Week commencing 15th September 2008 Happy Birthday! Twenty years ago, after failing the bar exam, Keith Abel made a plan. The plan featured a sack of potatoes, boxes of eggs and some new-fangled, little known word, ‘organic’. Little did he know that his door-to-door potato selling plan (with his strapline “Don’t break your arms and eggs!”) would develop into the Abel & Cole of today. Keith’s determination and belief in organics, along with the support of family, friends and staff, have been the driving force behind Abel & Cole’s history and success. But it hasn’t always been plain sailing… “In 1997 we had a bit of a crisis. We were competing against the retail giants at a time when no one understood organics, people just didn’t really get it.” It wasn’t just the company that suffered either - Keith recalls the effects on his home life. “It was a very hard time - I had two children under the age of 3 and my house was famously put up for sale by the Inland Revenue. I got through it with the help and support of family and everyone involved with A&C. We told growers and staff the extent of the crisis, and everyone pulled together, helped out and worked really hard.” Since 2002, things have been a bit more rosy. One of the most pleasing things for Keith is how this growth has benefitted others; “I’m really proud of how we’ve helped other businesses grow – it’s been really satisfying seeing all these little guys, persuading them to give us a go, and then see it pay off for them so well. Our growers are all bloody nice people trying very hard to do good things – we met them when they were small, struggling businesses and they now enjoy a bit of security.” Keith has also enjoyed seeing the growing awareness of the benefits of seasonal eating. He’s delighted to have introduced people to seasonal veg like bright lights chard and kohl rabi. Keith enthuses that we’re still, after all this time, showing people how to enjoy veg. “I love that people rave about black salsify, and I love curly kale - I’m really delighted that people love cooking it.” (Stir fried with olive oil and cumin is Keith’s top tip.) “We’ve had to figure out how to eat with the seasons and it great that it’s so popular – I love it that loads of people are thinking more about their food, and where it comes from, and are moving away from homogenized identikit supermarket produce.” So to celebrate we’re offering 20% off all our wonderful meat, fish, dairy and other goodies (everything except fruit & veg) for next week only - so it’s the perfect time to delve into our range and try something new! Variety is the spice of life Hurrah for Higher Fingle Shakespeare gave Russet Apples the name Our favourite chicken farmers Rona and ‘Leather-coats’, the russetting simply being a Nevil at Higher Fingle Farm have just rough skin type not an imperfection. The been awarded ‘Overall Winner: Food Victorians loved crunchy russet apples but Champion of the Year’ by Country Living our taste and demand for big shiny apples Magazine. has driven them from the supermarket Their commitment to animal welfare, shelves. Now you can join the traditional along with the fantastic quality of their apple aficionadas and enjoy a taste of Ye Olde ducks and chickens make them truly England with St Edmund’s Russet apples! deserving of this title. Well done them! No Internet? Don’t miss out on our brilliant range of produce. Phone us on 08452 62 62 62 for a complete product list! This Week’s Boxes Deluxe Veg Essential Veg Family Box Mixed Box Seasonal Salad Essential Fruit Aubergine Carrots Bunch Apples Apples Box Apples Beetroot Bunch Cherry Tomatoes Broccoli Carrots Carrots Fairtrade Bananas Carrots Bunch Courgettes Carrots Cherry Tomatoes Cherry Tomatoes Melon Cavalo Nero Green Cabbage Fairtrade Bananas Fairtrade Bananas Cos/Battavia Lettuce Oranges Green Cabbage Leeks Golden Globe Plums Green Cabbage Little Gem Lettuce Pears Short Cucumber Little Gem Lettuce Green Cabbage Mushrooms Red Pepper Sweet potatoes Spinach Leeks Oranges Short Cucumber Essential Fruit Sweetcorn White Onions Little Gem Lettuce Potatoes Tomatoes Spring Onions Plus Small Mixed Mushrooms Spinach Apples Small Deluxe Box Oranges White Onions Baby Box Fairtrade Bananas Potatoes Veg Apples Ramiro Pepper Apples Golden Globe Plums Beetroot Bunch Broccoli Spinach Carrots Melon Broccoli Carrots White Onions Courgettes Oranges Carrots Bunch Fairtrade Bananas Fairtrade Bananas Pears Cavalo Nero Pears Pears Short Cucumber Potatoes Spinach Sweet potatoes Spinach Sweet potatoes Sweetcorn White Onions Tomatoes Box contents may vary due to availability and road strikes. Our website will always show the most up to date information. If your box doesn’t match the contents shown here, please count the items in the box, as a replacement may have been made. If you’re not peeling them, please wash your fruit and veg before eating them. 20% off for our 20th birthday Recipes by Rachel de Thample Apple rarebit We’ve got balloons and cake galore in the office to Serves 4 as a starter, or as a light lunch with salad. celebrate our birthday, and we thought you should join in the fun too! 4 x 4cm-thick slices white bread, like pain de campagne or a farmhouse loaf From Monday 22nd – Friday 26th September, you can Knob of butter get 20% off your whole delivery (apart from fruit 300g Cheddar, grated and veg) if you enter the code BIRTHDAY when you 150ml Samuel Smith’s cider confirm your order online. 1 tbsp Berkeley Farm pouring cream 1 tsp Tracklements tarragon mustard See the flyer or website for terms and conditions. 1 tsp wild flower honey 1 large apple or 2 small apples Preheat the oven to 170°C, gas mark 3. YOUR RECEIPT Remove the crusts from the bread. Cut a square out of the centre of each slice, without going through the base. Leave a 1.5-2cm border around the edge, in effect creating a bread case. Roughly crumble the cut-out pieces with your fingers & set aside. Dot the hollowed-out bread cases with little bits of butter, place on a baking tray & bake for about 10 minutes until toasty. Meanwhile, melt the cheese, cider, cream & mustard in a pan over a gentle heat. Stir until smooth then beat in the reserved breadcrumbs. Preheat grill to high. Peel & core your apple and cut into thin, ½- 1cm thick slices. Place in the centre of each bread case. Pour the cheese mixture over the apple & place under the hot grill until they’re golden & bubbling. You’ll need to serve them straight away before the bread softens. Golden onion and cider soup This is a rich, luxurious soup – and a great way to clear a backlog of onions! Serves 4. 1kg white onions, finely sliced 75g unsalted butter 500ml Samuel Smith’s cider 1 sprig fresh thyme 1 bay leaf 1 litre chicken stock 200ml Berkeley Farm pouring cream To serve: a loaf of pain de campagne Sweat the onions in a pan with butter until golden brown. Add cider and boil gently until reduced by half. Add the Please include your name and either your account number or postcode in all correspondence! thyme, bay leaf, stock & cream & simmer for 30 minutes. Abel & Cole Ltd, 16 Waterside Way, London, SW17 0HB. VAT Number 918 0962 09. Season to taste & serve with a warm loaf of pain de VAT is charged at 17.5% on standard rated goods. Please visit www.abelandcole.co.uk for our full terms and conditions campagne.