Posted in baking

Baking Gluten Free Bread

I’ve decided to give baking gluten free bread another try. I have been Wheat intolerant for many years, from when I was quite young I think, only to get worse as I got older. I was advised that I might have a wheat intolerance almost 20 years ago and so I omitted it from my diet and gradually it started to feel like I was a different person. I have other intolerances but wheat is the main one.

I am conscious that most things we buy are wrapped in plastic, with Some GF bread in very heavy plastic, I presume to give it a long life. I’ve been thinking for a while that if I made my own it could reduce my plastic use. I know it’s very difficult to get a good texture with making GF bread but I’m going to give it a try.

This is today’s bake, made with white rice flour with some seeds. To my surprise it doesn’t taste of rice, it is very spongy, a bit like a fine crumpet. I tried a bit while it was warm and it was ok, but I’ll see how it toasts and if it makes a nice sandwich.

Posted in Autumn

Compost

My compost needed work as it had gone awry! It was overtaken with vegetation, especially nettles. I forgot to take a photo before me and my wonderful garden helper started our work, but all three compost bins were looking like the one on the far side of this photo.

I think I will be able to fill our brown bin several times with the foliage we cleared away, although I do like to keep as much as possible within our garden. I may well find a place in a dark corner to put it, so that any creatures can snuggle into for the winter.

We topped off the heap that was being put to bed to do it’s thing, with leaves raked from our paths

and then covered it and secured it with pieces of paving.

The compost below is ready to be used to mulch in the polytunnel and some saved to sow seeds in the spring. Then as you can see it is next to be filled with our yummy waste for the worms etc. to make into compost for us.

Below is the heap that is next to be used. I just want to show you this because on the top is wool carpet which I used to help to suppress the nettles that has started to compost down. I will now put that in with the new compost I’m making with our other organic waste, ready to make the next lot of compost.

My compost bins are now a thing of beauty ready for over wintering.

Posted in Christmas

Homemade Sweet Mincemeat

I really like making my own mincemeat if I get a chance, actually, I like homemade anything if I get a chance. I found a new recipe online.

I chopped all the fruit and added it to a large pan with the butter and sugar.

Put heat under the pan until the sugar and butter have melted. I actually put mine in a food processer to chop it smaller as I thought my first lot of chopping was too big.

Then add the considerable amount of alcohol! Mix well.

Then I put it in my sterilised jars and sealed them up. (it did taste good when I licked the spoon afterwards 😉

Notes:

I replaced the cranberries will other fruits because you shouldn’t give them to people who take warfarin and a family member of mine does.
This recipe contains nuts so you can replace them with other fruit.
You can replace the alcohol with juice if you wish.
To sterilise Jars, wash thoroughly in hot soapy water, then rinse and put them on a baking tray in a low oven while making up the mincemeat mixture. I always sterilise one more jar than I think I need, just in case.
I’m sure you can replace the butter with sunflower spread to make it vegan.

Posted in Preserving

Sweet Picked Beetroot

I’ve found this an odd semi-Covid year, I’ve also had shingles and it’s taken a long time to get my energy back. I’ve been inspired recently to get doing things again and I have some projects I’ve done that I want to show you. But first on today’s menu, pickled beetroot. I bought a 1kg bag of beetroot from a local shop that had been reduced to 50p and that’s motivation enough to make me think ‘pickled beetroot’ and today I made some.

I found a recipe in an old recipe book.

I made my spiced vinegar with 1 litre of distilled malt vinegar, 1 cinnamon stick, 1tsp black peppercorns, 1/2 tsp whole cloves, 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds, 1 tsp whole all spice 3 bay leaves and 3 tbsp caster sugar. I am going to bottle up the excess vinegar to use for something else along with the leftover spices.

He are my finished jars all ready for Christmas (or sooner) 🙂 I have re-used mayo jars and sterilised them in the oven.

Posted in sowing

Avocado

There is a place a short drive from our house that has fresh organic produce for sale, and local where possible. I try and buy from there as much as possible, meat as well as veggies, they often have nice ripe avocados. Who doesn’t ever want to try and grow something just for the hell of it, put a pit, stone or seed in some soil and see what happens, I did this with my organic avocado pit and check this out!

The leaves are huge and I love it and am very excited. It’s just been on my kitchen window sill. I’m going to pot it on soon and maybe look at how to look after it and see if it one day might bear fruit. I have a polytunnel to keep it in so who knows?! 🙂

Posted in Food, gardening

Beans Etc.

My garden is flourishing, mostly things I haven’t planted, but it’s full of life!

Look at these beans, they are ones that seeded themselves last year and they are magnificent! There are so many bean pods on them. They are one of our favourite vegetables so we are very happy, not quite ready to eat yet though.

These are beans I sowed in the spring, they are doing very well too, so we will have a succession of them through the summer. As you can see we have a few corn poppies around as well.

The green house is looking good, here are aubergines, hot chillies and some sweet red peppers just coming through.

I also have more chillies, and a few tomatoes still to be planted up.

Even though I wasn’t able to tend to my garden as much as I would have liked, it is doing well and I have lots to be greatful for 🙂

Posted in furniture

New Chairs

In our home we are gradually trying to get our rooms styled as we’d like them without spending lot’s of money, not wanting to buy new all the time and being conscious on environmental issues. Our lounge is not designed to have the modern trend big furniture either because of doors, windows and traditional fireplaces taking up wall space. Yesterday we managed to buy two mid century chairs for £40, I know, what a bargain! 🙂 One going in the lounge, a perfect size for the space we had and the second is going in one of our studios.

Posted in Garden Pond, In the garden

My Lovely Pond

I haven’t been well recently, but now I’m definitely on the mend. I went outside and cleaned the pond of leaves with an old sieve I keep for the job, taking care to place the scooped waste beside the pond so anything that has been accidently gathered can make it’s way back home. My pond gives me joy and I felt better just doing that little job.

Posted in In the garden

New Path

Well, I am so pleased with this mornings work. I have been contemplated putting a path in front of this shed for ages. This morning I just got up and did it and I think it’s super! I think the shed needs painting now though.