For many, many years we have been asked if we sell honey and I’ve always had to disappoint our customers. But finally - hurrah - we have found a source of gorgeous local honey. The hives, almost 300 of them, are based around the south Cotswold area and down as far as the Severn vale. The nectar comes from a large variety of blossoms, depending on season, including hawthorne, dandelion, fruit blossom, lime, clover, sycamore and horse chestnut. The resulting honey is delicate and floral, and I for one, spoon it most mornings on to my porridge. Cotswold Blossom Honey is available through many of our stockists and through our online shop.
With summer approaching (we live in hope!) we have other new products to whet your appetites. Dill Mustard Sauce is great with smoked or poached salmon, trout and mackerel, Smokey Barbeque Sauce and Sticky Barbeque Sauce are the first in what we hope will become a range of barbeque accompaniments. Smokey is fantastic with all kinds of barbequed and grilled meats and vegetables and Sticky works as a terrific glaze or marinade for spare ribs and chicken.
We were pleased and rather taken by surprise, to hear that the short film on our website won Stroud Community TV’s Best Local Business Film award. The film, made by Tim Pellatt from production company Cordial AV was made last year to introduce us as finalists at the Taste of Gloucestershire Food and Farming Awards. The judges described the film as ‘engaging and informative from the start, great use of cutaways … short, sweet and to the point’ Tim said his approach is ‘always to understand the ethics and ethos of the company rather than to blindly promote. Kitchen Garden Foods represents an extension to MD Barbara Moinet’s own principles and this comes across in the interview.’
Couldn’t resist sharing this with everyone. This is a ‘trifle’ of sorts inspired by my daughter Lucy, which uses our Three Fruit Marmalade in the topping. I tried it out on customers at the Wholefoods Market in Cheltenham yesterday and it went down a storm, with many people saying they’d rather have this than Christmas pudding. You could also use another fine cut marmalade such as Kitchen Garden Fine Cut Grapefruit Marmalade
700g panettone (this is the weight of an average large panettone)
250g mascarpone cheese
500ml crème fraiche
Juice of 7 large clementines, 4 oranges or aprox 200ml of bottled orange juice
227g of Kitchen Garden Three Fruit Marmalade
Crumble the panettone into a large serving bowl and pour over the brandy and fruit juice. At this point it is a good idea to push the panettone down gently into the bowl to allow the liquid to soak in more effectively. Mix together the crème fraiche, mascarpone and Kitchen Garden Three Fruit Marmalade and spoon on to the top of the panettone and smooth the top. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 24 hours to allow the flavours to develop.
Chutney is not just for Christmas …. but it’s a good time of year to indulge a little and here are a few of our festive suggestions
- Christmas Chutney (of course!) with cold turkey, ham or beef
- Apricot Chutney as an essential ingredient in Coronation Turkey
- Piccalilli is perfect with pork pies and cheeses
- Fig & Plum Relish with cheese flans and tarts for party nibbles
- Red Onion Marmalade to serve with cocktail sausages
A Happy Christmas to all our customers from the Kitchen Garden team.
Monday mornings are not usually our favourite time, but today was an exception as we arrived at work to discover we are finalists in the Taste of Gloucestershire Food and Farming Awards. The two categories we have been shortlisted for are The Diamond Jubilee Food Producer of the Year and Outstanding Contribution to Food Development in Gloucestershire. The final verdict is on October 30th at Cheltenham Racecourse.
The success of our lovely lime green gift boxes encouraged us to broaden the range, and we have just launched a gorgeous cherry red box featuring the following combos:
Ginger Selection – Lemon & Ginger Marmalade with Pear & Ginger Jam
Boozy Marmalade Selection – Lemon & Whisky Marmalade with Orange & Brandy Marmalade
Speciality Jam Selection – Cherry & Amaretto Jam with Apricot & Almond Jam
Organic Selection – Organic Seville Orange Marmalade with Organic Three Fruit Marmalade
Available from selected stockists or through our Online Shop
I spent an enjoyable few hours at Woodlands Garden Centre in Stapleton, Leicestershire last week, doing an in-store tasting as part of British Food Fortnight.
I met some great people who bravely sampled the range of jams, chutneys and marmalades I offered them. But the star of the show was little Cara Waldron, who posed with great patience and humour whilst photographer Allan Williamson put her through her paces – ‘Cara I’d like you to smear jam all over your face, eat a spoonful .. and don’t forget to smile!’
Credit also goes to Jane the food hall manager who managed to keep smiling through twenty minutes or so of uncomfortable twisting and turning for the camera (‘hope you haven’t got nits’ she said to me as Allan asked us to lean closer!).
We were very pleased to be awarded a coveted Gold Star by the Great Taste Awards for our new Cherry and Amaretto Jam. First launched in February 2012 for Valentine’s Day under the title ‘Ma Cherie Amour’, it has proved a popular addition to our range. The judges described it as having ‘a lovely aroma and excellent cherry flavour’.
Cherry & Amaretto Jam aka Ma Cherie Amour
Outside our potting shed - once an old privy
Beetroot growing in neat rows, rhubarb bursting through the soil, tomatoes ripening, apple boughs weighed down with fruit – a snapshot of the traditional kitchen garden. Add to this an old galvanised watering can, a big metal wheelbarrow, a greenhouse and a crumbling potting shed and you have a picture of our own kitchen garden – the source of inspiration for our range of preserves.
We have had many reincarnations in our twenty three year history, but in 2009 we worked with designer David Hills from Hills Design and photographer Alex Sedgwick to design labels that took us back to our roots by reflecting images of our own garden, images that we then carried over into our printed material and exhibition panels.
Most of the pictures were taken on a rainy July day sheltering the camera under umbrellas, which was challenging but according to Alex provided us with a better light than bright sunshine. Where our own garden was lacking – onions and beans a bit thin on the ground that year – we continued the photoshoot in our village allotments which were glorious by then. Just a little aside here – it has struck me how there are two different type of allotment keepers these days. The ‘old guard’ with industrial quantities of cabbages, onions and beans grown in regimental rows surrounded by barbed wire, and the ‘new age’ allotmenteers (is that a word?) with their pretty garden sheds, maybe a deckchair, raised beds of spring onions, mangetout and unusual squashes, interspersed with cottage garden flowers and even a small scruffy patch for the children to plant radishes. I always enjoy a wander through here on a warm summer’s evening.
Here then are some of the photographs Alex took – a little window into the world that inspires us.
Galvanised watering can - a legacy from my grandfather
In memoriam - 'Henrietta' sadly eaten by a fox a few weeks later
Robin's wellies - and a door badly in need of a coat of paint
To celebrate Great British Beef Week, 23rd – 30th April, the fabulously named ‘Ladies in Beef’ have come up with some great recipes to encourage us all to enjoy that most iconic of British meats. Many of our farm shop customers, some of whom rear their own beef cattle, are taking part in the week’s promotions, Old Farm at Dorn and Foxbury Farm Shop to name a couple.
I have also devised a simple recipe to incorporate our newly launched Red Pepper and Chilli Relish in a beefburger.
500g minced British beef, one onion (finely chopped), a slice of few days old bread (crusts removed, soaked in a little milk to soften), one egg, 2 tablespoons of Kitchen Garden Red Pepper and Chilli Relish, 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley, seasoned flour.
Mix all ingredients together – best done by mixing with your hands – messy but very effective! Shape the burgers and coat lightly with seasoned flour. Heat some olive oil in a frying pan and fry for about five minutes on each side, being careful to avoid burning them, and making sure that the middle is completely cooked.
These can also be cooked in the oven or on a barbeque.
This is a very versatile recipe which can also be used to make a meat loaf. Put the beef mixture into a greased loaf tin, cook in a medium oven for around 30-40 minutes, slice and serve hot or cold. The Red Pepper and Chilli Relish can also be substituted with other Kitchen Garden products – try Horseradish Sauce or any of our mustards (one tablespoon would probably be enough), and Organic Tomato Chutney would also work well.