Archive for the 'Food and Drink' Category

Christmas would not be the same without a bit of Delia

We love braised red cabbage in our house. All year round we cook Delia Smith’s braised red cabbage and apple recipe. Its a simple recipe to follow and the flavour is awesome, we will have it with duck confit, bangers and mash and with roasts. So why not have a go this Christmas, you have tomorrow to get the ingredients or why not cook it for your New Year meal – you will NOT be disappointed.

The recipe is reproduced on several sites on the internet but have a look at . Del…icious!

Cornish Red Cabbages

Word of the week and cheese of the week!

The word Gevrik means ‘little goat’ in Cornish and is the name given to a lovely full fat goats cheese made in Trevarrion on the North Cornwall Coast. Described by the ‘cheese critics’ to have a clean and fresh taste and a wonderful nutty flavour. We bought a couple on our way to Cornwall (in Devon – Shhhh!) and enjoyed it on some oatcakes at supper time.

a quick shot of the cheese before it got devoured

The little goats cheese is produced by Cornish Country Larder who also make Brie’s and Camembert’s which I will touch on in later posts.

In the meantime check out their website here or if you wanted to try some you may be fortunate to find it in your local supermarket as many of the top supermarkets stock it in their speciality cheese range.

If not you can but it online at Lobbs Farm Shop, Heligan.

In which County…

At a local quiz in rural Oxfordshire this Friday night whilst I was drinking a pint of Tribute ( you could take your own drinks!) one of the questions was ‘In which County is Doom Bar bitter brewed? Well, what Cornish man doesn’t know that?

Doom Bar is of course brewed in Rock, North Cornwall. Named after the sandbank at the mouth of the Camel Estuary where it meets the Atlantic Ocean.

The bitter has won many awards over the past decade for its distinctive aroma and well balanced flavour and is the best selling cask ale  in the South West and is increasing in popularity all over the UK as one of my followers (MB) who found it on the Isle of Wight mentioned in the Tribute post.

The Dashwoods had their luck behind them that night as we won the quiz with a resounding victory. I wish I could put it down to the Cornish Ale I was drinking but I think most of the intelligence came from Becky and our neighbour who would give the Eggsheads a run for their money.

To find out more about Doom Bar and Sharps Brewery click here. Sharps also make the Chalky’s Bite and Chalky’s Bark named after Rick Stein’s little dog we all love and miss.

To check out their online shop and stock up for the festive season click here.



Cornwall around the world – Cornish Fairings discovered in USA!

Yet another new series coming from My Saffron Bun –  Cornwall around the world!

Today, an old school friend, Tina who lives in the USA and follows my blog emailed me to tell me ….well this

“OMG! I just found Cornish Fairings (Furniss Gingerbreads) in Portland, Oregon! YUM!”

Furniss of Redruth established in 1886 and originally were based in Truro.  The oven they have used since the 1950s is still going strong and can bake over 7,000 biscuits an hour – not even I can keep up with that! In the 80’s Furniss moved from Truro to Redruth and took their trusty oven with them piece by piece because she bakes such beautiful biscuits.

To find out more about Furniss click here and to visit their shop and take advantage of their Credit Crunch offer click here.

Why not try making your own biscuits at home by following their delicious recipes here.

Cornish Tribute found in Oxfordshire Public House!

What happens when a Cornish man walks (in a straight line) into an Oxfordshire Pub and sees Tribute on tap at the bar?

He leaves several hours later with a big smile on his face (in a less straight line)

That’s what happened this Saturday just gone when I was out with the Cuxham Cricket lads for our end of season supper at The Plough in Great Haseley.  I walked into the pub, said my ‘Hellos’ then went to the bar to choose a beverage. ‘Ahh, wonder what ales they have on tap’ knowing I was not in a Breakspears pub. My eyes jumped out of my head when I read  the words TRIBUTE and St Austell Brewery. So when the barmaid asked ‘what will it be? I proudly said ‘A pint of TRIBUTE please me ansome‘ .(I never said that last bit!)

So after a few more, some wine and then some port it all became a rather memorable and then later unmemorable night! Enough said!

So, What about the old Tribute? Well, I have loved Tribute for some years and without being to prejudiced it has to be one of my favourite beers. A pale ale with some zesty fruity notes it’s a great accompaniment to a meal without being too heavy or bitter.

To find out more about Tribute Ale and St Austell Brewery click here and if you are looking for a great present to send someone this Christmas then why not send them a keg or a selection of fine Cornish ales by visiting the St Austell Brewery online shop here.






Cornish Saffron Bun Recipe

Every week I see people being directed to My Saffron Bun via their search engines in the hope of finding a saffron bun/cake recipe. Until now I have not included such a recipe but it was always going to happen wasn’t it? So here are a few to get your taste buds going that I have found on the net recently.

Connie seems to be a bit of a star of Cornish cookery and has several recipes on the Green Chronicle website. Check out her saffron bun recipe here.

Another great cookery blog is Baking For Britain with a saffron cake recipe here.

And finally I found this recipe by a lady from Falmouth (so it must be the best!). There is also a nice little bit of history of the saffron bun together with the recipe here.

So to all you bakers out there enjoy making Your Saffron Buns and don’t forget to keep checking My Saffron Bun for more great Cornish recipes and lovely Cornish things.

Making a Proper Cornish Pasty

It’s that time of the year, the nights are drawing in and all we want is some comfort food. Reminiscing about that lovely holiday you had in Cornwall; strolling the streets or sitting on the beach with a pasty in your hand? Well, why not try and make your own this weekend?

Made the traditional way by my Mum for her family all her life, why not give her recipe a go. You will not find any dodgy fillings such as Stilton or chicken tikka here; just good old meat, potato, onion and swede!

So first you need to make some pastry – Cornish Housewife Tip No1 – Mum always makes her own and then freezes it as it will give you a better  texture to the pasty.

Ingredients for making Mum’s pastry

I.5 kg plain flour

500g Lard and Margarine Mix (approx 2/3 Lard and 1/3 Margarine)

Cut fat into flour and then rub together until it is similar to breadcrumbs.

Mix together with cold water until it is a firm dough consistency and set aside ready for making pasties or freeze until ready to use.

Making the Pasties

The quantities will depend on the size of the pasty you are making! These ingredients are based on an average sized pasty.

1 onion

1 piece of swede (or Turnip as we like to call it in Cornwall)


diced beef skirt (approx 150g)

salt and pepper to season

Sprinkle flour on work surface or board. Roll out pastry to about 5mm and place a dinner plate on pastry and cut around it leaving a circle. Put rolling-pin underneath half way so half of the pastry is over the rolling-pin and the other half is flat on the work top (Cornish Housewife Tip No 2)

Add a layer of swede, a little bit of onion, finely slice potato onto the layer of onion, add layer of skirt, season with salt and pepper, add more onion and finish with a layer of potato. Fold over and crimp pastry. Coat pastry with egg to help brown in oven to give it that lovely golden colour. Cornish Housewife Tip No 3 – Pierce small hole in top for the steam to escape so the pastry does not split.

Mum always adds an initial made from pastry for each family member if any have special requirements (for example I like quite a lot of pepper in mine!)

Bake in a hot oven (220 oC) for one hour turning it back to 180 oC as it cooks, then turning it down to 150 oC  for the last 10 minutes. These timing will depend on your oven but are a rough guide to start with.

Remove the pasty from the oven and serve hot with a pickled onion and a cuppa tea!

Here is a pasty mum made for Becky a few months ago, the afore-mentioned pasty then travelled back to Oxfordshire where it was devoured.

Becky's Pasty, Why the 'R' - you had better watch the video!

And my reluctant mum let me film her making this actual pasty so the secret to her success is out there! Apologies for the ropey video and noise from the lens zoom but together with the method above it will give you a good idea of how to make one. If anyone makes one please send me a picture and I will happily showcase your efforts!

One of the best pasty shops in Cornwall is called Ann’s Pasties and is based on the Lizard. Why not give Ann’s pasties a go by ordering some online here.

Another great Cornish export not to be taken with a pinch of salt…

Cornish Sea Salt - Proud to be Cornish!

At the Falmouth Oyster Festival I was lucky to meet Graham from the Cornish Sea Salt Co. in the food hall.  Having used the salt for several years, both for cooking and as table salt I was keen to find out more about the company and the products they sell.

Cornish Sea Salt are based in Pol Gwarra, Porthkerris, Lizard Peninsula

Being based at Pol Gwarra, Porthkerris on the Lizard Peninsula in South Cornwall you could say they are pretty close to the sea! The salt which they harvest is hand harvested 8 metres from the Grade A classified water.

Cornish Sea salt not only looks great on the table, it retains over 60 naturally occurring trace elements vital for our wellbeing and gives more taste for less salt making it a far healthier alternative to the ordinary table salt most of us have in the cupboard.

When Becky first brought me back some Cornish Sea Salt smartly packaged in some trendy little box I remember thinking, wow what a great idea – so simple yet so brilliant! On trying a little on my finger, it’s a million miles from your basic table salt, in taste, texture and appearance.

If there is one thing you should do this week to kickstart a healthier diet then buy yourself some Cornish Sea Salt you will be glad you did! Now stocked at various food shops across the country you may be lucky for find some on your high street. Click here and enter your postcode for your nearest stockist or buy online here.  Once you have bought some why not try some of their gorgeous recipes here.

Cornish Sea Salt Products

Available in original or why not try their popular pinch pots where the sea salt is mixed with different flavours to further enhance your dishes. Flavours include Chilli, Onion, Smoked, Salt and Pepper and Garlic. Becky loves the chilli salt for jazzing up houmous, dollop the houmous (shop bought!) into an attractive bowl and a drizzle of oil and a sprinkling a chilli salt. Great flavour and looks more exciting too!

They are also great presents to take home from your holiday in Cornwall. Why not try a little stack of three rather than a box of fudge or biscuits for your friends and family or the neighbours who looked after your pet!  I’d look after anyones goldfish if it meant I got brought back some of these…

Used by many celebrity chefs including Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Mark Hix, Jason Atherton and Rick Stein its a must for any budding chefs.

bit of hevva cake?

This post is killing 3 birds with one stone.

Its follows the coastal theme for the week, is a Cornish word of the week and also encompasses a recipe!

My mum has been making Heavy cake all my life and it’s not until you move away from Cornwall that you realise that heavy cake is a Cornish recipe of Cornish tradition.

Heavy cake or ‘Hevva’ cake comes from the Pilchard industry when, prior to the 20th century a ‘heur’ (person – generally fisherman’s wife, on a clifftop helping to locate shoals of pilchards) would shout ‘Hevva!’ to signal to the boats the location of the pilchards. It is also said the men would shout Hevva as they pulled the ‘heavy’ nets!

Cornish tradition states that it was the huers who would bake the Hevva cake on returning to their homes with the cake being ready for the crews on their return to land.

Heavy cake is made by rubbing the fat (lard and marg), flour and salt together, adding the sugar and currents and then mixing with milk and water. Then rolled to a thickness of 1/2″ and a criss-cross pattern scored on the top signifying the nets used by the fishermen.  Placed on a baking tray and cooked for 30 minutes at 325F.

Here is my mum’s recipe from her old recipe book


8oz plain flour


5oz lard and margarine mixed

2oz sugar

3oz currents /sultanas

milk and water to mix



1. Rub lard and marg, flour and salt to a crumbly mix

2. Add sugar and currents /sultanas

3. Mix with milk and water

4. Roll out to 1/2″, score a criss-cross pattern on top and bake for 25 mins at 220C (revised by mum on the phone!)

Wait to cool and have a slice with a cuppa tea. Ansome!

This slice didn't hang around for long...

Mum now also makes a wheat free version for Becky which she loves just substituting the flour for wheat free flour. We are also fortunate to bring one of each back to Oxfordshire which we really enjoy. The only problem is when it runs out we have to drive back to Cornwall for another! ha ha!

Oysters from the Fal to the palate

How can you go to an Oyster festival and not try an Oyster? Last week we bought a plate of Oysters (all 5 of them!) and devoured them by the sea.

Several years ago whilst living in Falmouth I was commissioned by the Falmouth chamber of commerce to photograph 5 local chefs oyster recipes for some recipe cards they were producing for the Oyster Festival. Naturally, I had to try every recipe the chefs cooked to make sure they were suitable for public consumption! Well that was at least 11 years ago now but I can still remember my favourite recipe of Oyster Gratin.  To support other bloggers visit Sara’s Kitchen blog here to see her Oyster gratin recipe – Delicious!

The oysters we had were just natural, eaten straight from the shell. They are either something you will love or hate, they look a lot worse than they taste. They taste of the sea so if the water is clean water then there is no reason for them to taste bad. Oysters filter over 50 gallons of water a day so they are very clean shellfish.

To find out more about oysters please check out the great website Cornish Native Oysters who be able to tell you a lot more than I can about Oysters!

In the meantime enjoy the pictures of our Oyster experience and don’t forget to come back tomorrow for a real Oyster fisherman treat!