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The best of the season

The weather has suddenly changed and it's really feeling quite autumnal now. There's a chill in the air and it feels like the right time to be putting all the summer clothes away and replenishing the wardrobes with cosy jumpers and thick socks.


The Aga was officially switched back on yesterday in The Kitchen at Raylands House which means we are heading into one of our favourite seasons for food. Obviously we are passionate about all foods and we love to use great seasonal ingredients throughout the year but there does seem to be something rather special about natures bounty at this time of year. From sweet pumpkins and tart apples to fragrant pears and earthy mushrooms or kale there is so much delicious and colourful produce to choose from.


Today we are very lucky to have been gifted some beautifully perfumed quince from the garden of our lovely neighbour across the field, Jo Marriage of Marriage's Millers. While I wait paitently for the quince purée to do it's magic morphing from a pale yellow purée into a magical ruby coloured fragrant jelly, more commonly known as Membrillo, I can see the squirrels busy in the garden collecting acorns and burying them to find later.





Since I have my hands on some quince which is not always easy to find in shops here in the UK, I'll also be making some Mostarda Mantovana, a northern Italian condiment of quince cooked in syrup then flavoured with mustard oil. Mostarda, a sweet but savoury condiment with a deep warmth from the mustard, is often used as an accompaniment to meats and cheeses. However, it's also the special ingredient used in a traditional Tortelli di Zucca - pumpkin filled pasta served with crispy sage leaf butter. We will be featuring this beautiful dish on our autumn lunch and supper club menus and in our Pasta master class. We hope to see you at one of our upcoming events so you can taste it for yourself.




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