Food and Cooking Archive

Juliet Fishenden

Foraging in the hedgerow is a deeply satisfying pursuit. One that takes us out of doors and makes us marvel at what nature provides us and the birds. Yesterday, 23rd September, was officially the first day of autumn and this time of year brings us many foods for free.


Blackberries are everywhere in the hedgerows right now. They are fabulous eaten straight from the hedge, wind in hair, sun on face! We are snacking on blackberries, adding them to smoothies and using them to make delicious, homemade, blackberry and apple crumble. There are so many available it is also the time to look for recipes for jam and jelly. We will be using this one below and no doubt putting it on the table on Christmas Day!

Hedgerow jelly

Juliet Fishenden

Game pie Rich4

At this time of year wild birds are often available from a local butcher or farm shop. It is the season for pheasant and partridge so it is a good time to eat this sort of meat if it is your fancy. Richard prefers making pies, rather than cooking it another way, because he thinks it keeps the meat from drying out. So below is his very own Game Pie recipe. An easy to make and deliciously warming meal for cold winter days.

Farrier's Festive Game2

”Game is wild, natural and free range. It is low in fat and cholesterol and considered a healthy alternative to other red meats. Pheasant and partridge also contain a high level of iron, protein, vitamin B(6) and selenium, which helps to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Leatherhead Food International Research 2006

Game pie mix2

Juliet Fishenden

Creating a fabulous living space is an art some of us leave to the experts. Some of us employ the talents of interior designers, some of us just copy them as best we can. We decided to copy the idea of an outside kitchen and employed a builder to build us one. It has been such a fabulous addition to our house. We can open our french windows and cook immediately outside the kitchen door. It keeps all the meaty smells outside and there is something very grounding about eating and cooking outside over a real fire. Richard is, of course, in his element. He was working late tonight but when I said we had built a fire and intended to cook outside he changed his plans!

Outside Kitchen & Rich


Juliet Fishenden

August is generally a time of abundance in the UK as many of our fruit trees are laden with the most wonderful, nutrient packed fruits. We are lucky enough to have planted a tree about 5 years ago which has grown and is now producing more plums than we know what to do with! We are eating plums for breakfast, plums in smoothies, plums for pudding with cream, yogurt, ice cream, plum crumble; plums day and night. We plan to make plum jam and perhaps plum wine. We will enjoy them while they last and hopefully preserve enough so we can enjoy them through the winter.

Picking plums

Richard Fishenden
Iron pan rack with thumper finials

This pan rack features in The Fabulous Baker Brothers kitchen on their TV show Channel 4. We have been busy at the Forge clearing and  organising all areas of our business from filing paperwork to refreshing our kitchen space. We have decided to breathe some new life into our kitchen by adding another pan rack giving us a clearer work top.

Richard Fishenden

images-1Planting potatoes in pots or bags is our tip of the day and something we are going to do before February is out.

Richard Fishenden
Richard Fishenden

What a fantastic year we have had for walnuts! I have never seen so many hanging off the trees. Here is some information on how to get the best from your harvest:

Check for ripeness. The nuts are falling fast now here in Suffolk and the nuts have split hulls. Break open a few sample nuts to check for ripeness. English walnuts are ready for harvest when the tissue between the kernel and the shell turns brown.

You can then harvest the nuts by gathering them off the ground as they fall or by shaking them off the tree.

When collect the hulls need to be removed to reveal the shelled nuts. The hulls should come off easily if you are collecting the nuts at the right time. You might want to wear gloves to keep your hands clean.

Allow the nuts to air dry for a few weeks and then test again. If you remove the nuts from their shell and try and break them in half if they break cleanly the nuts are ready to eat. The nuts are best stored in an airtight container. The will keep in the shell for several months if kept cool and dry. The shelled nuts can be kept in the fridge for up to 6 months and in the freezer for well over a year.

Richard Fishenden

We have already made one batch of cider this year and tomorrow (after the rugby) we will head to the orchards again to gather and press some more apples. We have a large Vigo cider press which is the real deal.

The taste of the fresh juice takes some beating and it’s a great day for the whole family. My 2 sons love getting involved and drinking copious amounts of juice.


Richard Fishenden

Having had a rather large glut of raspberry’s this year I was looking for ways to store that wonderful flavor so that we could keep on enjoying them long after the end of the season.

I read a lovely recipe in Hugh FW’s Preserving book about Raspberry Vinegar. Needless to say that it is absolutely delicious and I can’t see it lasting as long as I had hoped! The whole family enjoy it as an addition to their meal.

Here is the recipe from The River Cottage Handbook No2- Preserves:

Makes 1.5L

1Kg Raspberries

600 ml Cider Vinegar

Granulated Sugar

Put the raspberry’s in a bowl and crush them lightly with a wooden spoon. Add the vinegar. Cover the bowl and leave for 4-5 days stirring occasionally.

Pour the fruit vinegar in to a scalded jelly bag or muslin and leave to drain over night. You can squeeze a little if you like.

Measure the liquid and pour in to a saucepan. For every 600 ml of fruit vinegar, add 450g sugar. Place over a low heat and bring to the boil. Boil for 8-10 mins removing and scum as it rises.

Remove from the heat and bottle when cool. Use within 12 months.

Use it on salads-either neat or mixed with olive oil. Also nice trickled over goats cheese , pancakes and even ice-cream. You will also find that a spoonful adds a lovely piquancy to savoury sauces.

For a revitalising summer drink, mix a couple of tablespoons of raspberry vinegar with soda or tonic water then add ice.