Air freight petition

Air freight petition

Please please will readers consider signing and sharing my petition.

People might ask me – why air freight?
Air freight is used for so many products. And the amount of air freight varies depending on the time of year. But planes give out huge quantities of greenhouse gases. If we know what foods are coming in by plane, we can as individuals make choices about the food we buy and reduce our carbon footprints.
Please PLEASE sign and share xxx

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Chilli Apple Jam

A delicious alternative to chilli sauce.  Vary the variety of fresh chillies used to alter the heat of the jam.

Makes about 2 jars. You will need to get 2-3 small jars with lids, and some waxed paper discs, ready before you begin. You will also need a jam thermometer.


3-4 fresh, ripe chillies, diced or minced finely

2 cloves garlic, diced or minced finely

1-2 small shallots, or 1/2 an onion, diced or minced finely

2 tsp dried chilli flakes (not powder)

Peeled and cored cooking apples, cut into slices, sufficient to make the weight of the above ingredients up to 500g

500g granulated sugar.


Before you start to cook – clean your jars – 2 standard size or 3 smaller – and set to sterilising in the oven at around 140 degrees celsius.  Immerse lids in boiling water.

  1. Put all ingredients together into a deep sided pan. Heat on low until the apples start to sweat and the sugar dissolves in the juice.
  2. Raise the heat to full and clip a cooking thermometer to the side of the pan
  3. Bring apple mix to the boil and boil rapidly until it reaches 105 degrees celsius.
  4. Remove from heat, remove jars from oven and using a ladel, transfer jam quickly from pan to hot jars.  Secure jars using teatowels to prevent jam scalding your hand through an oven glove.
  5. Cover surface of jam with waxed paper discs, carefully drain hot water from jar lids and fasten tightly.  Leave until completely cold before cleaning the jars and labelling.
  6. If sterilised adequately and sealed securely, this jam should keep up to 12 months unopened in a dark, dry cupboard. Once open, refrigerate and use within 1 month.

Variations – it should be possible in theory to replace all the chilli – fresh and dry – with ground black pepper. I have not attempted this yet, however, so I cannot advise on quantity. A new recipe will be posted once I have established exactly how it would work!

Posted in Chinese & Far Eastern-style food, Ingredients, preserves, side dishes, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Creamy leek, ham and potato bake

Warming and delicious on an autumn evening!  Serves 2-3

2 large potatoes

2 leeks

80-100g cooked ham or bacon

250ml carton single cream or dairy-free/lactose free equivalent

200ml hot stock – ham is best, but chicken or vegetable would work, depending on personal sensivity and availability of safe pots or cartons or what you have made yourself at home.

salt and pepper.

  1. clean vegetables and trim off roots and any outer leaves from leeks. Do not peel potatoes, just wash well. Slice into rings approx 1/2cm thick
  2. dice ham or bacon into small cubes
  3. mix the ham, leeks, and half the potato together and place in an oven proof dish. Arrange remaining potato over the top.
  4. Mix cream and stock in a jug and pour over vegetables and ham. It should come about 3/4 up the dish but won’t cover the top layer of potatoes at this stage (the vegetables will sink into the stock as they cook). If you feel there is not enough, add a drop of boiling water.
  5. sprinkle the top with salt and plenty of pepper and bake uncovered in a warm oven, for about 45 minutes. Twice during cooking, lift dish out and press top potato layer down so that it gets covered in the creamy stock.
  6. It is ready to serve when the cream has formed a golden, bubbling crust over the potatoes, and the potato slices are soft.

variations –

make it vegetarian by omiting the ham and using vegetable stock, or vegan by also using oat, almond or coconut cream alternative.

Spice it up by adding chilli flakes to the stock/cream mix.

Sprinkle grated cheese on the top for a gooier, richer tasting dish.

Make it go further by serving alongside steamed vegetables and chunks of warm, crusty bread.


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Shortbread Apple Flapjacks

A 3-layer traybake created to take advantage of the new season apples. Use freshly picked apples if possible.

I used a 22cm x 22cm cake tin, which yielded 16 pieces of shortbread.

Note all measurements and cooking times are approximate.

Shortbread base:

60g caster or granulated sugar

120g Pure or Flora dairy free spread or unsalted butter

180g plain flour

  1. Mix all ingredients together with hands, kneading lightly until it comes together like pastry. You may have to add a tablespoon of water but don’t do so unless the mixture refuses to combine.
  2. Press into prepared cake tin and leave to one side

Apple layer:

Fresh apples sufficient to make approximately a 2cm layer of prepared slices in your tin – desert (eating) apples or cooking apples can be used. Apples which are home-grown and imperfect e.g. that have some beak marks from birds can also be used.

1-4 tbsp sugar or honey depending on sweetness of apples

1. Prepare apples – peel if desired/required, or leave peel on if preferred – this recipe is not affected either way. Remove cores, stalks and any parts that are soiled or that have significant damage

2. Chop and slice apples into pieces approx 1/2 to 1cm thickness. Arrange in a rough layer on top of shortbread base approx 2cm thick, and spoon honey or sugar over as required.

Flapjack top:

120g butter or dairy free spread (as above)

60g-100g dark brown or muscovado sugar as desired – for a softer, more buttery top, use less. For a crunchy, more caramelised top, use more

200g porridge oats

2 tbsp wholemeal flour

2 tbsp ground almonds

  1. Melt butter/spread and sugar in a pan. At the same time, combine dry ingredients in a bowl.
  2. When spread/butter and sugar are melted, pour over dry ingredients and mix well.
  3. Sprinkle buttery oat mix evenly over apples in tin

Bake in the centre of a medium oven for 25 minutes or until the top is browned. Turn your oven off and leave tin in warm oven to cool for at least an hour (this works best in an electric oven. For other heat sources, you may have to bake the dish on a lower heat for longer).

Remove from oven, remove from tin, and carefully cut into pieces. Can be eaten warm or cold.

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Courgette (aka Zuchini) Omelette

If your garden is anything like mine, there reaches a point in the summer when you are harvesting a courgette a day, and need all the recipes you can find to cook them.

This is a delicious recipe that uses fresh courgette. Serves 1 for a stand-alone meal or two if accompanied by bread and cooked meat.

1 medium sized courgette

1 tsp salt

3 eggs, beaten

salt & pepper

2 tsp each of fresh chives and fresh parsley, chopped

1/2 tsp each thyme leaves and marjoram leaves or flowers

1 tbsp butter

50g cheese (can be omitted if cheese makes you react, or replaced with cooked bacon), diced or grated. I used mild cheddar.

  1. peel courgette, remove stalk and any woody sections, then grate into a bowl. Add tsp salt, mix well and leave for 5 minutes.
  2. tip courgette into a sieve, and press with a spoon to remove as much excess water as you can.
  3. put drained courgette in a clean bowl with eggs, seasoning and herbs. Mix well.
  4. heat butter in a frying pan until sizzling. Add egg/courgette mixture and sprinkle cheese over the top.
  5. Fry on high until you notice edges beginning to brown. Slide omelette out of pan onto a plate, tip upside down using a second plate, and slide it, uncooked side down, back into frying pan to finish cooking.
  6. Serve alone or with home made bread, Courgette-chup, pickled red cabbage(see Pickling spice and pickles) and cooked meat.
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Broad bean and feta salad

Inspired by fresh garden produce, this is a delicious early summer salad. Serves 1

100g podded broad beans

40g dry home-made bread (slightly stale), cubed

40ml extra virgin olive oil

salt & pepper

2 tsp white wine vinegar

1 small clove garlic, crushed

1 spring onion, chopped

50g feta cheese or a similar cheese that is safe for you, diced or crumbled

sprig of mint, chopped

sprig of dill, chopped

handful of baby salad leaves

juice of 1/2 a lemon (optional, if you can tolerate it)

  1. cook beans in boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes. Drain, leave to cool, then peel off skins
  2. fry bread in about half the oil until crisp and brown. Season with salt and pepper and leave to cool
  3. mix rest of oil, vinegar and garlic & some black pepper. Whisk well.
  4. mix all ingredients together except leaves and lemon juice. Leave to stand for 30 minutes.
  5. Put salad leaves on plate, tip rest of ingredients over, squeeze lemon on top and serve immediately.
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Scottish Tablet

A delicious, easy to make sweet that is safe for anyone on the C&B-free diet unless you also react to dairy.

makes about 1 1/2kg of tablet. If made well and properly hard, it should store in a sealed container for up to a fortnight (if its not all eaten first!)

Note it does get very hot so two pieces of advice – don’t make with very young children underfoot, and don’t be tempted to taste until it has solidified and cooled.

1kg caster sugar

125g butter

390g-400g tin condensed milk

150ml semi-skimmed milk

(optional) 1/2tsp vanilla extract. (note some people react to some vanilla extracts so only use if you know you are safe with it)

  1. Put all ingredients except vanilla in a large, deep pan.
  2. Heat to melt and combine everything, stirring well.
  3. Bring to boil, turn heat down and simmer gently for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally
  4. Bring back to boil if mixture has stopped bubbling, then remove from heat
  5. Add vanilla if using and, working quickly, start beating with a hand held electric whisk for a minimum of 5 minutes or until mixture thickens
  6. pour onto a tray lined with a non-stick covering, spread out evenly, mark lines on top to make breaking easier, then leave to cool
  7. Once cold, break along lines into squares and pack into an airtight container for storage.
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