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 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 πŸ˜‰

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) πŸ™‚ I have re-used mayo jars and sterilised them in the oven.

Posted in Preserving

Pickled Walnuts

Well we’ve lived in this house with a very large walnut tree in the garden for fifteen years and I’ve never pickled walnuts before. I remember Grandma and Grandad having them at Christmas but being only little I never tried them to see what they tasted like.

So here goes!

Pick them in July. First they need to be tested with a fork to make sure the shell hasn’t started forming. Then put them in a brine for two weeks, changing the brine every three days.

Then lay them out on a tray to dry, they will then turn completely black.

The white dust on them is the dried salt so I rinsed it off before pickling them.

This is the vinegar and spices to be brought to the boil in a pan.

Put the walnuts in sterilised jars and fill up with warm vinegar. I shared the spices between the jars as well

Two months and I can see what they taste like! πŸ™‚

Posted in breakfast, cooking, Easter, family, Food, Fruit, home, Jams & Jellys, Self reliance, spring

Pancakes for breaKfast

With the kids or on your own we can celebrate food over this strange time of lockdown. You can make pancakes for breakfast, especially at this special time of Easter!

2oz plain flour, 2 eggs and a little milk makes 6-7 small pancakes. Double that for more, halve it if you are on your own (give left overs to the birds) πŸ™‚

I use gram flour as I can’t eat wheat but use any plain flour!

mix it up together with a fork squashing any big lumps, little lumps don’t matter.

Turn on the pan on a high heat and add a tiny bit of oil (we are cooking them not frying them) and spread it out over the pan. You might have to add a little more during cooking all the pancakes but remember a teeny tiny bit!

put a large spoon of mixture into the pan.

Your pancake needs turning over with a spatula as soon as little craters start to appear like the ones I’ve ringed around.

Only leave it like this for a few seconds and then put on a warm plate and make the next one.

Note: When the pan looks like it’s smoking, don’t panic, just turn the pan down a little but not a lot, you need it hot.

Then you can put them on the table with all your chosen toppings πŸ™‚ You can use savoury toppings if you prefer.

Note: in your enthusiasm, don’t forget to move the pan safely of the heat.

For the more fussy among us, just jam is ok πŸ™‚

Happy eating!

 

Posted in around my home, bargins, challenges, Crafts, decorating, Hints & Tips, home, Recycling, Reusing, Summer

New Side Table

I’m delighted with what I’ve just made. I’ve made a side table for the lounge out ofΒ  vintage chemists box.

I found this box in the loft of our last house when we were moving and so decided to bring it with us. We’ve been using it to store sketch books and journals until now when we had a need for a new side table.

I’m really happy with it πŸ™‚

Posted in challenges, Flowers, gardening, Hints & Tips, In the garden, plants, Recycling, spring

A New Rockery

For a very long tome there had been a pile of large logs on our front drive which Mr O. was intending to deal with but never got round to it. I came up with a solution for the problem……

…….we now have a rockery! I added some rockery stones to the log pile without disturbing little families which will have made there home in the warm and damp. I now am gradually adding some plants, so now as I drive up to my house it puts a smile on my face! 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, Hints & Tips, In the garden, Recycling, Reusing, Self reliance, spring

New-ish Table

Since our veranda table got turned into a planter, we needed a new one. I had a spare one in my studio but it was much too high for relaxing with.

I bought some steel legs on line (only Β£7.99 each)

and voila, an new table! πŸ™‚

And this is a reminder of the old table 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!