Friday, 31 December 2010

what recipe book is that from?

Cooked my way through a few recipes today, the husband clearly doesn't get it yet, he asked twice "what book is that from." he'll learn.
I cooked salsify, a root vegetable, apparently traditional but little known(the greengrocer boy wants me to go back and tell him what you do with it). Elizabeth David said to scrub all the black off, "a considerable trouble", stuff that, I peeled it, and it's ok, Hugh says you can peel. I plunged it into acidulated water, water with lemon it, does that count? Into boiling water for 20 mins, then drain fry in butter add parsley. Yum, flavour surprisingly mild, just ate as a snack: roars of laughter from family as they see us growing to the size of a house.
Today I threw together beetroot and celery salad; cooked beetroot, celery, garlic, wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and parsley. Great with my Mother in Laws turkey pie.

lessons I have learnt

We have seen the New Year in and whilst still raw and tender, what lies ahead on the horizon? It's almost nine weeks since I commited to exclusively shopping locally. This has been an enriching experience and one to not turn my back on. It has raised some questions of ethics over local, but I think my prime concern has to be "use it don't loose it". 
I have survived without supermarket butter and got through a whole lot of Chads butter.  It was only last week that I realised his packs are smaller, 200g, which maybe explains why I got through over 30 packs.  My great love of butter continues.  I really enjoyed cooking the meals of an era in line with Turn Back Time, I loved trying out recipes and cooking new things. This has given me the desire to improve my cooking and improve my techniques and repertoire. 
For me 2011 holds a new challenge, inspired by the film Julia and Julie, I will cook my way through the classic, Elizabeth David, French provincial cooking(417 recipes).  I have always wanted the book and have been given a copy for Christmas.  It's got recipes in that I have always wanted to cook, for example, epaule d'agneau boulangere and a suckling pig.  Now I have no excuse. Lots of the recipes are seasonal so I need to be organised to cook through the seasons, from chestnuts now to quinces in September. So my challenge is to cook the whole book by the time the quinces are ready on our tree. I will endeavour to grow some of the ingredients and of course source the rest  locally.  My brother in law opens a butchery this week he will be running, eventually as Hobbs House, it is what was Nelsons in Chipping Sodbury,  I will become his worst customer with requests for wild boar, bone marrow, fats to render, bones for stock to teal. I look forward to feeding this to my four children, hopefully not growing in girth, and seeing whether this way of cooking is sustainable for todays families.  
My children will continue with Little Chef Friday, where they can choose and cook what they want, a little light relief for them.
I will be blogging regularly about the recipes.

Steadily but not at a gallop

So before I enter into this Elizabeth David malarkey I figured I should try out a recipe or two. I started with a soup, simple, Potage Bonne Femme.
Melt some butter in a pan, add the finely sliced 2 leeks* and 3 diced carrots. "Let them get thoroughly hot and saturated with the butter", add 1lb of potatoes diced, 2 and a bit more pints of water, salt and tsp of sugar. "Cook steadily but not as a gallop" (fave line so far. Sieve through a mouli, I have a personal fear of sieves or moulis, but the result was worth it. Add a bit of cream and parsley.
Delicous good first attempt, well done. Pleased not to rely on bouillon and for the flavor to be better without.
*revolutionary new way of washing leeks, remove outer leaves, cut off root end and cut cross in bottom, run under cold tap, then rest cut side down in jug of cold water whilst preparing other veg(or 30 mins), result=clean leeks.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010


It was a good one, a truly local one, the presents went down well. Tom loved his "dead mans tie", and was so enamoured with his clock tower clothing pants he showed his brothers!! Much to our amusement we wrapped the boys Lego in a shipton mill flour bag, therefore he was especially thrilled/relieved when he opened it. We were saved by Brutons on Christmas eve, as Tom was about to head to Travis Perkins for a christmas present drill, he found a fantastic Bosch.
As for the food we ate like kings, I made it through the list, minus the hot nuts. Nigella's Domestic Godess brownies with mixed nuts were lush, as were her cheese stars. I bought a cooked leg of ham from Country Quality which I glazed myself in Quince jelly, recommended. We had this with egg and chips, yes, the community shop sells MCcains.
Christmas day started rather too early, but breakfast of the secret family recipe: mare field pie and rockness apple juice sorted that out. For the champagne picnic I wrapped membrillo and taleggio in Parma ham and baked. Alongside chipolatas in mustard and honey, the cheese stars and brownie washed down with some fizz, 30 near and dear ones and a christmas day sledge, perfect. I then hang up the apron (after getting grease over the new dress) and headed to my parents for dinner.
We hosted the boxing day extravaganza. It started with a turkey soup,(stock cooked overnight), a mushroom and tarragon broth (Leon recipe). Then for dinner we had the beetroot gravalax with pickled cucumber and creamy dill horseradish, followed by sausage hotpot(Leon again) savoy cabbage with Chilli and lemony green beans. For pud I made Nigellas awesome cranberry bake well tart, delias famed sunken choc and prune soufflé and Christmas pudding jelly. The jelly didn't work, collapsed and tasted rank, very disappointed bompas and parr, no great jelly successes yet. The trewothans cheese rocked, divine goats cheese and stichelton we forgot to eat with the Christmas cake.
The Christmas cake is lush and moist but the royal icing requires a hack saw, not yet willing to handover to fondant.
So now it's all about the leftovers. Turkey curry including the leftover lemony green beans sufficed for the impromptu dinner for 13 last night. There was a stray Hobbs house Christmas pudding in our bedroom, perfect pud with brandy butter and cream. The sausage hotpot is going to make a third dinner, I can hear the kids groans already, and the ham is still going strong. Eating far more than necessary in attempt to make it through and cook again.
I received Elizabeth Davids French provincial cooking and the film Julia and Julie. That's a lot what the new year is going to look like for me. Watch this space xx

Tuesday, 28 December 2010


Hello all,
Merry Christmas, a very brief catch up. I cooked it all , we are eating it all, the waste bands expanding, I haven't been to a supermarket or strayed from my locals, I am getting ready with the next challenge,
Over and out, roger

Monday, 20 December 2010

christmas shopping and eating plan

Things I would like to make,  brownies, shortbread (ginger and plain), gravalax, chocolate truffles, brandy butter, ice cake
Food plan,
Ham glazed with quince jelly, egg and chips
Christmas day breakfast,
Marefield pie
Christmas day picnic,
Hot nuts, sausage rolls, chipolatas in mustard and honey, membrillo in parma ham?, cheese stars
Boxing day,
Turkey soup- broth, mushroom, tarragon, pearl barley,
Hot nuts
Sausage hot pot, french bean casserole, chilli savoy cabbage.
Christmas pudding jelly, Delia sunken chocolate souffle with prunes, Bakewell tart
Taleggio or is it manchego and membrillo

Shopping list, proof of local,
Horsley community shop,
ground almonds
Tinned tomatoes
Icing sugar
loo roll

The Little People Co
Present for Sebastian

emergency wine rations

Brutons hardware

savoy cabbage,
juicing oranges,

Shiny goodness/green spirit
Glace cherries

Stem ginger
Creme fraiche
350g prunes
parma ham
talleggio/ manchego

thursday collect ham and chipolatas,

Thursday farmers market,

Christmas eve collect Bakery order, milk, sausage rolls and mince pies

If you make it to the bottom, well done, could of put it into a spread sheet, that would of been even more anal.

Sunday, 19 December 2010


Perfect day,
Yesterday we woke to the snow so thought the best start was to head to Nailsworth for breakfast.  We wrapped up warm and headed down the hill.  The kids sledged down, so magical watching them pile on down the footpath.  We bought another sledge from Brutons, always an exhilarating feeling to buy a sledge on  a snowy day.  A hearty breakfast,  a first for all of us to have a Hobbs House breakfast together.  We then got our supplies for the wasailers and headed up the hill, with one sledge designated the cider sledge.
Then home to a blissful afternoon in the kitchen, I baked a cake and filled it with some cranberry jam I had made and buttercream.  In the evening we were joined by lots of friends and neighbors, where we drunk mulled cider and shared curry.  Once past the nafness of a bring and share curry evening it's an amazing delicious way to feed the masses.  I just had to cook far too much rice.  Then the wasailers came singing and we fed them  the amazing trethowans dairy toasties and mince pies. (

Last SNJ column

As I stomp through the snow into what is the last week of my local shopping challenge, my reflections have been about the highs, with few lows.  As a consequence, my life feels no more hectic, but less distracted and enriched with experience and conversation, and some great finds.
There have been no great surprises. There is only one thing I can swear I couldn’t find in a local independent: dummies.  This was our only cheat, after the last one was chewed by the dog we refreshed the stock at a Bristol independent.  I have not found anywhere to buy DVDs, but I was really impressed that you can hire them from the library for just 50p a night, it’s just a pity they always take me a week and a half to return.
The main question on everyone’s lips is the cost.  And yes, in the first weeks I did spend more, but I have learnt well and adjusted to spending less than before.  The benefit of not being tempted by offers and just buying what we need presents a definite saving, as does buying in bulk from Horsley Community shop.   Butter has cost more, and I seem incapable of using less(I can confirm we have got through over 30 packets), so no I haven’t lost weight due to starvation.  Eggs and lemons have cost me less.  Some of you have been concerned about loo roll, I have just been buying this in packs of four from the village shop once a week, a little more expensive, but less bulky.
The only food we’ve thrown away in 7 weeks was two parsnips (and they went straight into the compost).  By buying little and often we have achieved zero food waste.  I have also become the queen of leftovers, this week I used up the last of some cream to make chocolate truffles, and an amazing minestrone soup using tiny bits of vegetables hanging about in the fridge, with some ham stock.
Shopping for myself has fallen by the wayside with Christmas shopping taking priority, although I have eyed an excessive number of clothes and boots I would have liked, and I’m looking forward to trying out some organic brands of make up from Stroud.  
So what does the future hold; I won’t be in Morrisons on boxing day, in fact I would like never to use a supermarket again.  I will continue to support my locals, and will try not to be tempted by winter sales offers.  There is one hiccup in my quest, in the New Year my brother-in-law is taking on a butchery in Chipping Sodbury, so my loyalty will be torn.  
So, I encourage you to join me on this, use your independents, we are so privileged to be surrounded by them, they make our towns amazing and vibrant, places worth visiting. They’ll prosper if we use them. It’s a lifestyle choice that I won't be turning back on.   

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

14th december

Emails received trying to persuade me to buy things; 3, consistently less now,
Things bought, Village Shop, honey and spring onions, Country Quality, cheese, Bakery, Concertina, milk, marzipan and mince pies for the teachers, Bramleys, fruit and mushrooms, Starshine, birthday present and final present for JP.  Green spirit after school snack fill and a selection of spices, no kaffir lime leaves.
Things cooked, cakes for Jp christmas playgroup party, minestrone soup, chicken pesto pasta for the kids,honey and mustard chicken salad.
I love using up leftovers, I made minestrone soup today using up all the odd leftover bits in the fridge, a loose recipe,

red pepper 
celery end

Tin of tomatoes
Ham stock
Red and savoy cabbage
Add in order of ingredient list, cook until cabbage and pasta tender, serve with grated cheese on top.
JP called it pigs brains soup, thanks Henry the chef for sharing those with her. The red cabbage did give it a wonderful pinkish purple hue.
Made the salad of our first years of marriage today, he still loves it, leftover chicken fried off with wholegrain mustard, honey and sesame served on green salad.
I made my first lot of chocolate truffles yesterday, loved it, loved them.  Let the fun begin, can't wait to revisit and play with flavors.
Infact I think we should finish them up now (before the children scoff them) with coffee, a film and the christmas cards.
Over and out, Roger.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

broken promise

It's happened I have let you down, for the first time since November 3rd I have bought something outside Gloucestershire.  The dummies got the better of us and Tom dived into, a fantastic Bristol independent and bought the smallest some dummies, 4 to keep us going.
Forgiveness please?1
Today I couldn't find anywhere that sells DVD's and they didn't even have it in Stroud library, so if anyone wants to buy me something for christmas the inspirational Julie and Julia please.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Nailsworth 10/12/10

Did you spot us in Nailsworth today?  I was the one with four really excited children, 1 on a scooter, 2 balloons rampaging round the shops.  Haircuts and refreshments at  Followed by pizza toppings, chicken and banter in Williams Kitchen.  B let her helium balloon rise up to the high ceiling in Williams, but we retrieved it by her standing on my shoulders, the extraordinary herbert circus family.  Then for fresh ground Illy Coffee at the bakery, so the husband can function over the weekend.  Then to Pulp to collect the christmas cards they have lovingly printed, cut and fold for us.  We then completed the riot in Bramleys, poking christmas trees, helping ourselves to french beans and 3 coconuts better off.  Then the husband says were you in Nailsworth today, 'did you buy my aloe vera?'  NO.

cooking and shopping

shopping and cooking, a happy place to be.
It's been all about food today, food for the cupboard, food to eat, food for the weekend and food for christmas.
Started off early with a basics shop at Horsley Community shop, then home to, the very local hero who removed Tom's shirt stiffeners from the washing machine and got it going, the naughty dog who ate the vital bit of the espresso maker, and the lovely neighbour who walked the naughty dog.  Anyway it was all fine by the time I had coffee with friends at Hobbs.
Today I cooked, some oaty biscuits from Delia's Frugal Food, crumbly and yummy and made a new batch of granola.  The kids made pizzas for their dinner, they made the bases last night and chose toppings from Williams today.  We had friends for dinner.  I cooked from Skye Gyngell, A Year in my Kitchen,  I have been loving that book.  I cooked lamb, chilli and prune stew with pureed sweet potato.  Really delicious, I thought I had over chiillied again but mellowed with the addition of prunes, maple syrup and tamari.  I then bought some new season pink rhubarb from Bramleys, I roasted this and added it to the leftover meringues and cream.  Suitably replete. Goodnight.

Thursday, 9 December 2010


Eating Hobbs House Bakery Bistro rillettes, on Wild White, yum yum yum, but will be typing with the non eating hand.
I haven't bought any food for two days, unheard of I know, but the frugal food has done us so well we are on the third day of consumption.
Don't worry for my health and welfare though I have replaced food shopping with Christmas shopping, and due to all you wonderful independents we are almost there.  And oh yes it has all been achieved local, there will not be one internet parcel sneaking in through the back door.  Yesterday there was a book from, bought for the husband to be used by me, scented drawer liners and the last of the stocking fillers.  I revisited Heritage in Stroud for the boy, an amazing perfect Lego truck, quad towing thing in a suitably large box to thrill, all using the 10% off from the SNJ.  I then embarrased myself by being suitably thrilled and excited in to find one of the last requests from a make called Electric Sheep.
The local haircut has washed well and I don't look like an 'Electric Sheep'

frugal food

This week to mark the last of Turn Back Time I cooked a 70s meal for 20 of our closest friends and family to share.  So I dug deep in my Mum’s cupboard and found the infamous Delia Smith classic Frugal Food and the Readers Digest the Cookery year. I decided no 70s meal was complete without a selection of dips to start all labelled with flags made by our seven year old daughter. I made a smoked mackerel pate with both fish and recipe from David Felce and daughters at the farmers market, tasting great with a roasted beetroot purée. Tom had swapped some bread for crab which I devilled, this was a clear winner. There was also a cheese and chutney dip, I couldn't find cream cheese anywhere locally and I wasn't convinced that the tofu alternative really worked. Then their was an avocado and nut salad looking like the finest 70s bathroom suite. These were all served with baguettes, cucumber and the obligatory celery. I then followed this with a vegetarian goulash, perfect for a freezing cold evening,  particularly with the edition of the tiniest bit of smokin’ chilli sauce to give it a warming kick.  For pudding I used up some leftover frozen chocolate cake to make Nigella’s chocolate trifle. In true Nigella style this used volumes of cream, which I did get in bulk from the bakery so as to not go for broke, and 8 egg yolks. This meant I was left with whites to make little meringues of my childhood partnered together with cream. Baked apples of course were on the menu too, like my Mother when I was a child I continue to work my way through the bumper crop, but full of butter, sugar, cherries and brandy they were a whole lot better than I remembered.
It was such fun to take this nostalgic walk through the food of my childhood and see it wasn't just about cream and curry powder. We have also been left with two more meals worth, goulash with leftover meat, goulash with rice and goulash for the dog. As for the puddings we are eating our way through the baked apples and the meringues will go into an eton mess with the first of the seasons rhubarb I spotted this week. 

lost blog

Wrote a beautiful blog last night on the i phone, just one touch of a button and it was gone, any one now how to retrieve, where do you find saved drafts?

Monday, 6 December 2010

6.12.10, stocking up

Been a bit of a shopping day today, made slightly trickier by outside being an ice rink. Great finds today, as follows
Whomfee (bea's spelling) cushion little people company
Tomatoes and peppers to make soup 60p in bramleys overs box.
A single amaryllis from jacaranda
Gherkins in Williams.
Couldn't find cream cheese shiny goodness had a tofu alternative, eek.
Couldn't find morello cherries but bramleys still have fresh for 49p
Got lots of other food shopping for tomorrows finale of Turn Back Time, if only I had cleaned the house I could get cooking.

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, 5 December 2010


Hair cut and sunday times bought in nailsworth.
I found myself looking forward to Roast dinner at 11 o'clock this morning.  Worth it, cooked brisket, roast potatoes and parsnips, cauliflower cheese and yorkshire puddings, followed by apple cake.  Now just planning a seventies feast for the last of Turn Back Time on Tuesday.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

4th december

Hello Blog, I just remembered you, havn't been thinking about you today.
Today I went to the shops and  I bought 10 packs of butter.
In the farmers market I bought, Chad's yoghurt, cream and butter, savoy cabbage onions, Jessies milk and Hobbs House bread.
In Stroud I bought a few stocking fillers, a jag for the boy and toothbrushes for the girls.  Relieved to find toothbrushes from father christmas in Sunshine, although they do normally get electric ones.  Some lovely birthday presents from the chikdrens bookshop.  Tom got the girls some gorgeous pocket dolls from the Ruskin mill fair.
I made a delicious Leon sausage hotpot for our friends with six kids then off out to a Popstar party tonight, just call me Florence.

Friday, 3 December 2010


1; Father Christmas always buys toothbrushes, where from this year no one knows
2; Dummies, we are down to the last broken one, where can I buy them from or is it time to stop, baby, aged 20 months suffers from Mother, aged 31, shopping locally,
3; Popstar party tomorrow night, who oh who?

Thursday, 2 December 2010

2nd december

Only the 2nd day of advent and the 4 year old has ate everyones chocolates for day 19.
Emails received trying to persuade me to buy things; 5
Things bought, Village Shop, more biscuits, milk, sweeties and picked up right size nappies, Country Quality, sausages, brisket and eggs, Bakery, 2 loaves and mince pies, Bramleys, fruit, Little people Company, stocking fillers and present JP.  Christmas presents from fayre at Carmella's house and more presents from Clock Tower Clothing. (Watch out Clemmie)
Things cancelled, 2
Things eaten, Finished up Brocolli soup, finished up pie this time with gravy, celeriac and potato mash and gravy.  
The dog ate my mince pie.
I had a fun time today going shopping with Radio Gloucestershire, interviewed by lovely lovely girl Xenia.  We started off with a cappucino in Hobbs and then buying some bread. We then went to the Little people company where I got great stocking fillers for the kids and dolls house people including a baby for JP.   We then headed to the butchers and Bramleys.  I am really enjoying chatting to people about my plight and trying to answer questions like "do you want to see the supermarkets shut down" and confessing my greatest challenge of keeping my Mother from going to John Lewis this christmas.  
I then headed home to finish up the soup with Mum and the kids and returned to Nailsworth for some more Christmas Shopping.  We headed to the Fletcher household where they were selling gifts, lovely Alice bits and delicious mince pies and mulled cider.  I got a wind up radio for the boy and accidently bought everything else for me or loose presents that were irresistible and will do for someone.  We then headed to Clock Tower clothing where we got something for Pa, Granny of 87, an umbrella for B's stocking as requested, and some tights for me black and mushroom (hopefully not looking like dodgy tan tights).
We watched B's brilliant ballet show tonight in Stroud, so fantastic, don't think I'll ever let her leave.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

1st december

Emails received trying to persuade me to buy things; 7, Toast and Cath Kidston are turning into Johnny
Things bought, Village Shop, cereal, lemons, oranges, 4 loo roll, milk, coconut milk.  Treatment essentially you.
Things cancelled, 1, sorry Cath you had to go, I'm feeling stalked
Things cooked, Brocolli soup, Chicken and ham pie and my favourite ginger cake. Medlar and geranium jelly on the boil.
Lovely chilly day of alpine like walks and good food.  I think I love food too much, literally jumped for joy when I had my pie and cake lined up fresh out of the oven.  The food was all about the leftovers hot tip from Henry the Chef to use purple sprouting off cuts for soup, so used them with ham broth and served with bacon, blue cheese and leftover roasted almonds on top.  Then made a pie with the leftover chicken, ham and chicken stock, eaten with leftover coleslaw and salad.  The ginger cake was made from fresh and served with Chads cream. Yum Yum YUmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
Some serious dedication from Mr Tom, found himself in a large DIY shop, (that he hates), he had just lined up his purchases when he remembered he wasn't local, put back his items and returned home empty handed.  

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

nov 30th

Emails received trying to persuade me to buy things; 4
Things bought, Village Shop, Potatoes, purple sprouting, bananas, cucumber, milk, marmite rice cakes, ice cream,   Bramleys, bananas, unseasonal soft fruit and veg.  Hobbs House, Sesame seed baps.  Flowers from Jaquaranda, Ham from the other Nailsworth butchers
Things cancelled, 0.
Things cooked, Burgers, pickled cucumbers, coleslaw, banana split, cooked ham and elderflower jelly  
Mince Pie for breakfast.
It had snowed.
Headed to Nailsworth this morning steadily in the car to get ingredients for tonight's 1960's milk bar.  For speed and convenience I used the other Nailsworth Butchers £11 for a weeny bit of ham to cook for the boys school victorian feast.  He won't be taking it all.  I then headed to Horsley, via Kingscote (road closure and icy lanes),
to the wonderful Horsley Community Shop for basics.  Got all I needed except gherkins but bought a cucumber which I pickled instead, worked a treat.  I have challenged the shop to get me Kaffir Lime Leaves, I have run out.
We made delicious burgers, cheating using Anthony Smith, from Hobbs House Bistro's leftover Burger mix.  We served these on toasted sesame buns with pickled cucumbers, Leon's autumn slaw, scraps of leftover cheeses, and homemade ketchup or oh so chilli smokin' chilli sauce.  All washed down with strawberry milkshakes and followed by banana splits with roasted almonds and maple syrup.  I had cooked the ham for the boy and suddenly remembered Henry's amazing Victorian Jelly, so out came Bompas and Parr , all was good till I decided to save the ham stock too.  Suddenly there was a lot of measuring jugs and I muddled the two, oops, well now with all f the last of Junes elderflower cordial we have a jelly potentially setting for tomorrow, december 1st.  The advent calender is full, but not with the nativity set, we can only find a King at present, we will need to have a Holy family search tomorrow. 

Monday, 29 November 2010

Day 25

Hello day 25 or is it 26, think I have lost count.
Things bought, Horsley village shop, milk, nappy bags, coconut milk, chocolate digestives.  Pet shop for dog food.
Things ate,  Porridge with granola, dippy egg with wild white, lemon cake, sweet potato and aubergine curry with leftover lamb and rice, last bit of walnut tart.
Apparently I was a question in the Horsley Community shop quiz this weekend, what recognition.
Dummies, ideally natural rubber ones, any ideas anyone where I can buy them from, nowhere in Nailsworth and I have tried Sunshine In Stroud, what to do for PPP, may have to resort to buying off the internet or Tom going to an independent in London tomorrow.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Sweet potato and ginger soup recipe

As requested.
 Skye Gyngell,  A year in my kitchen,
2 large sweet potatoes
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 red onions
11/2  tbsp grated fresh root ginger
1.5 litres chicken stock (not rabbit!) or water
150ml double cream
1tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1 tbsp maple syrup.
juice of 1/2 lime.
Simplified method; melt butter, fry off onion with salt then add pots and ginger.  Add stock, boil until pots tender, whizz, then reheat and add other ingredients.

Day 24

It's cold, you been reading my blog, but who are you?  I would love to have some comments, please.
We have made the christmas cake today, using Delia's classic of my childhood,
We had a delicious Roast dinner, chicken, dauphinoise and kale followed by leftover walnut tart.  Already down to 3 packs of butter, help.


The cereal dilemma,
Children like cereal, my children like expensive cereal, their preferred choice is Kellogs Special K red berries, oh yes the one that retails at £3.50 unless on a supermarket special,  and oh yes the one they don't sell in independents.
The children are surviving on fire porridge, Oaty Bites (bought locally at £3.29 and lasting about 3 days) and basic cereals from the village shop such as rice crispies with honey on.
Fire Porridge, for those of you who don't know fire porridge, or have had my children request it at sleepovers, I will fill you in.  Make porridge, sprinkle with a little too much sugar, brulee with your blow torch. Serve to your loved ones, they eat porridge, result.  As for us homemade granola is the answer, lovely on porridge, not fired.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

I love shopping

With determination caught the 9.23 to Stroud with the three girls on a mission for ballet and butter.  We got B to the Cotswold playhouse in a flurry of snow for her dress rehearsal for the familiar "Boy who didn't grow up"!  We then headed down to the market, upped the rations at Chads, to 5 packets of butter, got some cream and yoghurt to try and honey too.  Bought a handsome looking chicken with giblets.  We then treated ourselves to some Pippin doughnuts for the bus journey home.  The doughnuts went down very well and then we got off at Woodchester to head to Red Hearts knitwear exhibition at Frogmarsh Mill.
The knitwear was exquisite, want it, want it, stamping my feet.  Headed into Bikeworks too to look at BMX's for the boy, think he might have to wait until his birthday.  Then walked from Woodchester to Nailsworth, the girls fell asleep so I made the most of it by going shopping of course, finished off the advent calender shopping in the Little People Company and got some other ideas.  Then bought all the lightbulbs we needed, fridge, extractor and all from Brutons and Gordons.  I am disproportionately excited about the great red and white striped dish cloths I bought in Brutons.  One of the great things about local shopping is not only the conversation but the willingness to help, I've got stocking fillers collected at the Little People Company and two big boxes of crackers (oh yes I can get them local) put by until I'm not on foot at the ironmongers. Got the Christmas cake ingredients from Shiny Goodness and just need to get that fruit soaking. Made my signature lemon cake today without lemons and eggs from Riverford, not as golden but still good and tasty.  Cooking the children and the babysitter a rather tasty looking dinner of left over lamb and dauphinoise, would be jealous but we are heading down to with friends.

Friday, 26 November 2010

day 22

Catalogues received;1, White company
Things bought, Village shop, milk, eggs, potatoes, parsnips, apples, crisps. Stroud; Made in Stroud, christmas presents, Heritage, stocking fillers for JP, present for Charlie, Fabric from shop by Mills Cafe, Nappies from Sunshine shop.  Nailsworth Christkindl; handmade hairclips, stocking fillers from Yellow lighted and Pulp.
The meal went well last night, slightly saved by Henry the chef.  Soup turned to brown soup, due to using rabbit broth, lovely as a game soup, not much flavour as a sweet potato and ginger soup.  Delicious butterflied leg of lamb (my last supper) with oh so hot harissa and purple sprouting.  Walnut tart amazing, but note to self always read recipe not just ingredients before beginning.  That was a lot of nuts to shell, fortunately Henry was a dab hand on the caramel.  Mr Tom bought some beautiful stemless wine glasses from Raffles yesterday, just need to find somewhere to put them before we break them.
Established Christmas Shopping today, headed out to Stroud and was reassured that Nailsworth will be good enough.  Stroud I love you too but Nailsworth has got it all.  Made In Stroud pretty special some amazing woolens by Cotswold Woolen weavers, Got  some very pleasing stocking fillers for JP from heritage but feel sure I will manage the rest in Nailsworth.  It was Nailsworth Christkindl tonight, with that and a fluttering of snow the kids were a little excitable.  Really lovely evening lots of fab stalls representing local businesses, just a few fairground rides and lots of friends, good food and mulled wine. I bought a few more stocking fillers.  Collected a book and a cd for the boy from  Super efficient them, I ordered it on a Saturday and they had it was there by monday (quicker than amazon) , shame it took me 12 days to collect it.
Right to bed now, butter to buy in the morning, shall I up the ration, 6 packs this week?

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Day 21, 22

Three weeks in, not starving yet.
The second column was in the Stroud News and Journal yesterday.
Had a great evening watching (through binoculars) my son at the Young Voices concert in the NEC.
Have felt the reality of having one car this week.  Although lovely today to walk to Horsley then Nailsworth then home then back to Horsley.  Got lots of lovely produce from Nailsworth today, meat from Country quality, fruit and veg from Bramley's and just milk from Hobbs.  The children are back in the daily habit of making a daily loaf after school.  How lush is that.  Minor crisis today, the rations have run out, no more butter, had to buy an emergency pack which makes me suspect we have actually consumed 6 packs in 6 days. oops, no wonder we are not starving yet. And we haven't even got any cake left.
Now I should be cooking dinner for friends tonight, a Skye Gyngell feast, Sweet Potato and Ginger soup,  Butterflied leg of lamb with harissa and purple sprouting followed by Walnut Tart.  Fantastic walnuts from Bramleys that me and the girls were allowed to feast on before we bought.  Let's get cooking.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Day 20

Emails received trying to persuade me to buy things; 2
Catalogues received;1 Thank you Johnny
Things bought, Village Shop, Potatoes, carrots, Milk, biscuits, kids after school treats, brocolli, lovely looking apples, loo roll 4
Things cancelled, 0.
Things cooked, Rabbit Hotpot, homemade pizza for the kids
Lessons learnt; Split buttermilk pudding (without buttermilk) looks very pretty and doesn't taste too bad.
A day of sorting out aesthetics for Hobbs House Bakery.  Fed 10 tonight for the War era, made a rabbit hotpot with homegrown chard and the national loaf (butter rationed).  The buttermilk pudding tasted alright, probably better than alright, a waste to use 1 whole bottle of homemade rosehip syrup as the flavour really didn't come through.  Made the kids pizza, a earthy delicious spelt base topped with all things local including chestnut mushrooms and cotswold mozzarella from the farmers market.  

Monday, 22 November 2010

Re: Anna on BBC radio Glos

Though only first half of the interview on the recording!
Love g&z

Sent from my iPhone

On 22 Nov 2010, at 21:38, Tom Herbert <> wrote:

> <SheShopLoacal LIVE on BBC Gloucestershire.mp3>

day 19

Emails received trying to persuade me to buy things; 6
Things bought, Village Shop, Potatoes, carrots, eggs, ham, fredo frog, obligatory, golden syrup.  Country quality Meat, 3 rabbits and a bit of bacon for £9, amazing value.  Bramleys, fruit and veg.  Hobbs House, Milk.  Cute, christmas present for my daughter.
Things cancelled, 0.
Things cooked, Granola, Malteser cake, Stir fry tongue and vegetable, Buttermilk and Rosehip pudding.
Lessons learnt; Don't make buttermilk pudding without buttermilk.  It's ok to make malteser cake without maltesers.
Had a great day today, had an interview at Radio Gloucestershire, felt nervous but it went well, didn't sound much like me. Managed to answer all the questions but realised as soon as it ended that I forgot to mention Hobbs or The Little People Company.  Sorry, oops.  My blog got mentioned lots though. Hope to be given another chance as they hope to do a full interview next friday.  Then had warming lunch at Hobbs and a quick whizz round the shops, before all hell broke loose at home with mine and two extra kids.  
Made delicious granola, much preferred to the gloopy overnight porridge we had this morning.  Made Nigella's Malteser cake with the kids, great recipe with Horlicks in.  Another culinary first with tongue stir fry, the last of the tongue and scoffed by all.  I thought I was having a culinary genius domestic goddess moment, making buttermilk pudding with homemade rosehip syrup for tomorrows World War 2 dinner.  Unfortunately I couldn't find buttermilk so merged two recipes and I am now leaving a separated mess to set.  Pressure is slightly on as Tom's brother Henry the chef and his wife are coming along with Tom's salesperson sidekick and girlfriend.  I may have just been saved as Tom unwraps 4 packages of pies, from Phil the decorator of Cirencester who wants Tom's professional opinion.  Shall we eat it?  You will know we shouldn't of if I'm not here tomorrow, goodnight.  

Anna on BBC radio Glos

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Christmas bazaar

My stall selling my vintage children's clothes, Cynthia and Betty, also available at

Day 18

Emails received trying to persuade me to buy things; 2
Things bought, Village Shop, Sunday Telegraph and Sunday Mail (both featuring Tom), honey and cereal.  
Things cancelled, 0.
Things cooked, American pancakes, Swiss roll and Roast Pork Dinner.
A lovely wintry family day started with a trip to the Horsley Community Shop, Tom was in two papers, the Daily Mails You magazine, with his 'boy band good looks', and the My Space slot in the Telegraph, great publicity.  I made my first swiss roll today, amazingly simple and no butter in it!  Then cooked great shoulder of pork for 16.  I had a great tip to add quince to roasted vegetables, delicious, but unfortunately I used up our last two quinces in it.  Tom also fell out the tree getting them, oops, miraculously he was fine, and the quinces were worth it.

Missing shoe

Thank you very kind person, we found the missing shoe

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Day 17

Emails received; 2, not bad
Catalogues received; 2
Things bought; Milk and rolls and lunch Hobbs House Nailsworth. Chads butter, 4 packs, mushrooms and cotswold mozzarella from the Farmers Market.  Pink smarties from Cocos.  White t-shirt Batemans.
Things cooked; A birthday cake for my mother in law with pink smarties on.
Was woken this morning by son bringing me a bacon sandwich with homemade ketchup in.  Nice start to a Saturday.  I then cycled to Stroud with 3 out of 4 and the dog to get B to ballet and for the butter.  I have been able to buy son, age 9 two specific items of clothing in Stroud in the last week.  I wanted a fleece for cosiness and sports, this was found in Five valleys Leisure and then today he needed a white T-shirt for a concert.  I sent him into Batemans whilst I waited outside with the dog, babe and bikes.  He came out and said they were really helpful in there with a white T-shirt for £3.  Can't get better than that.  We then cycled back to Nailsworth, not as fit as I thought, annoyingly lost another baby shoe, any finders??, and had a well earned coffee and soup at the bakery.  Then home to quickly knock up a cake for Granny before back to Stroud, in the car this time to collect B and bike from Ballet.  Had a delicious family meal with all The Herberts at the in laws tonight.  We took our draws for the not so Secret Santa, a now Herbert tradition, and agreed on a £50 spend.  I got my sister in law, so should be easy to find her something lush n local (new saying).

Friday, 19 November 2010

Is it your mission to save the high street?

Day 16

Hello Blog, me again , jolly and full after a good fill at Hobbs House Bistro, mussels in perry, rare venison and mocha tart mmmmmm.
Now for the formalities,
Emails received; 9, oops must unsubscribe some more
Catalogues received; 2
Things bought; lovely weekly shop of basics and not so basic at Horsley Community shop, fruit, veg, milk, bacon, cumin, curry powder, bay leaves, cream, tomato puree, kids crisps and oj, garlic, tomato puree, bacon.  Pork shoulder, the most amazing cheddar and banter and talk of rabbit from Country Quality.
Things cooked; Yummy loaded scrambled eggs ( free range eggs from farmers market really good), old Williams quiche out of the freezer with purple sprouting, Carbonara for the kids.
So impressed with The Horsley Community Shop, got all I want for the weekend and more there this afternoon. just needed a Sunday joint from the butchers and I'm afraid my loyalty lies with Chad for my weekly 4 packs of butter tomorrow at the farmers market. We will be cycling there tomorrow so surely that will burn off a pack or two.

Day 15

Emails received; 7
Catalogues received; 2
Things bought; More daffodil bulbs from Gordon, Cereal, Vitamin C, jumbo oats and Shaving Gel from Shiny Goodness
Things cooked; Still eating the soup I made on Monday and a bacon and chard risotto for the kids and my parents(babysitting) made with the goose stock.
Spent the day getting ready for the Christmas Bazaar, got lots of lovely vintage dresses and knitwear from my collection at the Little People Company to sell, added to my pile of Stocking Fillers whilst there.
The Bazaar went well, sold lots of Jellies and Chutneys and a few other bits. Really nice evening bought a couple of little christmas presents, a long dog for Prudence and a lavender bird.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Day 14

Emails received; 5
Things bought; Horsley village shop, basics bulk, loo roll, tins of toms, pasta, rice crispies, milk, yoghurt, SNJ,
Things cooked; apple and medlar chutney, medlar jelly, egg fried rice to go with leftover pheasant curry and raita
A good domestic day today, first column in the Stroud news and journal, rubbish picture, ah well. Reboiled the runny medlar jelly to so thick could only just jar. Thanks to days cottage hot tip I made apple and medlar jelly, unfortunately 14 jars, apparently great with pork pies. Good job brother Henry is learning how to make the best pies in Yorkshire as we speak. Getting through the abundance of garden fruit. Had delicious dinner starting with Williams oysters courtesy of Pippa. Now need to motivate myself to sew for tomorrows Horsley Christmas bazaar, last plug I promise.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Day 13

Emails received; 6
Catalogues received; 1
Things bought; 00000000000
Things cooked; chocolate biscuits, Tongue with horseradish dumplings and purple sprouting, apple cake and medlar jelly that might not be setting.
Lovely home day baking biscuits with kids, didn't know we had so many cutters, (hippo, toucan, Christmas tree, stars,) iced the biscuits with clementine icing, yum. Hard to find a decent biscuit roll out recipe, just had cocoa in so not really chocolatey enough. The Tongue cooked all day, seriously squeamish when I had to peel of the sandpaper rough skin but completely delicious dinner and only £5 for 3lb of meat. Made the apple cake with beef dripping, really good, heavier and a great pudding. Oops forgot to tell my mum it contained the dripping, she wouldn't eat the Tongue,
Didn't buy anything today, good achievement. Started to get things ready for my stall at Horsley school Christmas bazaar on Thursday night, priced the quince jelly and finished off the button necklace making kits. Just need to sew and price some final kid vintage bits.
Really enjoyed turn back time tonight loved seeing them piling onto the bus, picnic in hand for a day at clevedon. Looks like we will be cooking rabbit next week, ration style.

Sent from my iPhone

Almighty Nailsworth

We had dinner with friends last night, one of which is trying a similar mission in Wotton, she was thrilled to find coffee independently but couldn't manage wine. Nailsworth has two Wine shops and Williams sells wine. You can buy ground coffee in green spirit, Hobbs house bakery, Horsley village shop and probably Williams and shiny goodness. Amazing.

Sent from my iPhone

The Horsley community shop winter warmers

Did you know they stock, 23 varieties of tea, 10 of coffee, 3 of hot chocolate, 11 of sugar and 14 of biscuits.

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, 15 November 2010

Day 12

Emails received trying to persuade me to buy things; 9
Things bought, Village Shop, milk, vegetables, lentils, noodles, cream, clementines, lemons, garlic, cider vinegar, muscovado.  Bramleys, chillis, clementines (addicted), purple sprouting(1st lot, can't wait), limes. Pet shop, dog stuff.  Country Quality meat, a tongue, 2 pheasants jointed.  Nailsworth Ironmongers (Gordons), daffodil and tulip bulbs, broad beans to plant.
Things cancelled, 3 unsubscribed.
Things cooked, Vegetable and lentil soup using goose stock.  Pheasant curry (Murgh something), rice and homegrown chard.
Lush shopping, lush food.  Boy planted the broad beans and daffs.  Daughter 2 needed a prescription today so went into Lloyds, didn't buy anything, didn't have to pay for prescription, does that still count?  Are there any independent chemists anywhere, Minch, Tetbury?  Soup was surprisingly nice, kids finished the cassoulet and I made my fave curry for old school friends, perfect, yum.  About to run out of loo roll, village shop? 4 rolls will only get us to the weekend.  Tom is about to run out of shaving gel, Movember? into december.  Rented Cinderella dvd from the library, 50p for a night, 50p, didn't know anything cost 50p, on that note must cancel LoveFilm.  
Tomorrow brings episode 3 of Turn Back Time, featuring my very own "Traffic Warden", should I make apple cake with beef dripping and wish me luck with the tongue, a little bit scared.   

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Day 9, 10 11

Sorry blog I still like you, lets do a multiple,
Emails received trying to persuade me to buy things; 9
Things bought, Village Shop, toothpaste, nurofen, clementines (5 for 11p), sweeties.  Stroud farmers market, my 4 packs of Chads butter, eggs, toulouse sausages, bacon, Crispin and cox apples, Cavolo Nero, 1 sliced sherston and pasties.  Then to Nailsworth where I got christmassy, sock presents in Clobber,  99p wrapping paper in pulp and labels for chutneys, chocolate in coco, great Haberdashery in Steffi's new shop Mother Goose.  A 1/8 shepherds loaf and milk from Hobbs House. Cannelini beans, clementines and nappies from Green Spirit.
Things for free, Cheese from Chad, two different apples to try to aid my decision on which to buy, advise over daughters cold sore in Green Spirit.Things cancelled, no time.  The christmas catalogues are arriving and I will need to cancel post subscriptions too before the recycling breaks our backs.
Things cooked, Kids tomato pasta with Cotswold Mozzarella, ham, egg and mushroom roll, mmm, scrambled eggs and bacon, and the last of the goose and toulouse sausage in a Cassoulet with cavolo nero.  Followed by Apple crumble and custard.  Medlar Jelly on the go.
Had the last day at Mary Howard, no purchases and also a great success for the Little People Company. Had a fantastic evening with Todd and Jess from Trewothans Cheese at the Hobbs House Bistro scheming up ideas of Glastonbury and Artisinal doughnuts.  The food was amazing warm beetroot salad followed by Brisket with dumplings and horseradish it was to die for.  Too much wine and home late.   Such a pleasure to go to Stroud Farmers Market on Saturday again, hot tip about a Medlar Chutney from Days Apple juice.  Then an afternoon of preparing for Horsley School christmas fair on Thursday night where I have a stall, the button necklace kits are nearly ready. Spent a magical evening at Jessie and Carlos' yurt eating delicious food.  Then a perfect sunday lie in and a day in the garden.  Replanted last years Tulips, picked apples, oodles of bramleys, Ashmead Kernel and Ida Red apples.  Lots of medlars too, now waiting to be passed through the jelly bag.  I used up the confit of duck in the cassoulet, really good, now too make goose stock then the goose is over.  Doesn't seem so expensive now we have had 4 meals out of it and enough for the kids tomorrow.
Over and out, roger.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Day 8

Emails received trying to persuade me to buy things; 9
Things bought, Village Shop, milk, brocolli, ginger and organic mini cheddar cheeses, not babybel
Things cancelled, 3 unsubscribed.
Things cooked, Confit of goose, split pea puree and homegrown chard. Hot nuts. Flapjack.
Another successful Mary Howard day, no purchase.  Some wild windy dog walks.  And lush food.  

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Day 7

Emails received trying to persuade me to buy things; still 11
Things bought, Split peas and much needed Ricola cough tablets from Shiny Goodness.  Bread and milk from the bakery.  Tom did kids and bloke shopping in the Village shop.
Things cancelled, 6 unsubscribed.
Things cooked, Sweet potato and goose curry, a culinary first.
Good day at Mary Howard bought nothing, skirt from Moloh didn't look great with jeans underneath.  Quince Jelly has some movement in it, is that too runny.  Goose confit in the oven.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Day 6

Emails received trying to persuade me to buy things; 5
Things bought, Essentials order arrived, quite exciting, lashings of sugar, oats, nuts, ecover and oh oops the wrong size nappies, too small, major boo boo.
Things cancelled, 3 unsubscribed, bye bye Johnny I do not need you or your 25% discount
Good day today working at the Mary Howard Christmas fair with the Little People Company.  Bought nothing, not even the tempting £40 Moloh skirt, although I have got 3 more days of work.  Then home to cook an Edwardian Feast, a legless Goose, Red cabbage, Home grown Bramley Apple sauce and Goose Fat roasted potatoes.  Followed by our very own Mince Pie including real mince.  Surprisingly delicious.  Finished the last of the Quince Jelly, just need to seal the 13th jar, oops, not as dark as the last batch but tastes good.  The goose legs have been massaged for the confit so it must be bedtime now.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Day 5

Emails received trying to persuade me to buy things; 10
Things bought, lots, decided shopping locally is not an excuse to have no food in the cupboards
Things cancelled, 5 unsubscribes, couldn't bring myself to delete Toast
Had a great local shopping day, placed big essentials order of bulky things at the Horsley shop and they will arrive tomorrow. Amazing. Bought tinned things there too, chickpeas, beans, soup and tissues and obligatory fredo frog.
Then to Nailsworth, to collect the goose, he's a beauty, ham and cheese too from country quality, their ham did a week of lunchboxes last week.  Shiny goodness for Aloe Vera juice, baby bubble bath, pinhead oatmeal and S/R flour.  Williams for the bargain jar of big dijon mustard, wholegrain too, red wine vinegar, lemons and talegio cheese to go with the homemade membrillo.  Bramleys for their special mushroom box for £1, and fruit.  Wine from Raffles.  Hobbs House, bread, chocolate cake and milk.  Other result was setting up a weekly vase with Jaquaranda Florists for the bakery, bought some velvety gladioli too..  Cooked one of our favourite dinners, mushroom and kale curry, Milo made mushroom soup, spot the mushroom theme.  Now off to decide whether to stuff the goose.  Sent off my first Stroud News and Journal article and had my photo taken to go with.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

day 4

Emails received trying to persuade me to buy things; 3, it is a Sunday
Things bought, 0, it is a Sunday
Things cancelled, 0, it is a Sunday
Bought nothing, felt like quite a sad achievement passing through Nailsworth not buying a Sunday Paper and that extra litre of milk.
Had lovely Sunday big breakfast with the last of the Riverford organic eggs, will others match, and great Lancashire hot pot, thanks to Country quality meat.  The quinces are boiling for the last of the jelly, we havn't yet mastered the real mincemeat, maybe tomorrow....

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Day 3

Emails received trying to persuade me to buy things; 4, it is a Saturday
Things bought, ingredients to make real mincemeat Nailsworth, Stroud farmers Market, 4 packs of butter, will they last all week, honey, eggs, cheese, haddock,star find, raisins And suet in sunshine. Diesel ,
Things cancelled;8
Great shop at the farmers market, got some good basics, need to make my 4 packets of chads butter last the week but it is so delicious. Saw Jessies ladies selling yoghurt that will make a great alternative to my Riverford, her whole milk and cream is so good. Made some delicious food for friends today, Trethowans toasties, On shepherds loaf, then breaded haddock on handmade tortilla with tomato salsa and yoghurt and a ridiculously hot smoky chilli sauce. A whole lot more cooking to do tomorrow, the last batch of quince jelly, a rerun of king henrys mincemeat and a Lancashire hotpot, and a much promised bonfire. Perfect.
Sent from my iPhone

Friday, 5 November 2010

Day 2

>> Emails received trying to persuade me to buy things; 18
>> Things bought; caster sugar, Demerara sugar, freddo frog from the village shop. Forgot the oats again. Startrite shoes size 3, apples and pairs Sherston
>> Things cancelled;0
Another day of using up bits? Pleased to finish the lAst of the dreaded babybel. Made two apple cakes with apples from the garden. A great autumnal cake. This is the recipe from my mother in law.
4oz butter
4oz Demerara sugar
5oz self raising flour
1lb cooking apples, peeled and chopped
2oz raisins
A pinch of cinnamon
1 egg
Melt the butter, add the dry ingredients then the egg, then stir in the apple and raisins. Put in a round deep tin and bake at 180c for 40 minutes.
Went to buy shoes for my one year old , no size 3's in Nailsworth, went to the great Apples and pairs in Sherston, Tetbury, such an amazing shop, fantastic personal service and beautiful collection of childrens shoes and clothes. Further than I would like to go, but worth it. Granny in tradition bought the first pair of shoes. Reminded today how amazing Tetbury is, full of independent shops.
Firework night tonight, the only place selling fireworks in Nailsworth is tesco or wyevale. Let's hope someone else has bought some!

>> Sent from my iPhone