Saturday, 18 June 2011


I am very proud of my beautiful daughter Bethany aka The Bean; yesterday was her last day at Yeovil college, on completion of her three year media course. She has won various awards, certificates etc, got loads of merits and distinctions over these years and made some truly inspiring and wonderful films and written some really weird stuff,  despite coming into the system completely cold from a lifetime of home education. She is hugely talented, has a brilliant imagination, works hard, plays hard and is a good person with soul. She will go far, I have no doubt of that.
Cheers Bean, you go girl!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Quote from Nigel

I'm a huge fan of Nigel Slater, probably up there on a par with Elisabeth Louard and Elizabeth David for me. One of my favourite quotes of all time on food:
'The French cook with their senses, the Italians with their hearts, the Spanish with their energy and the Germans with their appetite. The British, bless them, cook with their wallets......... our ingenuity in matters frugal knows no bounds'


This has appeared in one of my veg beds, flowering this morning; it looks stunning, especially after a shower of summer rain. It is a huge plant, and there's the promise of many more flowers to come. Thrilled to bits with it, moreso as I didn't sow it. What gardening is all about for me................

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Ginger biscuits

Nice easy recipe this one, makes about 32 biscuits

8 oz  plain white flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp mixed spice
3 oz butter
2 oz sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup

Mix flour, baking powder, ginger and spice, rub in butter and add sugar. Warm syrup and add to mixture, knead to a smooth dough. Roll into balls and place well apart on a baking tray, flatten backs with a fork, Bake in a moderate to hot oven for 15 - 20 minutes, cool on a wire rack.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Pumpkin surprise............

......... well it will be! Got to planting out my pumpkins etc on the manure heap this afternoon; they've done well there in the past, and it's like making a double use out of a resource, so that's got to be good. All well  and good until Irealised I hadn't used a permanent marker on the labels lol I know there are Golden Hubbard, Butternut and marrows, and what I strongly suspect are actually watermelons. I may have planted some other varieties as well - who knows? One job for the weekend is to buy a new marker pen (permanent) lol. If the harvest turns out like this one a few years back I'll be very pleased even if I don't know their names lol

Monday, 13 June 2011

How to make a simple bird feeder

I bought one of these years ago off e-bay before I managed to amass a large stash of scallop shells; I've now got lots of them, so am able to turn my hand to these. Very simple and cheap to do, and look beautiful in the garden; I'll be making some more of them for water and more food and dot them about for the wee birds.

Take a good, unbroken scallop shell and, using a very fine drill bit, drill three holes - one in the centre where the scallop 'hinge' was, and one in the centre of each side. Get them as even as possible so that feeder will hang sensibly. Then simply thread through three lengths of fine cord, knotting each one underneath each hole. Then gather them together at the top and tie them round into a scure hanging loop, add seed and away you go.

You know it's summer when.............

... you can pick the first of the raspberries and fill a bowl this big!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Limoncello recipe

This is a lovely, easy recipe, and one to make when good lemons are plentiful and a reasonable price; I got some beautiful, huge, organic  Spanish lemons last week for only 27p each in a local shop, so bought some extra for this. I bought the cheapest Co-op vodka too - the cheapest spirits are fine for home-made liqueurs I find.

1 pint vodka
4 large lemons
6oz white granulated sugar
5 fl oz or so of water

Make a syrup from the water and sugar, heat sowly and stir well; draw off the heat and leave to go cold. Meanwhile, pare the lemons thinly, avoiding as much pith as possible. Put the rind into a large jar or bottle and pour over the vodka, then  pour in the cold syrup. Cover and shake well; leave in a cool dark place for 4 - 6 weeks, shaking gently once or twice a week. Strain into bottles, label and store. Serve very cold, preferably from the freezer.