Monday 30 March 2015

Week 43: Nettle Pesto

Picking a mixture of nettles - just the young tops and if you grasp firmly they don't sting ... apparently and wild garlic.

Same ingredients as last time - nuts and cheese mixed in with the nettles - lightly blanched before chopping finely.  We also sampled fresh nettle tea and pastry parcels made with nettles and cheese. 

It can basically be used like spinach and is incredibly good for you.

Ta dah!

Saturday 28 March 2015

Week 42: Brighton Veg Fest

I was lucky enough to win a ticket to this year's Brighton Veg Fest in a draw I entered at Seedy Sunday in February - there's a theme developing ...

I'm not a vegetarian and not planning to be one.  I don't eat a huge amount of meat and do care about how animals are reared, the way meat is produced and processed.

There were stalls spread around the various floors of the Brighton Centre.  Mainly food focused (vegetarian obviously) and many selling their wares and foodie treats in various shapes and sizes.  Several stalls were selling chocolate in a variety of forms and flavours from raw to dairy free (not as nice as the real thing).

In the end I came away with a couple of pots of herbs, a few samples and a new kitchen gadget - good for soups and smoothies.

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Friday 27 March 2015

Week 42: The Brighton Wheel

The Brighton Wheel
After last year's cancelled trip - another opportunity for a ride in Brighton's very own 'eye'.

Brighton seafront towards Worthing
Not quite as large as the London Eye and it goes round a lot quicker but still great views up and down the Sussex coast.

Brighton Pier from the Brighton Wheel
We had a perfect day for it.  After the @BrightonChamber meeting a large group walked the short distance to the seafront and were ushered in to the pods for a ride on the wheel.

Brighton seafront towards the Marina
Visit the Brighton Wheel

Sunday 22 March 2015

Week 41: Wild Garlic Workshop

English: Wild garlic See 844871.

Run by the lovely ladies at @PickItCookIt near Ashurst and the first of two workshops I've booked up.

Also known as Ransoms, wild garlic is one of the Spring plants that you can't miss when you come across them, due to their strong, pungent aroma.  They're found in woodland, often along stream and river banks.

After coffee and scones ... containing wild garlic ... on arrival - we head out to pick the wild garlic from the wooded area on the farm, alongside the stream.  On the way back we drop by the veg patch to pick a few leeks and then back to the outdoor workspace to put together pesto.

Pretty easy to make:  Finally chop the greenery - wild garlic and leek or onion if you prefer then mix roughly 2 parts greenery to 1 part grated hard cheese + 1 part crushed nuts - whatever you prefer, walnuts, hazel, almonds.  Add seasoning and spices to taste, mix with a good virgin olive oil or rapeseed to a paste.  Whatever combination and as rough or finely chopped as you like.

Tastes delicious on bread, with pasta or mixed in with pretty much anything.  It got added to pretty much everything I was cooking that week!

Wild garlic (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Friday 20 March 2015

Week 41: Jeepers

I just happened to be about to walk back from checking out some work on my local patch, when I spotted this.

Driven by someone I happen to know, so I hitched a lift up the hill and got a ride in this vintage WWII American Willys jeep, complete with machine gun (not live!).

Unexpected, great fun if a little exposed - glad it was a sunny day.

Thursday 12 March 2015

Week 40: Jellied eggs!

No, not a food substance but frogspawn.

I've had frogs in my small barrel pond for years but it was only two years ago when I got my first batch of frogspawn.  Nothing last year but this year I got two batches about a week apart.

I rescued the second batch and moved it in to the house to hatch out.  There's a childish delight in seeing them grow inside their little circles of jelly and then hatch out into small black embryos that slowly turn into tadpoles.

Some hatched faster than others, some didn't hatch at all but most did - at least a few hundred did.  Separated the larger tadpoles out from the smaller ones.  Lucky I have an old plastic fish tank and a large glass bowl to house them in.

Fascinating to watch - you can see more of the frogspawn 77 day journey from 'egg to legs' on my Sussex Nature Notes blog.

Saturday 7 March 2015

Week 39: But I can't sing!

English: A Sennheiser Microphone

Well, I didn't think this would be one of the activities that would make it on to the list - but the opportunity arose so ...

Singing Neil Diamond's classic Sweet Caroline or at least the words to the song were coming out of my mouth but the sounds didn't bear much resemblance to the classic song (sorry Neil).  However, it's a good one to belt out, even if I was being (fortunately) upstaged by a far better singer.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)