Getting Ready To Grow!

Growing Your Own Food is like printing you own money!


Can there be any better way of starting to grow your own food than with potatoes?

Our allotment plot is quite tiny but nonetheless we have decided to plant some new potatoes to enjoy fresh in the summer.

Our local garden centre has a very good selection of seed potatoes to choose from but as space is tight we have decided on just one variety, Foremost. This is a popular variety and should have good flavour with a waxy flesh so will also be good for salads. We will be growing 8 rows, each around 11 feet long so hopefully we will get a useful yield from the 90 or so seed potatoes that we plant.

As soon as we bought the seed potatoes we popped them into old egg boxes to keep them upright and not touching and placed them on a light windowsill to start ‘chitting’.

So, so far so good, they are chitting away nicely and the weather is starting to dry out and warm up so very soon we will don our gardening boots and prepare the ground! With such a bad winter of heavy rain and mild temperatures the weeds have had a great time so quite a bit of clearing to be done! 

Mr Kipling Country Slice Cake

An Exceedingly Good Country Slice Cake Recipe

A rather famous make of Country Slice cakes have been enormously popular since they were first introduced in the 1970′s. As a child I remember how much of a treat they were as they were one of the more expensive varieties so I wasn’t too surprised to see them recently in the supermarket priced at £1.49 for six very small slices.

So, I decided to set about developing my own version of this delicious lightly spiced fruit cake as I was sure it could be made for much less…and I was right!
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Can anyone resist a fresh warm doughnut?

The Perfect Doughnut Recipe

Doughnuts have got to be one of the most popular products sold in bakeries. Thousands are sold everyday to fans of the sweet and sugary fried ball of dough as an ideal treat or afternoon snack. But the quality of doughnuts varies enormously depending on where you buy them from. Supermarkets are cheap, often selling 5 or 6 for a pound or so whereas a proper bakers can charge 60p or more each.

However, the absolute finest doughnuts can easily be made at home and the good news is they are a thrifty triumph! Just a few ingredients and a little time will give you 9 excellent doughnuts to share for not much more than the price of one good bakers doughnut!

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chocolate orange cheesecake brownies

Chocolate Orange Cheesecake Brownies

If there are any two flavours that were ever meant to be together it surely has to be chocolate and orange. Brownies are pretty expensive to buy in the shops and are, more often than not, very disappointing, lacking in flavour and very dry in texture. Making your own will really highlight the difference between homemade and shop bought and even with the more expensive cream cheese ingredient in this recipe, these brownies will prove to be great value!

This lovely recipe is quick and easy to make and the result is impressive and quite simply delicious. 

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A Simple and Tasty Fish Pie

All too often these days, recipes appear, usually from TV chefs that take a classic simple dish and turn it into something so complex and with so many ingredients that it can be quite off putting to give it a go making it at home. The easy option of finding it in the freezer isle of the local supermarket seems to be the sensible choice but have you tasted one recently? There is no resemblance between the frozen version and the wholesome homemade delicious version!

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Smoky Butter Bean and Sweet Potato Hotpot

As we leave summer behind and autumn starts knocking on the door, I have started to cook more substantial things to eat, a little more comforting as the rain falls outside and the wind makes a cardigan a neccessity when walking the dog!

I love the start of autumn for many reasons, not least because I can start cooking this lovely smoky hotpot.It’s delicious, especially when served with hot buttered wholemeal toast and it’s a very a thrifty meal!
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First Runner Beans!

It doesn’t seem so very long ago (May 3rd to be precise) that we planted our runner beans on our allotment.

It took a little while to build the supports from the canes and a whole ball of twine to knot them all together but, once we were satisfied that the whole structure wouldn’t collapse in a slight breeze, we popped the little beans into the ground beside each cane.
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Vogue V8764 dressmaking pattern - the finished dress

Vogue 8764 finally finished!

So, back in the depths of winter I decided that it would be a good idea to have a go at making my own clothes. Now it is the height of summer and I have finally finished my first handmade dress!

I really do think that if I had paid more attention to the project that even as an almost complete beginner I could have finished this simple pattern within a week. So why did it take me so long?

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My dress is nearly finished!!

I have no idea why it has taken quite so long to finish this simple, straightforward dress. The Vogue Very Easy pattern number V8764 has been a great starting point for a beginner but I just seem to have got to a point where I put the project to one side for a few days to do something else and haven’t been able to get back to it.

Anyway, I have decided that next week (it has to wait until then…I’m off to a wedding this weekend!) I will definately finish it. I only have the sleeves to insert and the hem to do on the dress and the lining and voila!

I have really enjoyed doing it, the dress is looking really good and I am looking forward to starting a new project!

Finished pictures next week…I promise…all going well…!!