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A Holiday In Scarborough And ‘Slowing Down’

Last week I spent four nights away with my family and it was a really welcome break, as I had been feeling really tired lately.

We went to Scarborough in Yorkshire and stayed in a Travelodge.  We booked the holiday last July and managed to pay just £153.20 for bed and breakfast for all four of us in a family room.  We like the Travelodge as we know exactly what we are staying in, as they are all vitually the same…the rooms are basic, but they are clean, warm and have an ensuite bathroom.  The breakfast is nice and filling too.

Our family room was a bit on the small side, but the view from the window definately made up for it.  It was lovely sitting watching the sea from the window:

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We expected the weather to be wet and windy at best (especially after all the storms we have had recently), or extremely cold, but it was really amazing.  When we arrived on Sunday it was sunny and it stayed dry the whole time.  In fact, most days we walked along the seafront eating ice creams!  Even my youngest daughter could join in this luxury as we actually found a shop that sold ‘lactose free’ ice cream which made my daughters holiday, as this is so unusual.

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We also expected most places to be shut in February, but everything was open and it was busy too.

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I really enjoyed this holiday with my family, even though we didn’t do an awful lot, it was wonderful to just spend time together.

We walked, talked, played bingo on the seafront and lost a few 2p’s in the arcades togther.  We visited the shops and my eldest daughter spent some of her birthday money and in the eveings we played board games.  To me it was sheer bliss.

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We took pasta salads to eat the day we arrived and then we used our Tesco vouchers to have a couple of free meals at ‘Ask’ and we also had fish and chips whilst sitting on the seafront.  We took crisps and drinks to have whilst we were in our room and out and about, so it really was a cheap holiday.

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When the sea went out it revealed some fantastic rock pools, so we spent quite a bit of time walking around these.

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All in all it was a fantastic holiday.  I know it wouldn’t be everyones ‘cup of tea’, but we had a lovely, relaxing time.

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The last of my stored apples

The last of my stored apples

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While I was there, it gave me lots of time to think about ‘this’ and ‘that’.  Recently, I have felt like I haven’t been able to see the wood for the trees and I have once again found myself rushing everything and generally feeling run down and tired.  I have also felt like I’ve not been achieving as much as I usually do.  So I decided to go back to basics and think about the things that are important to me.  Obviously my family are important as they mean the world to me, but other things that are important to me are:

My allotment and living simply.

Reducing mine and my families carbon footprint.

My blog and sharing recipes and gardening tips, in the hope it will help one or two people out there.

My music – I play the violin and last month I started piano lessons.

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Just by writing this down, it made me feel a bit better and more focused about what I want to acheive.

  I then went on to work out what ‘living simply’ means to me and what I needed to do to acheive it and I actually realised I was doing quite well, except for ‘slowing down and enjoying the moment’…and that’s when the penny finally dropped…I have once again gone back to multi-tasking and rushing.  I have been trying to do too many things in a day and I have stopped enjoying what I have been doing, as it now feels like a ‘chore’ instead of a pleasure.

So I realised things have got to change.

The first daffodil to show at my allotment

The first daffodil to show at my allotment

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Since coming home on Thursday I have made a real effort to slow down and enjoy each and every job I do.  I have spent time checking my stock of food and making sure I know exactly what is in my cupboards and freezers.  I have meal planned and batch baked, made our meals from scratch and washed and ironed our holiday clothes.  I have also spent time at my allotment.

Homemade Rolls

Homemade Rolls

Each job has been completed slowly and on it’s own, without multi-tasking.  Strangely, I actually feel like I have achieved quite a lot, even though I have slowed down, but more importantly, I have enjoyed each and every task.  I’m not sure if it’s because I have slowed down or if it’s because I have finally had the time to focus on my goals and what is important to me…but it doesn’t really matter why.

I once again feel like I have a spring in my step, looking forward to each new day.

Viburnum tinus, spotted laurel and vinca flowers from my garden

Viburnum tinus, spotted laurel and vinca flowers from my garden

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Thank you for reading my blog today.

I will be back at my usual time on Friday.

Fast Food At Home…A Microwaved Syrup Sponge Recipe

This week has been really busy.

I started by sorting my three freezers out.  When we were moving our freezers, I must admit I just rammed everything in anyhow, so they really did need sorting as I hadn’t a clue what we had in them…which is not good for meal planning.

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So I took everything out and put it all back in a reasonable order:

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I did this with all three freezers and wrote a list of what was in each freezer

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I need to start meal planning now at the weekend to make sure I don’t over spend on my food budget.

One thing I did find in my freezer contents was a bag of left over vegetables.  Everytime I have left over cooked vegetables after a meal, I freeze them.  When I have enough, I make a ‘use it up curry’.   So this is what we had for tea on Thursday:

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I’ve also been preparing for my youngest daughters birthday yesterday.  I can’t quite believe she is now fourteen…where did time go to?  It only seems like yesterday that I was holding her in my arms when she was just a few hours old…and now she is growing into a beautiful young lady before my eyes.

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So on Wednesday I made a dairyfree cake for her birthday (as she is dairy intolerant).  She asked for a chocolate cake with jam in the middle which is what she always asks for, but I wanted to make it extra special.  I decided to make it two tiers and cover it with dairyfree butter icing.  I used my faithful ‘throw it all in’ cake recipe, which you can find here.  She loved it, so I was really pleased:

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It didn’t look quite as good as I had hoped, but it looked great when it was sliced:

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My daughter invited a few of her close friends for tea yesterday.  When my girls were growing up I really hated ‘party bags’ with plastic rubbish in them, that got tossed away within a few minutes of opening the bags.  I felt it was such a waste of money.  So over the years I have made or bought things in the sales that I thought would actually get used, or I have sometimes made individual decorated cakes and bagged them up separately so they looked really special.

This year I thought my daughter would like something a little bit more grown up, so I bought little boxes of Cadburys Roses (they cost me £1 each in the sale) and I ‘poshed’ them up with cellophane and ribbon and a little note which ‘thanked’ her friends for celebrating her birthday with her:

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 My daughter had a lovely time with her friends.

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Before I go, I thought I would share a recipe with you that I cooked on Wednesday night.  It was a cold night and it was one of those nights where I just fancied something hot, sweet and filling to eat.  So, I cooked a Microwave Syrup Sponge.  It is so quick and easy to make and far cheaper than nipping out to your local shop to buy something on the spur of the moment:

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Microwaved Syrup Sponge Recipe:

100g margarine or butter, plus some for greasing the bowl

100g granulated sugar

2 eggs

100g self-raising flour

2-3 tablespoons of milk

2 tablespoons of golden syrup

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Beat the margarine and sugar together.

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Add the eggs and beat together.

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Fold in the flour and add enough milk to achieve dropping consistency

 (so it drops off the spoon easily).

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Grease a microwave bowl with margarine.

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Drop the syrup in the bottom of the bowl and put the mixture on top.

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Cover the bowl with a small plate or Microwave Clingfilm, leaving a small gap for the steam to escape.

Microwave on ‘high’ for 8 minutes (based on an 700W microwave).

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Leave to stand for a couple of minutes before turning it out.

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Serve with custard or ice-cream.

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Enjoy!

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Thank you for reading my blog today.

I will be back on Monday at my usual time.

Tomato Blight And Planting Winter Salads

I thought I would start today by telling you about a couple of things we did at the weekend:

On Monday it was my dad’s 82nd birthday.  It has been a long time since my family all got together, so I decided to throw him a surprise birthday party.  He thought he was just coming to our house for tea and loved it when our whole family appeared.

It was a really lovely evening.

My eldest daughter decorated the cake

My eldest daughter decorated the cake

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Another thing that happened last weekend, was my husband and youngest daughter did a ‘Car Boot Sale’.  We had spent the whole of the last week having a massive clear out and decided we would try and make some money from all the things we didn’t want anymore.  It’s amazing how much ‘stuff’ you collect over the years isn’t it.  You can see it all in the photograph below:

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I am so very proud of them, as they made just over £90!  It just goes to show that one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.

We still had some things left at the end, so we took them down to our local charity shop the next day, in the hope that they would make some money out of it too.

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A butterfly on our window, captured by my youngest daughter.

A butterfly on our window, captured by my youngest daughter.

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This week I have been preparing for the long cold winter by sowing a few winter hardy salads to plant out in my polytunnel when I have some room.

I have sown a winter hardy lettuce called ‘Arctic king’ and  some winter hardy spring onions.  I also sowed some mizuna and corn salad as these were both so successful last year.  Lastly, I also sowed some perpetual spinach which will hopefuly be ready in early spring if I plant it under a cloche outside.

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Mizuna and corn salad last year in my polytunnel over winter

Mizuna and corn salad last year in my polytunnel over winter

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My allotment is still providing a feast of salads and vegetables everytime I visit it.

The runner beans are doing very well, even though they started to produce slightly later than normal.  This has had a knock on effect as I have noticed my french beans are nearly ready to pick now and I usually start to pick them when my runner beans have just about stopped producing.  So I will soon have double the amount of beans to harvest and freeze at the same time.

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My outdoor cucumbers are having a fantastic crop because the weather has been warm and I am picking them daily and giving them away as we just can’t eat the amount they are producing. The variety I am growing is ‘Burpless Tasty Green’ which I have found to be a reliable outdoor crop (though last year I only managed to get three or four cucumbers all in all,  due to the rotten weather we had).  The skins are a bit prickly so we peel them before we eat them and they taste lovely.

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I picked my first kohl rabi of the year this week.  Again, they are a little late this year, but it was worth the wait.  Kohl rabi can be grated in salads or used in stews, soups or casseroles.  I don’t get to cook mine, as they are eaten the minute I bring them home.  My family love them peeled, chopped and eaten raw, dipped in salad cream.

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You can see in the photo above that my outdoor tomatoes are finally starting to ripen.  They seem to have been ‘green’ for eternity this year.  When I get enough of them I will be making soup with them and lots of passatta to freeze and use over the winter.

So far my tomatoes are free from tomato ‘blight’, but I am checking them daily for signs.  Below I have written some information regarding tomato blight, which you may find interesting if you are growing your own tomatoes:

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Tomato blight

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Tomato blight

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Tomato blight is caused by the same fungus as potato blight.  It is called ‘Phytophthora infestans’, but it is more commonly known as ‘late blight’.  It is a windblown fungus that can travel long distances.  It spreads when the temperature is above 10C and the humidity is above 75% for two consecutive days, known as a ‘Smith Period’.   In the UK outbreaks can occur from June onwards and it is said to be usually seen in the south west first.

The disease is common on outdoor tomatoes, though tomatoes grown in a polytunnel or greenhouse have some protection from it, as the spores have to enter through doors and vents.

The early stages of blight can be easily missed and not all plants are affected at the same time, however it will spread rapidly.

Symptoms usually seen are brown patches that appear on the leaves and stems and spread very rapidly. The fruit will also turn brown. The underside of leaves can develop a downy white coating of spores in moist conditions.

The first signs of 'blight' on my tomato plants last year

The first signs of ‘blight’ on my tomato plants last year

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What can you do to prevent blight?

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You can grow varieties that are not so susceptible to blight e.g. ‘Ferline’ and ‘Legend’, but remember that some varieties can resist some strains of the fungus but not others.

I like to choose an earlier maturing variety that is ready to harvest before blight strikes, though the tomatoes are usually smaller.

Do not save seed from infected plants as it can survive in the seed and reproduce next spring. Instead, buy good quality seed from a reputable supplier.

Remove any potatoes that were left in the ground from the previous year as the pathogen over winters in rotten potatoes. 

Keep the plant foliage as dry as possible by watering in the morning and at the base of the plants.  Mulch will reduce the amount of watering needed.

Try to avoid brushing past tomato plants when they are wet as this can increase the likelihood of spreading the spores.

Space plants wide apart so the air can flow around the plants.

Keep monitoring your plants and act quickly if you see blight on them.

You can use a ‘bordeaux’ mix to control blight, but you need to spray before blight takes hold as it protects the foliage.  It also needs to be sprayed on your plants regularly so organic gardeners do not favour this method.

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 My tomato plants have blight, what can I do?

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 If you catch it early you can strip the tomatoes from the plant and ripen them on a windowsill.  Be careful to check them every day as some of them may already be affected.

If you haven’t caught it really early, you can use the green tomatoes to make chutney, as provided they haven’t turned brown, the tomatoes are safe to eat.

Take up your blighted tomatoes plants straight away and dispose of them, so you don’t help to spread the spores to your neighbour’s plots.

 According to ‘Garden Organic’ the stems and leaves of affected plants can be added to your compost heap, as the spores won’t survive on dead plant material, but do not compost any blighted fruit as the spores survive in the seeds.

Tomatoes ripening on my windowsill last year

Tomatoes ripening on my windowsill last year

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I hope this information has been of use to you.

I will be back on Monday at 4pm.

I hope you have a good weekend.

The Edible Garden Show, Bob Flowerdew And A New Sausage Maker

On Saturday I went to the Edible Garden Show with my two sisters.  My eldest sister paid for our tickets as a christmas present and I loved it.

  You can read the ‘Edible Garden Show’ Website here.

There were plenty of interesting stalls, selling products and giving advice.  It was great to wander around.

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There were also lots of interesting talks which I enjoyed.  Alys Fowler talked about growing about fruit in small places, showing photos of her own garden.  She also included some photos of fruits that she foraged from car parks local to her, which was great.

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Another really good talk, was given by Bob Flowerdew, a wonderful organic gardener.  He talked about ‘No Work Growing’, which was basically ways to reduce or eliminate unnecessary chores.  He was very funny at times.

Earlier in the day I was really very lucky.  I noticed Bob Flowerdew in a quiet part of the hall and I asked him if I could have a photograph with him.  He was lovely and put his arm round me while the lady with him took a photo for me.  It made my day.

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My one and only purchase of the day was…….. drumroll please……

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A ‘Meat Mincer ‘ with a sausage making attachment.  A cumberland sausage mix and some sausage skins also came with it.  It cost me £20, but I was assured it works perfectly.

I have noticed since, that it can also be used to make pasta too.
I am really looking forward to using it and I have told him I will rewiew it on my blog, so he can see how I get on.

I hope it works well.

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As it’s been such a wet weekend, I haven’t been able to get to my allotment.  So today I thought I would show you a couple of photographs that I took on Thursday morning, when the weather was nice for a change:

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This is the robin that always comes over to me when I’m digging or moving compost at my allotment.  I always reward him with some tasty mealworms on my bird feeder.

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This is ‘Scraggy Fox’ that is always hanging around my plot.  He had just been drinking out of one of my ponds, he must have been thirsty.

Poor ‘Scraggy Fox’ has a skin condition which has caused some of his fur to fall out and I feel very sorry for him.  I don’t feed him as I don’t like to encourage town foxes, but he has been visiting now for two years and has become a familiar sight to me.

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The photo above is something that has surprised me… My cauliflowers were grown to be harvested last August, but because the weather was so dreadful last year, they are only just ready now.  Luckily they were an ‘all year round’ cauliflower.

This cauliflower fed us all for two meals and I have another five cauliflowers still to pick, which is marvelous.

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Finally, sadly we had our last homegrown butternut squash this week.  It was lovely roasted and was enough for a couple of meals.

This demonstrates how long they will store if they have the right conditions.  I store them in our bedroom, as it’s the coldest room of the house …so very romantic lol.

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Thank you for reading my blog today.

I’ll be back on Friday.

A Lactose Free Sweetie Cake And A Fun Birthday Party

At the weekend my daughter invited seven of her friends round to celebrate her 13th birthday.

My daughter was diagnosed as lactose intolerant a year ago by the hospital.  Lactose free milk and cheese can now be bought from the supermarkets, but unfortunately my daughter can only stomach a small amount of these, so she has a mainly dairy free diet, except for the lactose free milk and cheese occaisionally, in small amounts.

So it is really difficult to take her out for a meal, as nowhere seems to cater for this type of intolerance.   Milk, whey, lactose, etc. is hidden in so many things it’s ridiculous, milk is even sometimes pumped into the skin of some frozen meat, as it’s said to give it a better browning effect.  My daughter is really poorly after eating something she shouldn’t, even in small amounts and sometimes the effect happens very quickly after eating.

So this is why we had her friends for tea, as I know I can prepare a meal that she can eat, which tastes no different to the dairy equivalent.

I cooked pizza for everyone (and a special one for my daughter), chips, corn on the cobs, sausage rolls, chicken drumsticks, samosa, crisps, cucumber sticks and tomatoes.  Everyone seemed to really enjoy the meal.

Dairy free birthday cakes are impossible to buy, I don’t think I’ve ever seen one and even if I did I’m sure it would taste like cardboard (like the jam tarts we bought not so long ago).  Dairy free cakes are again so easy to make.  All you need to do is replace the margarine or butter with a dairy free margarine.  I use ‘Pure’ Margarine as it gives good results.  If milk is required, I also use  soya milk or for a lactose free cake, I use lactose free milk.

I wanted to make my daughter a really special cake as she always misses out when there is cake and sweets at school.  So I decided to make a cake using a ‘Baba Pan’.

A baba pan is a cake tin with a hole in the middle.  My mother very kindly gave me her pan as she never used it.  I made a marble cake (the recipe is below) and covered it with a chocolate frosting (you can find the recipe here) and covered the cake and filled the hole in the middle with sweets that she can actually eat.  I also put lollies and sweets around the base of the cake too.

It was a very easy birthday cake to make and it was lovely to see her eyes nearly pop out when she saw it, as she knew it was ok for her to eat.  Her friends all loved it too.

I also made some dairy free butterfly cakes and a good friend brought some homemade dairy free flapjacks for my daughter too.  I’m not sure if she realises it, but gestures like this mean the world to my daughter, so if you are reading this, thank you.

After they all ate, they played different games that my husband had sorted and when they left my daughter gave them all a gift which we had actually bought in the January sales ready for parties, so it does pay to think ahead.

All in all, the kids all had a great time and my daughter was very happy and we were happy because it had been achieved cheaply.

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Chocolate Marble Cake

185g Margarine, plus extra for greasing the pan (dairy free margarine such as pure)

265g Caster sugar

3 Eggs

225g plain flour, plus 1 tablespoon extra for dusting your pan.

85g self-raising flour

5 tablespoons of milk (lactose free milk or soya milk)

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

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Preheat your oven Gas 3 / 325 / 170C

Grease a baba pan and then lightly dust with the 1 tablespoon of extra flour.

Cream the margarine and sugar together, until light and fluffy.

Beat in the eggs until combined.

Sift both the flours and the baking powder into a separate bowl and then mix half of it into the margarine/egg mix, together with 1 tablespoon of the milk.

When this is combined, mix in the remaining flour with another 1 tablespoon of milk.

In a separate bowl, blend the cocoa with the remaining 3 tablespoons of milk, until it is smooth.

Take 2 tablespoons of the cake mix and add it to the cocoa mix and stir until smooth.

Fold the cocoa mixture into the cake mixture. Do not over mix, it should just give a rippled effect.

Spoon into your pan and smooth the top lightly.

Cook in the oven for 40 minutes and then lay some foil over the top to stop it from burning and continue to cook for another 30 minutes.

The cake is cooked when a skewer comes out clean.

Dust with icing sugar to serve or cover with chocolate frosting.

Thank you for reading my blog today.

My Allotment Today and A Diwali Meal

Today at the allotment I weeded around my spring cabbages.

Unfortunately the slugs have been eating the cabbages, so I had to put some more organic slug pellets around them.

I also cleared away all the dead rhubarb leaves and weeded around the plants.

I walked around my plot and noticed my poach egg plants are flowering again.  They look beautiful.

My chrysanthemums are flowering well too, considering it is their first year.  They were given to me last year, by my good allotment friend, Tina.

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Diwali – A Hindu Festival of Light and a Diwali Meal

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In Leicester, where I live, there is one of the biggest Diwali Celebrations outside of India.  Just over a week ago, on the 4th November, approximately 35,000 people attended the ‘switching on’ of the lights that decorate the road along the ‘Golden Mile’ in Leicester.  The Golden Mile is so called because it is lined with the largest selection of Indian jewellery shops outside of India.

For one night a year, the road is closed and they have a firework display and live cultural entertainment on a stage, as the ‘festival of light’ marks the start of the Hindu New Year.

Diwali is actually a five day festival.  It honors the victory of good over evil, and brightness over darkness.  It also marks the start of winter.

Diwali means “festival of lights,” and people light rows of lights.  The exchange of gifts is also traditional during this holiday, and many people host dinners and parties.

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We are not of ‘Hindu’ religion in our house, but we do enjoy Indian food.  So to join in the celebrations, we had a ‘Diwali’ meal on Sunday.  We lit lots of candles and enjoyed some lovely Indian food:

We had poppadum’s with mango chutney and a yoghurt and mint dip and onion bhaji’s and vegetable samosas.  The yoghurt and mint dip is so easy to make, as you just mix in a couple of teaspoons of dried mint into your natural yoghurt and leave it in your fridge for a few hours before you need it.

I cooked two different curries.  You can find one recipe here and the other recipe is a ‘Chicken and Vegetable korma’ which you can find lower down today’s blog.

I served the curries with rice and homemade naans.  You can find the recipe for naan bread here.

All in all it was a lovely meal, which we all enjoyed.

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Chicken and Vegetable Korma Recipe:

 

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 medium onions, chopped

200 grams natural yoghurt

4 cloves of garlic, chopped

4 teaspoons turmeric

2 heaped teaspoons of garam masala

1 teaspoon chilli powder

Leftover cooked chicken

Leftover cooked vegetables

 

Preheat the oven Gas 6 / 400F / 200C

Fry the onions in the olive oil until they are soft.

Put the onion, garlic, yoghurt and spices into a bowl and blend with a stick blender until smooth, (or use a liquidiser).  It should be a creamy consistency, add a little water to thin if necessary.

Put the cooked chicken and leftover cooked vegetables into the sauce mix and completely coat them with the sauce.

Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof dish and cook for approximately 45 minutes, until it is piping hot.

Serve with rice, yoghurt and naan bread.

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Thank you for reading my blog today.

Bonfire Night & A Week Of Main Meals For Under £10

Bonfire Night

“Remember, remember the fifth of November.
Gunpowder, treason, and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot”.

On 5th November 1605, Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London.  He didn’t agree with the King, James I, and plotted with a group of men, to blow up the Houses of Parliament with gun powder.

The plan didn’t work and he was sent to the ‘Tower of London’ and was later executed.

Since then, the 5th November has been remembered as Guy Fawkes Night or Bonfire Night.  Children would make a pretend ‘Guy Fawkes’ out of old clothes , stuffed with hay or paper and sit in the street asking passers by for a ‘penny for the guy’, to pay for fireworks. At night the guys were placed on the top of bonfires.

Today, children do not ask for money for fireworks anymore and most people prefer to go to large ‘Firework’ displays that are much safer.  However, Guys are still made to put on top of bonfires.

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On Saturday we went to a Bonfire party at our allotment site.  We are on top of a hill facing Leicester and we could see most of the Leicester sky that was lit up with all the fireworks from different displays.  They had a large bonfire to burn all our old bits of wood and allotment debris that can’t be composted.

Earlier in the day, my family made a ‘Guy Fawkes’ to put on the bonfire.  We used old clothes and stuffed it with newspaper and put an old mask on it.

We were very pleased with the result and we transported it to the allotment, ready for the bonfire in the evening.

It was put on the top of the bonfire and someone even put a can of lager in it’s hand, he looked so funny

You can just see it burning in the photo below.

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Everyone at the allotment brought a dish to share and there was loads of delicious food.

There was even ‘Beetroot wine’ to drink, which was actually really nice.

It was such a lovely evening.

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A Week Of Main Meals For Under £10.00

This week I thought I would set myself a challenge of cooking seven main meals for my family, for under £10.00. If I can do this, it will show people that we can and do actually live well on less’.  So watch this space Jamie Oliver!

To keep the costs down, I will be using my home grown vegetables and in the style of ‘Ready Steady Cook’, I will have free use of the following store cupboard items:

Flour (Self-raising / plain / strong white)

Margarine

Olive oil

Stock

Yeast

Sugar

Salt

Milk / milk powder / UHT milk

Gravy

Herbs and spices.

Obviously, if I didn’t grow my own vegetables then it would cost more to make the meals, but that is the exact reason I do grow my own.  I’m also hoping to demonstrate to you, that by planning meals using leftovers you can have some really nice frugal meals.

I started my challenge yesterday (Sunday) by cooking a Roast chicken, roast potatoes, roasted butternut squash, roasted onion, roasted parsnips, red cabbage, mashed swede, peas and beans.

 

Using my vegetables and store cupboard items, I only paid for a chicken that weighed 1.4kg (three chickens for £10).  So my total expenditure for Sunday was £3.33 and you can see in the photo below, I have quite a lot left over:

 

Tonight I made a curry with some of the leftover chicken and vegetables.  The curry recipe I used is here.

I served the curry with homemade naan bread (I will put the recipe on my blog tomorrow), and homemade yoghurt.

My total expense for Monday’s main meal was £0.87.  This was how much I paid for the rice and the coconut milk, everything else was made from the leftovers from Sunday, or store cupboard items.

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Homemade Yoghurt:

 

A few years ago I was given an Easiyo Yoghurt maker.  You can see a similar one here.

The idea of an Easiyo Yoghurt maker is to use sachets of the Easiyo yoghurt mixes which you buy.  I don’t do this, as I think they are expensive and I like to make mine from scratch.  This is an easy way to make yoghurt:

You will need skimmed milk powder

UHT Milk

A yoghurt starter

The first time you make yoghurt, you will need to buy a small amount of ‘live’ natural yoghurt, or ‘probiotic’ natural yoghurt.  This will give your yoghurt mix, the bacteria that it needs to make yoghurt.  Each time you make your own yoghurt, save 3 heaped tablespoons of yoghurt ready to start your next batch of homemade yoghurt.  Your starter can be frozen until needed.  I do this up to four or five times only, as the bacteria seems to weaken each time.

Put 3 heaped tablespoons of skimmed milk powder into your yoghurt maker canister.  Half fill the canister with UHT milk and give it a good shake.

Put 3 heaped tablespoons of ‘Yoghurt starter’ into the canister.

Top up the canister with UHT milk and give it another good shake.

Put boiling water into the Easiyo flask and then add the canister.

 Put the lid on and leave for approximately ten hours.

Take the canister out of the Easyio flask and then put it in the fridge to finish setting.

 Don’t forget to save 3 heaped tablespoons to freeze as a ‘yoghurt starter’ for the next time you make it.

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