits look tasty too. I was researching it a bit and apparently use of the lovage root can lead to photosensitivity.

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    That’s an old wives tale, or some “expert” has dreamt it up. I’ve been eating the leaves, the stalks (as a substitute for celery) and the roots for more years than I care to remember, – Keith.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *