The cold has finally set in here at the cottage. With a couple of radiators refusing to do their job properly, we’ve taken to living in the kitchen again until the plumber can fit us in. To be honest, I love the warmth of the kitchen and couldn’t live without our Everhot – its glow of soothing, hospitable snugness the perfect antidote to November wind and rain. Everyone in the countryside needs something to warm bottoms, damp socks and trousers after long muddy walks yelling after a purposefully deaf spaniel who has strayed into the next county. Time to rustle up some central heating of my own.
The perfect culinary cosiness arrived in the form of a lovely parcel from The Happy Foodie and Ebury Publishing, a new cookbook entitled Slow Cooked. Written by Miss South, the girlie half of North South Foodand presented with fresh and bright photography from her equally talented and foodie brother, Mister North, this is a cookbook determined to reinvent the slow cooker for a new generation of cooks. A self-taught cook who hails from Belfast but now lives in SW London (Mister North is unsurprisingly living….up North), Miss South has featured in Observer Food Monthly, BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme and was a winner of the Young British Foodies Fresh Voices in Food Writing Award 2013.
Halloween and fireworks are upon us already – where is this year skipping off to in such a hurry, dear Reader? We’ve had weeks of watching the village next door preparing for the annual Bonfire and fireworks’ night, wood piling up and strange straw-stuffed people cropping up all over the place. Primrose and I are always caught unawares by the extremely creepy looking ‘guys’ which pop up round the village this time of year. One in particular terrified the life out of me in the dark the other night, causing me to slam on the brakes and utter some rather unrepeatable words. Continue reading →
Let there be light! My sparkly new French farmhouse style lights from Garden Trading.
I left you last week, dear Reader, with a half finished kitchen and a long list of camping stove menus. Things could only get better from that point on….or so I thought. However, when darkness fell upon the house (for the second time) as our builders drilled a hole through our electrics, I wondered how I would manage in the glow of camping stove gas and candlelight. With one wall (new plaster, paint and all) smashed into to find the possible errant screw, the builders prompted left saying that there was nothing they could do until the electrician could come back in 2 days time. Not ideal. Being of the non-confrontational sort, I smiled and said with a slightly jumpy giggle “You can’t leave me like this with 2 small children.” “Well it’s not like we are leaving you with dangerous electrics – the trip switch will just pop loudly if anything else blows”, was the answer. Reassuring, dear Reader. In the light (no pun intended, believe me) of our newest drama, I set off to our local farm shop café in search of sustenance, warmth and illumination for the girls. To be honest, I was determined to find a meal for Primrose and Poppy that wasn’t something along the beans, lentils, chickpeas, chicken, stew or anything cooked on the camping stove front as moaning had reached fever pitch. We arrived in the hopes of finding a homemade steak and ale pie, only to find that they had stopped serving food ten minutes before we arrived. Disaster. With a VERY disgruntled Primrose who reprimanded me for not knowing the opening times of the café off by heart, we returned to cook….yes you guessed it…more chicken. Chicken, chicken, chicken…..if we eat any more of it, I shall consider taking up residence in the hen house permanently. Continue reading →