a busy domestic blog of knitting, sewing and all kinds of needlecrafts, cooking my garden produce and preserving it

Monday, 31 March 2014

Free Lunch - week 9

 Monday - champ or colcannon soup or maybe just leek and potato with added cabbage bits from the freezer. Cabbage doesn't freeze well at all and throwing in into soup at the last minute is one of the few ways to eat it up
 Tuesday - spinach, chutney and beetroot for sandwiches

 Wednesday - fresh cabbage bits, chives and spinach with dried apple pieces, pickled turnips, roast beetroot and gooseberry chutney.
 Thursday - veg soup using the leftover stock from last night's chicken stew - our own potatoes and frozen beans, swede and carrots from a fellow allotmenteer.
 Friday - lots of lovely greens from the allotment and garden for feta salad - chives, spinach, american land cress, rocket and baby red lettuce.
Saturday - using broccoli bits as a cabbage substitute to make coleslaw with the last bit of 'free' carrot, plus roast beetroot, chives and garden salad leaves.

Sunday was Mothers Day so a special lunch,but 6 days out of 7 isn't bad.

I'm glad that this week, despite some heavy showers and hail, the weather is warming up and the garden salad leaves growing quicker - they're now keeping pace with the rate I eat them at! Waiting now for first of this year's radishes....

Monday, 24 March 2014

Free lunch - week 8

 Continuing my search for a free lunch by only using my garden and allotment produce, either fresh, frozen or pickled, with a little help from other people's surplus...

 Monday - a mixed up salad of cabbage, carrot and chives with turnips pickled back in summer, gooseberry chutney and baked beetroot

Tuesday was a different sort of 'free lunch' - dinner out treat from my parents

 Wednesday - cabbage, spinach, fresh allotment radish and spring onions, and baked beetroot

Thursday - huge plate of spinach, baby lettuce and rocket with chives and salad dressing flavoured with home grown herbs. I'm sure I took a pic but somewhere it's got lost.

 Friday - a bit colder today so decided to make soup. It started out as leek and potato then I realised that, although I'd intended to lift leeks at the allotment, I hadn't! So a sort of tomatoey minestrone with potato, turnip and broad beans but spicier than usual with extra chilli and garlic.

Saturday - something quick - so home grown green tomato chutney and spinach for a cheese baguette

Sunday - cabbage and chive coleslaw with two chutneys - green tomato and gooseberry

It's very much a monotonous round of lunches - with warmer days I'm missing tomatoes and cucumber for salads though new season lettuce is coming on well and should be cropping properly soon. Soups using frozen veg are much more variable and interesting though.

Picking up skirt sewing project

The sunshine of the past week or so has persuaded me that it's time to pick up a project I started in Autumn, then abandoned as the weather turned colder.
The pattern is taken roughly from one of my favourite skirts - a simple bias shape with a little elastication at the waist.

It's really quite close to finished and just needs tacking removing and elastic threading through the waist.

From this side it looks done...
but from this the spare elastic still shows!
All should be finished though before the warm weather returns.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Free Lunch - week 7

Monday - salad - beetroot, land cress, red onion, spinach, gooseberry chutney, radish and baby lettuce leaves
 Tuesday - quick sandwiches with chutney, spinach and the last bits of homegrown onion

Wednesday - a bit more variety after an allotment trip. Newly picked cabbage for coleslaw with nearly the last of the gifted carrots, chives (to replace onions) spinach, a mix of radish and chutney 
 Thursday - a morning allotment trip left me with no time to make lunch so just chutney and spinach for a cheese sandwich
Friday - quite a haul of green leaves - baby red lettuce and 'winter mix' salad leaves from the greenhouse and allotment spinach, spring onions and radish, topped with salad dressing made with homegrown herbs

Saturday and Sunday - fail :(
I'm finding it harder to come with interesting meals every day but I suppose we are entering the 'hungry gap' time of year. It's actually easier to eat for 'free' if I make soup from last year's frozen veg but it's too sunny and mild at the moment for a cooked lunch to seem appealing.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Free Lunch Challenge - week 6

 Monday; one of my tomato based soups - with sweetcorn and broad beans - all from the freezer - and a slice of 'last date' ham.

 Tuesday; a late hurried lunch so beetroot, onion and spinach sandwiches

 Thursday; I had chicken stock bubbling away int he kitchen so couldn't resist adding some to a basically carrot and swede soup

 Friday; salad - the usual brussel bits, spinach, beetroot and onion combo
..and here's a similar one for Sunday - with German winter radish

Wednesday and Saturday were both 'failure' days, so not as successful a week as some

Monday, 10 March 2014

Chutney from the freezer

 I decided to carry on with the clear out of fruit and veg from the freezer by making gooseberry chutney. I was surprised to find about 5 lbs of gooseberries still waiting to be used, so they haven't all gone yet.

I usually make this recipe up with green gooseberries but I didn't have enough of them so used a mix with a high proportion of red ones.

The finished chutney turned out rather red because of it - and a little strangely 'sweet and sour' in taste.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Free lunch challenge - Week 5

What happened to Week 4? Half-term holidays, that's what. So picking the challenge up again now...

 Monday; well, I tried.. even if only spinach and sliced radishes additions to sandwiches

 Tuesday; much better. Leek, potato and kale - or maybe 'champ' - soup
 Wednesday;  a surprising amount of stuff to make a salad - spinach, bits of rocket, land cress and chives from the garden, radish, red onion, beetroot and pickled turnips which are actually improving with age and tadting a lot less salty. Over it all, salad dressing with fresh home grown herbs - lemon balm, oregano and thyme; strange to have them available this early.
 Thursday; back to sandwiches - spinach and red onion with cheese
 Friday;  tomatoey soup with broad beans from freezer and tiny broccoli spears
Saturday; another salad - rocket and land cress, chopped up spring greens, dried apple pieces and autumn radish (all home grown), carrot given away by fellow allotmenteer.

Sunday - oh well, can't manage it every day.