Archive for the ‘OtherFood’ Category

Kitchen table nursery

This is the state of my kitchen table, covered with all my little seedlings growing away.

I have patio doors there so it is the place with the most light.  On there I have 4 types of tomato, 4 types of bean, rainbow chard, sweet peppers, 2 types of leek, 2 types of lettuce, butternut squash, peas, sweet peas, sunflowers, basil and cress.  The beans are way too early and will probably get chucked except the dwarf ones which are actually starting to flower!  The tomatoes got a little bit scorched when I put them out in the sun but have made a stirling recovery and I think they are going to be ok.  I’m a bit scared to put them out into the mini plastic greenhouse as they might all die and I’d be left with nothing.

I bought the packet of cress seeds in Morrisons, but it doesn’t look like the cress I’m used to…..these are like little umbrellas

I tasted some and it was quite peppery.

A lovely member of my local knititng group very kindly gave me some terracotta pots last week as she is moving away and can’t take everything with her.  I got quite a haul and am very grateful….thanks Sarah!

I ordered a few more seeds yesterday from MoreVeg who sell small quantities for 50p, cos I don’t need many.  I’ve got a couple of different squashes coming, some alpine strawberries and asparagus peas (and a few others, ahem!).  My veg patch is going to be absolutely heaving in the height of the growing season!!

In the next few days I shall be sowing some nasturtiums and pot marigold seeds which Flighty kindly sent me to use as companion plants and attract insects, and hopefully getting the rest of my seed potatoes into the ground as their chits are getting rather long now.  Looks like it is going to be warming up a bit again at the weekend although it could be a bit damp.

I shall also be going to The Chester Food & Drink Festival this weekend.  We go every year and my favourite bit is the lunchtime hog roast,  yum!  On Sunday, Eaton Hall is open to the public for the day so depending on the weather we may go along to that.  We went at the end of the summer last year so it will be interesting to see the difference at this time of year.

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Our New Favourite Listener!

OMG!!  Excited or what??  I have mentioned my favourite eco-podcast before, More Hip Than Hippie.  Well in their latest episode (no. 292) they have named me their New Favourite Listener because I sent them some chocolate to review.  And they put in a link to my blog on their show notes!  They are very funny, Val attempted to do an English accent (they are from California, USA) but was swiftly stopped by Dori!  You can find the podcast on iTunes or follow the link above to the show notes which has various ways to listen at the top of their page.

Quick round-up and a yummy dinner

I’ve not done a lot in the garden since the last post.  Tomorrow I will be planting the peas and cabbage that are in the jiffys and coir pots into the ground as they are doing well.

Pea Meteor (front), Cabbage Advantage F1 (back)

None of the ones in the ground are showing through yet but I did buy a cheap plastic cloche on ebay.  1.2m long with three wire hoops – £3.49. It probably won’t hold up for years and years but at that price it was worth a punt. Although now I think about it, it probably wasn’t a good decision eco-friendly-wise!

Next to the peas in the growhouse above are the sweet peas with 3 to a pot, all of which are starting to show

I think I’ll sow some more sweet peas as I had another free packet on Grow Your Own magazine this month, Tall Mixed, and I could put them along the boundary fence in the veg patch to encourage the bees.

Remember I repotted the blueberry?  It has decided to produce flower buds!! (apologies for blurry photo!!)

A friend of ours is complaining that her spring bulbs are coming up and she only planted them two weeks ago.  A couple of my onions have started to make an appearance

And finally I have been reading Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s new book River Cottage Veg Every Day, and during the week I made Chachouka.  Here is my effort and very tasty it was too served with warmed crusty French stick!!

Chocolate taste test

So last night we tasted the Seed & Bean, Nero & Bianco and Montezuma dark chocolate as a direct comparison so I didn’t include the Chilli flavoured bar.

It was all very scientific ;op .  Two squares of each bar on a plate and tasting a bit of each.  Of course I knew which was which but Colin didn’t so it was a blind tasting for him!

The results:  We both chose the same one as our favourite, which was the Nero & Bianco Organic Fairtrade Dark Chocolate Bar.  This one had the lowest cocoa content at 70% so that is probably what swung it.  It was slightly sweeter than the other two.  It is made in Italy and has no palm oil, no GM ingredients and is organic and fairtrade.  The beans are a mixture from the Dominican Republic, Peru and Ecuador.  £2.19 for 100g or £3 for two bars (200g).

Second was the Montezuma’s Organic Very Dark Chocolate with 73% cocoa content.  Again it is organic and although it doesn’t have the fairtrade symbol they claim it is “traded fairly”.  This one is made in the UK from beans from the Dominican Republic.  There was a very slight aftertaste of vanilla/coffee but this wasn’t unpleasant.  £2.39 for 100g

And finally, Seed & Bean Organic Extra Dark Chocolate.  This tasted the darkest although it was 72% because it had a slight bitter aftertaste.  Fairtrade, but although it is called organic there is nothing in the ingredient list to verify this.  Made in England from Dominican Republic beans.  £1.99 for 85g

A bit later on we tried a little bit of the Montezuma’s Organic Dark Chilli Chocolate and phew that has a good chilli hit!!  You couldn’t eat a lot of that in one go!!  Again a 73% coca content and £2.39 for 100g.

All prices quoted are from Planet Organic so may vary elsewhere.