Hi I'm Sarah Bailey, I would like to start a forum on food and cooking, I know that is a very broad subject, but we can subdivide it. My own personal interests are in cooking from scratch, developing new recipes, helping people who have problems with cooking and sourcing good quality ingredients. To get the ball rolling, how about a discussion on using seasonal fruit - plums, raspberries etc?
Sarah- I like the 'Mess' approach with a bit of meringue, fresh cream (or half fat creme fraiche) and lots of seasonal fruit. Fairly quick if you buy the meringue, but any hints on making good meringue (and use of egg yolks after!!!) welcome?
I like the mess approach as well and the half fat creme fraiche helps with the health/waistline aspect. When making meringues, I go for the long cool bake, 110C, lowest gas setting for 2-3 hours, using 2oz caster sugar to every egg white. I don't bother to pipe them out these days, i just spoon them on to some baking parchment, piping is a complete waste of time if you are going to break them up anyway. As for using up the yolks, I sometimes add them to a custard or creme patissiere, which also go well with fruit.
The picnic season is here and I'm sure a lot of Grans are packing their baskets/cool boxes with goodies for a meal in the great outdoors. We all make our own decisions about whether we should take home made food, shop bought food or a mixture of the two. But before we get down to any details on what we are actually going to eat, there are other things to think about. Do we take an all finger food picnic, or food that requires plates and cutlery. I prefer finger food and to have as many things as possible packed in freezer bags as opposed to packaging or serving dishes, this avoids having to bring back things that need washing up, or looking for bins while we are out, to dispose of rubbish. Anybody got any good ideas on what worked well for them, whether they were out with the grandchildren, or on their own?