Introducing the Eating Seasonal Series – June

Battanbang's market - personal picture

Battanbang’s market, Cambodia – personal picture

Hello everyone!

Today is a very special day since I am starting an exciting new section; the Eating Seasonal Series. Once a month, I will be posting what foods are in season and therefore what produce we should be basing our cooking around.

Why these series?

Being a Spaniard, I have always been quite familiar with seasonal eating and to know that not all the foods are readily available round the year is just common knowledge. When I first moved to the UK I was quite shocked to see that I could buy strawberries in December and mandarines in June and to be fair, it was not something that excited me since the quality of these out-of-season fruits and veg was mainly disappointing and always came at a high price.

After so many year in the UK, the line between seasonal and not seasonal has become a bit blurry, so I thought it’d be useful to get it back on track through this series. And in the meantime, if it is helpful for someone else, then bonus!

I’ll be creating a monthly food checklist that you can just put on your fridge so you can easily keep track of the things you should be buying and eating. The idea is that you can tick the boxes next to the produce name as you go; no need to say that the more you tick the better! I’ve also included a few lines at the bottom to write down the seasonal recipes you’d like to try. Click on the following link to download your Seasonal Eating checklist for June.

Why eating seasonal?

The benefits of eating seasonal are plenty but I will sum them up in a few points:

  • You will be eating much tastier foods, because they don’t have to be picked unripe and then transported in a cool shipping container across the world.
  • Your dishes will be packed with much more nutrients, because the foods will be grown/breeded in optimal weather conditions.
  • You’ll go easy in your pocket, because buying produce when it is widely available always works out cheaper.

Hopefully by now, I will have convinced you to join me in my seasonal eating quest. I am aware that it is not so easy to find a variety of foods, especially fruit and veg, in other countries as it is in Spain but still, you can be very creative with your cooking with what’s available in your area. Obviously it is better to eat from locally sourced produce, but if you live in a country where fruits and vegs need to be imported, you can still enjoy all its benefits. So just check the list, get your shopping bag and off to the market!

Enjoy!

Pilar

Seasonal strawberry jam

How to make Strawberry Jam

 

 

Hello everyone!

It’s been about a thousand million years since I posted anything on my blog, but since I’ve recently been feeling more determined and efficient I am going to give it another go.

I’m preparing an entry on why I’m (re)starting this venture, but for the time being, and as an amuse bouche, I’d like to share with you my last tried and tested recipe: strawberry jam. As many things in life, it is easier than it seems.

You will need:

1kg of strawberries

500gr of white sugar

Juice of 1/2 lemon

How to make the jam:

  1. Wash the strawberries, cut the stalks off and chop them.
  2. Put the strawberries in a pan and add the sugar and the lemon juice.
  3. Cook it on a low heat until the strawberries have melted (approx. 1 h)
  4. Personally, I like finding bits of strawberry in my jam, but if you are not a fan, you can blend and make it smoother.

How do you when the jam is ready? Put a bit of the mix on a plate and leave to cool down. Once cooled, move the plate and if the jam is stuck or moves very slowly, then your jam is ready. If it is too runny, leave it to cook a bit longer.

If you intend to store it for the months to come, make sure you sterilise your pots. In order to do so, you just need to boil your glass jars (lids included), for 30 minutes. Easy peasy.

Once you’ve filled your jars, make sure you airtight them to ensure your lovely homemade jam keeps fresh and yummy. To do this, just put the lids on an boil the pots (already filled with jam), for 30 minutes. This will create a vacuum effect and you will be able to safely store them in your cupboard.

This recipe only has one issue… that once you try this jam, you just won’t like any other! It is simply that good!

Enjoy and let me know how it goes!

Pilar