We aim to provide a healthy diet made from locally-sourced organic ingredients, where possible.
Since starting the Landshare scheme (allotments for five families at Assington Mill), we have been able to use some of the produce grown here organically.
Lunches usually consist of soup and salads. They are prepared here by us at Assington Mill. Cakes and biscuits are also home-made. Almost all the ingredients, if they are not grown here, come from Assington Farmshop, and are organic if possible.
Typical menus at the moment are:
Soups: cauliflower, carrot & sherry, carrot, tomato and rocket, beetroot, lentil & mixed vegetable, salmorejo (tomato & garlic), apple, parsnip and ginger , pea, sweet potato, carrot & cardamom, broccoli & lemon, apple & ginger, etc.
Main courses: ham (from pigs raised in a field adjacent to our farm), smoked fish from Orford or vegetarian quiches with salads such as Waldorf salad (apple, celery & walnut), carrot & orange & cabbage, green salad of mixed leaves (some of it found on the farm!), mushroom & anchovies, French beans & shrimps, tomato, feta, basil and black olives, etc.
We specialise in gluten-free food and are happy to cater for any other special needs, as long as you give us notice on the booking form.
If you would like the recipe for anything you eat at Assington Mill, you will probably find it written out below. If not, please do ask. Many people ask where they can get the ham. The answer is from Kevin Blundell (07917 324431) who lives at Brookfields Farm in Assington, or from farmers' markets in Hartest, Halesworth, Wickhambrook, Sible Hedingham, Lavenham, Sudbury and Mildenhall. Give him a ring to check when he is going to be where. His pigs are totally free-range (Essex Saddleback and Gloucester Old Spot) and he will also sell you weaners to rear yourself.
Thank you for the gorgeous food you arranged. With my work I am fortunate to dine in many fine restaurants, but given the choice I would be back to your kitchen every time!
Incredibly enjoyable, wonderfully organised, fantastic and beautifully presented food, companiable group, wonderful teacher (Drawing for Beginners).
Food was worth half the course fee on its own.
I would like the ability to buy a recipe book for the food eaten over the weekend.
The lunch was delicious (as were the biscuits and cake) and were very comforting on that cold wet day! I am looking at other courses in the list and am sure that I will be visiting you again this year to acquire some more practical knowledge and skills.
GRANNY BUD HOLDEN’S FAMILY CHRISTMAS CAKE, via Assington Mill
This is the best Christmas cake I have ever tasted!
1lb flour (self raising)
½ lb sultanas
½ lb currants
½ lb raisins
20zsa ground almonds
2ozs almonds (peeled and slices)
4ozs candied peel (minced)
4ozs preserved cherries (quartered)
level tsp rind of half a lemon
level tsp nutmeg
level tsp cinnamon
2 glasses whiskey
½ tsp vanilla essence
½ tsp almond essence
2 tbsps black treacle
Cream butter and sugar, add sieved flour and well beaten egg alternately and some of the whiskey until the mixture just drops off a wooden spoon. Add all the rest of the ingredients, beating well all the time. Grease tins well then line with 2 layers of newspaper and then greaseproof paper. Bake for ½ hour at Reg 4, then 3, last ½ hour reg. 2, total 4 hours. Test with a skewer and allow to cool before turning out.
DELIA’S AMERICAN BROWNIES (can be adapted to be gluten free)
via Assington Mill
2oz plain dessert choc (I use Green & Blacks 70%)
4 oz butter
2 eggs, beaten
8 oz gran sugar
2 oz plain flour (brown rice flour - gf)
1 tsp baking powder (gf)
¼ tsp salt
4 oz chopped nuts
Pre-heat oven to gas 4, 350 F (180 C)
7x11 tin well-greased and lined with greaseproof paper. Bring the paper up a good two inches above the rim of the tin
Melt butter and broken up chocolate in the microwave (or bowl in boiling water) for 1 min, or until melted. Remove and stir in all the other ingredients until thoroughly mixed, then spread into the lined tin.
Bake for 30 mins or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out cleanly, but don’t overcook – it will firm up as it cools. Leave mixture in tin to cool for 10 mins before dividing into approx 15 square and transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.
WALDORF SALAD a la “Raw Energy” by Susannah & Leslie Kenton
Via Assington Mill
3 stalks celery
2 handfuls of raisins
2 handfuls of walnuts or pecans
1 handful of toasted pumpkin seeds or cubes of mature Cheddar cheese
½ cup of mayonnaise
Spices (mixed cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice) half a teaspoon of each
Method: quarter the apples and cut out the cores, then dice and toss them in lemon juice. Slice the celery stalks diagonally. Break the walnuts of pecans in half. Mix the apples, celery and nuts together, adding the pumpkin seeds or cheese and the mayonnaise and pour over the salad. Toss well. Eat as it is or served on a bed of shreeded Webb’s Wonder.
As a variation try making Curried Waldorf Salad, substituting 1/2 t curry powder for the other spices.
ELDERFLOWER CORDIAL from Margaret Scott , via Assington Mill
4 lbs granulated sugar
3 ozs citric acid
20-30 elderflower heads
3 pints water
Pick the heads when in full sun. They must be in the peak of condition: not wilting or in bud. Peel the lemon rind, and add to the sugar and acid and unwashed flower heads. Pour over boiling water, stir and leave for 24 hours. Add lemon juice, strain and bottle.
CHOCOLATE COURGETTE CAKE from Maggie Mills via Assington Mill (can be gluten free)
8 ozs caster sugar
8 fl oz sunflower oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
8 ozs grated courgette
8 ozs plain flour (I use rice flour - gf)
4 ozs cocoa powder (Green & Blacks for best flavour)
1 tsp bicarb of soda
1 tsp baking powder (gf)
Whisk sugar, eggs and oil together, stir in courgettes. Add to dry ingredients (sieve these together first). Place in a greased loaf tin. Bake 160 C for around 30-40 mins.
SALMOREJO (soup) from Bella, cook and owner of the Hotel Valsequilla, Lepe, Spain, via Assington Mill
I asked the owner/cook of the family-run hotel for the recipe and she asked me to watch, so that's why it's in glugs and pinches.
1 x 800g tin of chopped tomatoes
8 cloves of garlic, chopped in half
Bread, 2 handfuls of white, without crusts
Olive oil, 5 glugs!
Salt, 4 pinches
Vinegar, a little
Method: soak the bread and squeeze dry, add all the other ingredients, blend at high speed and serve cold. Enough for 6. Sorry the measurements are rather imprecise but I was shown how to make this in Bella's kitchen.
CASHEW & SEMOLINA/POLENTA CAKE (can be gluten free)
Taken from Allegra McEvedy's Colour Cookbook, via Assington Mill
200g butter at room temperature
250g golden Demerara sugar
250g ground cashew nuts, raw & unsalted
Zest & juice of 2 oranges
110g of fine semolina/polenta
1 level tsp baking powder (gf)
Rosemary in little sprigs & 2tbsps caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 160C/320F/Gas 3. Cream the butter and sugar together with a mixer until light and pale. Mix in the cashews (I grind them in the mixer). Add the eggs, one by one, waiting until each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Stir in the orange zest and juice, followed by semolina, baking powder and a pinch of salt.
Grease a 25cm cake tin with a little butter, then dust lightly with flour (rice flour to be gf)). Shake the flour all around the inside so that there is a fine dusting, then tip out the excess.
Spoon the cake mix into the tin and then put in the oven on a tray for around 1.5 hours.
When the time is up, do the skewer test. If a little bit of the cake mix sticks to the skewer, put it back in for another 10-15 mins. Allow to cool in the tin while making the rosemary syrup. Put the rosemary sprigs into a small saucepan with the sugar and 5 tbsps of water. Cook gently over a low flame for 5-10 mins until the rosemary has softened and the sugar has been transformed into a thick, clear syrup.
Loosen the cake around the edges of the tin with a knife, and transfer it to a wire rack. Wait 5 mins then brush the rosemary syrup over the cake and dot the candied rosemary sprigs across the top. There needs to be at least a couple of sprigs per slice.
This cake keeps for about a week and will improve in taste every day. For the best results, store it in an airtight cake tin at room temperature.
CARROT CAKE from ASSINGTON MILL
3 large eggs
175ml (6floz) sunflower oil
1 tsp pure vanilla essence
55ml (1floz) soured cream
175g (6oz) raw moscovado sugar
175g (6oz) soft brown sugar
250g (9oz) rice flour (or wholewheat)
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 level tsps cinnamon
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Small tsp salt
300g (11oz)_ grated, peeled carrots
75g (3oz) desiccated coconut
Icing (simply mix together)
125g (4oz) full fat soft cream cheese (Philadelphia)
50g (2oz) unsalted butter
50g (2lz) sifted icing sugar
Juice of a lemon
Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas Mark 2. Grease and line an 8in/20cm round cake tin, or 2x1lb loaf tins. Combine the eggs, oil, vanilla, soured cream and sugars. Fold in the flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, bicarb and salt into the wet ingredients, followed by the carrots and coconut. Mix well, then spoon into the cake tins. Bake on a central shelf for 1.5 hours, until the cake feels firm to the touch.
If using loaf tins, 40 mins is probably sufficient.
ORANGE ORANGE SALAD
The New Raw Energy by Susannah & Leslie Kenton, via Assington Mill
1-2 cups white or red cabbage
6 oranges (blood oranges look good with red cabbage)
2 handfuls of raisins or small seedless grapes
4 tsps sesame seeds
Juice four of the oranges and blend the juice with the carrots until you have a smooth mixture. Finely shred or grate the cabbage and put it in a bowl with the raisins or grapes. Mix with the carrot mixture.
Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and garnish with the two remaining oranges, peeled and slices.
APPLE SOUP from David & Anne Lloyd, via Assington Mill
1 large eating apple per person (cookers won’t do)
Stock, vegetable or chicken (I use the Bouillon powder)
Ground ginger or root ginger
Method: peel and core the apples and cut into chunks
Fry gently in butter
Add ginger, one level tsp for 8 people, or more if liked
Stir apples so that the ginger is dispersed
Add stock to cover and simmer gently until the apples are cooked
Turn into food processor and mix until soup is creamy
Add more stock if the mixture is too thick.
PEA SOUP from Maggie Mills, via Assington Mill
1-2 tbs olive oil
knob of butter
1 onion & a clove garlic
2 large potatoes, peeled and chunked
.5 pt milk
1 pt stock
1 pt frozen peas
Melt the butter with the oil. Gentley cook the chopped onions and garlic until soft. Add the potatoes and pour on the milk and stock. Simmer gently until the potatoes are cooked. Tip in the peas and simmer for a further 2-3 mins then blend until smooth.
MRS HODGE'S GINGER BISCUITS
Melt (but do not boil) 4ozs(100g) margerine with 3ozs (75g) golden syrup. Add to 1 beaten egg. Pour into the centre of 12ozs (300g) self raising flour mixed with 8ozs (200g) sugar, 2 tsp ginger and 1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda. Place in small balls on a baking tray, well apart, and cook for about 20 mins 300-325F. These biscuits are meant to be large when cooked.
CARDAMOM, CARROT & SWEET POTATO SOUP (inspired by a soup we ate at The Secret Garden, Friars Street, Sudbury)
1 large sweet potato, equal weight of carrots, 1 large onion, 1 tsp cardamom seeds ground up, chillis to taste, stock & butter
Chop onion and fry gently in butter with the cardamom seeds & a small pinch of chilli flakes until soft. Peel potato and carrots and chop into small pieces (we use the blender). Add to the onion mixture. Add 2 tsps Bouillon and 2 pints of hot water to cover. Simmer for 1 hour and liquidise. Serve with cream & parsley topping.
GINGER CRUNCH from Clarice Fage, via Assington Mill
These fingers are incredibly more-ish.
110g (4ozs) butter
110g (4ozs) sugar
200g (7ozs) self raising flour
1 tsp ground ginger, or more if liked
Method: cream butter & sugar, add sifted dry ingredients, knead well and press into a shallow tin (lined with baking paper or well greased). Bake 20-25 mins at 175C or 335F.
Melt 2 tbsps butter, 4 tbsp icing sugar, 4 tsp syrup and 1 tsp ginger in a small pan. Pour over the shortbread as soon as it is cooked and leave to cool. VIP Cut into squares before it gets cold.
(WILD) MUSHROOM SOUP WITH HERBS, from Sarah Brown's Vegetarian Cookbook, via Assington Mill (serves 4)
45 ml sunflower oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 bay leaves
1 tsp chopped marjoram/oregano
1 tsp chopped tarragon
225g mushrooms, chopped
425 ml dark vegetable stock
50ml red wine
30ml tomato puree
2tbsp chopped parsely
Heat oil in a large heavy pan and saute onion and herbs gently for about 5 mins, add mushrooms and cook for another 5 mins or until well browned, stir in stock, wine, tomato puree and parsley. Bring to boil, cover and simmer 30-45 mins. Remove bay leaves and season.
NETTLE SOUP, adapted from a Vegan Recipe Club recipe (for 4 people)
Red onion, cooked gently in olive oil
Add half a tsp allspice, 2 tsp marjoram or mixed herbs, pinch of nutmeg
1.75 pints (vegan) stock
Add 350g potatoes, chopped and cook until soft
Add 130g of the top two leaves of nettles and blend immediately
Add 2/3 tbs almond or ordinary milk and some chopped parsley