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 🙂 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. 

Happy Cooking 🙂


Posted in challenges, Fruit, gardening, Hints & Tips, In the garden, leftovers, Self reliance, Summer, wine

Rhubarb Wine

Remember this, the stringy old rhubarb only fit for the compost heap!.P1030328
Well it’s now ready for the compost heap….P1030338
after a soaking in water with a spoon of  pectolaise to release the lovely juice.P1030339
With added sugar and yeast it is heading for the airing cupboard to be forgotten about for a few months until it’s ready to bottle.
I’ve never made rhubarb wine before so we’ll have to see how it comes out! 🙂


Posted in home, Preserving, Self reliance, Summer, wine

Dandelion Wine

My dandelion wine has been sitting in the airing cupboard for a while, looking lovely, waiting to be bottled. Today was the day – and a bit of taste testing while processing has made me think it’s going to be a good year 🙂
Now I know what to do with the stringy old rhubarb that’s left over  in the garden. Yes you’ve guessed it, more wine!
I’ll let you know what happens next 🙂

Posted in Flowers, Preserving, Self reliance, spring, wine

Dandelion Wine

Well, last time I attempted this time ran away with me and my dandelions just stewed away in the bucket and I ended up throwing them away. I decided I must try harder! But when the sun shines on the dandelions and they are fully opened to the sun , I am always tempted to go and pull their heads off and do something beautiful with them! Of course there are loads still left in the garden worshiping the sun.

Just a litre of dandelion heads is all it takes.Dandilions 3
Leave them to brew in a warm place for a couple of days with sugar orange zest and yeastDandilions 4
and then into a demi-jon to ferment away for about a month,

Dandilions 5
then it’s ready to rack off (put into bottles).

Posted in bargins, challenges, Preserving, Self reliance, spring, wine

Wine Making

This weekend we have been giving our attention to our wine making. The Pinot Gregio was ready to bottle so here’s the first lot. We only managed 5 1/2 bottles so we had some to taste and it’s lovely. The lady in our fab brew shop in Norwich said it would get better with age. We have now ordered a larger quantity which will make between 27 and 30 bottles of beautiful wine at the economy price of £1.60 per bottle. We may have to buy some extra bottles, but still it’s quite a saving!

Wine 1

We also started brewing our red wine from the kit which is a merlot. In this picture we’re adding the yeast. The wine is now left for 15 to 20 days before adding more ingredients.

Wine 2
The kits are quite easy, require little attention and are ideal if you want to save a bit of money or strive for some sort of self reliance.

I can’t wait to taste the red! 🙂

Posted in bargins, challenges, home, wine

Wine Making

We’ve been trying out some Walnut Leaf wine we discovered from 2012 and it’s rather nice, especially really chilled!

Walnut leaf wine

We’ve also been to the brew shop in Norwich and got some wine kits to try.

Wine boxes
If these work out OK, the wine will cost a 1/3 of the price that’s in the shops. I’m feeling inspired! 🙂

Posted in Flowers, Hints & Tips, home, Preserving, wine


I’ve been eyeing up these dandelions for a couple of days.

Dandilions 1

Then Today Keith said he was going to mow the lawn. So that he didn’t mow them, I’ve just been out to rip there heads off!(if you do this, be careful of the pollen)……..

Dandilions 2

….this was to get a litre of them to make this years Dandelion wine.

Dandilions 3

So they are now steeping in some boiling water and there they’ll stay for a couple of days.

Dandilions 4

Posted in challenges, Food, home, Shopping local, spring, vegetables, wine

Latest on ‘no supermarkets for lent’.

We are still sticking to our guns about not using supermarkets for the duration of lent. Here are some of the shops that are benefiting from that commitment.

Europe Express, a new shop to Fakenham, very friendly and very handy for milk.

Shopping 1

We have bought a lovely jar of honey today with honey comb inside and some Polish margarine to try.

Shopping 4

We regularly go into The Larder, our health food shop, but have been shopping there more and have discovered they do some lovely organic porridge oats.

Shopping 2

This is Benbows our green grocers, our lent commitment has made us shop here more aswell.

Shopping 3

So as you can see our lenten exersize is going well so far, but I have a confession to make!!! We had to get the wine for my birthday party from Morrisons, which I’m not happy about but we have not bought anything in there otherwise!