Peter Gordon: Roast with the most
I have read that potatoes roasted in duck fat are good for you, which sounds like very good news. But someone told me the French actually roast/bake them in the oven in a deep layer of fat so it's almost like deep frying. Is this so? How would you do them? - Barbara, Wellington.
I seriously doubt it's better for you than cooked in vegetable/olive oil. Parboil peeled, halved potatoes 10 mins, shake in the pan to roughen them, toss in very hot fat, sea salt and thyme or rosemary, and roast as you would a normal spud - but 150g fat per 1kg spuds will be enough.
I have some persimmons and a jam recipe that says to wait until they go sloppy and then simmer them with pineapple and sugar. You jar the mixture once it goes clear. The trouble is that it ferments after a short time. I had a brainwave in the night - put the hard persimmons in a blender with apple or pineapple and some lemon. What do you think? Any other ideas I could try to make my jam last longer? - Chrissy Jones
An unripe persimmon is a pointless eat - no flavour or character. Perhaps you need cook the mixture longer before bottling - if cooked properly it should never ferment. Perhaps try replacing the pineapple with a little ripe grated apple or pear, or stone fruit, add lemon juice to taste and lemon peel (or other citrus) and give that a go. Always make sure your jars and lids are sterilised too.