Spring is here, and boy does my Sodastream know it! This is the time of year when my reflex to pop the kettle on starts to dull, and instead I reach for something cold and refreshing. Naturally, this led to the inspiration for this week's recipe: flavoured syrups for cocktails, mocktails and desserts!
Over the next few weeks it's our mission at Village Wholefoods HQ to help you with some easy summer entertaining ideas, and sprinkle a little holiday season magic over simple family meals.
The syrup recipes we're sharing here are a versatile bunch which can be used to make simple chilled drinks, cocktails or mocktails. They can be used as sauce for cakes, crepes and desserts. They are also a fantastic holiday season gift.
I used to find the idea of making my own chutneys and relishes daunting. It seemed to me that the making of these jars of delicious alchemy were the domain of expert veterans who had been taught the skill from their own forebears, with secret recipes passed down through the generations.
While there's a little truth to this - using an old family recipe definitely adds a pinch of magic and nostalgia - it turns out that anyone can whip up a simple chutney armed with just a saucepan, some pantry staples and a can-do attitude.
Homemade chutney is such a good thing to have in the fridge. It instantly elevates a plain cheese sandwich to ploughman's lunch heights, adds liveliness to cold cuts, and does wonders when served on the side of a humble midweek dahl or curry.
My recipe calls for dried fruit, which means no matter the season, the ingredients are always available! Dried fruit works beautifully in chutneys - when cooked and softened it adds a deep, rich flavour.
I've used dried peaches, but feel free to use whatever dried fruit you fancy.