Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Full Freezer Syndrome

We are still suffering from full freezer syndrome, where we're trying to make room for all the fruit and veg that's being harvested, so that we can store it. The trouble is, the freezer never seems to have enough room, no matter how much we take out of it. I can never get the stuff back in using less room than before I took stuff out. Its like a spatial awareness puzzle, that neither of us can do!

And now we've got a Groupon for a half price meat box, Iwe are really struggling. So we've decided to set a date for delivery of the meat, in order to make us use the stuff and not buy more. Trouble is, living in Devon, there is just so much good food around. I know I shouldn't complain, that we are lucky to have enough food, and a full freezer is NOT a problem, but still.
Anyway, there was a bag of bacon pieces which I fried in a little oil and chopped garlic,

 adding potato Gnocchi after a few minutes.

 When the bacon was cooked, and the Gnocchi were starting to crisp, I had to transfer it all to another pan, as it stuck while I was doing my fruit compote. I then added cheese sauce and cooked pasta for a delicious supper.
with some home made Garlic Bread.

 Like I said, I picked Blackcurrants, but had nowhere to store them, so I added the same weight of sugar and boiled them for 5 minutes,

 The syrup started to set, meaning it was ready, and now I can keep it in the fridge for a few days, its good with yogurt, or on meusli.

We went to the Hedgehog Hospital yesterday, I think they must have all got better, as there was only 1 patient, and I couldn't get a good photo through the glass. Anyway, there were Goats,

and Alpacca to see as well.

As you will remember, my daughter Naomi got married in April, and Yvonne kept her bouquet, drying the petals to make a memory pillow. She cross-stitched a front for it,

and also a ribbon on the back with the date. Naomi loved it, hopefully it will remind her of a great day.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Leg of Lamb

Here's my recipe for a slow cooked leg of lamb. Its always a good idea to buy big joints, if you can,as they cook better, stay moister, and you can freeze the remainders for easy meals. I've found that if you keep your eyes out you can very often get these half price, which makes it worthwhile.

So here it is, scored and oiled, ready to put in the oven.


Cover it tightly with foil, and heat the oven to max. Put it in the middle, and immediately turn the temperature down to 160 degrees. Forget it for two hours.

 After two hours, take it out, baste it with oil, rub a bit of garlic paste in and add potatoes and onion. Re-cover and put it back in for another two hours.

After this time, it should be falling off the bone, and the potatoes will have soaked up the juices, put them in a separate pan, they can be finished off with a basting of goose fat and 30 minutes roasting. Save the juices for Gravy.

Flake the meat and let it cool. This can now be bagged for later use, keeping enough to enjoy today. Perfect with mint sauce and veg.



Saturday, 27 July 2013

Now that's what I call CAKE!!!!

Good old Norma, she's just brought me a birthday cake!

 I think there are about 37 Lemons in there, and the icing is not sparse.

Perfect with a cup of Earl Grey. I still have to find room for Dinner. (I'm sure I'll manage)

Happy Birthday to Me!

Yes it's that time of the year again, but just another day in the scheme of things.

When I was putting the beetroot away, I found a jar of Pickled Onions from last year, and on inspection they had gone soft. Instead of throwing them away, I chopped them up and put them in some fresh, sweetened vinegar.

They will be used as a base in stews and various dishes.

I also made a loaf for myself, as it is a bit quiet on the sales front, I think it must be the hot weather, people are eating less bread.

I made a large one, doubling the quantities for a no-knead loaf and baked it in the large casserole dish.


I have also dug up the last of the new potatoes, a bit of a disappointment this year, probably due to the late spring, but enough for a few meals.


Now I'm off to enjoy my Birthday cake, with Clotted Cream of course, and Steak tonight.

Friday, 26 July 2013


I took delivery of 10kg of local Beetroot this morning, and got it boiling until it was soft, about 45 minutes per pan.

After letting it cool, the skin just rubs off and you can slice it into jars. Don't try it until it's properly cool as the middle of the tuber stays hot for a long time, and will give you a shock!

And here it is in my store cupboard, after adding spiced vinegar. It will need about two months for the flavour to develop, then it will last me for about a year. From the 10kg I found two rotten tubers, but ended up with 8.5 kg of pickled product. Cost around £14. The jars were free from our local chip shop, they previously held gherkins (Thanks Peter)

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Bits and Pieces

This rather appetizing picture is of my speciality dish, as requested by Naomi, who is down for a couple of days.
Basically, it consists of chunks of Chicken Breast, in a marinade of equal parts Peanut Butter and Sweet Chilli Sauce. Its cooked in the oven for around 45 minutes at 200 degrees, or until it looks like the picture at the bottom of the post.

To accompany, we have potato wedges and chopped onion, in Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil, cooked for an hour in the same oven.

The Hollyhock outside the back door is starting to flower, and it's taller than I am. 

Even though it's been really hot here, occasionally we get a sea mist, yesterday it was rolling in at Sharkham, when I took the dogs out after lunch.

Here's what it normally looks like. You can see that it hasn't rained for a while as well.
Back to food, (well it is my favourite subject), Salad, partly from the garden, 

The Potato wedges

and the Chicken

followed by a stroll around Brixham harbour, at which point it rained! 

Monday, 22 July 2013

Hot off the Press

For those who don't have the Kindle, but would like my novel, It is now multi-platform.

Available for most other e-readers now at the following link :-


Happy Reading!

One Extra for Cake!

After delivering the bread to Oats this morning, we headed out to Fermoys Garden Centre at Ipplepen for coffee and a cake.

They had Pain au Chocolate for 50p, and we sat outside in the shade, and a bit of a breeze, to enjoy the peace and quiet.

We were spotted by a blackbird, who came over and said hello,

so we put a few crumbs on the table for her,

obviously tastes better than worms, well which would you prefer?

I've been picking blackcurrants over the last couple of weeks, and had enough for Jam, as I was already hot, I thought I might as well make it up.

Here's 2kg of currants,

and 3kg of sugar,

 boil it all up for a bit,

and here is the result, I must admit I cheated a bit and added extra pectin, it was setting almost before it had boiled, so that was better than spending ages trying to get it to set.

Now we will be alright for Jam, I still have a load of semi-ripe fruit to pick, and a freezer with about 3kg of berries from last year. They all need to be used before this years crop, so I feel more jam making coming on.

But before that, we have Evergreen Farms Scotch Eggs and salad for tea, then it's Ciabatta time.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

A Recipe

Back to recipes today, and here's one for a piece of Pork Tenderloin. But first, get out to the garden and pick some broad and runner beans.

 Next, take your Pork, give it a rinse and put it in a dish with some olive oil,

 Next sprinkle some dry Sage and Onion Stuffing mix over it (I used Sourdough breadcrumbs, but however you like it)
Then cover with foil and put it in a 200 degree oven for about 40 minutes. The potatoes are already in.

 And here's the roasties at the end of that time, spot the parsnips and Onion, (I love roast onion, and Yorkshire Pud!)

 Have a look at the pork, here's my piece. it should be cooked, but just cut it in half to make sure it's cooked through

And it looks fine. Now its just a case of plating it up.



Meanwhile a couple of pix from Friday at work, this is alongside at Dagenham, looking down river.

And this one at Erith, outbound.

Must dash, Sourdough to go in the Oven.