By Morley Hayes in News at Morley Hayes, Blogging | 2 days ago
Venison is the generic term for meat from deer. There are six species of deer in this country, all producing venison with their own distinctive tastes.
Venison season traditionally runs from October to December. The word ‘venison’ is derived from the Latin word ‘venari’ meaning to hunt or pursue. It originally meant the meat of any game animal before it became more widely accepted as the meat of a deer (or an antelope in South Africa!).
But it can be used in reference to any part of the animal – if it can be consumed then it’s venison – and yes, that includes the internal organs!
Venison is an incredibly versatile meat. You can enjoy it as a steak, tenderloin, roast, sausage, jerky and minced meat. Maybe that’s why it’s often mistaken for beef, another adaptable meat.
If you’re trying to compare the two, remember that venison is richer than beef. Cuts of venison also tend to have a finer texture and are normally a lot leaner than the corresponding cuts of beef. The leanness of venison is one of the reasons why it’s widely considered by modern nutritionists to be incredibly healthy.
The health factor also comes from the life of the deer itself since they’re inherently wild animals and sustain themselves on grass and wild plants – so have some venison today and enjoy the health benefits!
Did you know you can enjoy the organ meats from deer? These days we call them ‘offal’, but they were traditionally called umbles (taken from the Middle English ‘noumbles’).
It is this term that supposedly formed the origins of the phrase ‘humble pie,’ meaning a pie made from the organs of the deer.
If venison is tempting you this season, try out a couple of these recipes: Moroccan style Squash and Venison Tagine, Venison, Stilton and Rosemary pasties, Venison and Rhubarb Chutney, Venison Steak with Stroganoff Sauce and Shoestring Fries ...
By Morley Hayes in News at Morley Hayes, Blogging | 31st October 2019
With autumn in full swing and Halloween on the horizon, it’s officially apple harvest season again, which can only mean one thing – the return of Toffee Apples!
Most people attribute the creation of toffee apples to American confectionary expert William W. Kolb back in 1908. Legend has it that he was experimenting with red cinnamon Christmas candy when he dipped a few apples for his window display that caught the interest of passing customers. He sold his first batch for 5 cents a piece and the craze took off until he was selling thousands every year and toffee apples found themselves all across the country!
Others believe that toffee apples have routes far beyond William W. Kolb and his sweet shop. There’s a theory that the technique originated from Arabian households as a way to preserve their fruit - or even Ancient Egypt where they would coat their fruit and nuts in honey to preserve them for the gods (and because it tasted great!)
Whatever the history, toffee apples have had a massive impact all around the world. In Brazil they’re called maçã-do-amor and in France the sweet treats are named pommes d’amour - both of which mean ‘Apples of Love’.
Over in Germany toffee apples are most often associated with the Christmas season and are sold at carnivals, fairs and markets throughout the festive period.
And of course, in the UK and USA we pay close attention to the delicious treat during the Halloween period – National Candy Apple Day even falls on October 31!
The love of toffee apples doesn’t stop in Europe either. In Israel they’re sold in city squares on Yom Ha’atzmaut Eve (Israel Independence Day) as part of street celebrations. People go all out in Japan and China, covering an array of fruits in candy-coating which are sold at festivals throughout the year.
There’s no shortage of love for toffee apples wherever you go,but be sure to create these sweet treats with Fuji or Granny Smith apples – the ta...
By Morley Hayes in News at Morley Hayes, Blogging | 30th October 2019
With more than 300 different microspecies recognised in the UK and visible across our countryside, it may just be time for us to bramble on about brambles.
Primarily known for their most-common fruits, blackberries and raspberries, brambles also produce lesser known fruits such as dewberries, boysenberries and loganberries. If the fruits aren’t enough of a giveaway you can also spot a bramble by its thorny, arching stems that grow up to 2m or more, or their distinctive pink or white flowers.
Five petals and many stamens? The name’s Fruticosus. Rubus Fruticosus – otherwise known as the common blackberry.
During the 18th and 19th centuries, strong ale brewed from blackberries, malt and hops was incredibly popular and can still be enjoyed today! Herbal teas in traditional medicine have also been known to incorporate brambles over the course of history. We’ll probably stick to the tea instead of the old Guernsey Folk remedy of passing an infected limb through a wreath of bramble runners 9 times a day, for 9 days straight, whilst also fasting!
Nowadays blackberries are more usually found in a whole heap of delicious dishes like pies, crumbles, wines, jams, jellies and even vinegar! But it’s not just humans that these delicious fruits attract. Brambles are a huge food source for honey bees and bumblebees alongside larger animals such as deer, foxes and badgers.
However, be sure to steer clear of blackberries from September 29 or superstition says Lucifer will curse you with incredibly bad luck. Irish folktales also tell us that eating the cursed berries after the end of September will bring about the mischief of an Irish spirit known as Púca – perhaps better known as Puck in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream – who can appear as a bird, dog, horse or goat just to cause you trouble!
Past superstitions also say that cold snaps in May are because of the blooming blackberries. It even has a name – a Blackberry Winter....
By Morley Hayes in News at Morley Hayes, Blogging | 03rd July 2019
With elderflower season now well underway, we thought we’d celebrate all the diverse uses and benefits of this ancient British flower.
Elderflowers have many different culinary uses from drinks to desserts (including the Wedding Cake of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex!) and if you want to dip your toe into the world of foraging, they're a great place to start.
The elderflower is the jewel in the crown of many foragers. It can be found in woods and along roadside hedgerows across the UK.
From late May you’ll see masses of tiny white flowers hanging in sprays which develop into purple elderberries later in the summer. With their large and flat surface, elderflowers are hard to miss, especially with their vibrantly white colour and floral scent.
The elderflower is an ancient plant, native to the UK, with a fascinating history. The elder tree which the elderflower originates from has many associations in folklore, particularly the Anglo-Saxons who believed if you were to fall asleep under one of these trees, you would be protected from evil spirits.
Seen as a protective tree, the elder tree was viewed as sacred by many country folks who wouldn’t cut or burn the wood of the tree in fear of upsetting it and bringing bad luck upon themselves.
Elderflowers have long been believed to have medicinal and healing properties. The elderflower has anti-septic and anti-inflammatory properties and has been used as an ‘at home’ remedy for centuries. Elderflower is now used as an old-fashioned remedy to treat anything from the common cold to hay fever and even some forms of arthritis.
There are lots simple and delicious ways of eating the flowers and the fruits. The flowers and berries are the only edible part of the plant, which are best picked when the buds are freshly open.
The fragrant flowers are most famous for making elderflower cordial – with its light and floral taste, it makes the perfect summer drink. You can drink it chill...