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International Cooking Sessions
Each week we post the links to the recipes made in the session

Week 1 French theme

Dauphinois Potatoes & French Onion Tart. Followed by Summer Fruit Clafoutis


Dauphinois Potatoes


French Onion Tart

https://www.olivemagazine.com/recipes/family/french-onion-tart/ (we did not make the pastry we bought it ready made )

Berry Clafoutis




Older recipes

Gooseberry and Lemon Verbena Cordial
Pale and translucent in colour, this cordial has a sharp and fragrant bite to it.
400g/13oz gooseberries 280g/9oz caster sugar 1 litre/13/4 pints water 6 sprigs lemon verbena Wash the gooseberries under cold running water, then place in a pan with the sugar and water. Bruise the lemon verbena by gently hitting it with a rolling pin or the handle of a knife. This helps to intensify and release the flavour. Add the branch to the pan and place over a medium heat. Bring to the boil. Turn down and simmer for 10 minutes or until the gooseberries are tender. Pass through a colander, pressing down firmly on the fruit as you do so to release maximum flavour. Allow to cool and store in the fridge.

Elderberry wine

This has to be one of the top five forager drinks to make…


  • 1.5kg Elderberries.
  • 1.5kg Sugar
  • 1tsp Citric Acid.
  • 4.5l Water
  • Yeast and Nutrient


  1. Strip the berries from the stalks using a fork.
  2. Crush them in a bowl and pour on the boiling water and add the sugar.
  3. Let it cool to 21? then add the yeast, nutrient and citric acid.
  4. Loosely cover for 3 days and then decant into dark bottles (stops the wine losing its colour) and leave with either an air lock or cotton wool until the vigorous ferment has completed.
  5. Once the ferment has completed siphon off into the final dark bottles to lay down for a minimum of 6 months.
  6. Enjoy on its own or as an addition to a summer martini!

N.B. If you don’t have any dark bottles for the initial ferment then we put the wine into demi-johns and then wrapped them in newspaper to keep the light out.


Strawberry and Gooseberry Jam Ingredients

  • 150-200g gooseberries, topped and tailed
  • 1kg strawberries, hulled, large ones halved
  • 750-1kg jam sugar with added pectin (the more sugar you use, the firmer the set of the jam)
  • 15-20g unsalted butter (optional)

Directions Put the gooseberries in a saucepan with 100ml water.  Place on  a low heat and cook gently until the gooseberries are tender but still holding their shape. This should take 6-7 minutes, depending on their size and maturity. Meanwhile, place the strawberries in a roomy, heavy-based pan or a preserving pan. The fruit should be no more than a third of the way up the pan to allow for a rapid rise when a rolling boil is reached.  When the gooseberries are cooked, add to the strawberries. Put the preserving pan on a gentle heat and add the sugar. Heat gently, stirring, until the sugar has fully dissolved. Then increase the heat and bring the pan to a full rolling boil (i.e. when the surface is covered with a mass of foamy bubbles). Boil for 8-9 minutes, without stirring too much, until setting point is reached.  To check for setting point, drop a little jam onto a cold saucer, allow to cool for a minute then push gently with your fingertip.  If the jam crinkles, setting point has been reached.  Remove the jam from the heat and, if the surface is scummy, add a knob of butter and keep stirring until the scum has dissolved. Pot into warm, sterilised jars and seal immediately. Label when cold. Unopened and stored in a cool, dry place, the jam will keep for up to a year. Once opened, keep in the fridge or a cool larder and use within a few weeks.


Elderflower Champagne

Elderflower champagne has to be some of the easiest alcohol I’ve ever made. Make sure you pick the flowers on a warm dry day and in the morning if possible as this is when the pollen is fresh and will produce a nicer brew. Apparently if you pick the flowers on a cold wet day and some even say not to pick in the afternoon / evening  then you may end up with your brew smelling of cats wee! This is because the pollen is not fresh. Also make sure that the flowers are freshly opened and are not turning brown as again this will affect the flavour. Also avoid picking flowers directly on roadsides as not only will they have petrol residue on then, they may not have as much wild yeast.


4 gallons tap water 4 lemons, halved, squeezed into your tub 2 2lb bags of white sugar around 20 Elderflower heads Few glugs of white wine vinegar 10 old 2 litre fizzy drinks bottles (yes you’ll really have that much)

Equipment One large bucket with a lid.

Clean your equipment out. Put in the sugar, water, vinegar. Heads in the bucket with water for a few days (until you think it looks ready – 3 to 9 days ). Strain through muslin cloth into bottles. Leave for as long as you want. They will keep for a year if they do not burst before hand. Make sure you keep an eye on the bottles…if they look solid and fit to burst, release some of the pressure by unscrewing the caps. If you do not do this they map explode!