Christmas wreath, gingerbread biscuit and roasted chestnut – Everyone’s kitchen

Everyone’s kitchen: pre-Christmas meal 

Christmas wreath 

Gingerbread men and roasted chestnut

Harvest of the day: Leeks, thyme, broccoli leaves, tomatoes

Christmas wreath 

For this wreath you will need … leftovers! There is no specific recipe to follow. You will need some puff pastry and imagination. Today we will have a vegetarian base with cheese. We will use:

Mushroom, sundried tomato, olives, chard or spinach, chickpea, onion, garlic and thyme.

When making your own, try to be seasonal as much as possible.

Here are more suggestions:

The cheesy one: mozzarella, gorgonzola and parmesan

Oh my goat! : goat cheese with honey and walnut

Completely vegan: Silken tofu with spices

Christmas on a plate: butternut and chestnut with cranberry sauce

Mexican: Red peppers, sweet corn, red beans, chilli

With meat: Spinach, sausages and mustard


Stir fry your vegetables (Always start with the onions to give them a caramelised flavour.)

Roll your puff pastry to make a circle and cut a star in the middle *

Place your mixture around it. Always use a spatula with holes to make sure your mixture doesn’t have much water/oil.

Join the centre and the outside of the puff pastry.

Brush the wreath with one egg and bake for 30min – 190C

Gingerbread men (x15)


225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting


2tsp bicarbonate of soda

ground ginger


75g unsalted butter

100g soft brown sugar

100g golden syrup


Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5 and line a baking tray with baking parchment. Sieve the flour, salt, bicarb, ginger and cinnamon into a large bowl. Heat the butter, sugar and syrup until dissolved. Leave the sugar mixture to cool slightly, then mix into the dry ingredients to form a dough. Chill the dough in the fridge for 30 mins.

On a surface lightly dusted with flour, roll out the dough to a ¼-inch thickness. Stamp out the gingerbread men shapes with a cutter, then re-roll any off-cuts and repeat. Place your gingerbread shapes on the lined trays, allowing space for them to spread. Cook for 10-15 mins, then remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Roasted chestnut 


16 chestnuts (or as many as you need), choose large, shiny looking nuts


Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Put each chestnut flat-side down on a chopping board. Hold the chestnut carefully and, using a sharp knife, cut a long slit or a cross in the top. Make sure you cut through the shell but not the nut inside. The shell is tough and flexible like a skin rather than rock hard like other nut shells, so a small kitchen knife works well.

Tip the nuts onto a baking sheet or into a roasting tin and arrange them cut-side up. Roast for 30 mins. The cuts should open up and the shell will start to peel back.

Leave the nuts in the tin to cool down to warm – they will be very hot inside. Put a board on top of the tin while they cool to trap the steam and make them easier to peel. Serve as they are for people to peel, or peel them yourself to use in a recipe.

If you peel them, you may want to remove the inner, slightly fluffy, membrane as well. If the membrane is difficult to get off (it shouldn’t be if you steam them as they cool), you can soak the nuts in boiling water for a minute to loosen. Drain and peel.

Creamy pasta with squash and Lemon Tart – Everyone’s kitchen

Harvest from the garden: Thyme 

Creamy pasta


  • 6 medium green and yellow courgettes
  • 500 g penne
  • 4 large eggs
  • garlic to taste
  • 100 ml single cream
  • 1 small handful of Parmesan cheese
  • olive oil
  • 6 slices of ham, keep separate in a bowl
  • ½ a bunch of fresh thyme , (15g)


Put a large pan of salted water on to boil.

Halve and then quarter any larger courgettes lengthways. Cut out and discard any fluffy middle bits, and slice the courgettes at an angle into pieces roughly the same size and shape as the penne. Smaller courgettes can simply be sliced finely. 

Your water will now be boiling, so add the penne to the pan and cook according to the packet instructions. In a bowl, add the cream. Some grated garlic, and grate in half the Parmesan, and mix together with a fork. Season lightly with sea salt and black pepper, and put to one side.

Heat a very large frying pan and add a good splash of olive oil, add the courgette slices and 2 big pinches of black pepper, not just to season but to give it a bit of a kick.

It’s very important to get this next bit right or your carbonara could end up ruined. You need to work quickly. When the pasta is cooked, drain it, reserving a little of the cooking water. Immediately, toss the pasta in the pan with the courgettes, bacon and lovely flavours, then remove from the heat and add a ladleful of the reserved cooking water and your creamy sauce. Stir together quickly. 

When serving, separate the eggs and put the yolks into a bowl (saving the whites for another recipe). 

Lemon tart


  • 1 sweet tart crust (or homemade pie crust, or store bought 23cm / 9″ sweet pie or tart crust)
  • Lemon Tart filling:
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest (1 lemon’s worth)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (from 1 – 2 lemons)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 12 tbsp / 170g unsalted butter , cut in 1cm (1/2″) cubes
  • 3 whole eggs large, (Note 1)
  • 3 egg yolks (from large-size eggs, Note 1)


Tart crust:

Make tart crust per linked recipe, including blind baking the empty tart crust. Allow to fully cool before filling (to ensure it won’t go soggy).

Lemon Tart filling:

Preheat oven: Preheat oven to 180℃/350℉ (160℃ fan)

Whisk ingredients together: Put all ingredients in a medium saucepan and whisk to combine.

Thicken on stove: Place the saucepan on the stove over low / medium low heat. Whisk constantly, especially as the butter is melting, to ensure it doesn’t split. Keeping stirring until the mixture thickens enough to visibly mound (ie. holds its shape briefly) on the surface when dolloped – about 5 minutes, though it might take longer depending on stove strength, saucepan heat retention etc.

See video and photos for thickness guide. Don’t take it off the stove until it’s thick enough otherwise the Filling won’t set.

Strain into a bowl using a fine mesh strainer.

Fill tart: Pour into tart shell and smooth the filling surface using an offset spatula or similar.

Bake: Bake for 5 minutes. It will still be a soft custard when you touch it but not liquidity. It will set more when cooled so it’s sliceable.

Cool: Cool tart fully to allow it to set before slicing to serve. Pictured with a dollop of creme fraiche (a thick, rich cream that has a slight tartness, and goes very well with the lemon tart) or whipped cream and even vanilla ice cream.

Decorate if desired with lemon slices, edible flowers, raspberries. Else pipe on dollops of whipped cream or dust with icing sugar!

French onion soup, homemade crouton and tarte tatin -Everyone’s kitchen

Onion Soup with homemade crouton

Tarte Tatin

Harvest of the day: Celery, thyme, bay leaves

Onion soup

For 4 people


  • 6 yellow onions, sliced
  • 1.5 l vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 100 g grated cheddar
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 baguette


Bring the vegetable broth to a boil with the bay leaf and thyme. Cut the baguette into slices.

Heat a little olive oil in a pan and sauté the onions. Add flour and mix well.

Put the onions in the broth, cover and simmer over low heat for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the grated Gruyère cheese on the slices of bread and toast them under the grill in the oven.

Homemade croutons


  • 1 loaf of bread (about 12 ounces), cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons herbs (rosemary, thyme)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Preheat oven to 190°C.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

In a large bowl, evenly drizzle the olive oil over the bread chunks.  Then evenly sprinkle the Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper over the bread.  Toss gently until well-combined.

Spread the bread cubes out in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Bake until golden, turning once halfway through cooking in order to brown all sides of the croutons.  Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the cubes, so watch to be sure that they do not burn. (Mine generally take between 15-20 minutes.)

Remove from oven, and let cool completely.  Use immediately, or store in an air-tight container for up to 1 week.

Tarte tatin


  • 100g sugar
  • 50g butter
  • 1kg of Apple
  • shortcrust pastry


  • Prepare the caramel: Place the diced butter in a saucepan, then pour the sugar over it. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes, the caramel is done on its own.
  • Place the caramel on the bottom of a pie dish.
  • Add the diced apples, then cover with the shortcrust pastry.
  • Bake for 25 minutes in the oven at 210°C (thermostat 7).
  • Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Thank you Marnie for the pictures!

Anna’s cooking a Cypriot dish – Everyone’s kitchen

Cypriot Lentil dish with side salad

Pasteli (honey and sesame bars)

Pumpkin pie

Cypriot lentil dish Fakes

500g brown lentils (17–18 ounces)
5 cups of water
1 small red onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tbsp tomato paste (optional)
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

To prepare this Greek lentil soup recipe, start by washing the lentils thoroughly and let them soak in water for about 2 hours. If you like, you can skip this process by adding them into a deep pan along with some water and place over high heat. As soon as they come to the boil, drain them into a colander.
Place a pan over medium-low heat and add the lentils, the water (warmed), the chopped onions, the chopped garlic and the bay leaves. Simmer with the lid on for about 25 minutes.
Pour in the olive oil and the red wine vinegar, and season well with salt and pepper. If you prefer your Greek lentil soup to be ‘reddened’, then add 1 tablespoon of tomato paste.
Boil the lentil soup for another 15 minutes, until it thickens and check out if they are done; keep in my mind that different kinds of lentils cook at different times.
Serve this delicious Greek lentil soup with a splash of red wine vinegar and a drizzle of olive oil. Top with some crumbled feta cheese and enjoy!

Greek honey sesame bar


220g honey (7.5 oz.)
220g sesame seeds (7.5 oz.)
a pinch of salt
zest of 1 medium sized lemon

To prepare this Greek honey sesame bars (Pasteli) recipe start by toasting the sesame seeds. Place a frying pan over high heat and add the sesame seeds. Toast them for 2-3 minutes until golden (not too brown). Remove the sesame seeds from the pan and set aside. Continue with the rest of the recipe quickly, so that the sesame seeds remain hot. Alternatively you can spread the sesame seeds in a pan and toast them in the oven at 180-190C (375F).
In the same pan add the honey and bring to a boil, until it starts to foam. Remove the foam using a spatula, turn down the heat to medium and let it simmer until its temperature has reached 125C/260F. If you don’t have a thermometer, take a bowl of cold water and drip in a teaspoon of the honey syrup. Let it cool down for a few seconds then shape it into a small ball using your fingers. Take it out of the water and drop it on your work surface. If it sounds like it is solid, the honey syrup is done.
Its now time to add the remaining ingredients for your pasteli. Add a pinch of salt and the toasted sesame seeds and stir for about 10 minutes over medium heat, using a wooden spatula. The mixture should thicken considerably and stick to the spatula.
Remove the pan from the heat, add the lemon zest and stir.
Line a round pan (22cm/ 8.5 inch. diameter) with parchment paper and pour in the mixture. Be careful not to touch it, as it is very hot. Spread the mixture very well using a spoon.
Let the pasteli cool down for about 20 minutes and them cut into portions. If you let it cool completely then it would be harder to cut into pieces.

Pumpkin pie

500g pumpkins or squashes deseeded and cut into chunks
flavourless vegetable oil or sunflower oil, for tossing
plain flour, for dusting
350g sweet shortcrust pastry (we used Jus-Rol, which is vegan)
50ml maple syrup
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh nutmeg, grated
3 tsp cinnamon
4 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp icing sugar, for dusting

Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Toss the pumpkin (or squash) in a little oil on a baking tray. Roast until soft enough to squash with the back of a fork – this can take between 40 mins and 1 hr, depending on the type of pumpkin or squash you use. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, on a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry to the thickness of a £1 coin. Drape it over your rolling pin and lift into a 23cm fluted tart tin. Push the pastry into the corners of the tin using a scrap of excess pastry (you’re less likely to pierce the pastry this way than using a finger). Trim the excess pastry, leaving about 1cm hanging over the edge of the tin; it will shrink as it cooks. Chill for 20 mins.
Increase the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Line the tart case with a sheet of baking parchment (scrunch it up first to make it more pliable), then fill with baking beans or dry rice. Bake for 15 mins until the sides look golden, then remove the parchment and filling. Bake for another 5-10 mins until the base looks biscuity and dry. Trim the edges with a small, serrated knife.
Tip the roasted pumpkin (or squash), maple syrup, salt, spices, cornflour and milk into a food processor or blender and blitz until smooth. Pour through a sieve into a small pan and cook for 5 mins, stirring continuously, until thickened.
Fill the tart case with the pumpkin filling, then return to the oven and lower the heat to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Bake for 30 mins until the filling is set when you wobble the tart tin. Cool for 20-25 mins. Dust with icing sugar and serve warm, or chill and serve within two days.

Ideas for easy handmade natural gifts

Tis the season and if you’re anything like me you’ll be dreading the prospect of going out to buy presents for everyone; the stress, the cost, the waste…

Here is a list of some nice little ideas I’ve found online to make thoughtful and beautiful gifts yourself and some lovely eco-friendly wrapping ideas too. Many can be made as batches, saving time.

This is a resource for the workshop I did at the Maxwell Community Centre and Garden, follow us on Facebook or join our amazing Grow Dundee Facebook group to share and learn about growing your own food in Dundee. I hope you all enjoy this and season’s greetings!


Culinary oil and massage, bath and scented oil

Bath bombs

Cranberry orange soap

Face mask

Hair mask

Tea bath

Lip balm

Hand scrub


How to make potpourrit

No-sew drawer scented sachets

Flower room spray

DIY: room spray with the last of the summer roses | Funny How Flowers Do That


Rustic chandelier

Branch vase

Flower clouds

Find out how Yoko Negi makes a cloud of flowers | Funny How Flowers Do That

Plant hanger ideas

28 Creative DIY Plant Hanger Ideas | Balcony Garden Web

Paper lamp


Autumn herbal tea

Deep sleep tea blends

10 Herbs for Better Sleep and How to Use Them {plus 3 “sleepy” tea recipes} (


Rustic pencil holder

Seed tape (or materials and instructions to keep them busy over winter!)

Terrarium kit


Natural gift toppers

Sustainable gift wrapping ideas

Savoury Braids and apple cake – Everyone’s kitchen

Everyone’s kitchen

Harvest of the day: Rosemary, leeks, greens

Puff pastry braids

Butternut squash, goat cheese and honey 


  • 350 g butternut squash peeled and chopped into wedges
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 50 g walnuts
  • 1 pack ready rolled puff pastry 320 g
  • 2 tablespoon tomato chutney or any chutney of your choice
  • 100 g goats cheese
  • 2 medium rosemary sprigs roughly chopped
  • 1 small egg beaten, for glazing

Also Leek and mozzarellaGreens of the garden and feta 

Apple cake


  • 125 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 113 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 130 g granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling over cake
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum or 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 2 baking apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1.5 cm cubes 


Preheat the oven to 175°C and set an oven rack in the middle position. Grease a 23-cm springform or regular cake pan with butter or nonstick cooking spray. If using a regular cake pan, line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and grease again.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Using a handheld mixer with beaters or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and rum. Don’t worry if the batter looks grainy at this point; that’s okay. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the chopped apples.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and even the top. Sprinkle evenly with 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool on a rack in the pan. Once cool, run a blunt knife around the edges of the cake. If using a springform pan, remove the sides. If using a regular cake pan, carefully invert the cake onto the rack, remove the parchment paper, then gently flip the cake over and place right-side-up on a platter. Using a fine sieve, dust with confectioners’ sugar (if using). Cake can be served warm or room temperature, plain or with lightly sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Freezer Friendly Instructions: The cake can be frozen for up to 3 months. After it is completely cooled, wrap it tightly with aluminium foil or freezer wrap. Thaw overnight on the countertop before serving.

¡Spanish week with Jesús! – Everyone’s kitchen

Vegetable Paella with side salad

Tarta de Santiago

Rosas de manzana y hojaldre

Harvest of the day: lettuce, rocket, tomatoes, parsley

Vegetable Paella with side salad

Ingredients (6-7 people)

  • Onion
  • Green and red pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Parsley
  • 2 tomato
  • Stock cubes
  • Paella rice
  • Salt paprika


  • Slice and fry your onion with the peppers
  • In a mortar, combine garlic and parsley
  • Add asparagus, beans, chucks of mushrooms
  • Peel 2 tomatoes, mash them them and add to the mix
  • Add paprika, and rice 
  • Separately, bring to boil water (4 times the volume of rice) with all he vegetable scrap and stock.
  • Remove scrap and combine everything. Cook for 8 minutes on high heat
  • Then, lower it down, simmer for 10 minutes. Almost ready, switch of and cover with a towel for 10 minutes so it finishes to cook.

Tarta de Santiago


  • 260g Almonds (ground)
  • 255g Caster Sugar
  • 1 Orange(s) (zest only)
  • 1 Lemon (zest only)
  • 6 Egg(s) (free range) (separated)
  • 0.5 tsp Almond extract
  • 0.5 tsp Cinnamon
  •  Icing sugar (to dust)


Preheat the oven to 170°C (fan 150°C, gas mark 3) and grease an 28cm (11in) springform cake tin.  

Cream 180g (6½oz) of the sugar, zests and egg yolks together until light and fluffy. Next, stir in the ground almonds, almond extract and the cinnamon.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs whites with the remaining sugar until stiff. Add about one-quarter of the egg whites into the thick almond mixture and beat. Add a further quarter and repeat. Add the remaining egg white mixture and fold in until fully combined.

Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in a preheated oven for 40 minutes.

Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin and then turn out onto a wire rack.

To follow the time-honoured tradition of decoration, find the shape of the St James cross using the internet and print it out. Cut out the middle of the cross to use as a stencil.

Once the cake is cooled, dust the cake with icing sugar and serve straightaway

Rosas de manzana y hojaldre


  • 3 red apples 
  • 1 sheet of puff pastry.
  • 4 tablespoons of brown sugar.
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder.
  • The juice of 1/2 lemon.
  • Apricot jam (optional).


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Butter two (6 to 8-ounce) ramekins and dust with white sugar.

Place apple slices on a microwave-safe plate, overlapping slightly if necessary. Microwave on high until slices slightly soften, about 45 seconds. Cover the plate with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel.

Mix together sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.

Roll puff pastry sheet to less than 1/8-inch thickness. Using a pizza cutter, cut two (3×12-inch) rectangles. Reserve remaining pieces for another use.

Spread melted butter over dough; sprinkle with a generous amount of cinnamon sugar. Place apple slices along one long edge of dough, about 1/4 inch beyond the edge, overlapping slices slightly. Fold the bottom half of dough over apple slices to form a long “folder” of dough with rounded edges of apple slices exposed.

Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Starting at one end, roll dough to form a rose-shaped pastry. Seal roll with end of dough strip. Transfer roses to the prepared ramekins. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Bake on the middle rack in the preheated oven until well browned, about 45 minutes. Use tongs to remove the ramekins to a baking sheet to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove apple roses from the ramekins and finish cooling on a wire rack. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

Ron’s Scottish meal – Everyone’s kitchen

Ron’s Scottish meal

Scotch broth and cheese scones

Fruit scones

Harvest of the day: lovage, chives, thyme, celery, savoy cabbage, parsley, bay leaf

Scotch broth

Ingredients (x6)

  • 75g/3oz pearl barley
  • 1.15kg/2½lb lamb shoulder
  • 2 litres/3½ pints cold water or lamb stock
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • bunch fresh thyme
  • 2 carrots, cut in 2.5cm/1in pieces
  • 2 turnips, cut in 2.5cm/1in pieces (optional)
  • 2 celery stalks, trimmed, cut in 2.5cm/1in pieces
  • 1 heaped tsp sea salt flakes, plus extra to taste
  • 2 potatoes, cut in 2.5cm/1in pieces
  • ½ savoy cabbage, trimmed, cored and finely shredded
  • handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • freshly ground black pepper


Put the pearl barley into a bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside to soak.

Meanwhile, pace the lamb in a large saucepan or flameproof casserole and cover with the cold water or lamb stock. Bring to a simmer and skim off the scum. Add the onion, bay leaf and thyme to the pan. Return to a gentle simmer and cook for one hour, skimming occasionally.

Add the carrots, turnips and celery to the casserole with the lamb. Season with the salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a very gentle simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 30 minutes.

After the vegetables and lamb have been simmering for 30 minutes, rinse the pearl barley in a sieve under cold running water. Turn the lamb over. Add the pearl barley and potatoes to the casserole. Cook gently for a further 30 minutes, uncovered.

Stir in the cabbage and return to a gentle simmer. Continue cooking uncovered for a further 15 minutes or until the lamb is very tender and is falling off the bone and the barley is softened. Remove the pan from the heat

Lift the lamb out of the pot with tongs or a large fork and put on a board. Carve off all the meat, slicing or tearing into largish chunks and discarding any skin and bone. Season the broth with more salt and pepper to taste and spoon into large, deep plates. Divide the lamb between the plates and sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley.

Lovage and chives butter

Make 2 flavoured butters

Get some softened butter, chop your herbs and mix!

Classic cheese scone


  • 225g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 55g chilled butter, cut into cubes
  • 120g mature cheddar, grated
  • 90-100ml milk, plus 1 tbsp for glazing


Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 with a large baking tray inside. Sift the flour, salt, cayenne pepper and baking powder into a bowl, then sift again to make sure the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Add the butter to the bowl and combine with your fingertips to make breadcrumbs. Sprinkle 100g of the cheese into the breadcrumb mixture and rub together until evenly distributed. Try not to mix too much as the heat from your hands may start to melt the butter.

Make a well in the centre of the mixture and pour in enough milk to give a fairly soft but firm dough. Do not pour in all the milk at once as you may not need it all to get the right consistency.

Lightly flour a surface and roll out the dough to approximately 2cm thick. Cut out the scones with a medium (about 8cm) cutter, then put on a sheet of baking parchment, glaze with a little milk and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Slide onto the hot oven tray.

Bake in the oven for 15-20 mins or until golden brown and cooked through.

Fruit Scone


  • 350g self-raising flour, plus more for dusting
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 85g butter, cut into cubes
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 175ml milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • 100g sultanas
  • beaten egg to glaze
  • jam and clotted cream, to serve


Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Tip the flour into a large bowl with the salt and baking powder, then mix. Add the butter, then rub in with your fingers until the mix looks like fine crumbs. Stir in the sugar.

Put the milk into a jug and heat in the microwave for about 30 secs until warm, but not hot. Add the vanilla and lemon juice, then set aside for a moment. Put a baking sheet in the oven.

Make a well in the dry mix, then add the liquid and sultanas and combine it quickly with a cutlery knife – it will seem pretty wet at first. Scatter some flour onto the work surface and tip the dough out. Dredge the dough and your hands with a little more flour, then fold the dough over 2-3 times until it’s a little smoother. Pat into a round about 4cm deep.

Take a 5cm cutter (smooth-edged cutters tend to cut more cleanly, giving a better rise) and dip it into some flour. Plunge into the dough, then repeat until you have four scones. You may need to press what’s left of the dough back into a round to cut out another four.

Brush the tops with beaten egg, then carefully place onto the hot baking tray.

Bake for 10 mins until risen and golden on the top. Eat just warm or cold on the day of baking, generously topped with jam and clotted cream. If freezing, freeze once cool. Defrost, then put in a low oven (about 160C/140C fan/gas 3) for a few mins to refresh

We have even tried oat cakes!

Last harvest box of the season #15

This year, we started the harvest box on 25th, April and made 136 veg boxes over the season! In this box you will find our last potatoes, apples, tomatoes and runner beans!

You have a nice amount of coriander in your box this week. Try a carrot and coriander soup or maybe a curry using your green leaves and potatoes (broccoli leaves, chard). If you go for the soup, throw in the radish leaves and your celery!

For your salad, enjoy some lettuce, edible flowers, raw radishes, rocket, nasturtium leaves and tomatoes.

The sprouting broccoli is growing very well on the kid’s plots! Well done. Enjoy this pasta with broccoli recipe.

Although there is no much lovage in your box, the smell is very strong and will be perfect to make a “flavoured butter” to spread on toast, scones, etc.

For desert, you have some grapes or apples (maybe a giant pear too but it is not ripe yet).

Herbal tea this week is Melissa, lovely after a homemade meal.

Thank you for supporting the MAXwell Centre!

Halloween Event on Monday 3-5pm, Free ! Family Friendly – Come along

Autumnal Minestrone Soup and muffin – Eveyone’s Kitchen

Winter Minestrone soup

Banana bread and chocolate muffin

Harvest of the day: curly kale, cavolo nero, parsley, swiss chard, celery, thyme

Winter minestrone with cheesy bread (V, Vg)


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots , roughly chopped
  • 1 large red onion , coarsely chopped
  • 1 head of celery , coarsely chopped, keeping the leaves
  • 1 head of garlic , cloves peeled
  • 1kg Swiss chard 
  • a good handful of parsley , finely chopped
  • 400g can peeled plum tomatoes , drained of most of their juices, roughly chopped
  • 1kg cavolo nero or savoy cabbage
  • 410g can cannellini beans , drained and rinsed
  • About 700ml boiling chicken or vegetable stock
  • A few sprigs of winter herbs such as thyme or sage, chopped
  • freshly grated parmesan , or vegetarian alternative
  • extra-virgin olive oil , for drizzling


Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and slowly fry the carrots, onion and celery until soft and dark. This will take about 20 minutes but it’s worth it – the slow cooking gives a lovely taste. Add the garlic, chard stalks and half the parsley, and stir to prevent sticking. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes or until reduced.

Add half the Swiss chard leaves, half the cavolo nero, three-quarters of the beans, and the boiling stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat. Simmer for 30 minutes. Pour in more stock if needed – don’t add too much – it should be thick.

Add the remaining Swiss chard and cavolo nero and blanch briefly so they remain green and crisp. Season when slightly cooled.

Add the beans to the soup. Stir in the herbs and serve hot with cheese and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Banana bread and chocolate muffin


  • 2 overripe bananas
  • 150 g flour
  • 60g sugar,
  • 3 Tbsp neutral vegetable oil or olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. tablespoon milk
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Chocolate chips


Preheat your oven to 180° (th.6).

Pour the sugar and oil into a bowl. Whisk well.

Add the mashed bananas and mix.

Pour in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and vegetable milk. Mix well with a whisk until you get a smooth paste. Add chocolate chips.

Add the picture to the muffin case

Bake for 17-25 minutes. Check the cooking by pricking the heart of the muffin with the thin blade of a knife