Friday 25 August 2023

Using my new mincer

My Kenwood Chef (from the 1970's) has finally given up the ghost. A new one the same size would cost £400 then the mincer attachment another £150. 

I thought long and hard about replacing it (or getting it fixed which we may still do). For now though, I hardly use the rest of it so we shopped around for just a mincer.

We settled for a Duronic as it had quite good reviews. It is very powerful and noisy, making me jump when I switched it on:

I made enough bolognese sauce with out tomatoes for tea plus two more meals:

Whilst in the mood, I also made two crumbles using the brambles, dried apples and apricots:

We shared one with custard and put the other plus the two sauces into the freezer for later use.

Tuesday 22 August 2023

Hungarian hot wax chilli poppers

I removed 7 reasonably sized peppers from my plant, which are still pale green and therefore not much heat to them. The tops were removed and then they were deseeded carefully without being cut in half.

Half a pack of Feta cheese was crumbled with a fork and pressed into each one to fill them. Then two streaky rashers of bacon were wrapped around each, making sure the open end was fully covered.

Just 7 minutes in the air fryer, turning halfway through and they were done:

Soft and squidgly inside, crispy outside and gorgeous. The peppers are slowly turning red so will have more heat next time.

Sunday 20 August 2023

Tomatoes and more tomatoes... oh, and some brambles from the garden


Including some of the above, I have frozen 8lbs so far, simply chopped and bagged. Supposed to work.

First bowl of our own brambles, another one to pick today methinks:

Despite some days being quite hot, Autumn is approaching, you can feel and see it in the dewy mornings and in the changing of the garden. Also, it is now completely dark by 9pm.

Friday 18 August 2023

Cheesed off is an understatement!

 With blogger that is.

Got a new iPad. Old one select blogger logo, asked to sign in. Sign in screen arrives and I sign in and enter password. This opens up my dashboard where I can create, read and comment. Once finished I can log out of my blog.

New one, no blogger logo so have to do online search for blogger. Asked to sign in, no sign in screen arrives but my dashboard opens up. I can create, read but not comment, except anonymously. It asks me to sign in to comment as DC, can’t sign in, as supposedly, I am already signed in. Round and round I go in an endless loop. Also can’t sign out of just blogger, have to sign out of everything:(

This has ruined my experience to say the least. Supposedly is something to do with Google+ finishing the end of July. Have tried everything suggested but to no avail.

Anyone else having this problem?

Wednesday 16 August 2023

Weed juice

We recently changed our kitchen swing rubbish bin but didn't want to waste it nor throw such a huge item into the rubbish. 

I have been reading about weed juice for a while. We usually make stinky comfrey tea (leaves soaked in water, strained then used 20 parts water to 1 part juice). The smell is horrendous and I just couldn't face it. Time to try something new.

The base of the bin had a large drainage hole drilled into it. The hole was almost covered by large stones, then a piece of plastic netting. Dandelion leaves, comfrey, borage, nettles and mares tail were added along with about a cup of water. This was so I could see where it was draining to fix a large plastic milk bottle underneath to catch the liquid. It too has a large hole cut into its side and catches everything quite well.

Inside the leaves are weighed down with a heavy pot on top of more netting:

Within one week I could see thick almost black liquid draining into the bottle. Checking the liquid, it practically has no smell, so much better!

So far it has been added to with more weeds on two occasions. Within one month it has produced this much liquid:

We clean it out once the contents go black so as not to create too many flies and a general smell. It has been 1/3 filled up this morning and will probably be the last liquid we harness for this year.

It is used 100 parts water to 1 part liquid as it is very powerful. For me that represents 6 tablespoons to one full watering can. Free plant food, what's not to like?

Sunday 13 August 2023

Rose hips and rose hip powder

Up north during our visit, we found a lovely rose bush forming hips. We managed to pick two lots from it over the week. First lot were deseeded whilst fresh, the second I froze for some unknown reason so it was far more difficult to deseed. Shall not make that mistake again:

Anyhow, once thawed, I deseeded those that needed doing, tore into smaller pieces, covered and dried in my conservatory:

These were lightly ground to form small flakes/powder ready for rose hip tea:

The seeds were washed thoroughly in a sieve, then also laid out to dry:

Once dried, they were swizzled in a sieve to remove any residual hairs and ground to a powder:

One small jar of Vitamin C to add to my smoothies or cereals in winter. Won't last long but will be a good immune booster.

Friday 11 August 2023

A lovely garden tea

 One of a few courgettes from DDiL after our visit last week, tomatoes, baby aubergine, chilli and beans from our garden. Rice and an onion (not shown) from the shops:

Beans were steamed in the rice cooker with the rice. Everything else was cooked in the air fryer. Two delicious bowls of food, fresh as can be:
I have to say, my greatly reduced cooking equipment, air fryer, rice cooker and the pressure/slow cooker, are the only things I use apart from the very rare use of the cooker for potatoes.

Tuesday 8 August 2023

Tigerella and beans

 The largest of the tigerella tomatoes abandoned ship overnight so I harvested it:

It weighed 1/2lb! I also harvested 2 Gardener's Delight, they were delicious.

The runner and French beans are cropping now and it is sometimes difficult to keep up with them. Quite a few had to be composted as they were too large and therefore tough. These were what was left before blanching and freezing:

A few have been kept back for tea.

Thursday 3 August 2023

Quick cucumber pickle

One of the things we like about this pickle is not only its great light taste (half water and half vinegar) but also how quick it is to make. It needs to be eaten as soon as possible and not stored long term. 

1 whole cucumber sliced thinly, 1 unsliced but peeled clove of garlic, if desired. 

2 Bay leaves (fresh or dried), 6 or more whole black peppercorns, pinch chilli flakes - optional.

Pack the above into a jar about 1pint or slightly larger and press down.

Measure 150 ml of boiling water into a jug. Add 100ml clear vinegar of your choice but not red or malt. Stir in 35g while sugar and 2 teaspoons salt. 

Pour over the contents in the jar and screw on the lid. Swivel occasionally in the first hour to release bubbles. Leave for one day then it is ready to use. Store in fridge until eaten -  preferably within a fortnight: