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!

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 Autumn, Flowers, gardening, Hints & Tips, In the garden, Recycling, Reusing, Self reliance

New Flower Bed

Here’s an idea, why not make a flower bed out of an old table? Well I have! I had a very sad looking garden table, turned it upside down, cut it’s legs off and now I have a quite spacious but manageable flower bed πŸ™‚

That old table now contains, lavender, seedum, geraniums and some tulip bulbs for the spring., I’ve never started a bed from scratch like that before so I’m very pleased πŸ™‚

Posted in challenges, cooking, Crafts, Mini vacation, plants, Self reliance, Summer

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™‚