Friday, 31 January 2014

Part 2

To accompany, I had cut potato into chunks, dressed with mixed herbs and Olive Oil prior to putting in a 200 degree oven for an hour. Plus Cauliflower and peas.

Meanwhile the casserole is bubbling away, and the meat is starting to fall apart.

Bit out of focus-steam on lens

Potatoes are Done

Slow Cooked Beef, Part 1

I got a piece of Beef Skirt in our local butchers, really cheap and a great cut for slow cooking, here's how I did it.

All this for a fiver!, I had to cut it into two to get it in the frying pan. Anyhow I browned it, while that was going on I cut up shallots and lined the slow cooker.

adding the meat as it was done, there's no need to cube it, after about 8 hours it will fall apart, and the larger pieces cook better anyway.

I then mixed beef stock with passata, adding carrot, garlic and a splash of Worcester Sauce to cover.

Now I can forget it for 8 hours.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Sourdough by Post

I made a couple of Sourdough Loaves today, to use up my starter, and it occurred to me that there might be a market for it mail order. Sent by courier overnight on the day of baking, it would keep for a week at least after you received it.

So if anyone would like one of these, let me know and we can see what can be arranged.

So that you know its a 750g Organic Mixed Grain Sourdough loaf.

Or alternatively, if you live within a reasonable distance of Torbay, I can deliver at a small cost.

Friday, 24 January 2014


I wasn't feeling at all confident about yesterdays meal, so I didn't take any photos during its construction or delivery. I wish I had, because it actually came out quite well.

Let me tell you about it.

I brought a pack of bacon offcuts and had about a pound of lean meat after trimming all the rind and some of the fat off. These I cut into small bits and marinated in a mixture of peanut butter (Crunchy) and Sweet Chilli Sauce.

Next I fried a chopped pepper, chopped onion and some mushrooms until they were starting to soften, adding the bacon mixture for another 20 minutes. Meanwhile I made up a pack of falafel mixture to accompany it.

As I said, a nice meal.

There was a bit of a rainbow on my dog walk today, but not really enough for a good picture. It quite warm, with misty drizzle which is wierd.


you can just see it if you screw your eyes up.

I have the seed potatoes on the windowsill and they are starting to sprout.

Not a lot else to report. The car is in being fixed, the front suspension is a bit broken, they spotted it on the service 2 weeks ago but had to wait for parts / a day when I wasn't doing much.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Spring is in the Air

I was driving to work on Monday evening, and I just had to stop and take a couple of pictures of the sunset, it doesn't really do it justice but it was so beautiful, after all the rain and miserable weather we have been having.

In Gravesend, I brought some first early seed potatoes, ready to start sprouting them on the windowsill, mid february they are going in the ground.

And back home again to day, I took the dogs round and saw these poking up, spring is definitely on the way.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Leech Well and Sharkham

Off to Totnes today, for the Good Food Sunday Market, but first a trip to the Leech Well, in the heart of the town.

It was a bit misty as we approached,

but a beautiful day.


As you can see, there are three springs here, and the remains of flowers and prayers left by other visitors.

In fact as we arrived, someone was drawing water. Out of respect, we left them to it before we approached.

The place has a quiet, mystical air about it, and you can feel why it has been important through the years, indeed you can almost reach out and hold the atmosphere.

After our visit, and a good morning talking to the stallholders and stocking up on the best local produce, I took the dogs out around Sharkham. This is another one of my favourite places, and in the afternoon sunlight, is one of the most beautiful. Although it has a beauty even in the worst storm. And a bounty of Blackberries, Elderflower, Elderberries and Sloes.

After that, I just had to stew up some of the blackberries from last years harvest, to enjoy after our meal of the goodies from the Market.

I do love it here in Devon.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Marmalade Time (Passes a Saturday)

It seems to have come round very quickly, but the Seville Oranges are in the shops again.
So I brought 9lb, no messing around, and I will do a load for work, and enough for us as well.
I should make around 30 lb of marmalade from them, I have 10kg of sugar and all the other bits I need.  I have 24 new 12oz jars for the guys at work, the rest is all mine !!!!

Also, as I'm tied to the kitchen, I will make bread, maybe some overnight white or soft rolls.

My cooking day comes between two visits to Totnes, Friday market and Sunday Good Food. We also found time to repair to the Sea Trout at Staverton on Friday for a Groupon inspired Steak lunch. The steak was excellent, and we managed to leave room for Sticky Toffee Pudding as well. And we dodged the showers!

So back to Saturday Morning, I split the Oranges into three, as 3lb of fruit with it's associated water and sugar is about as much as I can get in my big saucepan.

Bread wise, I had decided to make a Wholemeal loaf and some foccacia, a bit boring I guess but easy to fit in with everything else.

Not content with merely doing two things at once, as I had some sourdough left over I decided to make croutons, as a possible product for sale. I usually flavour them with Balsamic, and tend to overcook them a bit, so I will have to experiment. But that's the best thing about a day in the kitchen. I might even try some crispbreads.

So I started at 7, (the neighbours must love me!) and by 8 I had two doughs proving and the first lot of marmalade on the boil. And the first coffee of the day was going down well.

Then everything happens at once, the bread was ready to go in the oven and the marmalade was ready to boil with the sugar in.

Hope I've got enough?

After a frantic 20 minutes or so, this was the result,

Foccacia with Sundried Tomato and burnt edge.

Batch One
The first batch is mine, so I can check my method before doing the sale version.

Now on with the croutons. A mist of Olive Oil and Balsamic and into the oven.

15 minutes later,

and the Wholemeal loaf was done,

Meanwhile the second lot of Marmalalde was boiling and the jars were sterilised, Crispbread time.

Basically its just a yeast free dough, rolled out thin and cut with a pizza wheel.

20 minutes per side at 170 degrees.


Then stored to see how long they stay crisp.

Meanwhile the second batch of Marmalade is ready to bottle,

I think you've got the idea by now, I'm off to finish up the last batch and have a well deserved sit down.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

A quick meal

Back from work at 7 this morning and had a sleep.

We wanted an easy meal tonight, so I found some Chorizo in the fridge and sliced it. Dry fried so it releases paprika oil,

Chucked in some pickled peppers,

then some caramalised onion,

fry until the sausage is done.

We're trying this with it,

And it looks nice.