I love fresh produce in my kitchen. Even better when it has been harvested within the last hour, and only a fraction of a food mile on the clock. It’s one reason I push myself each year to grow my own, but I am doubly lucky. Our neighbours are amazing at growing fruit and veg, processing it into amazing food and they like to share. Their garden is so well set up. Puts me to shame.
This week, our neighbour wheeled her wheelbarrow around to see us. She had surplus garden produce to share. A couple of big punnets of cherry tomatoes, long cucumbers, mini courgettes, and types of tomatoes that I’ve only ever seen in the seed catalogues. I am truly lucky.
I was able to send her back with a spaghetti squash, but that was it. She had more than enough in her own garden. Including apples.
Everyone has enough apples around our way. The “Help yourselves to free apple” boxes have started to spring up along the lane. What is not given away, will end up as next year’s compost, so no waste. Continue reading
It is an indisputable fact, that the night before a vegetable box delivery, brings forth interesting meals. Using up the yummy veg and fruit that for one reason or another are still lurking at the bottom of the box. I exchange meal ideas with other parents in the playground, to use up the less popular veg. Soups, stews and bakes seem to be the parent’s favourite. By this stage of the week, needing to disguise the less popular choice.
As part of my becoming a greener me, I restarted ordering a weekly veg and fruit box. Cutting food miles and buying local. Less packaging too. Frequency will be reduced as produce from our kitchen garden kicks in. In the meantime, I need to make the most of these boxes. No waste.
This week, parsnips, onions, oranges and 2 bananas were left. Parsnips were steamed and mashed, and added to a stew, along with the onions. And don’t think I wasn’t tempted to add an orange or two! I resisted, but only just.
Should I be surprised that the family welcomed the orange and poppy seed muffins as a happy alternative? Love these dotty muffins. (Reading the poppy seed packet, I had no idea that the seed was a good source of calcium. Dotty and good for your bones!)
Nothing goes to waste. Bananas will be made into muffins for the weekend. Providing a filling snack for my active children. As they rush into the kitchen, to grab a treat, before heading out to the garden again. The muffins will soon disappear.
Nothing goes to waste. Even the table they are prepared on is recycled. It used to be a science table from a Bristol secondary school. It still has student’s initials carved into it. Although, I am assuming it’s not the teachers’ handiwork.
The holes are still there where we removed the old gas tap and electricity sockets. I admire the table’s quirkiness and wonder at its history every time I prepare my own experimental concoctions.
See, nothing goes to waste.
One more step to becoming a greener me.
Joining in with Thrifty Thursday over at Cold Tea and Smelly Nappies
One of the many joys of ordering a veg and fruit box each week is that you never know what may arrive. A couple of boxes ago, we found a lime. Just one. There were various suggestions including one of gin and tonic, but all suggestions meant only a few members of the family could enjoy it. The solution was simple. Lime muffins.
I adapted a recipe. Partly because I either didn’t like the ingredients or it would have meant a trip to the shops. One of the ingredients, that fell into both categories, was coconut. I’ll eat it, but absolutely under duress. While discussing this with eldest daughter, she reminded me of a previous conversation, many years ago.
One day, a coconut was included in our fruit and veg box. I did my best to ignore the coconut. Not wanting to waste it, but at the same time I didn’t want to use it. My solution was to leave it outside for weeks. For some reason I told the children not to touch it as it might explode. Apparently they believed me. Eldest then reminded me of another of my tall tales.
We were watching television. It showed a family group and the children’s faces were pixellated to protect their identities. This is the explanation that I should have given to my children when they asked about the faces. The sensible Mummy answer. But I obviously wasn’t feeling sensible that day. I didn’t give that answer.
No. Turns out that at their tender age, they believed the answer that I did give them. They believed it for quite some time.
What was my answer?
I told them that some people were born with pixellated faces. That’s how they were. Pixellated. I told them not to stare. Even if they did look different.
And they believed me.
I feel kind of bad now. Moral of this story: never mess with the mind of a four year old. Apparently they have very long memories. Such tales will come back to haunt you one day.
(It’s OK. They know the truth now. Have done for some time. Years, I should say. Obviously something they’ve been holding in their back pocket to torture me with.)
Oh well. They liked the lime muffins, so I guess in some small way I am forgiven.
Here’s the recipe in case you ever need it:
1. Combine in a bowl:
300g/10oz self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
150g/5oz castor sugar
2. Separate bowl, combine:
250 ml milk
100ml mild oil suitable for baking
zest from one lime
3. Carefully pour milk mixture into flour mixture bowl. Combine until you can no longer see the flour, but only just. Don’t over stir.
4. Divide mixture into 12 muffin cases.
5. Bake for 20 mins at 200 c/400 f/gas 6. In a 2 oven Aga, slide tray on the third shelf in the top oven for 15 mins. Turn half way through.
6. When muffins are risen and golden brown remove from oven and cool them on a wire tray.
7. Once cool enough to hold, mix 5 or 6 tablespoons of icing sugar with the juice from the lime. Spoon generous amounts of icing on top of each muffin.
8. Eat warm or cool.
Here’s hoping we get another lime in the fruit and veg box.