Recipe – Slow Cooker – pea and ham soup

This is SUCH a delicious soup, please try it once if never again!  In the slow cooker too, double win.

Ingredients

  • Small smoked gammon joint.
  • 2 peeled potatoes.
  • 2 large white onions.
  • 3 cloves garlic.
  • 1kg frozen garden peas.
  • Water

Instructions

Put the garlic, onions, peas, raw potato and gammon in to the Slow Cooker.  Put the potatoes and gammon in first, unlike me!
Pour in enough water to cover the gammon 1/2 way – more if you like thinner, less if you prefer a thicker soup.
Cook on high setting for 4 hours or low for 8.
Remove the gammon and trim off any fat before shredding with two forks.
Blitz the soup into the consistency you prefer and put the shredded gammon back in, combine.
Season to taste serve in a soup bowl with a little of the shredded gammon to garnish.

To make a less healthier version, add cream at blending and a little cream to drizzle before adding the gammon garnish but the truth be told, I really don’t think it needs it.




A new way of life – a peaceful day

I simply love the days when everything feels peaceful.  
Today is one of those days, where you can sot back and relax.
Given everything that’s happening in the world right now, and what we have all endured over the last few months, I bet everyone has gone through a few conversations, or range of emotions and feelings that you didn’t anticipate you would have in this lifetime…or maybe we did?


Our days have varied so much and with one thing and another we’ve had to react differently to certain things that are out of our control and in some cases, we have to just accept that we can’t control things.  However all of that is leaving me feel very peaceful.  Right now anyway, ask me in a day 😉
Early this morning, Friday, whilst most people were still in bed, Steven and I woke up and went straight outside to let the animals out, feed and water them and do a check of everything.  It was such a beautiful morning.  Rodney came with us as always.  We then managed to get an exercise session done whilst it is still cool.  Neither of us would want to after work, especially as it is meant to be SO hot today (hot for the North East of England anyway!)
I also managed to get a few jobs done in the veg plot, starting with weeding the onion bed which I swear was weed free a couple of days ago!  It’s all done now and things are looking very healthy in there.  A couple of onions decided they wanted to go to seed though, so I snapped off the hard seed shoot that was forming in the hope that they change their minds.  We need all the food we can get after all.
Once the bed was weeded and watered, which took 20 minutes or so, I went in to the greenhouse.  Incidentally, I don’t normally water onions but I noticed the soil was dry quite far down when I was weeding and as we aren’t due any rain for days or more, the heat that we are due may make them bolt, so I gave them a good water.
In the greenhouse, I sowed 4 different beans, 1 purple climber, 2 drawf (green and yellow) and soy.  I’ll sow some more in 2/3 weeks which I will maybe put in the polytunnel for as late cropping as we can.  I don’t have more soy though, so I hope this lot work and we can save some seed from them.  They are now watered and outside enjoying the heat of the sun and hopefully considering germinating pretty quickly.  I’m generally always amazed at how quickly beans germinate.  I also have some pinto beans in the greenhouse which I have now moved out to the cold frame to harden off.  These will be kept for the winter pantry and also to grow next year. I’m going to try and save as much seed as I can this year.  

Does anyone know if growing lots of beans near each other will cause me issues with seed saving?  

Rodney stayed with me whilst I was weeding, perfect start to the day for both of us.  My favourite time of day.

I harvested a small amount of kale too.  We have more kale plants than any family would ever need, however I plan on preserving enough to last a year for the house.  Kale is also very good for chickens which is one of the reasons I have grown so much, after all, we have a lot of chickens!  Our pigs too have it, but not the sheep right now as they are due to lamb and I am hesitant to change their diet before lambing in case it’s toxic for the unborn lambs.  Call me Mrs Cautious if you like, but we only have a small number of ewes (4) and each lamb is vital to the success of the smallholding.

After a lovely, peaceful start to the day I have work to complete.  Working from home now means the commute is ideal 😉 I shall update you with the weekends antics next week.  In the mean time I’ve been having lots of fun in the kitchen, as always!  Trying a variety of bread items in our weekly menu plan.  Below are the naan breads I made from a recipe on bbc.co.uk/food – they were great!  I rolled them pretty thin to cook quickly and we preferred them that way.  They are not authentic naans which I believe use yoghurt (tell me if I am wrong?) but for us, they are perfect and my new go to for naan type breads.  I’ll pop the recipe on my recipes page.  All new recipes go out on the Friday night that I have used them.

Another quick, almost cheat meal that I have done a couple of times are these pin wheels. They are great for a light lunch for me and the kids during the week or I can add a huge salad and do it for the 4 of us on a weekend lunch time.  Disclaimer – I use shop bought puff pastry for these 😛 !  I bought 3 puff pastry in the Aldi shop on the 25th, so I will do these every other week to use them us during the 6 week challenge.  The recipe is here if anyone wants a bash. 

It’s been hot, hot, hot here lately, during the days at least.  Rodney often finds shade where he can.
The pigs are given water every day and we often make them a water hole which they take a little interest in, but not as much as we hoped! 
Grace gets the hose pipe over in to the pig pen and sits and has cuddles with them whilst the water fills up.  It takes a while as the pressure there is not great. 

Did I tell you the electricity had a planned outage for 6 hours?  Well, as we don’t yet have a generator, what else could we do except pop the quail on the Aga on a towel to hopefully regulate the heat?  I hope they hatch still! They are due Monday I think. 

That’s me for a few days, stay safe everyone 🙂


Perfect pinwheels – recipe

Perfect Pinwheels

Link to YouTube video on how I make these is at the bottom of the page.
Makes 11 or so wheels, depends how thickly you cut them.
Vary the ingredients to what you have on hand.
Ingredients:
1 pack shop bought puff pastry
Tomato puree or bbq sauce
Whatever fillings you want – I mostly use:
ham, cheese, sweetcorn

Method:
Roll out the pastry on the parchment paper it comes in.
Spread tomato puree or bbq sauce over it
Add your chosen ingredients
Roll the pastry to make a swiss roll look
Cut in to 11 os ro slices (like you would cut a swiss roll cake mmmm)
Place on the parchment paper on a baking sheet
Bake in the oven for 10/15 mins on medium to high heat. 
As always with my recipes, keep checking them.
Enjoy 🙂



Nourishing Naan bread – recipe

Nourishing Naan bread

Makes 6 ish (depending what size you roll them out) 
I served them with mint leaves stirred in to natural yoghurt and a tsp of sugar.  Very refreshing.

Ingredients:

250g plain flour
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
120ml milk
2 tbsp oil
Butter/coriander/garlic to grill


Method:

Sift your flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in to a bowl.
In a separate jug, mix the milk and oil together.
Slowly add to dough and combine, I do this in my stand mixer.
Knead for 5-8 minutes.
Put the dough in an oiled bowl and leave it for 15 mins or so.  It doesn’t rise but seems to soften.
Divide in to balls and roll out into circles, teardrops, whatever shape they turn out to be.
I then oiled with melted butter and sprinkled coriander on them, garlic would work well too.
Cook in the oven or under the grill for 5 minutes or so, keep checking them as I did mine in the Aga so the grill might burn quickly.
Enjoy 🙂 

 

Perfect Pittas – recipe

Perfect Pittas

Makes 8 large pitta breads
Ingredients:
300ml warm water
2 tsp yeast
2 tsp salt
500g strong bread flour 1 tbsp oil

Method:
You can pop the yeast and water in together for 5 minutes if you have time, then add the remainder of the ingredients.  
I tend to add all dry ingredients to my stand mixer.
Pop on the dough hook.
Add the water a bit at a time, sometimes 270 is enough, it depends on your flour.
Knead for 5 minutes.
Turn on to floured surface and cover with stnad mixer bowl for 1 hour.
Knock the air out of it after an hour.  
Divide in to 8 pieces.
Roll out fairly thinly and leave for 5 minutes covered, whilst you heat a flat tray in the oven.
Cook the pittas on the hot tray for 5-8 minutes.
Wrap in a tea towel to keep soft as you cook the remainder.
Once cool enough to handle, cut along the edge to make a pitta pocket.

Enjoy 🙂