The Kitchen in June

A jug of flowers for the kitchen.
Yellow St John's Wort, so called because it  flowers around the feast of St John the baptist which is 24th June, complemented by the purple flowers of sage and lavender.

I feel I haven't shown you much food this month. I have taken quite a few pictures of it though.

Lamb sausage stew with chickpeas and apricots
Above is a sausage stew I made on one of the many cold, wet June days we have had.
These are delicious lamb chipolatas with chickpeas and dried apricots plus a generous seasoning of Bart's baharat spice blend.

Giant meatballs

These meatballs are an adaptation of  Nigella Lawson's mini meatloaves in Nigella Express.
I make them about the size of a satsuma.

They are great hot or cold. I sliced the leftovers and the kids put them in their sandwiches.

Giant Meatballs

Mix together with your hands until well blended
2 lbs (900g) minced beef
2lbs (900g) sausage meat (or sausages with their skins removed)
6 oz (170g) oats (breadcrumbs will work too)
2 eggs
3 tbsp tomato ketchup (gravy or brown sauce would also work)
1 large onion, finely chopped (I used a tub of veg hash)
1-2 tsp salt
black pepper
thyme or other herbs, or whatever spices you fancy
Shape into satsuma sized balls and place on a greased baking sheet (I use a reusable liner on my baking sheets)
Bake at 200°c (180°c fan oven) for 30 mins

Sliced meatball

Spinach and pea soup
When I gave this soup to my family I called it 'pea soup' but it also contained a bag of baby spinach leaves which needed using up. The addition of crisp bacon always helps sell a dish to my kids.

Viennese potatoes with pickled cucumber and sour cream
This was a recipe from Diana Henry's Food From Plenty. Boiled potatoes are fried with paprika (I overdid the paprika a bit) and caraway. They are served with a sauce made by mixing pickled cucumber with sour cream. I had no sour cream so I mixed yogurt with double cream. I used my home made pickles.

My raspberries have begun to ripen.

I'm loving them simply mashed and stirred into yogurt with some sugar.

Home made raspberry yogurt

This year my gooseberry bush has done quite well. I picked them a couple of weeks ago and stewed them gently with sugar and elderflowers. I discarded the elderflowers after cooking. I put the cooked gooseberries in the freezer and today I defrosted them and made these individual crumbles using some of my frozen crumble topping.



  1. Family cooking at it's very best Sue. The individual crumbles look divine.

  2. Oh right, that's it, I'm packing my bags and moving into your shed. Your food looks irresistibly good!

    1. No shed I'm afraid. Will the garage do?

    2. Your garage is going to be overflowing!

  3. Pati from London8:42 pm BST

    Love the idea of lamb chipolatas with the north african spice and chickpeas... may try that one. I also love using ras-el-hanout for my tagine type of dishes with cous cous... x Pati

  4. I'm now feeling very hungry and wishing I lived at your house!!

  5. I have gooseberries and elderflower in the garden but never thought to put them together - I'll be trying that this week, thank you!

  6. I wish we had your growing conditions here - raspberries nowhere near ripe, and gooseberry plants have only just come into leaf. I think I need to move further west...gorgeous food as usual, and I am looking forward to turning my calendar over to the July page tonight; I do hope you are planning another calendar for next year!

  7. I love the combination of flowers you've chosen. So bright and cheery!

  8. Granny Dot10:47 pm BST

    I'm with dottycookie, 'irrestistable' is the word. Is there room for TWO ladies in the garage? Can offer decluttering skills plus appreciation. Yours in anticipation...

    1. I could use some decluttering.... hmmmm...let me think about it :)

    2. I see the garage is already oversubscribed. No household skills worth mentioning, I'd offer to wash up but not until you've run out of plates - but I'd sit at the kitchen table yakking and make lots of pots of tea. Is that a no?

    3. If only I had room for a kitchen table Mary you might have had yourself a deal.

  9. Hi There, I absolutely LOVE your blog! Only just discovered it :-) Your photography is beautiful and simply inspiring. Now a happy 'follower'. Sam

  10. In my next life, I'm coming back as one of your children. You may have trouble training me to strip my bed on the right day though.

  11. Some great meal ideas here, Sue, and I'm wondering where you sourced your lamb chipolatas? We love lamb (so flamin' expensive these days) and prefer lamb mince to beef- lots more fat but you can drain it. Have seen lamb burgers but not sausages, I bet they are really tasty.

    1. They're from the butcher counter at Waitrose. They're 27p each and really lamby.

  12. Raspberries are perfect with natural yoghurt aren't they. But I like them best mashed onto buttered soda bread ... perfick!

  13. Replies
    1. Oops, forgot to say the magic word .. Please

  14. Do your kids realise just how lucky they are Sue? It all looks utterly delicious!

  15. Pati from London10:27 am BST

    Sue, I may try the lamb chipolata recipe today... Did you just fry the onion and garlic with a bit of oil and then added the sausages, carrots, chickpeas, spices and a bit of tomato? I'm trying to guess it here by looking at the pic.... x Pati

    1. I browned the sausages first Pati, and then put them on a plate while I fried the onion and garlic in oil with the spices. Then I tossed the sausages back in the pan with a carton of passata, some chickpeas and some chopped dried apricots. Hope you like it.

    2. Pati from London1:40 pm BST

      That's yum Sue, thanks very much! Will pop into Waitrose a bit later, x Pati

    3. Pati from London2:13 pm BST

      Sue, just a quick message to say that it was delicious!!! Waitrose lamb chipolatas were very flavoursome with loads of mint on them and the sauce was lovely. I used ras al hanut instead of baharat but I suppose it is equally nice. Thanks very much for the inspiration, Pati x


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