Category Archives: Onions

Pop Up Pie Seller – Brays Cottage – Somewhere Over the Rainbow*

I have had great fun with the North Folk today.  Sarah @Brays_Cottage Pettegree pushed out a tweet a few days ago asking for help on the Bray’s Cottage Pie Stall in Norwich today.  It may have been a damp and blustery city centre, requiring massive amounts of tea and coffee to be consumed, but it was a great way to spend the morning.

The smell of the pies was gorgeous, Sarah claims she is immune to the aroma but by the time the shift was over there was only one thing to do…… chase a la Pietalian Job back own the A140 and tuck into the salary.  The pies were of the Onion Marmalade persuasion; other pies on offer today included naked, chilli and lemon with garlic.  Despite the suggestions of @deanrnch the urge to eat was great, no heating or mashed potatoes took part in the meal; just pork pie, mustard with lamb’s lettuce and rocket from the greenhouse.  The pies are dark, dense, rich, with no extraneous jelly and the pastry had taken on the flavour of the onion marmalade.  The meat has a good level of herb and spice seasoning without being over powered.  It was great to meet Twitterers face-to-face and to gain some new friends among the North Folk.  Thank you Sarah for a memorable morning out; I will think of you on sunny days, with the chat and comradeship of the others in the market and on cold days I will think of you standing on layers of cardboard wrapped up against the elements – true dedication to your pies. If ever you are stuck again you know where to find your pop up pie seller; somewhere over the rainbow.

The Spotify playlist for this post is here

p.s.  also picked up asparagus on one of the other stalls, so that’s supper sorted.

*actually you don’t have to weigh the pies on the stall but it is my second favourite joke after the one about the duck.

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Unctuous onions

This week I have been making onion marmalade, special request from my daughter.  I adapted a recipe from the River Cottage Handbook No 2 – Preserves by Pam Corbin at the suggestion of @flashmaggie.  The power of twitter, no sooner had I suggested that I was looking for a recipe than two came back from different sources.    Marmalade in this context is to do with slow cooking, the process takes time but is not technically difficult and if you go out smelling of onions and hot vinegar well, there are worse things in life. 

My adaptations were to use red onions, Billington’s caster sugar and Suffolk Mud cranberry sauce rather than Demerara and red currant jelly.  I prefer to use what I have in the cupboards already.  When the onions become soft and slowly darken a pyroclastic flow starts to develop as you drive out the moisture.  As the sugar and later the vinegar is added this becomes more volcanic in nature popping and splashing hot vinegary spray and steam.  The only solution is to keep stirring; I am perfecting the art of stirring with one hand whilst scrolling through twitter with the iphone in the other. 

Must have kitchen gadgets in this process are a mandolin, heavy bottomed pan and a jam funnel.  Ohh, and a plea, could it be made compulsory that all jam and pickle manufacturers put peelable or at the very least soakable labels on their jars.  I like to re-use where ever possible and am fed up of having to scrub stickiness from jam pots.

I have given away two pots of the marmalade in the hope of some feedback and I will try out the other recipe once this is all used up.  Better post this soon; the power is going on and off like a stripper’s robe here this morning.

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