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My life in food


Tiramisu is one of Jayne Paget’s favourite desserts

Tiramisu is one of Jayne Paget’s favourite desserts

Tiramisu is one of Jayne Paget’s favourite desserts

Jayne Paget, owner of Erin Grove Preserves, talks birthday party delicacies and her favourite kitchen gadget.

Do you think you're a good cook?

The answer to this could be up for debate! I would truthfully answer yes when I have the time to properly prepare a meal, but another truth might lie in the mouths of my family who eat dinners hastily thrown together every night after a busy day of jam making!

Your most memorable dish was…

My most memorable dish would have to be the staple diet of my childhood - a triad of potatoes, meat and vegetables at every meal followed by a variant of milk pudding - usually semolina, custard or tapioca. Jelly and ice-cream, along with cocktail sausages, were delicacies reserved solely for birthday parties and always went down a treat.

Are you more a sweet or savoury fan?

A decade ago I would have had no hesitation in proclaiming my sweet tooth; in fact, it was probably one of the primary contributors towards starting a jam business in the first place, but these days I lean more towards savoury - a good selection of cheeses with a bit of our Erin Grove chutney is as good a dessert as any!

I'd love to be able to make…

Cruffins - I tried my first in Folk Espresso and Boulangerie just a few weeks ago, a tiramisu flavoured delight (one of my favourite desserts), and I'm yet to try my hand at making my own.

Which food(s) do you dislike?

There's not many foods I'll say no to but cabbage has been my least favourite since childhood, and more recently I avoid anything with a bit of heat - I've never gotten on board with spicy cuisine and can't see that changing any time soon!

What's your favourite kitchen gadget?

I would have to say my favourite kitchen gadget is my soup maker. It may be considered cheating but you can whip up delicious soups in no time at all - you just have to throw all your ingredients in and wait.

Is there anything you won't eat?

I had a severe allergic reaction to shark when I was at university and have been a bit averse to seafood, especially shellfish, ever since. I do enjoy prawns, but you'll never catch me eating oysters or lobster.

What's your favourite restaurant in NI?

I really enjoy Greek food, and Dollakis in Enniskillen always hits the spot.

I'd love to travel to Greece to try some local cuisine, but I'm not sure I could cope with the hot weather! Another favourite is The Taphouse (also in Enniskillen), I've been really enjoying their takeaway Sunday roasts over lockdown.

Post-lockdown, where are you heading to eat first?

I'd love to treat myself to an overnight stay in the Grand Central Hotel, mostly for the breakfast it has to be said. Adding whiskey and cream to porridge is genius, and a coffee in the observatory wouldn't go amiss.

What's your favourite comfort food?

My favourite comfort food would have to be a slice of my mum's homemade gingerbread with a cup of tea.

What's your favourite cuisine?

It's a classic answer but the Italians really do know what they're doing. You can't beat an authentic pizza or a really good pasta dish followed up with tiramisu or a simple affogato.

Your last meal would be…

Definitely steak and chips, with French fried onions (never tobacco) and pepper sauce.

Which celeb chef do you rate?

My favourite TV chef is Mary Berry - I prefer baking over savoury cooking - but I'd have to add that my favourite local celeb chefs are Paula McIntyre and Noel McMeel; not only is their cooking fabulous, they're also great ambassadors for local food producers.

Do you enjoy a takeaway?

When it comes to takeaways, I love anything mild from Indian korma to Chinese honey chilli chicken. My favourite place to order from in Enniskillen is Pizzarella, I would highly recommend the special.

What was the first dish you learned to make?

My mum taught me to bake when I was very young - I have early memories of making fairy buns in the Rayburn. It was my granny who first got me interested in making jam, teaching me the importance of using fresh, local ingredients - an ethos we still have today.

All of our products are made in small batches the same way my granny did on the kitchen stove.

For more information see www.eringrove.com

Belfast Telegraph

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