Monday 12 October 2020

On-line preserving and cooking class dates




My popular on-line "Zooming the Seasons" preserving courses, courtesy of Denman at home, have been on the go since early September. To date we have covered jelly, cheese, ferment, chutney, syrup, pickling, liqueur-making and jam-making and there are plenty more classes to come, this year and next.

Photos:top left: apple jelly with rosemary, apple and chilli jelly, apple, sage and mustard seed jelly and apple "cheese."
Centre: crab apples.Top right: La giardiniera, Italian vegetable antipasto and chilli jam.




Our next date is October 20th when the pumpkin will be under the knife. We will be adding orange to make marmalade and then moving away from the preserving pan. to make my first soup of the season; roasting the beast and then blitzing it to make some spicey autumnal soup.

The format of the sessions is simple, you book via the www.Denman.org.uk website, pay £5 and then you are sent the recipes. On the day you will log into Zoom (it is simple) and sit and watch me cook. I will answer your questions at the end. And by the way you don't have to be a WI member to join in.

This week, as Kelly (who provides the technical knowhow and a lot more) is on holiday, I am doing a bespoke "Zooming the Seasons" session for Wadsworth WI to celebrate a milestone anniversary. Due to Covid 19 restrictions they cannot plan a get togethe and it was decided to hold a virtual celebration with a class at the centre of it. I shall be making Tart Tatin (see below) and crab apple jelly. Please let me know if you would like to do something similar to celebrate a special event. 

You can email me at lindy@lindywildsmith.co.uk or visit my website www.lindywildsmith.co.uk



Up coming classes

October 27th 2020, 4pm Pumpkin

Pumpkin and orange jam:

A creamy yet tangy breakfast preserve, to ring the changes with your favourite marmalade

Triple ginger and pumpkin soup:

With the return of chilly mornings and evening, soup makes a welcome return on the menu

 

November 3rd 2020, 4pm – Long life Fruit

English apple chutney:

to serve with cheese, cold cuts, English breakfast, or a bacon sarnie

Pickled pears

for the cheeseboard and to add to stews, curries and tagines.

 

November 11th 2020, 4 pm – Onions

Balsamic pickled onions

To serve with an Italian antipasto of cured meats, with a cheese board or served into a sweet and sour casserole.

Red onion marmalade

For pates and terrines, goat’s cheese crostini or a toasted cheese sandwich

 

November 17th 2020, 4pm - Cooking ahead – Advanced Party

Confits of Duck

The simplest winter warming supper party main ever to have tucked up your sleeve this Christmas

Rillettes of Duck

Pot the confit and create an ever-ready starter or canape to keep in the fridge and serve to friends and family at the drop of a hat.

 

 

Tues 24th Nov 2020 @ 4pm – Edible gifts

Cantucini

Traditional Italian biscuits to serve with pudding wine, perfect to give as gifts

Hazelnutti

Hazelnut biscuits to serve with ice cream, mousses, fruit and other light desserts

 

Tues 1st Dec 2020 @ 4pm – Festive

Mincemeat – apple, pear, or japonica?

There is no finer mince pie than one filled with homemade mincemeat.

Mince pies and alternative fillings

Not everyone loves mincemeat (especially children) but it is easy to fill them with things they do like.

Mulled cider and an alcohol-free mulled apple

The perfect drinks for festive fun at a distance this Christmas

 

 

 

Friday 11th Dec 2020 @ 4pm Christmas extras to make ahead

 

Cranberry and orange relish

A quick-to-make and delicious alternative to Cranberry jelly…makes just 1 pot! Double up if you need more.

 

Red cabbage

A super standby that works, served hot or cold

 

Remoulard The perfect salad accompaniment to cold turkey and ham,  cured meats, smoked salmon, pies and pates.

Monday 5 October 2020

ZOOMING THE SEASONS

It has been an unusual year to date. It started as normal with Marmalade-making and other cookery classes, but my last hands-on session was on March 6th for the Welbeck WI, when sixty plus members made marmalade. It is always a fun evening as there is so much enthusiasm and good humour in the room.
Big tables are set up with portable induction hobs and all the necessary equipment. Members spread themselves out. All hands on deck; chopping, juicing, stirring, setting and potting until everyone has a jar of marmalade ready to take home.


This was just at the outset of the virus. The country was still functioning, but we were all washing hands to two renditions of Happy Birthday and hearing warnings about sneezing and coughing and not touching our faces.
The chair, Anuska Parente, warned WI members that this may well be their final meeting for some time, which being the eternal optimist, I found very surpising...it turned out of course that she was dead right.
I had the worst train journey both there and back. Travelling North from Cheltenham to Worksop; there had been a fatality on the line and a journey that normally involves one change at Sheffield ended in four changes and to add insult to injury my journey home involved five. In spite of being sneezed over and the constant change from one crowded train to another, I came away unscathed. 
This was my last hands on course to date. Like everyone else, I cooked myself through lockdown, I made pates and terrines until I filled the freezer. Such good lunch time treats (since devoured). I distanced myself from the bread-making and cake baking that was gripping the country. 
I also did lots of walking and collected specimen wild flowers to paint, to while-away the hours that would normally be occupied by friends and family. The glorious weather and the bourgeoning spring helped sweeten confinement. 
Zoom started to come into play, we celebrated Easter around the table with the family. Each one of our households in seclusion, cooking the same roast lamb and all the trimmings, clinking glasses from afar which gave us a warm feeling of closeness at the time. Virtual quizes, birthday and cocktail parties followed even a surprisingly comforting wake, uniting, Scotland, Denmark, Cornwall, the New Forest, Herefordshire and Oxfordshire. 
When the news struck that Denman and the WI cookery school were amongst the economic fatalities of the Pandemic, I, along with all the other tutors shook our heads in dismay. How could this be? Sadly Denman closed but long live Denman! Denman at home was born. I was not among the first to jump on the band wagon but as I warmed to the wonders of Zoom I could see its potential as a means to teaching.
I have already Zoomed four seasonal preserving classes. Damsons and sloes, blackberries, runner beans and summer veg. This week's class sees apples in the picture. We will be making apple and rosemary jelly with the juice and apple cheese with the apple pulp and I have a programme ahead to take us up to Christmas. Here are my cooking sessions up to the end of October. Contact me for dates up to mid December.

October 6th, 4pm Apples

Apple and rosemary jelly

made with the juice extracted from the apples, delicious with roast lamb and pork dishes.

Apple and rosemary cheese

made with the apple pulp that is left over, after the juice has been used for jelly-making. serve like Spanish membrillo on the cheese board or cut into pieces and eat like sweets.

 

October 27th 2020, 4pm Pumpkin

Pumpkin and orange jam:

A creamy yet tangy breakfast preserve, to ring the changes with your favourite marmalade

Triple ginger and pumpkin soup:

With the return of chilly mornings and evening, soup makes a welcome return on the menu

 

November 3rd 2020, 4pm – Long life Fruit

English apple chutney:

to serve with cheese, cold cuts, English breakfast, or a bacon sarnie

Pickled pears

for the cheeseboard and to add to stews, curries and tagines.

 

November 17th 2020, 4pm - Cooking ahead – Advanced Party

Confits of Duck

The simplest winter warming supper party main ever to have tucked up your sleeve this Christmas

Rillettes of Duck

Pot the confit and create an ever-ready starter or canape to keep in the fridge and serve to friends and family at the drop of a hat.

 

 

Tues 24th Nov 2020 @ 4pm – Edible gifts

Cantucini

Traditional Italian biscuits to serve with pudding wine, perfect to give as gifts

Hazelnutti

Hazelnut biscuits to serve with ice cream, mousses, fruit and other light desserts

 

Tues 1st Dec 2020 @ 4pm – Festive

Mincemeat – apple, pear, or japonica?

There is no finer mince pie than one filled with homemade mincemeat.

Mince pies and alternative fillings

Not everyone loves mincemeat (especially children) but it is easy to fill them with things they do like.

Mulled cider and an alcohol-free mulled apple

The perfect drinks for festive fun at a distance this Christmas

 

 

 

Tues 8th Dec 2020 @ 4pm – Christmas extras to make ahead

 

Cranberry and orange relish

A quick-to-make and delicious alternative to Cranberry jelly…makes just 1 pot! Double up if you need more.

 

Red cabbage

A super standby that works, served hot or cold

 

Remoulard The perfect salad accompaniment to cold turkey and ham,  cured meats, smoked salmon, pies and pates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Friday 5 April 2019

grown-up food: A is for albergo, art and attitude: Albergo ristor...

grown-up food: A is for albergo, art and attitude: Albergo ristor...: Albergo ristorante San Giors, Borgo Dora, Torino My accommodation of choice is a self-catering apartment. I love to be able to...

A is for albergo, art and attitude: Albergo ristorante San Giors, Torino




Albergo ristorante San Giors, Borgo Dora, Torino

My accommodation of choice is a self-catering apartment. I love to be able to shop and cook when I am away and to take advantage of the local produce in the markets. However, for a night or two, it’s just not worth it and a hotel makes sense for a short stay.

Or does it? So many hotels have become faceless; a clean bed in an international environment, with a buffet breakfast and a pleasant receptionist. I know this is all that is needed but you could be anywhere in the world.

But oh, my goodness, if its character you want, the art hotel and restaurant San Giors in Borgo Dora in Turin, has it all and at 85 Euros per night plus local tourist tax, for a double room, it doesn’t come expensive. It is close to the famous Porta Palazzo and Balon markets, a ticky-tacky, but fascinating and thriving area of the city. The famous landmarks, museums and night-life are in walking distance and the area is well served by public transport.

Livia the receptionist in the hotel is a gem, she speaks and writes perfect English and is efficient and friendly. She greets you as you arrive, dressed in waistcoat, trousers and tie, fitting admirably into the turn-of-the-century, (nineteenth century) atmosphere.
The ground floor is little more than a small reception desk, a bar and a seriously good restaurant, furnished with bentwood chairs, polished tables, a piano, parlour palms and mirrors.

The rooms are on two floors but be warned there is no lift and you need to manage your luggage yourself. The décor of each room has been created by a contemporary artist and each one has a striking identity. The second-floor landing has a stunning geometric trompe-l’oeil.

The San Giors (St George) has a long and varied history, there are documents that link it back to the sixteenth century. It has enjoyed highs and lows and is now in a good place, in the hands of its present owner. Architect, Simona Vlaic, who has successfully created a “Salon” type atmosphere which is not just décor deep. While we were there, early on Sunday evening, a small group of friends turned up for a drink. Two of them opened-up guitars and played impromptu jazz riffs around a table while we chatted to the Chef. Thursday evenings are music/dinner evenings. https://www.facebook.com/sangiorstorino/photos/a.373523892669169/2328019690552903/?type=3&theater

The restaurant is in the capable and creative hands of chef Manolo Murrone who spent 25 years working his way around the kitchens of Europe before coming to rest in Turin two years ago. He takes and revisits traditional Piemontese gastronomy, adding a splash of his native Sardinia flair creating tantalising and tempting dishes that at times are surprising but always pleasing. Tonno finto (faux tuna, read rabbit) with saffron flavoured apples and lime, Agnolotti del plin, cooked in Barolo wine (so far so traditional) then tossed with a brunoise of salted pears. His opening amuse bouche are a delight and it really is. worth eating your way through the whole colourful tasting menu… if you have the staying power. His food is not only beautiful but delicious, based as it is on the highest quality seasonal ingredients. http://www.sangiors.it/ristorante-san-giors/
Expect to pay 60 Euros per head with drinks and wine.

Hotel and restaurant owner, the quirky and friendly Simona Vlaic is very much in evidence in her business. Yes this is, a hotel with personality! She is out front, doubles as maitre in the restaurant and is in-charge of quality control in the kitchen. Chef Manolo has dubbed her the Pirana, which I get the feeling she secretly enjoys.

All the waiting staff are friendly and at the same time very professional and you are just as likely to see them at breakfast as at dinner. Like receptionist Livia, they are also clad retro style. When our waiter bid us good night, he promised my husband the best cappuccino of his life in the morning…and it was!
http://www.sangiors.it/ristorante-san-giors/
https://www.turismotorino.org/en




Chef Manolo's insalata albese, piemontese crudo, veal salad






































































































































































































































































































Wednesday 27 March 2019

Queen of Culinary Cities






The small-holders market at Porta Palazzo, 
everything on sale is produced by the stall-holders
Porta Palazzo Market, the gastronomic heart and rumbling tum of Turin, lies to the north of the city centre. It fills, the not inconsequential space, of Piazza della Repubblica, selling clothes, shoes, household-goods, haberdashery, plants and every kind of food imaginable. Every Saturday, just around the corner in Borgo Dora, there is also the Balon, an antiques market. On Sundays, twice a month, when there is no other market, there is an even bigger bash, known as the Grand Balon. The reputation of these markets is such, that they say in Turin, “if you are looking for something, just go to Porta Palazzo.”

I had never stayed in the market area and I wnted to see the city from that side. I booked the art Albergo Restaurant San Giors.
www.albergoristorantesangiors.com-torino.com/en/ It looked like it had character; the restaurant sounded promising; and the position was perfect. 
The Art Hotel and Restaurant San Giors 
on Borgo Dora

We arrived right in the thick of it, on a sunny, Sunday morning in March. The streets were crammed with stalls, and people were swarming like flies. The only hope of moving along, was to go with the flow. Traffic and parking are strictly banned on flee market days as there isn’t an inch of available space. Small restaurants and bars crowd along the curve of Via Borgo Dora. There is chatter and laughter around the tables, everyone wants a spot in the sun and if you are in the know, you can ear mark a table for when it comes free. We ate indoors. Potatoes with squid and peas and diminutive pasta purses filled with an aubergine stuffing. The food was simple, inexpensive, satisfying fare and came with plenty of people watching opportunities. 

The daily market is said to be the largest outdoor market in Europe. It is cut into four distinct quarters, by two dissecting roads that bring buses and trams, delivering shoppers from all sides of the city. A service road runs around the entire square but it’s easy to lose your bearings as each quarter looks the same.




Young cavolo nero leaves and radish
My destination is the Mercato del Orologio, the covered Clock market, where a gastronomic Eden of brightly lit, delicatessens, grocers and butchers beckon even the most reluctant Adam. There are also stalls, stacked floor to sky with kitchen kit and then there is the piece de resistance, the small-holders shelter, La Tettoia dei contadini, a grey, unimpressive but pretty, cast iron construction. On entering, the scents and atmosphere of the countryside fills your senses. It is like coming across a secret garden. This is where growers from a radius of 30 miles around Turin, bring the fruit, vegetables and herbs of their labour. The produce is picked at first light, driven in, dropped at the gate, and set up here, ready for opening time at seven, every morning, whatever the weather. Everything you see and buy here is grown locally. The root vegetables in the crates look as if they have just been pulled out of the ground with their long sheaths of green still attached. Blue plastic packing cases are lined up edge to edge, creating a visual kaleidoscope of springy salad leaves, greens and herbs.









Wild poppy shoots
Mounds of seasonal produce inspire what is going to be cooked today for lunch. No paper, no plastic, no packaging. Men and women shoppers, vie for space around their favourite stalls with their voluminous bags and shopping trolleys, chatting with the stall holder-growers. These are the same people who plant and harvest and transport this green manna from heaven. I look on and listen jealously, longing to follow any one of the house-holders home to their kitchens to discover what it is that they will be cooking today. I day-dream about joining them for lunch.


Celariac
There are three more quarters in the square to discover, over the road is the covered fish market and the tightly regimented rows of red and yellow canopied stalls of the orto frutta market, selling fruit and vegetables from up and down the peninsular and around the globe. It was June the last time I was here, and the stalls then spilled over with summer fruits, strawberries, cherries and peaches and the air was heavy with their sweet perfume. Asparagus was in season, as were all the early summer vegetables, peas, broad beans and courgettes. Today, the tang of citrus fruit fills the air, there are piles of Sicilian blood oranges everywhere. It is spremuta, time. The first aubergines and artichokes are on sale from the South. Competition is not seen as a problem here, market-trader calls, attract attention but price and quality are key to savvy shoppers.  The walk-ways between stalls are long, narrow and dead straight, and the overhanging canopies afford shy glimpses of the bright winter sky and momentary shafts of sunlight.


Just one of many kitchen stalls at Porta Palazzo market



The cathedral square of San Giovanni

The remaining quarters of Piazza della Repubblica are home to the sprawling stalls of the Abbigliamento, the clothing market and the Calzatura, the shoe market. There is a strong ethnic presence around Porta Palazzo, there are Moroccan influenced bars, signs in Arabic script, eateries and shops, selling Eastern clothing, food and bric-a-brac. 
It’s a fun area to stay and handy for much of the city centre, but like all tourist-crowded areas, you need to keep your wits about you. The lovely Cathedral of San Giovanni, containing the Turin Shroud is a stone’s throw away. You can walk to the Quadrilatero from here to enjoy the contempory night-life scene.                     

fun for the kids outside 
the Egyptian museum
An afternoon visit to Superga
After the rain! Time 
for an aperitivo 
in Piazza Vittorio



A short walk away you can enjoy the elegant Piazza Castello and the Royal Palace and castle, Via Roma and Piazza San Carlo, Piazza Vittorio and the Via Roma with its elegant shops, but remember the lunch time pausa when most shops are closed. These places are all connected by the city’s convenient colonnades, affording shelter from the heat in summer and from the wind and rain in winter.   

Beyond the city scape, the parks and green hills that surround Turin is the dome of the Superga Basilica. Should you fancy a wild white-knuckle ride on a super bumpy bus as it speeds over the city’s tram lines, followed by a sedate lift to the top of the leafy hill in a quaint funicular railway, it’s a lovely afternoon’s outing. You can have ice cream or refreshments at the top, but unless you are a devotee of the Savoia royals, I would suggest avoiding the visit to the family tombs, once entered the cloister, the key is turned in the gate and there is no escape until the bitter end. www.basilicadisuperga.com/en/

The Molle Antonelliano, houses the 
National Museum of cinema
You can’t fail to spot the Molle Antonneliano, Turin’s Tour d’Eiffel rising over every streetscape as you take in the city. You can ride to the top in a vertiginous glass lift. It’s not until you come up close that you observe the remarkable architectural detail of the building. If you are a film buff, it houses the comprehensive and fascinating, Museum of Cinema. www.museocinema.it/en Turin is also home to a world-famous Egyptian museum, second only to Cairo. https://www.museoegizio.it/en Take your time, the collection is extensive and fascinating. The motor museum is a delight www.museoauto.it/website/en and there are loads of art museums to visit.

Turin is probably the most foody city you will ever visit. Capital of chocolate; it is where chocolate was first turned to a solid; in other words, chocolate as we know it. Hot chocolate drinks such as Bicerin https://bicerin.it are a must.
Caffe' Mulassano is the perfect place 
to rest a while for an aperitive

Gianduia, that heavenly mix of hazelnut and chocolate, myriad sweetmeats and an endless seam of colourful and luscious patisserie must all be sampled https://delcambio.it/it/farmacia-del-cambio/home.  The tramezzino or dainty sandwich is said to have been invented in one of the Torino’s historic cafes in Piazza Castello http://www.caffemulassano.com/. Grissini were first made here for an ailing prince. Vermouth was concocted and then popularised by a young herbalist, called Carpano. The aperitive was born here. www.brancadistillerie.com/en/product/antica-formula 

Try and hit this charming café at tea time 
to enjoy a Bicerin, a special hot 
chocolate and a few home made biscuit
Torino’s restaurants are legendary, www.turinitalyguide.com/where-to-eat-like-a-local-in-turin its seasonal specialties include the mountain-fair of fondues and cheeses; on a clear day, the snow-capped Alps drift into view like clouds around the city. The rice is grown on the flatlands in the shadow of the mountains, on the plains of the rivers Po and Dora, providing endless streams of creamy al dente risottos. The hills of Langhe and Roero to the south are awash with a long list of noteworthy wines. In autumn and winter the unmistakable aromas of white and black truffles and wild mushrooms fill the air. Piemonte's cattle provide the tender lean veal, the fassona, for the many raw meat signature dishes and the beef for the celebrated Bollito.




Organic bread from Aosta at the 
Campagna Amica Market
in Piazza Cavour Gardens
If all this wasn’t reason enough to crown Torino a queen among foody cities. Torino is also the home to the biannual Slow Food show. The Terra Madre Salone del Gusto is a five-day food romp https://salonedelgusto.com that showcases an astonishing array of artisan food and its producers from Italy and around the world; much of it would be endangered, were it not for Slow food.


The Torino I remember in my twenties was always a beautiful well dressed and well-mannered city, at the height of its industrial past. Remember Michael Caine in The Italian Job. Its royal palaces and gardens, its elegant Parisian style, tree line avenues, the colonnaded squares and streets, the churches and elegant cafes formed the perfect back drop for the city’s industrial royalty, captains of industry and their customers and its hard-working people.

People still flock to Torino from far and wide, for Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto and the many international events held at Lingotto. The Winter Olympics did much to bring the city to the attention of the world. Parks and piazzas are filled regularly with people pulling events. There is always something special going on. I only hope that some of the hundreds and thousands of business people and skiers who pass through Torino Caselle airport on their way to Lingotto or the Alps might return to see more of this cultured, culinary capital and even venture beyond into the heart of Piedmont.