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  • Writer's pictureAnn

Embellish With Relish

I’m a lover…. of food, cook books, and of the place where I grew up, the Lake District.

I like a proper cook book as well as downloading recipes, but as a lover of cook books it is the being transported that provides that extra bit of escape.

I grab any chance to return to the Lake District and enjoy the artisan food produced in the villages and valleys of Cumbria.

I often bring home jars of relish and marmalade made by the family of the Hawkshead Relish Company. So I was thrilled to review a copy of their recently published cook book with a difference, ‘Embellish With Relish’.

The story of Hawkshead Relish company began in the 1990’s when the Whitehead family café in Hawkshead struggled to find condiments that reflected local provenance and so they started making their own jars of goodness. The product range has increased over the years and they now produce around 120 different chutneys, pickles, preserves, ketchups, jams and sauces in Cumbria.

Maria Whitehead decided it was time to bring her relishes out from the store cupboard stash, to think differently and use them to complement meals and also add depth of flavours in cooking. The result is the book ‘Embellish With Relish’ which is now published celebrating 20 years in the business for Mark and Maria Whitehead, and capturing something of the World Heritage Site that is the Lake District.

The book is split into ten chapters, each one starring one of their most popular Hawkshead Relish products and a few others besides.

Testing the recipes was easy as I love their Red Onion Marmalade and for my sweet tooth, Raspberry and Vanilla Jam.

My first test using Red Onion Marmalade was Sausage and Bean Hotpot which I made in my slow cooker thanks to post-it note advice provided on page 46. It really was a healthy dinner with tomatoes, beans and vegetables. The sausages I used were from my currently favourite meat box delivery – Pipers Farm.

Of course I had to test a dessert recipe using the Raspberry and Vanilla Jam. Raspberry Bakewell Tart, a variation that gives you the look and feel of a traditional Bakewell, but with a layer of jam and whole raspberries dotted throughout the mix. It’s divine!! It was so easy to follow the recipe but I did cheat and use ready-made pastry.

‘Embellish With Relish’ opens with an introduction by radio chef Nigel Barden who has been a fan of Hawkshead Relish jars for some time and plans to use them on his new Scala radio slot with Simon Mayo.

More credit for this successful Cumbrian business comes from the Hairy Bikers, who advocate having a stash of Hawkshead Relish jars in your store cupboard.

This book will certainly stay at the forefront of my cook book collection and I will add more jars and bottles from Hawkshead Relish on my next visit to the Lake District.

You can now buy all the products and copes of this cook book here:

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