Category Archives: allotment

What do you LOVE to DO that helps you to BE?

A Random DiaBlog

Sometimes we get so caught up and absorbed with the busyness of life that we forget what it’s like to just be.  What do you do LOVE to do, that helps you to connect to you amongst all the doing?

How can we Be when we are so Busy Doing?

Even when we are busy doing we can pause, take a breath and notice.  It’s that simple and something we can do throughout the day, yet often forget. Try it,  how do you feel now?

I like to garden, there’s lots of jobs to do at the moment it can get a bit overwhelming, so yesterday down on the allotment I remembered to pause, breathe and notice.  I looked down and got excited that the nettles, comfrey and rhubarb were slowly and surely making their Spring appearances, things are warming up.

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I shovelled cow pooh and noticed  I was breathless, dirty and sweaty and covered in it!

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How can Bees teach us to Be?

I visited the bees and enjoyed their playfulness around the hive, this quiet observation helped to create stillness in me.  How often during the day do you notice silence and stillness?

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Global Listening

I chatted alongside my Sicilian and Spanish neighbours and gossiped with the girls, reminding myself to fully focus, globally listen and not interrupt.   I observed their faces, watched their breathing and became more aware  of their energy,  this also bought me to the moment. When was the last time you really listened and fully focused on someone without adding your buzz?

I looked up, listened and watched the birds flying in the trees,  sensing the warm sun and cooler air.

Connection to Self

Connection to self is important, if we aren’t in tune with ourselves and what’s going on inside,  how can we connect to others effectively – self care for mind, body and breath.

You Need To Get Out More 

My friend teased me about my Facebook Live bee video and said ‘You need to get out more’. Yes it’s so true. This morning, I went again to the allotment again to sow broad beans – video here.

How about you, what do you LOVE to do that helps you to BE?

Random Dialogues

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How Do You Like Your Eggs in the Morning? She Likes Hers with Some Rye.

Thank you Linda for sharing this wonderful Low GI Hangover Cure recipe and blog –

A couple of years ago I came across this recipe which has become one of my favourite breakfast dishes. I’ve been working hard to follow a relatively low GI diet for about a year now and this is a gem in that respect. It delivers great protein, good fats and its low rating on the glycaemic index means my body really likes it.

It’s also fantastic for a hangover.

In fact I came across the recipe in a men’s health magazine whilst sitting in a hotel lobby in a ski resort in Tignes a couple of years ago. I wasn’t hungover at the time but was idly flicking through the mag whilst waiting for a friend, whizzing past the ab crunch exercise features which seem to be mandatory in such magazines, when I came across this recipe.
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As a lover of good food the photos immediately caught my eye and this was one of a series of four recipes being billed as killer hangover cures. Rated on a scale of 1 to 4 with 4 being for the monumentally bad hangover this one got a 2. According to the text a 2 hangover is one where you are “heavily reliant on kitchen surfaces to stay afoot“. This made me smile.

Essentially it’s poached eggs on guacamole on toast. Aka “posh eggs on toast“.

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We all know the avocado is hailed as a superfood and apparently it contains something called glutathione which is a fantastic antioxidant for one’s poor battered liver after a boozy night out. The humble egg delivers extra protein and if you can handle actually getting up and making it after a boozy night out I have found that it really does work!

The full recipe is as follows but I’ve never had spring onion in the house to add to it and I just use dried chilli from a grinder plus a liberal grinding of salt and pepper. I favour a protein bread or a Scandinavian or German style seeded rye bread. The Euphorium bakery do an amazing seeded protein bread (steam baked apparently which gives it a soft, open texture which is hard to find in other rye breads) and a fantastic Scandinavian tin (which I couldn’t tell apart from the homemade bread made by my son’s “Farfar” in Denmark) but sadly they’re now only available in their bakeries in the city and North London since Tesco stopped stocking their wares. I’m continually on the hunt for a good quality seeded protein bread so if anyone knows of a great one readily available on the high street please do share! I came across a protein bread in a bakery in Richmond last week which is good but doesn’t quite cut it vs the Euphorium one on texture and taste.  Although at 8% carb and 24% protein on a pure nutritional / low GI basis it’s a winner. Waitrose do a nice seeded rye from the village bakery brand, the one in the purple bag, and Sainsbury’s do a decent German pumpernickel style seeded rye bread which is standard backup in my freezer.

So…

Ingredients:

2 eggs
1 really ripe avocado
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 chopped spring onions
1/2 red chilli, chopped
Lime for squeezing
2 slices rye bread

Method:

Peel, de-stone and mash up the avocado. Mix in the oil, onion, chilli and a squeeze of lime. Poach two eggs & toast your rye bread. Spread on your guac, sit the eggs on top, season and enjoy.

Thank you @growinamoomin

Allotment Rascal
Helping you to Sort out Your Crap

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A Sorry Bunch

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Recently,  I dug up a really sorry looking bunch of carrots. They were frozen, overcrowded, and had lots of black fly.  With a good peel and chop, they scrubbed up well and I was able to create a tasty lentil and carrot soup.

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I used a really simple base ingredient, to which there are numerous herbs that could be added to liven it up, such as cumin, coriander and chilli or mixed italian herbs etc.   I’ve kept it plain so that all the family will enjoy it.

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Chilli sprinkles and other optional herbs are on the table for them if they fancy a livlier soup.  It also goes nicely with grated cheese.

This year, successional sowings of salad carrots will be properly tucked in and nurtured from mid March, followed by main crop sowings from May.

 

 

Allotment Rascal 
Let me help you sort your crap out
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Pale, Pasty and Pathetic? This might just be the tonic you need.

If you are feeling a bit run down, this is a wonderful immune boosting, comforting and connecting chicken stock, a soup for the soul, I think there’s even a book written about it.

stock 2I’ve made it since my children were babies. At the moment, they’ve got chesty coughs and colds and are looking and sounding a bit sorry for themselves.  My daughter,  Ellie asked me if I’d make this, given how fussy she can be about her food she can really surprise me with what she enjoys.  Clearly their bodies tell them what they need, apart from all the sweets.
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I used vegetables which we’d recently harvested from our allotment and the carcass from last night’s roast.  It also has lots of thyme in it which is a herb I often use to make a winter tea with, using lemon,  honey, echniacea  and ginger, more here on the health benefits of  thyme

For the stock  to a slow cooker add a roughly chopped carrot, leek, celery stick, quartered onion with skin on, sprigs of fresh thyme, few cloves of garlic, fresh parsley stems and leaves, 2 bay leaves and black pepper.  On top, place an organic cooked chicken carcass, you can break this with your hands or scissors and  squash down gently. pour over cold water to reach about 2 cm below the rim.
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Slow cook for 2 hours on high, then skim off the fat and continue to cook for 3 hours on low. (sometimes I just cook for 2 hours).  Then sieve into an new pan ready to use. You can also freeze this into bags and also ice cube trays.

To serve Cook some rice noodles, add leftover torn chicken to the pan of sieved stock heat through for 2 to 3 minutes add the noodles, ladle into bowls and serve with chopped fresh parsley. (I have also added some shitake mushrooms for an extra immune boost)

From Dirty Ood to Spicy Food

Adventures on the Allotment – A Spicy Parsnip Soup

The mutant parsnips I dug at the allotment ground yesterday transformed well into a tasty sweet parsnip soup and uplifted with chilli sprinkles.

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I’ll be planting parsnip seeds in late February, this time I might sieve the soil, although I rather like the Dr Who Ood features of this one.   Over on my Allotment Facebook page I created a short video about it.

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Recipe – chopped onion, chopped garlic, a large cube of chopped fresh ginger and a big spoon of garam masala all fried together in coconut oil for about 10 minutes.

To this softened mixture add, 5 peeled and roughly chopped parsnips, a tin of coconut milk,  1.5 litres of vegetable stock and salt & pepper.  Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes until the parsnips are soft.

To serve, season and sprinkle dried chilli flakes over or fresh chilli, eat with crusty bread.

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Jane x
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From Frozen Beetroot Balls to Borscht

Adventures from Alpha Road Allotment

This week, a frosty allotment harvest has resulted in lots of unexpected recipes being concocted. Today, I brought in my beetroot balls to defrost – a couple were grated and mixed with carrot, salt, pepper, toasted cumin seeds and a splash of red wine vinegar for a raw winter salad whilst the remainder were turned into a borscht served with crusty bread and feta cheese (recipe below)

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Beetroot in the Frozen Ground

There were many recipes for borscht online so, I combined lots of them as usual to make them fit with the ingredients I had available. The result was a meaty and healthy vegetarian supper, which even the kids enjoyed after a few protests at the start.

Beetroot Soup & Beans

  • Fry 1 chopped onion with a crushed clove of  garlic
  • Put this mixture to one side
  • Gently fry 2 sticks diced celery and 2  diced carrots for about 3 minutes
  • Add 3 diced beetroots, a diced potato, some shredded red or green cabbage if you have some, if you have herbs add either dill, couple sprigs thyme etc about 1.5 litres of beef or veg stock and cook for up to 1 hour.
  • Then add the onion and garlic, 1/2 squeezed lemon  (or red wine vinegar), tin of red kidney beans and 1/2 tin of chopped tomatoes (can use fresh tomatoes here too) and cook for about 15 minutes

Serve with crusty bread, chopped parsley or dill if you have some (i didn’t),  feta or soured cream

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Borscht

I’ll start to sow successional rows of beetroot from around mid March with some fleece over the top to give them a warmer start, will share photos then.

Jane x

PS If you have a favourite borscht recipe I’d love to read it

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