Miss Scarlett's guide to Suffolk living
Miss Scarlett (aka Sandy Ruddock) is a mother, stepmother, godmother, aunt, daughter, sibling, daughterin-law, friend, boss and entrepreneur
MISS SCARLETT IN THE KITCHEN WITH THE BANGERS
November is a busy month in Suffolk as we gallop madly towards the festive season. I’m trying not to think too much about Christmas just yet, although there are a few things we can do to get ahead this month. Mrs Beeton and her Book of Household Management would have you preparing well in advance of December, and would certainly encourage those of a more domestic persuasion to have their Christmas cakes baked in November and happily boozing away in a dark cupboard ready for unveiling next month.
So, back to food for the month in hand. Let’s concentrate on sustenance for Bonfire Night first. Bangers are a must, so I suggest sausages, mash and caramalised onion gravy. Take some of Scarlett & Mustard’s Red Onion Marmalade, add to chicken stock and reduce to make ‘instant gravy’. To give your Bonfire Bangers a sparkle, dollop spoonfuls of Scarlett & Mustard Chilli Jam over them and then cook in the oven as normal. And another traditional recipe for this time of year is gingerbread. Mrs Beeton gives us four recipes in her tome but I’ve opted to share a Ginger Cake favourite from the office. There is also a wonderful recipe entitled Bonfire Toffee Apples to be found in Mrs Beeton’s Homemade Sweet Shop, a book paying homage to her very sweet tooth!
SARA’S AUNTIE GEM’S GINGER CAKE
110g plain flour 110g wholemeal flour 1 level teaspoon bicarb of soda pinch of salt 1 level tsp mixed spice 3 level tsp ground ginger 40g each of demerara sugar, sultanas, chopped mixed peel 30g slivered almonds 110g butter 110g golden syrup 110g black treacle 284 ml warm milk 1 egg, beaten Scarlett & Mustard Curds to serve
1. Grease and line oblong baking tin (about 6 x 9inches). Sift plain flour, salt, mixed spice and ground ginger into a mixing bowl. Stir in wholemeal flour, sugar, sultanas and mixed peel. Warm butter with golden syrup and treacle over a pain of hot water until melted. Add to dry ingredients and beat well. Dissolve bicarb of soda in warm milk and add beaten egg. Pour into the mix and beat to form a smooth batter. Pour into a tin, scatter almonds over the top and bake in the centre of a moderate oven (180c) for 40 – 45 mins until well risen and springy to touch. Cool slightly in the tin and then turn out. Cut into squares. It will store in an air-tight tin for 2 – 3 days. Serve with a Scarlett & Mustard curd of your choice. Toffee Apple Curd would be perfect for Bonfire Night, equally the Lime & Mint or the Passion Fruit & Lemon Curds would go well with the ginger. The tanginess from the passion fruit in particular would be great if all seems rather sweet.