whole orange preserve

A Recipe for Whole Fruit Orange Preserve

With its cheerful colour, refreshing taste and floral scent the orange is a welcome change from the plethora of root veg and dark, earthy greens of winter. Spanish citrus season provides fruits that are deliciously sweet and relatively inexpensive to buy.

A well-travelled fruit with origins in China and India; the orange first came to Europe along with the Romans, hitching a ride to Spain and Portugal with Moorish conquests in the 8th century. Rich Britains got their first taste as the orange found its way onto the banquet tables of Tudor England.

As the bitter tasting Seville also came into season this month, now is the time for marmalade making in many households. I’m particularly keen on the Pam Corbin recipe from the River Cottage handbook ‘Preserves’. Recently I fancied a change so opted to follow our Tudor ancestors by turning the whole fruit into a thick, unctuous preserve. While Henry VIII might have eaten this as part of a large final course of sweetmeats and fine desserts, I’m sure you will find your own uses for this deliciously bittersweet conserve.

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clootie pudding

Clootie Pudding – The traditional Burns Night pudding

I was a latecomer to haggis but instantly converted. People can be a little squeamish about eating offal these days, but it strikes me that the rich mix of spices and otherwise unused animal parts fits perfectly with the modern sensibility of reducing food waste. Everything but the oink as the old saying goes.

But there is more to a Burns Night meal than the haggis. The next question has to be – what else would my Scottish neighbours eat to celebrate their most beloved poet?

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Zingy Lime, Chilli and Yorkshire Rhubarb Salsa

I am always impatient for the arrival of Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb at the local market. The bright pink stems act as a colourful, sharp antidote to a winter full of earthy root vegetables and irony kale. Grown as a medicinal plant by ancient Chinese cultures this tart vegetable didn’t become popular in Britain until the 1800’s. By the early 20th century forced rhubarb growing had developed into a thriving industry and the Yorkshire Triangle could be found at the centre of all things rhubarb.

Poached with orange juice and honey it makes a simple and healthy pudding and this savoury alternative is a great way of using up a few leftover stems. Team the salsa with pork chops or griddled halloumi as part of the main meal, or serve alongside salty nachos for a group of friends.

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copywriter york

Three things your freelance copywriter needs you to know

Over the Christmas break, a post on Twitter highlighted the strange conversations creatives have with their clients, many of them hilarious. Judging by the stream of reactions that followed, these scenarios are being encountered every day by freelancers all over the world. Common topics included late payment, last minute changes to the brief and requests for free work in exchange for exposure.

When I asked my community of freelancers about the issues they faced in their work a number of themes popped up. Here are just three of the things that every copywriter needs you to know.

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scottish shortbread

6th January – National Shortbread Day

I don’t have a particularly sweet tooth but I can never resist a good homebaked shortbread. So much better than shop bought and so incredibly easy to make. The moreish nature of the Scottish biscuit is achieved through a mix of three parts flour, two parts butter and one part sugar. How simple is that? To celebrate National Shortbread Day let’s take a look at one of the nation’s favourite sweet treats, starting from the very beginning. 

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writing workshop

Speak to the right people with your marketing – three ways to improve your copy

You love what you do. At some point, you took the final step into self-employment.  Your work is your passion and you love sharing it with others. Working for yourself is easy right?

Not quite. We both know that running a small business is bloody hard. We might be good at what we do, but we don’t always have the skills to handle technology issues, complete admin tasks and market the business in the way it deserves.

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writing podcasts

Three great podcasts to improve your writing in 2018

I am an obsessive book owner. Cookery books, writing books, marketing books – the collection outgrew our home years ago and is now slowly taking over the office. As a food writer and small business owner, I am constantly on a journey to increase my knowledge and improve the service that I offer my clients.

As much as I love the printed word, there are some fantastic development tools available online. From professional blogs to a downloadable pdf, the opportunities for learning are limitless. For me, 2017 was the year of the podcast. I love the flexibility of listening as and when it suits me, they certainly make the washing up a more interesting task!

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