Sunday, 27 April 2014

Coffee Grounds as Body Scrub

Adapting an idea that Mark shared with me and making good use of some Essential ingredients, I rescued four days' worth of used coffee grounds from being thrown into the compost bin at Plot 66 and made use of them as a body scrub.

The moisture from wet grounds will go mouldy after a while, so the first thing was to dry them out on a baking tray in the oven (over a low heat so they don't burn - the kitchen smelt good enough to drink).

Once dried, they went into a plastic container with olive oil (most people might use sweet almond oil but my skin doesn't like it), a good few drops of lavender oil because it's my favourite ever smell and for its antiseptic properties and a glug of tea tree oil, also an antiseptic.  You can gauge for yourself how much of each ingredient to add, altering the essential oils to suit your own olfactory pleasures.

I had a shower with it this morning.  I'm ever so smooth

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Wild at Springtime

We collected a good crop of wild garlic from Dragon's Hill in North Wootton, Somerset.  Closer to Weston, Cat says there is an abundance around the Brockley Coombe area.  And then, there's always loads up at Leigh Woods!  If put in the fridge, this stuff keeps its flavour for about a week and is great as a simple but fiery salad or as a substitute for onion/garlic in most one pot dishes.  But after 5 days of constantly eating, there was some left, so ...

On Sunday, I picked a few handfuls of wild nettles from near Plot 66 - definitely putting gloves on to grab a hold, otherwise these buggers really sting.  But once submerged momentarily in boiling water back at home, they are easy to handle, though they shrink to a tenth of their original size so pick loads more than you think you'll need.

I took a 2 litre bowl of each wild garlic and nettles (realistically, I could have used three times the amount of nettles.  You know, that blinkage shrinkage thing!), a cup of sunflower seeds because we had no pine nuts and a good swig or several of olive oil.  Oh, and a touch of seasoning.

And blitzed it all with a hand blender.

I got 2 jars worth of bright green pesto. I topped them up with olive oil, to help preserve it.  Tasty tasty with pasta n Parmigiano and salad.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Community Farm Vegetable Boxes

We've been in touch with the Community Farm at Chew Magna and they would be really pleased to deliver their organic vegetable boxes to households in Weston-super-Mare if we can get at least 10 addresses interested.

There are a variety of boxes to choose from, depending on the size of your family and what sort of produce you want.

In the first instance, we'll order fortnightly, see how it goes.

For more information on the boxes, have a look at the Community Farm's website: here

If you'd like to order, indicate in the comments section below


Monday, 11 June 2012

Tea Bread Recipe

By popular demand (one person made a request) here is my recipe for my tea bread.

1cup all bran (or equivalent)
1cup SR flour
1cup fruit/nuts 
1/2 cup honey (or sugar)
1cup milk

Add the milk and soak the fruit and bran for at least an hour or two. Add the flour, nuts and honey and mix. Put into a greased loaf tin and bake for 1hr to 1hr 30mins on gas 3/4.

Sometimes I use just fruit sometimes I am a bit of a devil and add chocolate drops. Tonights batch had half fruit and half pecan nuts.
Its nice on its own or with a bit of butter and a cup of tea. :)


Saturday, 2 June 2012

Local green grocer delivers

I have been shopping for veg at Country Produce for a few years. I was dismayed when Tesco express opened on Whitecross road and effectively put them out of business. They have now opened on Milton Road and have been re building their business over the last 12 months.
They have now reached a point where they are able to make deliveries to your door. So shopping for veg can be made even easier.
Not only are their prices more than competitive with the supermarkets but the produce is fresher and tastier. Kieran Morris (owner) is more than happy to receive special requests for particular items such as herbs etc and he will do his utmost to seek them out at the markets.
All you have to do is call or email at least a day in advance of his delivery days, it couldn't be easier!

You can always go and browse in their shop at 252 Milton Road for fresh inspiration. (He also does a bit of cheese!) Service is friendly and helpful.

contact details are:
01934 643343

Delivery days are Wednesday and Fridays.

So come on shop local, eat fresh, spend savvy. Join our unsupermarket challenge!!


Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Unsupermarket Challenge - May update

I'm trying to remember the last time I was in a shop - I think it was last Wednesday, when we went to the butcher's at the end of Hughenden Road for some sausages, eggs and cheese. We caught him cashing up at half day closing and, thankfully, he served us. Ah, no, that's wrong because on Thursday we were on the A370 and popped into Puxton Park Farm Shop for a loaf and a lavender plant for our patio area; I've always loved the smell of lavender and I hope make a body rub by grinding it together with that coarse sea salt we collectively bought so much of.

What I mean to say is that, since joining this food buying group, ordering in bulk from Essential, having milk and yoghurt delivered directly by the milkman and sharing a fruit and vegetable box, we have had very little need to spend time and too much money in supermarkets. I might have been spotted, on occasion, grabbing a pizza from Waitrose (about four times in four months), but sometimes you just fancy a little of something different and I make no apologies for it.

We always have more than enough food in our kitchen; healthy snacks, hearty soups, jacket potatoes aplenty (why are there so many spuds in these box schemes?) We've recently started going to home-educators play-dates, where we eat communally, each bringing something tasty to the table. It's been an education in recipes and almost-forgotten food pleasures - a brand new sort of learning. What to take? I've been rustling up vegetable cous-cous and fruit flapjacks - ingredients for these are always on hand. It feels good to have taken the effort to cook something from scratch to be enjoyed by so many people.

Today, we harvested some wild garlic by a stream, somewhere near Glastonbury. The younger leaves have already been turned into pesto with olive oil and sunflower seeds, ready for a very quick and yummy meal with pasta. Any edible leaf can make a decent pesto and it keeps for ages in the fridge. The older leaves will accompany a vegetable soup tomorrow and the flowers look ace on a salad, don't they?

And you can probably smell me coming a mile off :-)

Monday, 26 March 2012

April order fast approaching

It's nearly time to place the fourth food buying group order, which is a bit exciting!

I thought I'd do a quick post to explain to anyone who is interested just how easy it is, and maybe a bit about just how positive an effect it's had on our lives.

To order, simply send an email to to tell me you are interested. I will reply with an order form as well as log in details to the Essential Trading web site (or get a paper catalogue to you). From here, you have a browse from the comfort of your sofa, fill in the order form - which does all the maths bits for you - and email it back to me by Monday 2nd April. We are trialling giving you the option to order via text this month too.
I will check the order then email you back to confirm prices. The food will then be delivered to our house in Weston-super-Mare on Thursday 5th April, you can pop round that evening to collect it, or you can arrange an alternative mutually convenient time. Please bring cash on collection to pay for your order.


So, what are the benefits?
  • We are definitely spending less money. In part, probably because we are not tempted by supermarket 'offers' that we only end up throwing away. Also, because we are buying in bulk.
  • We are definitely using less packaging.
  • We are eating better. Yes, this has meant more time cooking but if that's something you enjoy then welcome to the world of creating delicious wholesome meals!
  • We haven't had to endure the supermarket. I can't begin to tell you how much more enjoyable my life is just from not entering Tesco. It may sound really silly, but I enjoy my time on this planet much more because I am spending it doing far more enjoyable things than pushing a trolley around a very large box!
Ok, preachy ranty bit over. Whatever your reasons for wanting to shop differently, welcome aboard!