last weekend I was fortunate enough to meet a food hero of mine, the very lovely Alys Fowler… she may not yet be an international food celebrity but she is most definitely an inspirational speaker and a forward thinking food-lover who I believe, any of you who are interested in food… which I assume is all of you… will find fascinating.
Alys was speaking at the Louth Riverhead Theatre as part of the Wolds Words Festival 2011. It was a very intimate affair which added to her aura of inspiration. She trained at the Horticultural Society and Royal Botanic Garden at Kew, has worked as a journalist, an author and TV presenter on the excellent Gardeners World as well as her own show The Edible Garden in which she turns her humble suburban garden into a place which after only 6 months she can rely on to supply vegetables for her household and not have to rely on any supermarkets… a feat which i’m sure you’ll agree in both honourable and enviable!
her ideas and methods are not the norm… she is an advocate of permaculture, which, in essence, is when you seed your vegetables in a big old mess in the garden, mixed with other plants and flowers instead of in neat rows of single vegetables (monoculture)… it’s an excellent theory which I will be attempting next Spring… don’t worry, The Viking is a HUGE fan too…!
clearly I need to read up on how to make the most of my burgeoning permaculture adventure and there can be no better help for me than reading Aly’s book, The Edible Garden, packed with hints and tips, guides and know how, as well as some yummy recipes too!
Alys has very kindly given me a copy of this book as well as her brilliant new book The Thrifty Forager to give away to one lucky reader! ( I know… it’s give-away heaven this month at Belleau Kitchen!)
Carrot and Sultana Tea Loaf
and in honour of her inspiration I have baked this divine and perfectly seasonal loaf… carrots freshly plucked from the soil at Gunby Hall… its a great dense loaf cake because it’s not quite carrot cake yet not quite proper bread…
200g light muscovado sugar
4 large eggs – separated
200g finely grated carrot (you can use pumpkin or squash if you have some around at the moment)
finely grated zest and juice of lemon
100g ground almonds
a handful of chopped walnuts
200g self-raisong flour
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon ground all-spice
– pre-heat the oven to 170c, lightly grease a large loaf tin
– beat the sugar and egg-yolks together for 2-3 minutes until pale and fluffy and then lightly stir in the carrots, lemon zest and juice, sultanas, walnuts and ground almonds
– then sift the flour, spice and salt into the bowl and fold them in gently
– in a large clean bowl whisk the egg whites until soft peaks are formed – fold this very gently into the cake mixture
– pour the mixture into a loaf tin and bake for about 1 hour on until a skewer comes out clean.
so you have 3 chances to win the books:
1: leave a comment here telling me who inspires you
2: tweet the following: i’ve entered the @belleaukitchen Edible Garden book give-away: https://www.belleaukitchen.com/ and then leave a comment here that you’ve done so.
3: say hi on the Belleau Kitchen facebook page and leave another comment here that you have done so.
The competition is open to an international audience. Good Luck!
eat and of course, enjoy!