First Bread of the Year


Nothing that exciting to report I am sorry to say. Weather has prevented any time in the garden, and the wind is destroying the greenhouse. I have spent the day with a craving I have just not been able to satisfy, so decided to make some goats cheese, and accompany it with the first fresh bread of the year.

Honestly, each time it has been a while since I have made bread, I always think I am facing an impossible task, and that it is bound for failure. In many ways I am glad that I have this nagging doubt, as I am so happy when it turns out to be delicious.

The cheese, to be honest, wasn’t as goaty as I had hoped, but complimented the bread amazingly. Also had some Serrano style ham from Lidl, so a few freshly sliced slivers went the way of the bread and cheese.

Only thing missing was the home-made butter, which I had put off making until tomorrow, as I want to experiment with some new buttery ideas.

Obviously I will keep you informed how they get on.

Go-ville to Scoville


After all the horrible weather, it was finally a good day to get out in the garden. I am worried to admit that the whole garden and self-sufficiency malarkey is way less fun when summer is being viewed from her glorious backside. The solar panels are hardly dragging any power from the few hours of sunshine we are currently getting, and it will only get worse. I am going to save up for some new panels; I originally had four, but they have slowly walked out on me leaving just the one. A lot of the tomatoes have not survived the winds, and Sylvester is not looking as happy as he once did.I am hoping to keep some of his seeds so he can once again prevail through his offspring.
On the bright side, I decided it was high time to make some chilli oil, as the chilli plants seem to be bearing up to the wind and rain with surprising fortitude. So picked a few chillis from the two plants that have borne fruit, and heated up the oil for them to bathe in.

I actually have no idea what either of these chillis are one of these plants is called, although I feel they will be needing names of their own soon. The larger ones were very mild, as I dabbed one on my tongue to test the heat. When it came to the smaller one, however, I touched it with my fingertip and then dabbed that onto my tongue. A moment of contemplation while the capsaicin paused for effect, then my tongue and lips went numb with a burning I haven’t experienced since living in Asia. I will admit I have never been a huge fan of ridiculously spicy foods, as eventually you cannot taste the food over the heat, but I am sure there should be international laws regarding this kind of chilli.

The sad thing is that having taken a research break to see if I still had the label for the plant and some research on Scoville scale websites, it turns out that the chilli in question, Paper Lantern, is only about 350,000 scovilles, which is about 233 times as hot as a jalepeño pepper, but this is still considered only moderately hot.

Anyway, I have put all of these into my chilli oil, so hopefully this will make some great toppings for salad and pizza.


Mainly pizza

The Yellow Tomato Wins


Following my recent discovery regarding the ripeness of my cute little tomato bush, Sylvester, I was eager to taste the fruits of his, well, fruits.

Having just finished baking a fresh loaf of cheese and onion bread, I felt a BLT was very much in order. Ingredients all very simple. Two rashers of back bacon, two sumptuous yellow tomatoes straight off the bush, and fresh salad leaves.

As the bacon grilled, I smothered the bread in mayo, and sliced the tomatoes that were still warm from the sun. The bacon was quickly ready and was neatly slapped onto a slice.

Some decorating done with the greenery followed, and then just left the prize participant, the tomatoes. As an afterthought I finely chopped some of the younger leaves of the basil plant to sprinkle onto my creation.

A twist of pepper and pink salt and the sarnie was topped off with another delicious fresh slice of bread.

I can honestly say it was the best BLT I have ever tasted, and the tomatoes are what made it. My only regret now is that sadly Sylvester is a solitary bush, so I need to brush up on my knowledge and skills so I can reproduce his amazing attributes into another bush or two. Having never been a huge fan of tomatoes, it is amazing to suddenly find some that are tasty beyond compare.

The other tomato plants are coming along, and even some of the smaller varieties are starting to ripen. There are a few beef tomatoes that already look huge, but I fear they will not have the taste that Sylvester has brought to the party. I also feel saddened that now I have tasted the pinnacle of BLT’s, no other will ever be good enough for me.

As a bonus, here’s a sneaky peak under the covers of a Bunt BLT, as enjoyed in the garden in the sun.

Blessed are the Cheesemakers



I cannot deny that I’m excited. Today I have added cheese to the list of things I am happy making at home. The list is a long one, but until today did not contain cheese.

It still doesn’t contain pesto or hummus either, because although I’ve made them a couple of times, I’m still not happy making it. In fact last time I made hummus it took me half a day and …


Breakfast =/= Breakfast Pics


As a new convert to the whole idea and concept of healthy eating, and growing your own nourishment, this morning’s breakfast seemed like a good example. Although obviously I had not harvested a brace of Weet based Bixcuits, nor milked Dasiy for the moo juice, I had just plucked the strawberries from the garden as an addition to my morning cereal.
I felt as an easy option for how to use a little garden produce in a meal, this was prime fodder, so sliced three extremely fresh strawbs, and scattered them aesthetically over my duplex bix and milk. I was pleased with the result, I’d pay a couple of quid for a breakfast looking that good in a hotel any day.
So this is where ‘Breakfast Pics’ may differ from breakfast proper. My next thought was that any milky cereal will always benefit from a light dusting of sugar. This does not fit in quite as well with my healthy lifestyle options, but i felt a light dusting would still look good and not interfere too greatly with the unhealthiness purge.

Now that doesn’t look so bad, a light dusting of sugar actually seems to enhance it so you feel you can actually taste the meal. You feel hungry, right? I realise I am not one of the great photographers of the world, but I am now feeling pretty happy with my work.
About now I realise that I am hungry, and my stomach has already expressed concerns that there has been lot of emptiness coupled with an excess of photography. This has been exacerbated by the proximity of the readily available comestibles that are being recorded for history rather than being heartily consumed.
The time for photos should now be over, I have achieved what I wanted, a couple of pics of a healthy breakfast. Now I can eat it. Now is the time to prepare it for the real eating, I have shown the world what I want it to see, now I can relax and throw the couple of shovelfuls of sugar on that I need to make this palatable and retire to the sofa.
Suddenly consumed with guilt, I take my final breakfast pic, the truth, shorn of lies and facade. By now the Weet of my Bix has no solid parts, I may as well have porridge.
Cold, sugary, strawberry-flavoured porridge.

I am not ashamed, and I hold my head up high, because although I may not do the right thing, I am happy to admit when I don’t.
Plus cereal tastes awful without sugar, we all know it.