30 August 1996

Fund-raising cook-books farm flavour

Rabbit pie

5ml (1 teaspoon) oil

5ml (1 teaspoon) butter

1 rabbit or 450g (1lb) diced rabbit

15ml (1 tablespoon) seasoned flour

225g (8oz) streaky bacon

1 large onion (sliced)

2 carrots (sliced)

1/2 swede (cubed)

600ml (1pt) beef stock

fresh marjoram

225g (8oz) sliced mushrooms

4 thick slices bread

parsley to garnish

Preheat oven to 180C (350F, gas 4).

Melt butter and oil in a large frying pan. Coat rabbit in seasoned flour and fry with bacon until brown. Transfer to medium-sized casserole.

Add onions, carrots and swede to the pan, stir for a few minutes. Add stock and bring to boil, add marjoram and season. Pour over meat.

Cover and cook for 11/2 hours. Remove from oven and add mushrooms. Cut bread into triangles, dip into gravy and place, gravy side up, overlapping neatly on top of the meat. Return to the oven, and cook uncovered for a further 30 minutes until bread is crisp.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Serves four to six.

&#42 and N Major, Gloucestershire

Pumpkin and grapefruit marmalade

1.12kg (2lb) pumpkin flesh

21/2 grapefruit

900g (2lb) sugar

juice of 1 lemon

knob of butter

Remove the rind of the grapefruit with a zester. Mince or finely chop the grapefruit flesh and the pumpkin. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with a little of the sugar. Leave overnight to draw out the juices.

Lightly butter a preserving pan. Place the grapefruit and pumpkin mixture in the pan with the peel, and cook until soft. Stir in the sugar over a low heat until dissolved. Bring to the boil, and after 10min test for setting point by placing a drop of the marmalade on a cool saucer. If it crinkles when gently pushed, it has reached setting point. If setting point is not reached, boil again and test after 10min. Put in hot sterilised jars.

Makes three 350g (12oz) jars.

D Quaife, East Sussex

Matilda slice

175g (6oz) butter

20ml (2 dessertspoons) golden syrup

100g (4oz) granulated sugar

100g (40z) sultanas

50g (2oz) glacé cherries (chopped)

350g (12oz) self-raising flour

Preheat oven to 180C (350F, gas 4). Grease and line an 18cm x 28cm (7in x 11in) tin.

Melt together the butter and syrup in a saucepan. Add the sugar, sultanas and cherries. Sieve flour into a bowl, add the melted mixture and beat well.

Turn into the prepared tin and bake for 20min. Leave to cool in the tin.

Makes 16 slices.

K Packer, Oxon

"We were swamped with recipes," said Sally Mitchell who came up with the idea of producing a cook book containing the favourite recipes of retired farming folk.

Sally, a Norfolk farmers wife, also took on the work of collecting and, with the help of her friends, testing the recipes which were published this summer under the title Farmers favourites*.

This attractive paperback is now raising funds for the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution and it was beneficiaries of the charity, which helps retired, disabled or disadvantaged farmers, farm managers and their dependents, who contributed the recipes.

Sally, who is a RABI council member, received heaps of letters and even poems in response to her appeal and chose 135 of the best and more unusual recipes for publication.

They include recipes for light and main meals, puddings, cakes, tea breads and biscuits, a few preserves and a small Christmas selection. Tried and true favourites they maybe, but there is an appealing freshness about this book that is bound to prove itself a good old standby.

Sallys friend Mary Beck, herself a farmers wife, produced the illustrations. Rather than concentrate on food subjects Mary majored on light hearted drawings of a mouse, a cat and the sort of terrier that is a part of many a farm home. These characters add a life of their own to the book without overpowering it.

RABI president Lord Plumb has written a foreward, cookery writer Mary Berry has contributed an introduction and Norman Painting (alias Phil Archer) launched the book at the Royal Show. AR

*Farmers Favourites is available from the publishers, Farming Press, Fenton House, Wharfedale Road, Ipswich, Suffolk IP1 4LG at £6.45 (inc p&p).

To give you a taste of the book we offer three of the recipes:

Mary Beck (left) illustrated the book and Sally Mitchell compiled it.

RABI President Lord Plumb wrote the forward: Royalties go to charity.