Tuesday, 19 August 2014

The roast chicken challenge

A roast chicken dinner has got to be one of my favourite meals especially on a cold, soggy weekend. While I love to eat the clucky, feathery, idiots (the chickens I have met have been rather foolish if adorable birds), I also want them to be happy chickens up to the point that they squawk. So this means free-range, truly free-range means outdoor space to roam not just a slightly larger cage space (and even then you have to be careful as definitions of free-range can be rather stretched, meaning what is labelled as free-range isn’t necessarily the green field image it conveys … investigating and finding a good brand is worthwhile). As we all know, free-range birds tend to be a little bit pricier in the supermarkets than their unhappy factory squashed counterparts. So in order to spring for the pricier, happy chickens without making me squawk at the checkout till, I need to make the bird stretch for more than just a meal for two and maybe some sandwiches the next day. 
My parent's chickens in England lead a very good life, though they are
strictly not for eating ... unless that blasted Mr Fox gets lucky again!

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

To Pea, or not to Pea, that is the question!

I'm having a bit of a pea dilemma, there is nothing better than a home grown pea fresh from the pod, but there is limited space in my veggie patch and I have to weigh up the space/yield/value of everything that I put in there.  Broccoli and peas are my go-to vegetables of choice for accompanying an evening meal and while I feel like I can grow enough broccoli to make a dent in the broccoli purchases, I can't grow anywhere near enough peas for them to be more than a blink and you miss them novelty, a cameo appearance in a year of veggie growing.  Somehow though it seems wrong to leave them out! 

Monday, 14 April 2014

Recipe books from another era

Hello there, I couldn't resist sharing some pictures of these gorgeous old cookbooks, though I'm sure most people have these in the back of their cupboards somewhere or at least in the back of their mum's/grandma's cupboards. Husband's mum sent down some boxes of books for us and these were included so I've had a lovely Sunday evening sitting by the fire and taking a step back in time. 

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Easy, effort-free bread recipe to knock your socks off!

I can’t claim credit for the recipe but it is so ridiculously easy, hassle free and above all tasty that I had to share it.  If you’ve never made home-made bread before because you think it is too difficult, time consuming and generally not worth the bother, then give this recipe a try, it is delicious and will give you a huge smug feeling for the whole day! :) It is knead-free and prove-free so even if you already have a good go-to recipe for bread, this recipe is still worth a try on those days when you are feeling low on energy and simply can’t be bothered with it all, we all have those for sure!

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Over-winter soil improvement

In the last post I covered vegetables that can be grown, and more importantly harvested, in winter.  The post was quickly followed by a unseasonal chilly spell, sorry about that guys! :)  The cold snap might have persuaded you that you really don't want to be gardening over the winter months or like me, you might not think you will need all of your vegetable beds for your winter veggies.  Rather than letting it all go to weeds I've been researching some soil improvement tips as things don't seem to grow quite as well in one half of the patch for some reason. It gets the same amount of sun so I'm thinking it will benefit from some TLC.