Category Archives: Yoghurt

Bits and pieces : kitchen and garden

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This is the noonday sun on the last day in August.  Today is the first of September, the beginning of the new year in my head.

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In my kitchen there is a box of meringue fingers studded with toasted hazelnuts from Normandy – a gift to Brian from my sister, Brian likes them crumbled up on top of fresh fruit with yoghurt as a dessert.

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And there were also some very useful indeed sachets of yoghurt starter enzymes (another thoughtful gift from my sister)  for when your old home made yoghurt has gone a bit beyond being used to seed a new batch. Still wondering why no one in the UK stocks these. Lakeland stock EasiYo, all the way from the Antipodes but not these made in Europe. Funny old world….

asier gurk pickle

Pickled Danish cucumber, the asie gurk, from seed sent me by the lovely Misky,  grown by me outdoors here at home in pots with local manure to help them along, peeled and brined and made according to this recipe  and then lovingly waterbath processed by Brian. I don’t think I would make them without his help as I don’t like handling hot jars, damp with boiling steam from the oven.

I use the pickle juice to thin down our current salad dressing, which is a tsp of dijon mustard mixed in a little home made yoghurt and does a very good impression of a mayonnaise with no oil worked into it. The cucumbers are a joy and a delight and much nicer (variety name : the Langelands Giant) than many of the other varieties I have sampled this year. So many cucumbers are full of seeds and surprisingly bitter, these ones have always been sweet and crisp.

I left a tray of my own home saved angelica seed at the Community Garden at Blaise, where I do a bit of volunteering,  hoping it would germinate and the magic of the place has made it happen already. It is supposed to need a period of cold before coming up and this has taught me that books are not always right.

IMG_6992 I was delighted! I suspect not many people have the patience to grow it, it can take up to three years to get stems large enough to candy, or even that much interest in candying and eating it I got there this year having waited patiently for several years and felt great personal satisfaction and one of these days will make some buns or some icecream and use the angelica I candied at home.

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Angelica archangelica coming into flower earlier this year.

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Candied stems drying, they will keep for ages now.

If you want to know how to do it, you could pop over to my acquaintance Dan at the Apothecary’s Garden as I learnt the basics from him.

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Here is my little old mushrooming basket, given to me by my dear friend Hazel, who passed away many years ago now, I remember her when I pick it up and carry it with me, as I carry her in my heart always. Here it is filled with tomatoes and herbs and some wild blackberries, calendula flowers and cucumbers, and a fairy lights chilli plant coming home from Blaise Community Garden.

 

Apples are falling off the tree before ripening for some reason and the pear tree has long spindly branches and too many pears so I took a whole lot off the other day and bottled them and hope the pear tree won’t break too many more of its branches. I need to get a lesson from someone in pruning.

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A squirrel has had most of the nuts off the red hazel but has left me a symbolic handful

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and here is the eternal game being played out by my hairy friends and companions, another good prompt to get out of the house and breathe fresh air.

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Yoghurt, Wheat and Spelt Bread

Yoghurt, Wheat and Spelt Bread from Zeb Bakes

I have adapted my date kefir levain bread for those of you who don’t have kefir grains and are maybe not as fond of tending small bubbling pots as I am!  This is an experiment to see if I can approximate the same loaf using  a small quantity of dried yeast and yoghurt to replace the kefir. Continue reading

Falafel with Fava Beans and Chickpeas

Fava bean falafel

This is my small contribution to the falafel making discussions.  I have till now, only ever either made a packet mix one or bought someone else’s and re-heated them.  I have read many posts and people saying sadly that their falafel fell apart and what was the secret, so I have been reading and asking a little and Lynne has been making them too and I think between us we are establishing some clues…. Continue reading

A Loaf for the Salad Challenge

Azélia  of Azeilas Kitchen really made me laugh recently on Twitter, she was talking about wholesome breads and wearing stick-on beards and socks and sandals and I thought about the bread I had just made and it fits that category to perfection.

I haven’t worn facial hair since I rode a pushbike through the streets in a Groucho Marx mask one night from one party to another, but I have had the pleasure at least and I urge you to do it one day if you haven’t.

I started with what I had in the kitchen; sprouted pulses and some walnuts left over from Christmas. I have dug out my sprouting jar recently, thanks to the reminder from the 52 week salad challenge so I thought I would post this as my February contribution, as the frost has got hold of the last of the wintering vegetables and herbs in the garden this month. Edit: I have just found the round up page on VP’s blog for the last one. Have a look and join in. Lots of wonderful info on growing micro greens that I am going to read up on right now….

I wonder if children do sprouting in schools now as we did? Even if you don’t take much interest in growing your own food in your teenage and young adult years, if you have had these experiences as a child, they are something to draw upon later in life when maybe you have more time to garden and participate in the great elemental joy of growing some of your own food.

Walnut and Sprouted Grain Loaf Zeb Bakes

This loaf used sweet walnut pieces, our home grown sprouts, thick yoghurt, water, Felin Ganol flours, yeast and seasalt. I need to make it again before I can be sure I have got the numbers right, I scribbled them down on a piece of paper and they looked a bit odd when I came to write them up here.

We had slices of this soft and nutty bread with cottage cheese, some mung bean sprouts and a sprinkling of za’atar, a mix of thyme, sumac, salt and sesame seeds. Can’t get much nicer than that in my book and in fact it’s all gone now, every last little bit!

Sprouted grains are lovely too just dressed with a simple dressing of lemon, oil and mustard as part of a salad with a toasted bun. I think they have a great affinity with nuts, so mix them up with pine nuts, or walnuts or whatever you have around.

Mitchdafish has just tweeted me this picture….(she had a chunk of this loaf to try at home) …. hee hee!

J is for…

A Jamboree of Flavours

Ok well actually this is dinner.  It’s late, I haven’t done a J, all the Js that come to mind are ones I’m no good at, like Jolly Hockey Sticks, Jumping in the Air,  Jiving and playing Jazz, so I was getting a little low thinking of all the Js that I can’t do and that’s not really the point is it? But then I was saved by the most delicious smells wafting up the stairs and my beloved has cooked for us (again). Continue reading

I is for….

Light and fluffy scones international scone week

I is for….. International Scone Week!

I was going to do a deeply serious post

‘No!  no, not another one’

begged the iMac

and for once I listened. So you have been spared my learned treatise on etymology and the roots of words like inspiration  = in + breathe  and another one that took my fancy last night : integrity – from the word ‘integer’ meaning ‘untouched, undivided, a complete entity’ . I can hear the yawns, bad idea wasn’t it?

…but it will be much more fun to make Scones along with the Inspirational and Imaginative iScone Team! Continue reading