This weekend

I know I’m a bit late in telling you what I did this weekend but, you know, you have to do things to create your simple life! πŸ™‚

Anyway, I made a Battenberg Cake

and a Garden and home journal.

And today I made this plan of our garden with the help of the plans for the garden work!

I now think I deserve a cup of tea (and a piece of Battenberg) πŸ™‚

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Last Nights Dinner

Wild venison bourgignon was on the menu yesterday, dinner with some lovely friends. I’m sorry if you are vegetarian πŸ™‚ but we try our best to use responsibly sourced meat as a principle and believe it is very healthy and good for you. The recipe was from a magazine I buy called ‘Simple Things’

Wild venison (from responsible countryside management)

Marinated in red wine with rosemary.

Cooked with carrots, red onion, bulb fennel, mushrooms and garlic.

A beautiful Supper for a cold evening, served with mashed potato and peas!

Here’s the recipie, very easy, you just need to give yourself preparation time.Β 

Happy Cooking πŸ™‚

 

Using leftover Roast Pork

I always like to be creative with my leftovers, I usually checkout what I have in the pantry, fridge and garden/greenhouse and start from there. So here’s what I did with the last lot of leftover roast pork I had.


I started off stiring the cumin and coriander in some oil (after I’d crushed them with my pestle and mortar) after a couple of minuted I added chopped onion and chilli cooked until soft.
These are some peppers from my garden, cut into quarters and I added them and cooked for a couples of minutes with some diced sweet potato while cutting up the pork.
I added the pork and some chickpeas

and a few chopped up apricots.
I gave a good stir added half a tin of chopped tomatoes and simmered while I cooked some rice.
I had enough for four servings. First we had a portion with rice.
Then we had out portion like a chunky south with bread and butter.


It was actually delicious!

Dyeing and Spinning Workshop

I’ve been being a bit quiet on hear recently because I’ve been having a bit of a rest. Things have still been happening and growing and I’ve just been in my studio painting! Yesterday though I went on a bit of a slow adventure and felt I had to share.

I went on a dyeing and spinning workshop for the day πŸ™‚

We first cooked all the things that had been collected on site on the fire.

Some created quite a good colour like this fresh Alder bark.

This is some of the fleece that we dyed hanging up to dry.

We were shown how to make our own spindle out of Hazel wood….

….and were given some washed fleece so that we could learn to spin.

This is what I came home with. Some swatches of fleece that we’d dyed, our handmade spindle and a small skein of our very own spun yarn!

It was a very good day, but I was really tired when I got home. I think all the fresh (smokey) air did me good πŸ™‚

New Years Marmalade

It’s the time of the year for marmalade, the Seville oranges have been in the shops and thoughts are directed to making a years supply of marmalade. The reason for this sudden desire to slice 6 pounds of oranges is two fold. It tastes better and it’s cheaper!

For several years now I’ve put the oranges in a food processor to chop them, but this year I decided to slice by hand. Oh my word, I was so surprised how pleasant it was to sit and slice the oranges by hand (with a nice serrated steak knife) in the quiet. A very simple life thing to do, and it was easier to extract the pips too!

marmalade-1 marmalade-2

Once the sliced oranges have soaked over night they are meant to be simmered to reduce the liquid by a third. When I had heated the the water in the pan and added the sugar I realised I hadn’t done that!!!

I managed to rescue it by taking some liquid out, adding more sugar and a bottle of liquid pectin. Here on my pantry shelf are twenty jars of marmalade. I now feel like Moomin Mama and I have a very happy husband!

marmalade-3

It tastes exceptionally good too πŸ™‚

marmalade-4

Banana Pancakes

Well there’s been a lot happening at Simple Life HQ, so much so it has kept me away from you.

We’ve had some hot weather the last week or so here and though I love bananas I can’t eat them fast enough. When it’s hot you need some recipes using the onesΒ which have become very ripe! I generally google around for ideas and then make something completely different or inspired be what I’ve seen.

So banana pancakes! I just used the basic batter recipe that I use for just about everything 2 oz flour (I like to use gram flour) 2 eggs and as much milk I need to get it to the consistency I want. Β (recipe for two people) and then just added half a ripe banana mashed up.

Then I sliced the rest of the banana up and layered them with the pancakes, yogurt and runny honey.

Yum!

Pancakes 1 Pancakes 2
It was delicious.

Using gram flour makes it very light and I use sheep’s yogurt which is very light too and all very good for you πŸ™‚

Blood Orange Marmalade

When I saw the blood oranges were in season on the market stall I like to use (nice un-packaged fruit and veg) I thought I would try making some marmalade with them to see what it was like. I should have worked out the costings so I could share with you how little you can pay, but I forgot to record it so I might add it later.

They are not very attractive are they?Β Blood orange 1
..but look how pretty they are inside!Blood orange 2
I chop my oranges in my food processor for quickness. ..Blood orange 3
….then the marmalade is all pulpy and nice.Blood orange 4
I did have some trouble with the recipe I found, so had to do some adaptation from my normal Seville orange marmalade recipe to get it right. Trust me, if you have a go at preserving and it doesn’t work out, it could be the recipe and not you!

Here it is, yum! It’s very perfumed compared to other marmlade I’ve made. I collect and re-use jars, keeping the pretty jars for me, they look nice in the pantry, and fill some plainer jars so I have some to give away πŸ™‚
Blood orange 5