Monthly Archives: July 2013

Lavender Recipes


How to make lavender sugar

This is a new experiment, but one I am hoping will make it into my regular preserving patterns. The lavender plants in my back garden are in full bloom, so I decided to make some lavender sugar, with the hope of making lavender biscuits etc once it is ready.


Cut 30ish lavender flowers.
Strip the flower headed off of the steams.
Put into a bowl.
Microwave for 3-5 seconds. This is to kill any little bugs that are living in the flowers. Shake the bowl.
Transfer 5 table spoons of the flowers into a clean bowl, ( I found lots of little dead bugs in the old bowl).
Add 1 kg of caster sugar.
Spoon into a large clean killer jar.
Shake the jar every few days.
Use from three weeks to 6 months.

See my next post for some recipe ideas.



Gluten free apple cake (easy)

Wonderful gluten free apple cake. made it today. Lovely way to use up apples on the turn or cooking apples.

Freezer Recipes for a summer vegetable glut

Today I received delivery of 40 freezer containers. They cost me £6, but the way I see it, by freezing my summer glut of vegetables, I am going to save a lot on take always and convenience food.

I plan to make two things today

1) Spicy Tomato, vegetable and lentil sauce.

I want to make this as a base for lots of different sorts of meals.

A) Tomatoe pasta bake
B) Curry
C) Tacos
D) Chilli
E) Baked potato filler

So I want it to be tasty and chunky enough to be a sauce in its own right, but also to be able to add to it if I have meat, or pulses or coconut milk or cream etc.

The recipe will be like this

Curry plant leaves
Olive oil
mustard seeds

All heated in a pan

Then adding

Broad beans
Mange Tout
Chard/ Kale
Then a tin or two of chopped tomatoes.
Simmer lentils and then stir in.

2) Sag Aloo

Dug up some of my new potatoes, cubed them, simmered until cooked. Drained and put to one side. Then heated oil in a heavy bottom pan, added coriander seeds, caraway seeds, curry powder and curry plant leaves. Stirred in diced onion, then added potatoes. Last rough chop chard and kale, wilt into the pan. Stir in Greek yogurt to give it a creamy finish.

This turned out really well.



Adey’s Baby Little Owl Photos

Adey's Baby Little Owl Photos

Lovely shot from Adey of our juvenile Little Owls.


Starwberry jamming

It’s strawberry time. For the first time in a long time a British person has won Wimbledon, so to celebrate this I have made an enormous batch of Strawberry jam.

I picked 2.5 kgs of strawberries and mixed it with 2.5 kg of sugar a large glug of lemon juice and set it to dissolve over a low heat.

When the sugar had dissolved I boiled the liquid for 10 mins of so, did the setting test and then jarred it in hot sterilised jars.

Half way through I stirred two heads of elderflower through it to give a hint of the high summer smell to the jam.

The results are pretty good. It made about 8 jars or so. Yum.



Summer sowing

The season has well and truly changed and we have had a couple of very hot weekends. This summer looks set to be a really great one for growing veg. So Becs and I have started thinking about what we can sow now to get a late summer/ early winter harvest.

I am hoping that by more careful management I can get us to an evermore self sufficient point in terms of fruit and veg. The meat has been a bit of a flop this year, with the notable exception of our wonderful Soays, but veg…. when it works…. is all return and very little monetary cost.

The winter sowings will include;

Pac choi in the poly tunnel
a late pea crop outside
Spring onions outside
Kale outside
Field beans in after potatoes.

This is in part to make up for the distinct lack of leeks, we had a seed pot fail and never managed to get round to replanting. This was really stupid as it is one of our favourite winter vegetables.

The seasons in my life have changed as well, I have handed in my notice and plan to complete a PhD over the next five years, so our ability to maximise the return we are getting from the plot has become even more important.

This new turn in my life is again an attempt to return to the roots of what we are trying to do here. It seems such a shame that for the past year I have been too busy to make the most of what we have, and in turn too unhappy to enjoy it when I do have time. It’s always the same Time vs Money….time for another go at getting the balance right.