Tag Archives: food

Four Chelsea Buns, Two Small Loaves And A Quick Scribble

29 Jun

1 St James

I went out earlier for my sanctioned exercise and as it was looking like rain and very windy, just strolled to a small public mews garden, probably Victorian. It has quite a formal arrangement of lawns and paths but there’s a tangle of very mature trees around the edge. I did a quick sketch with willow charcoal into my Khadi sketchbook, then headed back before it rained. Then I made two small loaves and some Chelsea Buns.

Loaves and buns

There’s a hot spot in my oven, it’s annoying. I have to cover my baking with foil part of the way through the cooking time and I didn’t get to it quickly enough today. Tasted good though.

Caravan Jam

21 Jun

1 Clyne

After a grey rainy start, the weather turned out warm and sunny so Husb and I went for a walk in the beautiful Clyne gardens. We found this caravan parked on one of the paths, serving drinks and home made cake. Of course, I had to have a scribble, with willow charcoal into my Khadi sketchbook. The little vintage van is overshadowed by spectacularly huge trees. It’s called The Touring Tea Room and is open 6 days a week on it’s patch in Clyne Gardens.

loganberry jam.jpg

Earlier, I made loganberry jam, the first of this year’s home-grown crop. It’s lush.

A Thing About Rumtopfs

25 May

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I had a quick scribble when I was watching Grayson Perry’s Art Club on Channel 4 this evening. I love the programme, he makes art so much fun. I scribbled a few things on the small table in the window. I have two Rumtopfs – I’ve got a bit of a thing about Rumtopfs. Husb and I made the recipe a few times in the past, but as we don’t drink alcohol, we ended up giving all the fruit and booze away, so now we tend to make our allotment fruit into jam and cordial (alcohol-free). But the pots themselves are gorgeous things and I like having them around.

Warm Buttered Plums: The Recipe

29 Apr

plums 3

You can download the recipe and print it out, it’s a jpeg. It’s delicious, even if I say so myself. I’ve given gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan alternatives.

oaty plums

Tecchie stuff

I took the photos with the camera on my phone, put them into Instagram, then reduced the size in Adobe Photoshop. I used Comic Life for the layout (I LOVE Comic Life) and exported it as a jpeg. If you right click on the image, you should be able to save it to your My Pictures folder and then you should be able to print it out.

If you don’t have an ovenproof frying pan, try a tarte tatin tin or a heavy pie dish that you can use on top of a stove.

Potager, Leftovers, Castle. In That Order

10 Apr

acer

Hot hot hot today! It was too good to stay indoors and we’re lucky to have an enclosed garden so I spent most of the day working on it. It’s the silver lining in the lockdown, having time to do stuff like this. The garden was really scruffy and overgrown after the very wet and mild winter. We’ve got a mixture of fruit, vegetables and decorative plants so I suppose that technically it’s a potager. My Japanese acer is just coming into leaf and the colour is fabulous.

pizza

I had some leftovers in the fridge, a bit of pastry from when I made quiche the other day, some laverbread and a scrap of bacon, so I put them together to make a Welsh pizza, topped with Tintern cheese and a few tomato slices. Into the oven, Gas mark 5 for 30 minutes and it was delicious. Leftover meals are great. I never waste food.

 

castle

And we went to the allotment quite late to do some watering. We have a permit from our local authority to go there as long as we practice strict social distancing. It’s easy enough as the site is so large. As we left, the lights by the castle came on, it was lovely. We’re so lucky to live here.

 

 

Clean Green Space

4 Apr

allotment 1a

We’ve just had our letter from the local council giving us permission to go to our allotment during the lockdown. We’re so lucky. We’ve had the plot about 12 years and it’s not been easy – a very heavy clay soil, surrounded by woodland. A few times we’ve considered giving up but I’m so glad we stuck with it because now it’s a godsend. We were there for nearly 3 hours today, getting exercise, fresh air, sunshine and growing food. It’s just below Oystermouth Castle and you can see the castle behind the trees in the first picture.

allotment 2

Because we’re overshadowed with woodland at either end, it’s hard to grow crops in those areas so I’ve created a small woodland garden between the shed and Compost Corner. The hellebores and primroses are in full bloom but the little daffodils are dying back. The wild garlic is about to flower and the arums are flourishing. The apple and plum trees are just budding.

allotment 3

This is the view that greets us. There’s a wooden shed hiding behind the greenhouse. There’s loads of wildlife here too. The birdsong was beautiful today and we’re visitied by foxes, squirrels and badgers, who are very fond of sweetcorn. We’re so lucky to have this space at the moment. I really feel for people who live in the larger congested cities with no access to clean green space.

 

Cheesey Baconey Comfort Food

29 Mar

bacon bread 1

More pandemic cooking today – comfort food to the max! Here’s a yeast free Cheese and Bacon Bread recipe by Gwynn Galvin on the Swirls of Flavor website  that my mate June sent me on Facebook. It’s an American recipe which gave me a chance to use my fancy schmancy set of Joseph Joseph measuring cups.

First, preheat your oven to 180C, 350F or gas mark 4 and grease 1 large or two smaller loaf tins with vegetable oil. Snip the rind off three rashers of streaky bacon and cut them into small strips. Fry them until crispy. Put 2.5 cups of plain flour into a mixing bowl and add 1 tablespoon of sugar.

Add 4 teaspoons of baking powder and a cup of grated strong cheddar. Meanwhile melt 4 tablespoons of butter.

It’s wild garlic season and although the original recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon of garlic granules, I substituted this with half a cup of snipped wild garlic leaves and added these to the dry ingredients and mixed them in with my hands. Beat one large egg and measure out a cup of milk.

Pour all the wet ingredients into the mixing bowl – that’s the melted butter, milk and beaten egg and mix them in gently with a large metal spoon. Don’t overmix as this will make the bread denser. Put the mix into the loaf tin/s and sprinkle some more grated cheese on top. Bake for about 45 minutes for a large loaf or 35-ish for the two smaller ones. They should be golden brown and if you stick a metal skewer into the centre it should come out clean. Leave them in the tins for about 5 minutes then remove them and cool them on a metal rack – the one from your grill pan will do.

bacon bread 4

I served the bread still warm in thick slices with home-made root vegetable soup. It is LUSH!

You can find the original recipe here

 

 

 

 

 

Comfort Food

28 Mar

nutmeg

Comfort food tonight. Rice pudding, made with coconut milk and agave syrup rather than the traditional cow juice and sugar, but nutmeg is a must. I grate it fresh and stir it through the pudding before I cook it. I microwaved it for 30 minutes, which is a lot quicker than in an oven, but it doesn’t seem to get a skin this way. Lot’s of people don’t like rice pudding skin but I love it.

On the left, the ingredients mixed and ready to go into the microwave at full power for half an hour. Then served up hot and creamy with a dollop of home-made jostaberry jam.  It was lush!

 

 

 

Survival Kicking In

27 Mar

IMG_20200327_123836_262

I seem to have gone into some weird default setting, a deep seated survival instinct. I’ve been wondering why I’m finding it so hard to do any art at the moment – surely the greatest crisis within living memory would kickstart some creative ideas? But no. Instead I’m digging my allotment, planting seeds, picking crops, cooking, preserving, using up leftovers, recycling, storing.

Art is a higher function. Food is a basic need. Something deep seated has been triggered and the energy I would normally be putting into my studio is now going into my kitchen and allotment. Today I bottled some rhubarb and made rhubarb cordial. We’ve got a glut of rhubarb this year. Normally I’d be making crumble and upside down cake with it but Husb has decided to give up sweet things for a while because he thinks he’s putting on weight and I can’t take cakes around to friends and relatives because we’re on lockdown. There’s loads more in the ground ….. tomorrow I’m going to make rhubarb gin.

Growing and Baking

26 Mar

amelanchier

Husb and I are taking advantage of the enforced national lockdown to spend time on our allotment – it’s one of the few places that has been sanctioned. It’s great, we can drive there and avoid people and it’s so huge that it’s easy to remain isolated. We’re practicing the enhanced hygeine and getting so much work done, getting crops ready for the coming months.

The allotment is on an old site at the top of a hill behind a Norman castle, with woodland bordering the site along two sides so it’s a bit dark at the top and bottom ends, but it’s worth it because the place is so idyllic.

We have some crops ready to pick – rhubarb and wild garlic, Ramsons, that’s self seeded onto the plot from the woods. Sorrel is nearly ready too. I’ve been digging over some of the beds and preparing for beans and leeks while Husb has been doing maintenance to the shed and raised beds – and clearing out a rat infestation in the shed!

scones

We were home by lunchtime and I carried on with some work from our home office while Husb made cheese scones. They’re lovely.

Plants from the top: Amelanchier lamarckii, or snowy mespilus; a Mirabelle plum in the foreground of the photo of the allotment; rhubarb; loganberry flowers just budding; plum in full flower.

 

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