I saw a version of this recipe and felt sceptical. No way would it work. And no way would it take five minutes! So to make sure of this I cut the ingredient list to just two items. Sugar and Honey. No corn syrup here! But miraculously this was a quick and easy recipe for something almost impossible to buy. Plain honey drops. No lemon. No medicine. Just honey.
I first came across these long before I became a beekeeper when I lived in Japan and caught the most appalling cold. I was struggling badly so I took myself off to the pharmacy and threw myself on their mercy with my limited vocabulary. (I’m pretty sure their cold medicine still contains amphetamines or something but by god it worked!) They also gave me these most wonderful honey drops and I’ve never forgotten how soothing they were!
Makes approx 24 drops
200g granulated sugar
⁃ Microwave together in a large Pyrex jug, covered, for 3 minutes.
⁃ Carefully remove the cover and stir well. (It will have bubbled up and release steam as the cover comes off. Be careful!)
⁃ Replace cover and microwave for another two minutes.
⁃ Carefully remove the cover and stir again.
⁃ Pour into greased silicone moulds in trays of cold water.
⁃ Leave to set for 5-10 minutes then pop out.
⁃ Dust with icing sugar for storage. Store in an AIRTIGHT*
⁃ Consume within one week.
*This is important. Honey is hydroscopic and will absorb moisture and your drops will go sticky.
These Very Berry Breakfast Muffins are nothing less than an experiment in how much summer fruit it is possible to cram into a muffin and still maintain structural integrity! (About 300g as it turns out.)
The summer fruits are cropping heavily with cherries, raspberries, strawberries all ready now and the blueberries soon to ripen (confession: some bought blueberries went in here too!)
I am the furthest thing away from a morning person it is possible to be so easy, quick to ‘grab and go’ breakfasts are a must for me. These are packed full of homegrown fruit and the oats add a nice breakfasty touch too! You can whip them up in about 30 minutes start to finish too, which is always nice!
50g dark muscoavdo sugar 125ml milk 1 egg 1/2 tsp vanilla essence 40g butter, melted and cooled 150g self raising flour 1 tsp baking powder pinch of salt ~300g mixed summer fruits (can use frozen if fresh not available!)
8tsp porridge oats
8tsp Demerara sugar
– Heat the oven to gas mark 6/200°C and prepare 8 holes of a muffin tin with paper cases. – Beat together the sugar, milk, egg and vanilla essence then add the butter and beat again. – Add the flour, baking powder and salt into the mixture. – Fold in gently. – Add the fruits and stir in to the mixture to evenly distribute. – Divide the mixture evenly between the cases.
⁃ Sprinkle the top of each muffin with a teaspoon each of oats and Demerara sugar. – Bake for 25 minutes. (Check after 20) – Remove from the oven and leave to cool a little in the tin then place on a wire rack to cool completely or serve warm. These will be much less stable when warm but the berries taste amazing!
This quick and simple spring soup makes use of the wild garlic found in plentiful supply around the uk. You can easily identify a patch from the smell! I keep a small patch in my own garden for ease of harvesting.
The vibrant green is perfect for early spring and Easter themed meals. The creaminess comes from the courgette and as ever a good slip is built on a good stock! A stock cube is just fine but make sure it’s a good one!
1 large bunch wild garlic leaves, roughly torn
1 courgette, roughly chopped
1 small leek, sliced
1 cup frozen petit pois
1 vegetable stock cube
1 clove garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper to taste
– Heat a table spoon of olive oil in a large pan.
– Add the courgette, leek, garlic leaves and peas and cook over a medium heat for 3-5 minutes until the courgette is soft.
– Add half a litre of boiling water.
– Add your stock cube and garlic.
– Remove from the heat and blend with a stick blender until all the chunks are gone.
– Return to the heat and bring to a simmer. Season to taste.
– If you want to adjust the thickness you can add more water if necessary or simmer on a low heat to reduce further.
– Serve with a garnish of thinly sliced wild garlic leaves and a dollop of sour cream.
– Mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarb and salt in a small bowl.
– Cream together the butter, sugars and vanilla.
– Add a spoonful of the dry mix to the butter mix and beat well to combine.
– Gradually add the remaining flour mix, beating well between additions until a smooth, dark dough is formed.
– Add the chocolate chips and mix in.
– Divide the dough in two, press down into rounds on a baking tray and sprinkle with the salt flakes.
– Bake for 12 minutes. The cookies are ready when the tops have cracked. If the tops aren’t cracked, they’re not done.
– Remove from the oven and leave on the tray for at least 5 minutes. This is very important! The cookies will be soft when they come out but will solidify in those 5 minutes. Leave them a further 10 minutes before eating for best results.
– Melt the butter in a medium sized pan. Add a small splash of olive oil to stop it catching.
– Add the mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook until soft and browned.
– Add the white wine and vegetable stock.
– Blend with a stick blender until your desired level of smooth. (I like bits in my soup but if you want a totally smooth soup you’ll need to decant into a liquidiser and blend in that then resume cooking.)
– Bring the soup to a boil then turn down to a simmer.
– Add the cream and heat gently until the edges are bubbling.
From time to time I find myself craving the food I had in Japan. Sometimes it’s the simplest of things, like this Japanese egg salad sandwich. Because even though you’d think there isn’t much wiggle room in how to make egg salad you’d be amazed what a difference a few little tweaks make. I think the biggest difference is that the egg is mashed, not chopped and the mayonnaise must by kewpie for a truly authentic taste. The pinch of salt adds that little je ne sais quoi that makes this run of the mill sandwich spectacularly moreish!
For one sandwich:
2 hard boiled eggs
2tbsp kewpie Japanese mayonnaise
Pinch of salt
Soft salted butter
Two slices white bread
– Put the eggs, mayonnaise and salt in a bowl and mash with a fork until there are no large chunks. You could even use a food processor to get it even smoother (some conbini do) but I prefer a little texture.
– Spread the bread with butter and add the egg mix. This should be a well filled sandwich! (Though factors such as egg size and bread size will affect it, you may find this makes two less well filed sandwiches if using smaller bread.)
This Cinnamon Scone Cake was actually the first of the Giant Scone Cakes. I had the idea of a cinnamon flavoured scone smothered in clotted cream and honey and I couldn’t rest until it had been created!
450g self raising flour
a pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
100g butter, softened
1 1/2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
Just under 300ml milk with 1 tbsp lemon juice added* (or 300ml buttermilk)
2 tbsp brown sugar + 1 tsp cinnamon
50g icing sugar + cold water
– Heat the oven to gas mark 5 /180C and line a baking tray.
– In a large mixing bowl mix the flour, salt and baking powder.
– Rub the butter into the flour mix until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
– Add the sugar and cinnamon and stir lightly.
-Mix in the milk quickly and thoroughly but be careful not to over mix the dough.
– Trn the dough out onto the baking tray and use floured hands to shape into a round.
– Slice though the dough to to the number of sections you want.
– Brush the top with a little milk and a sprinkle of brown sugar and cinnamon.
– Bake for ~30 minutes until the sugar on top is caramelised and the scone cooked through.
– Mix the icing sugar with just a little water then drizzle over the top.
– Serve with clotted cream and honey. Plain butter is also delicious!
If you’re quick you may just get to the last of the wild garlic in a shady spot. The distinctive smell should guide you!
This is a quick easy supper that takes advantage of the wild food available for such a short season. Although, I admit, I grow some ‘wild’ garlic in a container in my garden for convenience and I always find gnocchi very satisfying after a long day in the garden!
1 pack gnocchi (I use giant gnocchi here but regular ones work just as well)
200ml double cream
2 tbsp green pesto
a good handful of wild garlic leaves, washed and slices into ribbons
4 tbsp* freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano *at least
Cook the gnocchi according to the packet instructions.
Gently heat the cream and pesto in a small saucepan. Do not allow it to boil.
Add the garlic leaves and Parmigiano Reggiano and make sure it’s piping hot through.
Pour the sauce over the gnocchi in bowls.
Excellent with some crusty bread and a crisp Riesling after a long day in the garden!
Hi, I'm Anna and this is what's going on in my kitchen and growing in my garden.
Everything you see here is how it looked as I cooked and ate it. I don't like to make things too fussy. I want you to know that if you try one of my recipes what you see is what you'll get.
Don't forget to leave a comment, I love to know what you're thinking and if you do try out a recipe then let me know how it worked for you. Happy cooking!