I don’t normally advertise on my blog, but today I thought I’d talk about a wonderful place in Leicester, called EcoHouse.
Their website can be found here. It says :
“Leicester’s EcoHouse was the first environmental show home to be opened in the United Kingdom. The House demonstrates how people can live in a more sustainable way, saving money in the process. Entrance is free to the House, although we welcome donations.
The garden is fully organic and demonstrates how to garden for wildlife and food.
The house, café and garden are open to the public Wednesday to Sunday to both look around and seek advice. Guided tours are offered and the training room may also be hired for events and meetings. For school visits we can tailor tours and activities to a group’s needs to tie into the National Curriculum”
There are various events that take place at EcoHouse, that are well worth a visit. One such event is:
‘Christmas Decorations From The Garden’
Sunday 2nd December 2012
2.00 pm – 4.00pm
Rob Carter will be running the event and this is what he says about it:
“We provide a range of green material from local gardens and people use their imagination to make things. There are always folk who know exactly what they want to do and others copy them, while their own atrophied imaginations are kicking into gear.
The sort of material that will be used, is willow and hazel wreath frames, wooden roundels for table decorations, logs, conifer greenery, holly of various types, dried flower heads, pine cones, etc.”
I think it sounds fantastic.
Also, while I’m on the subject of EcoHouse, Rob Carter also runs an excellent organic gardening course:
“This friendly course has been running since 2001. It offers new organic gardeners a grounding in the basic principles and makes strong connections with the worldwide issues of resource depletion and sustainable cultivation. Established gardeners are also very welcome. New gardeners are often excitingly innovative and experience contributes great wisdom and intelligent criticism. The course hopes to encourage participation from the group at all times. The course comprises of nine sessions in total.”
I personally know Rob and he is an inspiration with his knowledge of organic gardening practises. I have learnt so much by listening to him.
You can read about the course he runs here.
Last years Christmas pudding
This Sunday is ‘Stir-up Sunday’. This is the traditional day to make your Christmas pudding.
The name comes from the opening words of the collect (the prayer of the day), in the 1549 Book of Common Prayer:
“Stir-up, we beseech thee” .
On Stir-up Sunday, families would return from the church and each give the pudding a stir and make a wish. The pudding would be stirred from East to West in honour of the three wise men who visited the baby Jesus.
As with many English puddings, Christmas pudding started out as a meaty dish but evolved over the centuries, via Plum Pudding, into the sweet creation that we know today.
The recipe I have written below is one my eldest sister gave to me. She has been making this pudding since she was eleven years old, so it is definitely tried and tested. It is an unusual recipe because it doesn’t contain any alcohol and it doesn’t use eggs. If you are dairy intolerant, I’m sure it would be fine to use soya milk instead of the cows milk too.
I’ve got to say it is delicious.
Helen’s Christmas Pudding Recipe
3 oz. plain flour
3oz soft brown sugar
1 lemon zest and juice
1 orange zest and juice
1 small carrot grated
¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 ½ oz. white breadcrumbs
1 ½ dessertspoons golden syrup
6 tablespoon of milk
¾ teaspoon mixed spice
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
3oz grated apple
1 lb. mixed dried fruit
Put all the ingredients into a mixing bowl.
Mix all the ingredients together and place in a greased pudding bowl.
Cut out two 12 inch squares of greaseproof paper.
Put the squares on top of each other and put a 1 inch pleat in the middle.
Tie the greaseproof paper over the pudding bowl with string.
Steam for six hours.
Either serve straight away or allow to cool and replace the greaseproof paper and store in the fridge.
My sister tells me that this pudding will keep in the fridge for up to a month. However, the pudding tastes lovely the day you make it, so this pudding can be made much closer to Christmas.
I reheated the pudding in the microwave for approximately 13 minutes. My microwave is only 700w so it may need less time, depending on how powerful your microwave is. Just make sure it’s piping hot inside.
Thank you for reading my blog today