Good Food Magazine - August Edition
The focus this edition is 'outdoor life'. Well, lets just hope that August's UK weather is suitable for lots of outdoor eating, because if so, then Good Food has lots of recipes for dishes to grace our barbecues, picnics and alfresco dining tables. Summer food festivals, farm shops and sampling local cooking and artisan food producers, all feature in an edition that tries to capture all that is great about summer Britain, including our seaside holidays.
A picnic bake of Roasted ratatouille and goats cheese tart tickles my taste buds early on and is an ideal dish for the vegetarians in the family. Sadly, I do not have the same glowing feeling for Helen Brooke-Smith's love of everything yellow in the kitchen. They may be 'Sunny shades' but a lemon hand mixer or a banana-coloured toaster would set our kitchen on fire if they found a place on the granite worktop. Yuk shades, is a better title!
Sara Buenfeld, a passionate gardener, shares her 'In season' recipes this month, as August is the time when all the hard work one puts into the vegetable patch is rewarded. My allotment is already yielding broad beans, new potatoes, carrots, rhubarb and lettuce, but I can't wait for the runner beans, tomatoes and courgettes. There is a lovely Runner bean and prawn paella dish (below) from Sara and Courgette and orange cake with cream cheese frosting looks a real treat for afternoon tea on the patio. However, I am not so sure about the Cheese and courgette pesto pudding. It's something Mrs Cropley, from the Vicar of Dibley, might take to the weekly church meeting as an alternative to her chocolate and tuna pudding!
While thinking of what's in season next month, I can't forget that it will be time for me to get into the hedgerows and start my blackberry picking escapades. Normally, I'm filling the freezer with fruits for jam making, but in Good Food for August I spotted a recipe for Blackberry liqueur. It sounds wonderful and easy, though you need 600g of the berries per litre, plus a bottle of red wine and a slug of vodka or gin. I'm not sure then if it is cost effective, even though all those berries are free. I'll save the recipe anyhow.
Readers will already know, I am no barbeque fan, so the feature on 'BBQ chicken goes global' is a big turn off. It is more to do with the look of the chicken in the photos - greasy and unappetising. However if you fancy Korean BBQ wings or Beer can chicken from the USA or Greek chicken kebabs, on your barbie. then they are there for you. In contrast, my sweet tooth drew me immediately to the delightful 'Month of Sundaes' - four ice cream sundaes per month dripped off the page (below). How about Crunchy peanut banoffee sundae, Boozy pineapple and coconut, Whizz-choc-pop super sundae or Lighter breakfast Knickerbocker Glory? All four for me, please!
Fish lovers will love the article on adventurous seafood cooking and there are five exciting dishes to try from a range of fish and seafood. My wife is mad about mussels, so no doubt she will be trying the Mussel mouclade pasta - not only do you get the recipe but Jane Hornby explains how to buy and prepare mussels, as she does on all the other dishes. So if you need to know about preparing clams or pin-boning fish, then this is a feature for you.
As part of Good Food's holiday features, the two pages devoted to the Top 10 Farm Shop Destinations is a good read and you will find shops near you, as the UK is well covered from Devon to Scotland. The Midland recommendation is the Apley Estate near Shifnal in Shropshire (below). Close to the Ironbridge Gorge, if you are around that attraction this summer, it might be worth calling-in. Otherwise try a farm shop nearer you.
As usual with Good Food magazine, recipes abound throughout the magazine, with 'Everyday' dishes, 'Make it tonight, use up tomorrow' and 'No cook suppers'. The Weekend section has John Torode's Asian menu, Tapas with a twist and Simple holiday food. I loved the tapas pages and 'Frozen Fancies', particularly the Lollies for grown-ups, and you can use shop-bought ice cream! Frances Quinn's three pages devoted to 'Building a biscuit beach' seemed a waste of space to me, maybe an idea for a children's party but it looks far from spectacular', which is Frances's description - more of a mess (below). What a gimmick!
I can't end without mentioning Maisie. Sadly, she's back this month, but not once, but twice. Yes, she will be getting double royalties this month, featuring in two articles. Maisie shows her awful teeth in an article on Kids Summer Projects, alongside other more photogenic youngsters and then appears again in her regular pages, 'Maisie Makes..' This edition she makes Chicken fajitas with dad - a barbeque dish for all the family, they say. Well, count me out Maisie, I'll give your fajitas a miss.