Flying Cucumber March 2017

27.02.2017 | by Gracie George

Welcome to being a bit nearer Easter!  I decorate the house with such a mass of flowers and tucked in is the odd bunny and painted egg!  I so admire all you people who look after the fine houses to 5 star standards, so demanding and so stressful at times, I salute you.  Read below for the latest gems from Anna and Elizabeth.  Onwards and upwards Flying Cucumber!

Crispy bacon, Kale and Pearl Barley Risotto

The rain is still falling in March but the hope of spring is just around the corner.  This hearty but healthy mid-week risotto is ideal for this time of year; warming, not too calorific and seasonal.


3 Leeks, finely sliced

2 Garlic cloves, finely chopped

150g British free-range smoked bacon lardons

250g Pearl Barley

1 Litre of good quality chicken stock

210g Chopped curly kale, stripped from tough stalk.

3 tbsp Creme fraiche

Juice of 1 Lemon

Finely chopped fresh parsley



Heat a glug of oil in a large, deep frying pan and add the leeks. Fry for 3-4 minutes and then add the garlic, half the bacon lardons and pearl barley. Gently fry for 2-3 minutes, then slowly start to add the chicken stock.

As the pearl barley absorbs the stock, keep slowly adding more. When three quarters of the stock has been added (this will take 15-20 minutes) pour in the remaining stock, then gently simmer until the barley is cooked (another 10-15 minutes).

Fry the remaining lardons until crisp, then set aside. Stir the kale into the barley in batches and simmer for a few minutes.

Season to taste, stir in the creme fraiche and lemon juice, then serve sprinkled with parsley.


Season Selection

Fish: Cod ,Monkfish and Skate

Shellfish: Mussels and Oysters

Veg: Kale, Spring Greens, Leeks and Cauliflower

See Anna's recipe for using Kale in a delicious way this month!


Elizabeth Jones's Household Tips!

Each month I delve into the archives to bring you handy household tips and ideas for the home and garden.

Half a lemon sprinkled with table salt can be used safely to clean or remove stains from granite. Leave lemon and salt on stain to soak, then rinse with clean water and dry.

If your potted house plants dry out too quickly after watering, try this simple trick for keeping the soil moist longer. When re-potting tuck a damp sponge into the bottom of the pot before filling with soil.  It will act as a water reservoir and may help prevent a gusher if you accidentally over water!!