The Old Dunraven School Allotments

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Blackcurrant Jam


4 lbs (1.8kg) black currants

2 pints (1.15 litres) water

6 lbs (2.7kg) sugar


  1. Remove the stalks and wash the fruit.
  2. Put into a pan with the water, bring to the boil and simmer gently until the fruit is soft.
  3. Test for pectin.
  4. Add the sugar and stir until it has dissolved.
  5. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for about 5 minutes until the jam sets when tested.
  6. Remove the scum.
  7. Pot and seal at once.

Blackcurrant Jelly


4 lbs (1.8kg) black currants

3 pints (1.7 litres) water

1 lbs (450g) sugar per pint of juice obtained


  1. Wash the black currants and drain well.
  2. Pick over to remove any unsound fruit but do not remove the stalks.
  3. Put into a pan with the water and stew until soft and pulpy.
  4. Test for pectin.
  5. Strain through a jelly bag and allow to drip for three or four hours.
  6. Measure the juice and heat in a pan.
  7. Add lb (450 g) warmed sugar per pint of juice obtained, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
  8. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly until the jelly sets when tested.
  9. Remove the scum.
  10. Pot and seal whilst still hot.

Broad Beans with Bacon & Parsley



1 lbs (450g) shelled broad beans

8 rashers streaky bacon

1 oz (28g) butter

1 large or 2 small onions, chopped

2 tablespoons plain flour

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons chopped parsley


  1. Cook the beans until tender in boiling salted water.
  2. Cut the bacon into dice, heat the butter in a pan and fry the bacon and onion for 3 or 4 minutes, until the onion is soft. Blend in the flour and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Drain the beans and add 8 fl oz (240 ml) of the cooking liquid to the bacon and onions. Bring to the boil, stirring, add the beans and reheat gently.
  4. Season to taste and stir in the chopped parsley.

Carrot Cake



8 oz (225 g) plain flour

12 oz (330g) granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons bicarb of soda

1 teaspoon salt

12 fluid oz (330 ml) olive oil

4 free-range eggs

12 oz (330 g) grated carrots

6 oz (170 g) cream cheese

2 oz ((56 g) butter

12 oz (330 g) icing sugar


  1. Sieve the flour and combine with the other dry ingredients (except the icing sugar).
  2. Add the oil and then the eggs, one at a time. Mix well after each addition.
  3. Stir in the grated carrots and pour into two well greased 8" (20 cm) sandwich tines.
  4. Bake in a pre-heated oven at Gas Mark 4 (180°C/350°F) for about 45 minutes.
  5. Turn out the cakes and allow to cool. Split into two halves.
  6. Beat the cheese and butter for the icing until soft. Beat in the icing sugar.
  7. Spread half between the layers of the cakes and sandwich together.
  8. Spread the remainder on the top.

Fried Onion Rings



2 medium onions

8 tablespoons full or semi-skimmed milk

4 tablespoons plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper and, if you like it, a pinch of cayenne pepper

Oil for deep frying


  1. Peel the onions and cut into ¼" (5 mm) thick slices
  2. Separate into rings.
  3. Dip the rings in milk, then into the seasoned flour, shaking off any surplus.
  4. Heat the oil to 190°C/375°.
  5. Fry the onions rings in small batches for 2 to 3 minutes until crisp and golden
For Batter Fried Onions Rings, beat the milk together with an egg, and then add the seasoned flour to it and mix well.  Dip the onions into the batter and cook as above.

Leek & Potato Soup



2 Large Leeks (washed & sliced)

1/2 oz low-fat sunflower spread

1 large potato (diced)

1/2 pt chicken stock

salt & freshly ground black pepper

1/2 pt skimmed milk chives to garnish (snipped)


  1. Cook the leeks in the low-fat spread in a saucepan, stirring, for 3 mins until soft but not brown.
  2. Add the potato and cook, stirring for 1 min.
  3. Add the stock, salt & pepper.
  4. Bring to the boil, part cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 mins.
  5. Puree in a blender and return to the saucepan. Stir in the milk.
  6. Reheat before serving spinkled with the snipped chives

Mint Sauce



Mint leaves

Malt vinegar


  1. Use fresh, young mint leaves and discard the stalks.
  2. Wash and dry the leaves with a clean tea towel or kitchen roll.
  3. Chop the mint leaves and pack into sterilized, clean, dry jars.
  4. Pour in enough malt vinegar to cover the mint, ensuring it penetrates right through.
  5. Cover, seal and label.
  6. Store in a cool, dry place.


Remove some mint (about 1 tablespoon per person) and add extra vinegar, water, sugar, salt and pepper to taste.


For 4 tablespoons of the basic mint sauce, add 3 chopped lettuce leaves and 1 small chopped onion as well as the extra vinegar, water, sugar, salt and pepper. Delicious with roast lamb and lamb chops. 

Pickled Beetroot





Spiced vinegar (see recipe for quick spiced vinegar)


  1. Wash the beetroot carefully without rubbing the skin.
  2. Cook gently in a large pan, covering the beetroot with water, until tender (the length of time will depend on the size of the beetroot).
  3. Allow to cool and then rub off the skins.
  4. Large beetroot can be cut into slices of about ¼" or diced into cubes.
  5. Pack into clean, sterilized, jars and cover with cold spiced vinegar.
  6. Seal and label with date and contents.

You can use boiling spiced vinegar instead – this makes the storage life longer and it retains the colour.


Pickled Onions



3 lb (1.4 kg) pickling onions or shallots

1 lb (450 g) salt

2½ pints (1.4 litres) water

Approx 1 pint (570 ml) Spiced Vinegar (See recipe for Quick Spiced Vinegar)


  1. Make a brine by boiling the water and salt together in a pan until all the salt has dissolved. Leave until quite cold before using.
  2. Peel the onions and soak in the brine for 24 hours, using a plate or something similar to keep the onions below the surface of the brine.
  3. Rinse well.
  4. Pack into clean, sterilized jars and cover with cold spiced vinegar.
  5. Cover and label with contents and date.
Note: Leave for a couple of months before using.  If you want a sweeter pickled onion, add a teaspoon of sugar to each jar of onions. 

Rhubarb Tart



1 lb (450g) rhubarb

6 oz (170g) sweetened shortcrust pastry

4 oz (112g) sugar

2 eggs

4 tablespoons single cream

Grated rind of ½ a lemon


  1. Roll out the pastry and use it to line a 8" (20.5 cm) flan dish or tin.
  2. Prick the bottom of the case with a fork. Cover the base with a circle of greased paper and put bread crusts or hard beans on the paper.
  3. Bake in a pre-heated oven at Gas Mark 6 (400°F/200°C) for about 20 minutes. Remove from the flan dish or ring, discard the paper and beans 5 minutes before the flan case has finished cooking.
  4. Whilst the flan case is cooking, wash and cut the rhubarb into ½" (1 cm) lengths.  If it is young rhubarb, there's no need to stew it before adding to the flan case.  If on the tough side, stew for a while in the minimum amount of water and retain the fluid to add to the egg/sugar mix.
  5. Arrange the rhubarb in the flan case.
  6. Beat together the eggs, sugar, lemon rind and cream in a bowl and spoon over the rhubarb.
  7. Cook in pre-heated oven at Gas Mark 5 (190°C/375°F) for 35 to 45 minutes until golden and the rhubarb is tender.

Stir Fried Vegetables



A selection of vegetables can be chosen – calabrese, broad beans, French beans, finger carrots (sliced lengthways), peas (including mangetout and snap peas), sweet peppers and tomatoes are all suitable – in quantities appropriate to the numbers eating.

3 tablespoonfuls oil

1 medium sized onion

2 tablespoonfuls soy sauce

3 tablespoonfuls olive oil

3 cloves garlic

1 dessertspoonful roasted peanuts

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Peel and chop the onions and garlic very finely, fry both in the oil until just brown using a wok (or large saucepan).
  2. Add the vegetables and peanuts, fry hard until the vegetables begin to soften, probably less than five minutes (the nuts are to provide a contrast of texture).
  3. Season with salt and pepper, add the soy sauce and heat strongly for another two minutes.
  4. Serve with rice, boiled or fried noodles or with mashed potato.
  5. Pine nuts, hulless pumpkin nuts or sunflower seeds can be used instead of the peanuts.

Strawberry Jam



4 lbs (1.8kg) strawberries

Juice of 2 lemons

4lbs (1.8kg) sugar


  1. Hull the strawberries, wash and drain well.
  2. Put into a preserving pan with the lemon juice.
  3. Simmer gently until the fruit is soft.
  4. Test for pectin.
  5. Add the sugar, stirring until it has dissolved.
  6. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 5-10 minutes until the jam sets when tested.
  7. Remove the scum and leave to cool slightly so that the fruit will not rise in the jars.
  8. Pot and seal while still warm

Summer Pasta Salad



500g bag of Pasta (twists, or penne etc.)

500ml bottle of light Vinaigrette Dressing.

Any variation of different coloured salad vegetables – for example:

A dozen cherry tomatoes halved.

A cucumber, sliced, and the slices quartered.

½  a yellow or orange Capsicum/Pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped into 1cm pieces.

A dozen Mange-Tout Peas cut into two or three pieces.

A dozen Baby Sweet-Corn cut into two or three pieces.

2 or 3 Spring-Onions/Scallions, sliced.

Some fresh mint leaves to taste, chopped, and some tender sprigs of mint to garnish.


  1. Boil the Pasta until cooked, then drain, and cool it in fresh cold-water until no heat remains.
  2. Drain it again, and put into a large mixing/serving bowl.
  3. Pour Vinaigrette Dressing over the Pasta, and stir carefully until it is well-coated.
  4. Gently stir-in all of the prepared salad Vegetables.
  5. Top with sprig/s of mint. Then serve cold

Vegetable Broth



1 medium-sized carrot

1 small turnip

1 small parsnip

1 medium-sized onion

2 large celery stalks

1 large leek

1 tablespoon of pearl barley

1 oz (28 g) butter

1½ pints (900 ml)

Salt and pepper


  1. Cut the carrot, parsnip and turnip into dice. Chop the onions and celery. Cut the leek into fine shreds.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the vegetables and cover pan.
  3. Fry gently, without browning, for 5 or 6 minutes, shaking the pan frequently.
  4. Pour in the stock, add the barley and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Bring to the boil and then lower the heat, cover the pan, and simmer gently for around 1¼ hours, stirring occasionally, until the barley is soft.
  6. Ladle into 4 warm soup bowls and serve hot.

Vegetable Hotpot with Dumpling



1 large onion

8 oz (225 g) carrots

1 small cauliflower

4 largish tomatoes

1 tablespoon tomato puree

4 oz (112 g) peas

4 oz (112 g) green beans, French or runner

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ pint (285 ml) vegetable stock

1½ teaspoons dried mixed herbs

2 oz (56 g) self-raising flour

1 oz (28 g) vegetarian suet

3 oz (84 g) grated Cheddar cheese


  1. Slice the onion, carrots and beans. Break the cauliflower into florets. Skin and chop the tomatoes.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onion and carrots for a few minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes, stock, tomato puree, 1 teaspoon of the herbs and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Bring to the boil, cover and reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
  5. Add the cauliflower, beans and peas and cook for a further 15 minutes.
  6. Whilst cooking, make the dumplings. Sift the flour into a bowl, add the suet, ½ a teaspoon of mixed herbs and 1 oz (28 g) of the grated cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in 4 tablespoons water and mix to an elastic dough. Turn onto a floured surface and, with floured hands, shape into 8 balls.
  7. Put the dumplings on top of the vegetables, sprinkle with the remaining cheese, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  8. Serve hot.

Vegetable Stroganoff



1 large onion, peeled and chopped

4 oz (112 g) mushrooms, wiped and chopped

Olive oil

1 tablespoon soy sauce

5 fl oz (140 ml) sour cream or natural yoghurt

2 fl oz (56 ml) red table wine

1 lb (450 g) mixed raw vegetables (carrots, courgettes, cauliflower, broccoli etc), chopped


  1. Steam the vegetables until tender.
  2. Saute the mushrooms and onion in the olive oil until soft, then add the soy sauce and wine. Simmer for a few minutes and stir in the sour cream or yoghurt and allow to warm through.
  3. Toss in the steamed vegetables.
  4. Serve hot with rice, noodles, mashed potatoes or with baked potatoes.

Vegetable Bubble and Squeak



1 lb (450 g) potatoes

2 oz (56 g) butter

2 tablespoons milk

8 oz (225 g) cabbage

8 oz (225 g) carrots

1 onion

2 oz cheese (preferably a mature cheddar)


  1. Peel, dice and cook the potatoes. Mash and mix with the milk, half of the butter and salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Chop and cook the cabbage and mix into the mashed potatoes.
  3. Soften the finely chopped onion in the other half of the butter.
  4. Dice or slice the carrots, par-boil and drain.
  5. Spread a layer of mashed potatoes in the bottom of a shallow greased dish. Arrange a layer of fried onions on top, then a layer of carrots. Repeat the layers until all the ingredients are used up, ending with a layer of potato.
  6. Grate the cheese and sprinkle on top and bake in the middle of a pre-heated oven at Gas Mark 5 (190°C/375°F) for about 50 minutes until the top is crusty and golden.

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