Saturday 28 August 2021

Pears and apples from St Edmund College

 For the last 6 years we have had permission to pick the apples and pears from St Edmund College. This morning Mark and I went out to pick the sweet apples for Monday\s pressing.

The pears were ready to pick too and will be eaten for breakfast as they are too good to press.

Friday 27 August 2021

Russian Apple cake

 Picking so many apples for juicing, I thought keeping some behind to make this Russian Apple Cake would be a lovely treat.

Growing vertically

 Saw this and want to make this for next year . This man is growing cucumbers but the same can be done for tomatoes.

Growing in buckets

No waste - what to do with peelings and left overs

As the vegetables are coming fast and furiously I am trying to use as much as I can.

So even the not so perfect vegetables are being used.  Today I made this Quick vegetable pickle

Any left over peelings have gone in a bag in the freezer for vegetable stock

Wednesday 25 August 2021

Marjolein's Short bread

 Marjolein's short bread biscuits;

100 gr butter

50gr caster sugar (I added lavender sugar)

50gr rice flour

100gr plain flour

pinch of salt if the butter is unsalted.

Preheat oven to 160C. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment

Beat the soft butter and sugar until well blended

Add the rice flour, flour and (if needed) salt and mix into a crumbly dough

Gather into a ball with you hands. Pat out  a disc 1 cm thick

Cut into shapes of your choice 

Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to cool

Tuesday 24 August 2021

Figs are ready

 I have just come back from my first (of the season) fig harvest across the road. (14th August)

Although it has not been a particularly warm summer, they are sweet and huge.  Now time to get some nice recipes as we will need them for a few weeks, before I will dry them (here is hoping for some hot sunny days)

As I picked so many lovely figs, I have decided to dry them in the food dehydrator, today

Monday 23 August 2021

Courgette Bread with tomato sauce

 Today we made courgette bread and tomato sauce.

Having been away for a few days, the courgettes became too big and the tomatoes needed processing for storage.  As I found this crock pot recipe for tomato sauce, I thought to try this one. There was a lot of juice, I made soup with it and used the thick tomatoes for paste.

We also roasted tomatoes to store in oil.

For a drink with our meal we made a refreshing cucumber and mint cordial

Wednesday 18 August 2021

Cucumber and Mint Cordial

What to do with a glut of cucumbers ?

This cordial  is very easy and tasty too. You will need 2 large cucumbers for a litre of cordial. I prefer it mixed with fizzy water others said they liked it in tonic water.

Monday 16 August 2021

Mungbean curry and flat bread

Today was the first time that a larger group joined me in the kitchen to make mung bean curry with rice and flatbread (we used 200g SR flour, 5gr salt and 50g boiling water) if you don't have SR flour, use the link for a similar recipe.

Afterwards we walked to the allotment to enjoy yellow raspberries that are just starting to ripen, tomatoes and we picked runner and french beans to take home. We even had a groups photo before the drizzle appeared.

Friday 13 August 2021

Mung Bean Curry, Flat bread, and apple rose pastry

This post was first published on 24/06/2020

Finishing off what is in the fridge I made this curry today,  bringing back lovely memories from 2nd february 2010

After a very stormy night a warming curry is just the job.
WE made some mung bean curry with rice and flatbread.

In September Melendra, June and I went to pick apples in Storey's way. June wrapped them in newspaper and today was the day that we turned about 15 apples into a on the stove apple crumble

In the topping we put walnuts and maple syrup instead of pecan nuts and we added

crushed branflakes in the mix.

Wednesday 11 August 2021

Walnut leaves from Garden Walk

 Walnut leaves from Garden Walk.

Finally we have woken up with sunshine and warmth and hope we have enough today to dry the walnut leaves.  These will be dried and used for teas for skin inflamation and hair rinses.

Monday 9 August 2021

First apple pressing of 2021 with Kyosuke and Bella

 Yesterday I went to Lida and Graham and saw their lovely tree full of red apples.

They let me have some of them for our first apple pressing. Sadly they are thinking of taking the tree down to build an archive, so we need to enjoy the fruits even more. I also added some of Liz F apples, just to top it up so we can do 2 pressings.  The apples from Emma were good but too sour, I will use them once I find a tree with some sweet eaters (probably some of Githa's and Paul's)

Bella and Kyosuke came to help me press the apples into some lovely juice.

Nasturtium Capers

 The nasturtiums have been cheering up the garden with their yellow, orange and red flowers.

Their leaves have ended up in the salad, some of the flowers stuffed with cream cheese as a spicy but sweet treat.

The flower that were kept on have started to wilt and dry up, revealing their seeds. I don't use them very often but every now and again a recipe asks for capers, so I will be using these instead.

After 3 days in brine, I made the vinegar mix and poured it over the 'capers'. 

Here are some recipes I can use them in. 

Sunday 8 August 2021

Walnut leaves

 Just harvested some young walnut leaves for tea and the older ones for a hair dye.

I have not used this before so a new experiment 

Cherry trees

This post was first published on 6/7/2018

Today I went to visit the old Cherry Tree in French's road and a new one on Akeman Street.
The neighbours on Akeman street were horrible and abusive, won't go there again.
The owner of the tree on French's road was lovely however, left him some courgettes as a thank you.
Courgettes are growing so fast in this hot weather, have started to dry them for use later in the season.

On Monday with the From Spade to Plate group we hope to make more cherry jam, so keeping fingers crossed that there will be enough cherries on Pauline' tree in the allotment and the ones I picked today to make enough for the group.

Whilst picking the cherries, I noticed that the walnut tree in Akeman Street was shedding some of its walnut, I have picked them up and put them in brine to pickle in a few weeks time.

Wednesday 4 August 2021

Blight and marestail

 This morning I was told that blight has arrived in the allotment, I have cut away excess leaves on the tomatoes and made this potion to hopefully stop this from catching my crop.

This weed thrives in our heavy clay soil as it has saved an entire potato crop from the dreaded blight.

Horsetail has powerful antifungal properties that are effective on blight and other fungal infections (in both humans and plants!)


Here’s the recipe we used:

1. In a large glass or stainless steel pot, mix 1/8 cup of dried horsetail leaves in 4 1/2 litres of unchlorinated water

2. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 1/2 hr.

3. Cool, strain, bottle and label. The infusion will keep for a month which is long enough for you to keep reapplying to your crop. Any left overs can be used as a wonderful hair rinse.

4. To use, dilute the 1 part horsetail concentrate to 5-10 parts unchlorinated water. Spray infected plants once every week or two in dry weather or daily if it is raining.

Monday 2 August 2021

Courgette soup with a garlic bread

A busy morning today with 7 people joining in our cooking session. The courgette chickpea soup and garlic bread turned out very well. And as a bonus we made some sunflower petal infusion, to be used in a couple of months time and it will be turned into lipbalm and hand creme.