Posted in baking, cakes, cooking, Food, winter

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™‚

Posted in cooking, Food, home, January, wine, winter

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™‚

 

Posted in challenges, Flowers, Food, gardening, Organic Gardening, Self reliance, vegetables, winter

Seeds

Oh yes, it’s that time of year when I review my seeds and start planning what I’m going to sow. I just get itchy fingers, only put off by the cold weather!

I had some packets left from last year and bought a couple of magazines which had free seeds with them so I have a good amount of seed to go on with. All I need is some winter sunshine to get me out to prepare for sowing! πŸ™‚

Posted in cooking, Food, gardening, Greenhouse, Hints & Tips

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!

Posted in Autumn, challenges, Food, gardening, Greenhouse, Hints & Tips, Organic Gardening, Preserving, Self reliance, vegetables

Tomatoes

Despite the neglect, my tomatoes a doing surprisingly well πŸ™‚ They are showing signs of irregular watering but still taste delicious!Β Β 
The same goes for my peppers and chillies.

I’m planning to roast and preserve the peppers in olive oil


and dry and freeze the chillies πŸ™‚

Posted in challenges, Food, gardening, Greenhouse, In the garden, Organic Gardening, Self reliance, spring, vegetables

In the Green house

I’m very happy with what is happening in my green house.

Broad beans ready to plant out,

These potatoes ready to plant,

Tomatoes ready to pot on, peppers and cucumbers,

Mixed chilli peppers,

and a couple of strawberry plants I’ve bought inside to get some early fruit.

It’s time now to sow courgettes and squash. Growing things makes me happy, but I wish the weather would warm up! πŸ˜‰

 

Posted in Food, gardening, Greenhouse, Hints & Tips, In the garden, Organic Gardening, spring, vegetables

One of My Favourite Times of Year!

Yes, it’s one of my favourite times of year. I can see everything is brightening up. The particular bird song, new shoots peeping through the soil, blossom coming out, so it’s time to get active in the green house. My fingers get itchy this time of year and I get the impulse to grow things! I’m not one for gardening in the cold so tidying up is being done now as well. πŸ™‚

I’ve had a sort out in my green house and moved a few things round and it’s now set for action.

Today I sowed some tomatoes, cucumbers and small red peppers

I have made a gardening journal from an old book, that I try and keep a record of how things go in my garden as well as hints and tips for me to refer to.

Here’s a sample page. πŸ™‚

Posted in challenges, cooking, Food, Fruit, Hints & Tips, home, Preserving, Self reliance

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!

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It tastes exceptionally good too πŸ™‚

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Posted in Autumn, Food, gardening, In the garden, Organic Gardening, Permaculture, plants, vegetables

Latest Produce report

Despite the major neglect of the garden it is still producing wonderful things for me!

I think it’s the best year for beetroot in a long time and my carrots haven’t had carrot fly this year πŸ™‚

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…and the first proper fruiting of a young apple tree. The apples are still quite sour so have to stay a bit longer, but I must keep an eye out for scavengers!

produce-2

We’ll soon be building a new chicken house, so watch out for that πŸ™‚ I’m very excited!

Posted in Autumn, challenges, Food, Fruit, gardening, Greenhouse, In the garden, Organic Gardening, Polytunnel, Self reliance, vegetables

Garden Success

How do you see success in your garden? Are you like me expecting that you can achieve what you might Β consider great things as well as working and looking after you family and your house?! I continually have to put this success into perspective. There is only so much time you can put into growing things unless you are putting all of your time into being self sufficient (so my husband keeps telling me)!

I’ve just been out to explore the garden that gets attended way less than I’d like, to pick some things for lunch and this is some of what I saw.

I have pumpkins,

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beetroot,

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chillies,

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peppers

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and tomatoes

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and my husband says I should call this success! πŸ™‚