Cumulonimbus, Curd Tarts and Chia Jam

I don’t know where you live in the country (or the world for that matter), but in York last Friday it was mizzly. In fact it was MISERABLE; the rain just didn’t let up all day. But, being the hardcore runner that I am (haha) I ventured out in it for a cheeky 7K along the River Foss to New Earswick and back. Firstly, the river was not a good choice for a run in the rain – the banks were pretty much a mud bath and my shoes got wrecked, thus providing the perfect opportunity for blisters to develop. In addition the low-hanging branches, into which I consistently blundered due to the rain being in my eyes coupled with trying not to fall into the mud, did not make for favourable conditions. But apart from all of that, it wasn’t a bad run, especially from a time point of view. It was my fastest 7K at 00:34:16, so after all that moaning about the weather, I can’t complain too much.

On Sunday, the weather cheered up a bit, which we were grateful for because it was my Mum’s birthday. Cue another Tour d’Hayward. This time the Hayward entourage cycled to Beningbrough Hall, which I’ve blogged about before. We took with us a very Waitrose picnic, complete with hummus, stuffed roquito peppers, smoked salmon sandwiches and profiteroles. I have to say, it was pretty great. Plus a cow in the field next to us went on a bit of a mad one while we were eating, which provided some lunchtime entertainment. We didn’t stay too long at Beningbrough, however, as we had to prepare for Mum’s birthday dinner (as if the picnic wasn’t enough). I was on dessert duty and decided to make orange curd tarts. The curd took quite a while to make but it was well worth it – it tasted amazing and was silky smooth, although I could have cooked it a bit more for a firmer consistency. The pastry was a dark chocolate pastry, which really worked with the orange. I served them with orange slices which I had caramelised earlier in the day. And I think they were a success – at least I reckon Mum enjoyed them as I caught her eating the leftover curd with a spoon later…which is all that matters.

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And finally a note on chia seeds. Who is on the chia bandwagon? For those that haven’t encountered the mighty chia seed (binomial name: Salvia hispanica), they are an energy rich seed which were used by the ancient Mayan, Inca and Aztec civilisations so that their messengers could run all day. In fact, ‘chia’ actually translates as ‘strength’ in the language of the Mayans. They are high in omega and are a good source of protein and fibre. Others say they’re a bit of a rip off (it’s true that they’re quite expensive; I bought a 500g bag from my local greengrocers when I was at uni for £9.99…but I still have over half the packet left so they do last). But whatever you think about their nutritious properties or price, chia seeds have this magic power of going all gummy when wet. And so they are great for making a really speedy jam, which I did on Monday evening. I whizzed up a cup of blueberries and raspberries (although you can use any berry you like or have in) with a tablespoon of chia, put the mix in a jam jar and into the fridge overnight and BOOM. You have jam. HEALTHY jam. Which I made peanut butter and jam porridge with the next day (slightly less healthy but I loved it). It only lasts a few days but, to be honest, it’ll be long gone by then.

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3 thoughts on “Cumulonimbus, Curd Tarts and Chia Jam”

  1. oh my gosh! Thanks for the jam recipe. I’ve been looking at these chia seeds (and reading about them) and wondering how I could use them. That sounds perfect, especially as I collected a load of blackberries today. (and I love the word mizzly. Is that a Yorkshire thing? Don’t think I ever heard it when I was living in Leeds….)

    1. You’re very welcome Niki – that sounds amazing, especially with fresh hand-picked berries! I also have a tablespoon of chia seeds on my cereal in the morning but I think to be honest you can scatter them on whatever you like!
      I’m not sure how the word mizzly entered my vocabulary – just looked it up and it’s from the Middle English ‘misellen’, apparently from the Dutch ‘mieselen’. I guess you learn something new every day.

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