Saturday, 30 November 2013

Good Food, and Scenery to die for.

Sunrise this morning, from the study window, the weather here has been amazing for the last few weeks, it's hard to believe that it will be December tomorrow. It might not be hot, but it's not too cold and very good walking weather.

A few photo's of food this time, and most of it appears to be very pale. Not for any reason, it just worked out that way.

First a fish pie, I acquired some mixed fish pieces and as we hadn't had a fish pie for a while, this was the result.
I made the sauce with milk, grated cheese, mixed herbs, mustard and Cornflour. It needs to be practically solid because the fish moistens it as it cooks.

Add your chunks of fish,

and mix together, then top with mash.

After about 45 minutes in a 180 degree oven, as you can see it's got runnier.

As you will know, if you have been following the bread blog (and if not, WHY NOT) I have been making Mincemeat flavoured teacakes, well I had the dregs of a tub of mincemeat left over, it was too runny to use for much else.

So I brought some double cream and mixed it together, then put it in my trusty Ice-Cream maker, (an impulse buy years ago, but one that has been worth it)

an hour later this was the result, a litre of ice-cream. (Yvonne has a sore throat, so it's medicinal)

Lastly, today we had Sausage Casserole, using sausages we got at Totnes Good Food Market .

Browned and cut into chunks,

Added some veg,

and made a sauce from Tomato Puree, mixed Herbs,  stock and seasoning.


Six hours later, it looked good.

and finally a walk around Sharkham, it was a stunning afternoon, as you can see.

Looks nice? I can't believe how lucky I am to live here, good food, great people and scenery to die for.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Crepuscular Rays

I Love them! Sharkham Point this afternoon, looking West.


Next door were getting rid of an old metal bed head, and I managed to acquire it from them.

We have an old wooden fence in the garden that is rotten and were wondering what to replace it with.

The Bed Head
I cut an old metal mop handle in half and hammered each piece into the ground, then just slotted the frame over them.

A piece of pipe in the middle, attached with cable ties will give it added stability, all that was needed then was some decoration.

Looks better, next year we will have flowers growing up it. I do hate waste, and love finding a second use for things.

Speaking of which, I used up my excess sourdough starter in a large, no-knead loaf.

it certainly beats throwing it away. I just threw all the ingredients together last night, and cooked it this morning. If anyone wants the quantities and method, give me a message/comment.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Totnes Good Food, Again

The month seems to have flown by, and we are off to Totnes Good Food Market again. Its been a busy week, even though I haven't been at work there has been a lot going on, and it seems like there will be no let up this week coming either.

I've done a lot of bread for various people, (See the bread blog) and was also able to make some for us! I gave some to good friends that we met for a drink on Friday, and I think they must have eaten it on the way home, as I got a text as soon as we arrived back. Also the Brixfest fundraiser last night, I'm still waiting to hear how that went.

We took the dogs out to Stoke Gabriel for a walk around the village and the lake, it was one of those still autumnal days, with the smell of woodsmoke on the air, the world seems to be holding its breath before winter. I love it.

There were Alpacas grazing on the hill? a long way away but I got a picture,

they are in front of the sheep if you look closely, Honest.

And there were chickens roosting in a tree,


The views around the lake ware,as ever , superb, it doesn't matter what season, it always looks different,

and to round it off, we went into the farm shop on the way home and the Christmas beer has arrived.

Fa-la-la-la la etc etc.(especially after a couple of the above)

Food wise, it has been the same old stuff, hearty stews and healthy eating (sometimes), but if Evergreen Farm are at the market today, it will be Steak tonight.

In other news, I have finished part one of "The Rocks of Aserol" and am proofing it, before it goes to my publisher. I've also had interest in turning it into a partwork in a monthly magazine, we'll have to see what happens there. Now of course I have to write part two, and make sure it has a good ending. The first section is still available as a free sample for anyone who wants it, just let me know.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Yvonne makes Faggots, Seaweed Sausages!

Yvonne, (who is a better cook than me) has revisited a recipe that was given to her a long while ago. I guess that faggots are a 'Marmite' dish to some people, and I must admit I quite like the ready made ones you can get. However this version is far superior to any that I have had before.

Hopefully the search engine or web filter will not stop you from looking, or direct anyone here who was looking for something else.

The ingredients are minced Lambs liver and minced Beef, chopped Apple and Onion, Plain Flour, a little Beef stock, and some sage and onion stuffing mix. If you want it exact, post a comment and I'll interrogate Yvonne.

Mix it all together and press into a lined,greased dish.

Bake for 45 minutes and cut into portions to serve. We used the last of the purple Cauliflower.

And there was enough to freeze 2 portions for later.
Next up, the Pork and Seaweed Sausages that I mentioned last time.
I'm going to bake them on a bed of onion and potato.
I cut the potato half way through, so that it will cook quicker, and gave it 30 minutes in a 180 degree oven with the onion.

You can see the cuts start to open up, add the sausages and return for another 30 minutes. turning the sausages after 15 minutes.

at which point it will look like this.
And that's ready to serve, as long as the potato is soft.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Pams Marvellous Marmalade!

More of that later, but first, you need bread for Toast and Marmalade. Now I spend time making bread for others, and it often seems that I don't make much for us. Not only that, I have an ever increasing amount of Sourdough starter, so in an effort to stop it taking over, every week I make a hybrid Sourdough loaf, this time I added White flour.

I baked it in my new Metal roaster (£4 in a charity shop)

The Recipe:

400g Active Sourdough Starter, (at 100% Hydration this is 200g Flour and 200g Water)
300g Strong White Flour,
10g Salt
200g Water.


Mix everything together with a non-metallic spoon until a wet dough consistency is reached. Cover and leave overnight.

Next Morning, turn the oven on to max, with the roaster inside.

Lift the now risen dough onto your surface and stretch and fold it a couple of times.
Leave it to rise again for half an hour, while the roaster gets really hot.

Put the dough in the roaster for 30 minutes, with the lid on.

It then needs about 15 minutes with the lid off to brown and crisp.

You cant slash a pattern in this loaf, but it seems to make its own, and the crumb is pretty good as well. It spread a little, probably because the roaster is too large for the batch of dough, next time I will do a 750g flour mix.

Back to the Marmalade, I recently discovered, (at breakfast time, which is about the worst time to discover anything) that we had NO marmalade left. I think we have a secret Marmalade eater in the house cos I made 50lb of Seville Orange in Feb, and then 10lb of Pink Grapefruit in May. Admittedly, I sold some in Gravesend, but even so! I resolved to make another batch of Grapefruit as soon as I had a day spare.

We were in a well known supermarket yesterday, and they were a little short of Grapefruit, Yvonne and I got talking to another seeker of the citrus, who was also into preserve making, her favourite method was to throw in whatever was available.

Taking inspiration from Pam, I brought Oranges, Limes and Lemons.

I need 3lb of fruit, and here it is,

Cut up and ready to boil,

Boiled and cooling, ready to bottle,

and the finished result, Thanks Pam, for the inspiration.

Shopping this morning, I found these sausages and couldn't resist, stay tuned for a report later. I do hope they're not reduced cos they're awful!!!!!!!

Yvonne is making her home-made faggots this afternoon, if I can, without incurring her wrath, I will describe the process.