Saturday 30 November 2019

November Financial Round Up

No-vember wasn't a no-spend month, it never is, but my Black Friday  spending just involved going to a fund raising coffee morning run by the Friends of The Doctors Surgery where  I bought coffee and cake, a book, some draw tickets and  more Christmas wrapping paper, exactly the same as some I got several weeks ago at a boot sale and also 50p. NOTE TO SELF....DO NOT BUY CHRISTMAS WRAPPING PAPER IN 2020! 

Other spending this month..................

  • Polly cat had a trip to the vet for the same problem as January - a mystery allergy or something that makes her clean herself too much so that her back legs go a bit bald - the treatment like last time was a steroid injection.
  • The wet weather on the first weekend of November put off a trip to a local firework night with son and family but that left me with a bit extra to spend on our own first ever 'extravaganza' here. There are some rockets left for Christmas ...maybe or next year.
  • Food for me, (including a bit extra spent on the Locally Produced bits) and the cat, things for making gifts for the two hampers. 
  • The usual  Direct debits
  • Started getting vouchers that the grown up children want for Christmas. Finished buying for Niece, Nephews and Grandchildren.
  • I bought the rolls of willow fencing stuff that Rob-next-door-but-one has now fixed up on the posts to fill up the gaps and make a sheltered spot under the Turkey Oak. 
  • Had a hair trim instead of a wet cut as it hadn't grown very much - saved a few pound.
  • Topped up the heating oil with 500 litres. Enough in there now for a few months.
  • The ride-on mower was taken away, serviced, cleaned and generally sorted. Now right ready for next year
  • A big spend on a TV aerial and a new bigger TV-wot-does-things! will be fitted in next week. I'm getting myself up to date at last.

A man at a car boot a few weeks ago had a huge box full of Christmas tree baubles etc for 10p each. Some new but most used, and I sorted through and got these for £1. Red and Gold for the Christmas tree this year I think. I hope the tree hasn't disintegrated any more after another year in boxes and bags in the cupboard. I'll be doing it early as the Surrey family are visiting Early December rather than at Christmas.

The only income was the usual County Council spouses pension, repayments from loans to family and bits of interest from savings, so savings were dipped into again......but still enough left to last me until state pension time in 2021 ............perhaps Labour will get into power and mysteriously find some money to pay us 1950s women what we've missed out on by goalposts moving ......... a few years of back paid state pension would be a nice chunk of money, but I think that's very unlikely.

Any Frugal bits?
I won a raffle prize (giant chocolate Kit Kat ) at WI and will wrap it up and use it for the raffle at the village over 60's Christmas lunch.
Still eating my own potatoes and frozen peppers plus leeks from the garden.
Made a batch of pastry cases to put in freezer ready for quiches or flans over Christmas etc.
Using bread-maker
Local and cheap apples from boot sale early in the month
Still catching the cold water before it gets hot enough for dish-washing.
Hung washing out  to half dry and then finished off in front of the fire in the evenings.
Finding half a tub of bird-feed fat balls for £1 at the table top saved me needing to send for bird feed this month.

The old rotovator from the workshop was bought and taken by the man who collected the mower for it's service.
Big bag of books to charity shop.
Cracked pudding basin and dented cake tin -out into bins

Nothing to do with anything else but it's always a surprise to look out of the bedroom window and see people, normally it's just wide open fields.
 A real country scene of a pheasant shoot, two fields away. There's a hatchery and rearing pens down near the village and they would have released them at the beginning of Autumn. Any journey on the little roads around means avoiding pheasants as they wander about but however many are shot there still seems to be some around to pick up all the food that the small birds drop from the feeders.

Thanks to everyone for comments yesterday

Have a good weekend - I'm going to Coffee, Cakes and Carols at  chapel. meeting a fellow blogger  and must start Christmas stuff ready for the Surrey family visiting next weekend.


Friday 29 November 2019

No Car Boot Sales

Following on from yesterday's 60th post about car boot sales here is the NOT A BOOT SALE post!

The local Sunday small Boot  sales had to finish before the end of November because their site was  waterlogged and it just keeps raining so no big boot sales either. That meant  I was "forced" to go to Stowmarket to the monthly indoor table top sale in the Church hall  (really I went for shopping and to organise a new TV but I knew about the sale so had to have a look!).

I found a few bits and bobs including half a tub of bird feed fat balls for £1 and a new Sudoku book also £1.
I always have a Sudoku book on the go, so like to snap them up when I see one cheap. There's another copy of "The Night Before Christmas" ready for Willows advent parcels in 2021. And two little Christmassy bits - a little old fashioned snow-globe and some mini crackers. The snow-globe is another bit of vintage tat for the mantle piece and the crackers are for trimming the Hampers.

As for organising a new TV - it took a while because I need a proper aerial first - something this house hasn't got. The TV I have was bought several years ago, for a much smaller room and has no 'extras'. I'm getting myself up to date at last but still avoiding paying for any extra channels as I'll have free-view rather than free-sat.
Just hope the bloke who comes to set it all up and 'drive me through it' has plenty of  patience because although I might be OK at writing a blog, buying stuff online, hanging pictures, driving a ride-on mower and unblocking drains,  I'm totally hopeless at understanding things about TVs. Every time we've moved in the past it's been Colin or our son who've done all the tuning in etc.

The weather forecast has been telling me everyday that things are going to get colder but brighter, hopefully today's the day as yesterday was yet another wet, grey, dismal day. The car is a right muddy mess again so I suppose I shall have to clean it........... again. My least favourite of the jobs that Colin used to do.

Back Tomorrow

Thursday 28 November 2019

Definition of A Squirrel?

1. One or other of various species of rodents (characterized by a long bushy tale, furry coat and bright eyes)

A few weeks ago Mr Tasker Dunham commented on one of my many (actually 59!) blog posts with car boot bargains that I must have been a squirrel in a previous life, I know (hope) he was joking but it made me think.........Oh I squirrel stuff away........ after all no one else has 59 blog post about car boot finds! or do I just find useful things at good prices

Lets have a look at a recent picture
Apples .............eaten
Brio......given away
Candles ......for hampers to give
Jar/ cupboard
Soap bin after trying it and discovering it smelled vile!
Kilner use
Birthday card........sent
Clog...ready for next August Flower Show

and the previous photo..............crackers and wrapping paper for Christmas

Then I went back through the posts labelled "Car Boot Bargains" and picked out at random...........

From a September blog post. Bottles ready for hamper gifts. Children's books given away already or for future. Toothpaste in use. Adult book off to Ziffit. Seeds for next year. Journal book for making a folklore/weather  journal/scrapbook during the winter....I have started it ....not got far yet.

Another photo from August this time................ Bowl in cupboard. Railway toys went to Florence. Book kept for now. Bus here for Jacob

Jumping back to July............................. The Tree book is on my shelf the other one went off to Ziffit after reading. The teapot full of toy tea-set has been much used here. The tub of Dinosaurs will go to Jacob and the zoo animals stay here. The Easter crackers will be for Grandchildren next year.

Going back even further to October last year

The slipper-socks and car sponge were given for Christmas presents last year. Bib was used for Willow at Christmas. The book was looked at and then off to charity shop or ziffit. The torch turned out to be rusty in the battery bit and had to go in bin. The oven gloves are still in the cupboard ready for a gift.

A random picture from Summer 2018............shower scrunchies - one in use, two in cupboard. Cars here or at Jacobs. Peel offs for crafting....................some here some sold at car boot sale. Book here for grandchildren. Lettuce seeds still here to be used.

Another photo from 2018, right back before Colin died. The Ladybird book is still here - Willow loves pretending to count the ladybirds. This little piggy glove finger puppets - still here. The cling film in use. Nasturtium seeds used last year.

What about picking a random photo from even earlier..........October 2017......The  dolls pushchair went to Florence and still in use. The cake shaped candles are at their house too now. The jars have all been used for gifting chutneys or in my cupboard and the winter bell will be on the mantel-shelf again very soon.

And another from early days of this blog..................The jug is still in use for catching the cold water before the hot water arrives. Tomatoes - long gone, 3D decoupage used for a card a long time ago. The teaspoons are in use, The washbag went for a present and the parchment has been used up.

That's 10 Car Boot Bargains posts plucked at random from the 59 labelled. Seems like everything has been used/in use/given away.

So I shall  dispute the idea that I was a squirrel in a previous life! I think I'm just making good use of other peoples unwanted things and squirrels don't use unwanted things..........they pinch my hazelnuts and ruin the bird-feeders!

Back Tomorrow

Wednesday 27 November 2019

The November Library Book Photo

Collected from the Library Van last week, all books I'd requested on-line and  Goody, Good - Plenty to read.

 7 crime set in various periods in history. 2 Cookery books - I've borrowed The Savvy Shopper before but spotted it on someones blog and decided to have another look. I usually like Rachel Hore's books, this is her most recent. 'Waiting for War' is another look at the phoney war from 1939 - 1940. 'Close to where the Heart Gives Out' is subtitled 'A Year in the Life of an Orkney Doctor', which tells you what it's about. 'Confessions of a Bookseller' is the second by this author and the first was excellent. Finally 'The Victory Garden', not an author I'm familiar with and the story isn't a mystery or set in WWII so I'm not sure why I ordered it, unless I read about it on a blog. Hope it didn't get into my pile of requests by mistake and was really meant for someone else.
I'm looking forward to reading several of these, just have to decide which to start with.

I read almost everything from last month's haul - which is unusual The only two I couldn't get into were Dancing with Bees and All Clear. Hare and Moon was just a 'looking at' book and The Modern Herbal is very comprehensive and if I didn't already have a couple of books on herbs I might have coveted this one.
Book read have been added to the separate page.

Back Tomorrow

Tuesday 26 November 2019

Around Joe's Lane and Back Down the Road

Sunday was so gloomy and grey indoors and out, so after making the Cattern cakes, mixing the Christmas pudding and getting the breadmaker to make me a loaf of bread I thought I'd better get some exercise in the damp daylight.

The farmer hasn't used his quad bike yet to put the line of the footpath back across the field which is very muddy. You can just about see where a few people have walked across, but I decided to go round the edge.

Looks like a deer .....probably a Muntjac went the same way

Then along Joe's Road and I've no idea who Joe was

Onto the proper road and I passed the hard standing which was full of sugar beet two weeks ago

All that's left is a big heap of soil which fell off the beet when it was loaded, I expect it will get shifted sometime

This barn was up for sale a while back for conversion to a house, but nothing has happened yet

 Someone's been round with a can of yellow spray marking the pot holes and these kerb-stones that need repairing because they've been pushed away from the road edge, so I guess we'll have a road closed sign sometime while they do the work.

The brown signs are the Heart of Suffolk cycle route- about 50 miles round Mid-Suffolk, and the green sticker is for the new Hakluyt 6 mile cycle ride round the different parts of the village

 Between this photo and the one below I talked to Simon and Andrea who pulled up in their car beside me to say hello, they live in a house on the road opposite the end of the lane and then to Ruth who lives in the house beside the post box, she was gardening out the front of her house. They were the only people I talked to all day so it was a good thing I went out.
And the postbox at the end of my lane has been painted - a rare occurrence.

Bright red and easier to see now

Then I went up the lane and home to light the fire.

The electric is off here all day today......a planned outage while they do repairs somewhere nearby. Think I will be lighting the fire much earlier than usual.
(edited  in at 8.30 - just had a text message to say electric outage has been cancelled for today - bother - I shall have to do the hoovering after all!)

Back Tomorrow

Monday 25 November 2019

November 25th ....St. Catherine's Day

Cattern Cakes and Lace is the book that started my collection of books about Folklore, Weather Sayings, English Customs and the special days celebrated in the past. I found it years ago in a charity shop I guess - as it says 70p inside the front.
It's full of recipes and traditions all illustrated with photographs and water-colour paintings. 

In the introduction to the book the author, who is a lace-maker, says she heard about Saint Catherine when reading about lacemakers in Tudor times celebrating their Patrons Day with merrymaking, Cattern Cakes and bohea tea. St Catherine had become the protector of young unmarried women when stories of her Martyrdom on a wheel of fire were brought back from The Holy Lands by returning Crusaders. Catherine of Alexandria was said to be beautiful and intelligent and after a vision converted to Christianity but was put to death in 310A.D by Emperor Maxentius.

Bohea tea is now known as Wuyi and is a type of black or oolong tea from China and Cattern Cakes (Cattern is a corrupted version of Catherine) are a sort of fruity/pastry/cinnamon swiss roll cut into slices before cooking.
I thought I'd make some just to see what they were like................quite good but don't think I'd bother again

I used the Cattern Cakes book and the others I collected, to write a page  each month for a year for The Suffolk Smallholders Newsletter, it included many of the days I mention here on the blog but also  A Shepherd's  Calendar and  Fresh Produce Available. After that I had nowhere to use all the bits and pieces of interest in my books so Hooray for blogging!

Back Tomorrow

Saturday 23 November 2019

Another November Saturday and Stir-Up Sunday

 It's been good to have a (mainly) dry week this week after  the first half of November which was so wet, dull, gloomy and  muddy. Even though the sugar beet has all gone from the fields and all the big heaps have gone off to be turned into sugar, there is still plenty of mud around on all the small roads close to home, and despite it being a waste of time I washed  the car and got the mud out from all the wheel arches and it looked better............... for about 2  days.

The following is one of the poems from the little book of collected Country Poems that I found in a charity shop in October. I said I'd share some on the blog, but shelved the book and forgot , until now.

The lonely season in lonely lands,when fled
Are half the birds, and mists lie low, and the sun
Is rarely seen, nor strayeth far from his bed;
The short days pass unwelcomed one by one.

Out by the ricks the mantled engine stands
Crestfallen, deserted, - for now all hands
Are told to plough, - and ere it is dawn appear
The teams following and crossing far and near,
As hour by hour they broaden the brown bands
Of the striped fields; and behind them firk and prance
The heavy rooks, and daws grey pated dance:
As awhile, surmounting a crest, in sharp outline
(A miniature of toil, a gem's design,)
They are pictured, horses and men, or now near by
Above the lane they shout lifting the share,
By the trim hedgerow bloom'd with purple air;
Where under the thorns, dead leaves in huddle lie
Packed by the gales of Autumn, and in and out
The small wrens glide
With a happy note of cheer,
And yellow amorets flutter above and about,
Gay, familiar in fear.

Robert Bridges (1844 - 1930)

The sun only 'strayeth from it's bed' a couple of times this week, but even that was better than the forecast.
 From poetry it's easy and interesting to see how language changes just in  4 generations. I know that the engine mentioned is the threshing machine and daws are Jackdaws, but would my children?  I had to look up 'firk', which means "move quickly or dance" and  found 'amorets' means "an amourous girl"  or "a love knot" but I guess it's alluding to falling leaves. Also presume 'gay' isn't used in the same context as we use it now!

So apart from eating locally produced food, what have I been doing since my last Saturday round up two weeks ago?
Well, as usual I've been out and about. Swimming once a week and thinking how much easier it is in summer, because now there are too many clothes to take off and put on! For just a few minutes this week I was the only person in the pool - felt quite luxurious.............. and very strange.

I've been sorting some books for the charity shop, I'm getting more ruthless now, even some of my WWII Home Front collection are going. Also tidying crafting stuff into  smaller spaces. I have a chest of drawers in the craft room that now only has one drawer full of crafting papers and once I decide what/where/how to sort them, the chest can go.

On Thursday I volunteered to take Col's brother for a hospital appointment as the letter he got said "don't drive home", but it turned out he could have driven himself there and back. Oh well. He's got to be there at 8am one day in December and definitely mustn't drive - not sure I can get up early enough! so hope he can find someone else, luckily he's got dozens of mates.

I've been watching some repeats of "Who do you think you are" . Episodes I missed from a few years ago and this week it was Danny Dyer - of Eastenders fame and he was tracing his ancestors back to the landed gentry, including The Tollemache family of Suffolk. It reminded me that I really ought to visit Helmingham Hall which is not far from home, a famous house and gardens, owned by the same family for 500 years, yet I've never been.
It gave me a plan for next year.....A Tourist In My Own County. I'd better write a list!

Are you making a Christmas pudding this weekend? It's "Stir Up Sunday". The Sunday before advent was known as Stir Up Sunday because the collect for the day from the Book of Common Prayer says "Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 The congregations version was "Stir up, we beseech thee, the pudding in the pot, Stir up,we beseech thee, and keep it all hot!

This week I am Grateful for
  • Ideas for 2020
  • My books
  • A quiet swim
  • Fine days

Hope you have a good weekend, whatever your plans. Not a lot going on for me this weekend but I don't mind that at all.

Back Monday

Friday 22 November 2019

1 Week Eating Local Part 8 The Conclusion

The end of the week of eating was an interesting sort-of-challenge to do.

 I ate more bread and eggs than normal and as the only local fruit was apples they got a bit boring........  eaten as snacks as well as part of a meal. There should have been local pears at the farm shop but their supplier had had a very poor crop....and had sold out in October.
Some local food is easy to find thanks to the East of England Co-op and their Locally Produced shelves. My nearest Co-op is in Debenham 4 miles from me.

Meat - Easy from Co-op or Farm shop and many local butchers who sell meat from local farmers. I've always bought local sausages/bacon from the Co-op anyway. The Hog and Hen have their own whole chickens..........Very expensive. I eat very little meat by choice.

Honey - Easy as I had local in the cupboard and when that runs out there are several places I know to buy more.

Jams and Chutneys- There are many local companies that produce jams, chutney, mustard, mayonnaise  and sauces. Stokes of Rendlesham is one. Co-op stock them. I don't need to buy jams etc as I make my own and make sure to only buy Silver Spoon sugar and vinegar for the chutneys could be local as Aspall produce that too.

Eggs - Very Easy. On my way to swimming I pass two farm gate sales for eggs at £1 for half-dozen. Another place on my way to Stowmarket has just finished selling due to theft. There are two houses in the village that sometimes have eggs outside but not always so I can't rely on them.

Flour - Easy to buy Marriages who are based in Chelmsford Essex, it's sold at the Co-op. The mill in Pakenham, in West Suffolk, sells flour ground at the mill too. Another place I completely forgot about was Maple Farm at Kelsale, close to where we were at the smallholding.

Butter, Cheese, Milk and Cream - Easy where I live - all from one farm Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses, the place we visited with WI, BUT if they were to stop it would be impossible to buy these locally. I made the most of the butter which was delicious, spreading it very thin and made sure to use every crumb of cheese sparingly.
A small milk producer...... Marybelle from   north Suffolk have just been closed down by their Belgian owners. As far as I know local dairy farmers - and there are very few now - sell to one of huge milk companies like Arla, dealing with farmers across north Europe.
(In research I came across Fen Farm Dairy near Bungay in Suffolk who do direct deliveries - at a price. 600g of butter and 750g of cheese would be £46 delivered!!)

Fruit - Only apples. Earlier in the year I might have got plums and pears and of course raspberries and strawberries in summer. Once there were more than 10 pick your own fruit farms across Suffolk. I'm not sure if any remain.
The Hog and Hen farm shop had some local Autumn raspberries  at £2.89 for a small punnet -much too expensive.
I didn't have enough of any fruit of my own to freeze this year but did make jam from BiL's strawberries.

Vegetables - Difficult. There's a company called  Suffolk Produce Ltd who are a cooperative of lots of farms in East Suffolk but they only sell to supermarkets. No wonder we were always able to sell everything we had on the stall at the smallholding. I rarely come across anyone selling from the gate around here - a few apples maybe and that's it. Of course earlier in the year I would have much more of my own stuff.
I've got my own red peppers in the freezer and leeks in the ground. My potatoes have nearly all been eaten. Now I know what I can manage on my own I may well put some Brussels-sprout plants in next year. 

Other things that I could have bought
Co-op stock Fairfields Farm Potatoes, potato crisps and other snacks. They are based on the Suffolk/Essex boundary near Colchester. I've not tried them.

A local bakery in Haughley (8 miles from me and celebrating 150 years of baking) has shops where they sell their own bread, biscuits and cakes so I could have bought from them easily.

The main non-local item used was yeast for my bread, plus things like curry powder. 

Of course I still have most of the flour left to use and the rapeseed oil and virtually all the tomato sauce. There are 2  portions of curry in the freezer and one pack of sausages (as they were BOGOF). 2 more cold sausages for sandwiches, and look how red the local Tiptree tomato sauce is.
 There are also couple of apples and eggs left.

I enjoyed finding out more about local produce and trying things I might not have done otherwise. I may well buy some of the local butter for Christmas and the Marriages seeded and wholegrain flour makes bread that's much more interesting than my normal white bread flour, but I was very glad to go out and buy pears to make a change from the apples!

Back Tomorrow

Thursday 21 November 2019

1 Week Eating Local Part 7

 Found my old recipe for biscuits to go with cheese and made a third.  But it should have been made with plain flour and I only had the local Self Raising. So didn't turn out how I remembered from years ago. I also added smoked paprika - not a wise choice as it didn't go very well with the blue cheese!

The original proper recipe is taken from The Penny Pincher Paper from around 1996........

Water Biscuits.(I made just a third of the recipe using 1oz butter)
3oz butter/margarine
5fl oz water
12oz plain flour
½ teaspoon salt.

Melt the butter in water and heat to luke warm. Stir in the flour and salt, then knead until satiny and roll out thinly. Cut into rounds or squares, put on baking tray and prick all over with fork. Bake for 20 minutes 325 F, 160C or Gas 4. Can add black pepper or, cumin or chilli or celery seeds or poppy seeds(or smoked paprika if you're eating them with a plain cheese!)

It was impossible to roll thinly with the SR flour and they didn't puff up so ended up like flavoured pastry!

Dinner........... more sausages, with a baked potato and  another section of the cauliflower and a big spoonful of my home-made red tomato relish.

The rest of the stewed apple.

Conclusion tomorrow.


Wednesday 20 November 2019

1 Week Eating Local Part 6

Just a short post today, thanks for all comments about eating local food. It's interesting to hear what people in other parts of the country can find locally.

Toast and honey and local apples eaten again and home made bread. I've run out of the butter - sadly so have to use my normal, which is British but not local - a fail, but I really can't spend over £3 on butter as a regular purchase.

I used the last little bit of the Suffolk Gold cheese from the beginning of the week to do cheese on toast for lunch with two very small tomatoes - all that's left on the one remaining tomato plant in the greenhouse (apart from a few green ones which I must bring in before it's too late)

The Co-op Sausages served up with another tub of my own roast veg from the freezer.
Forgot a photo again! Duh!

Then I had the rest of the baked egg custard and a bit more stewed apple.

Back Tomorrow

Tuesday 19 November 2019

1 Week Eating Local Part 5

More local eggs for £1

More apples from another boot sale, not as good as the first - all a bit sharp but this lot were £1

I certainly couldn't afford to always replace my store cupboard with local produced food but it's interesting for a one off experiment.
Every thing below is from the local Co-op

All East of England Co-op shops have 'Locally Produced' shelves. Quite a lot of choice of jams, chutneys, cakes etc etc, which I don't need as I always make my own
I bought Marriages multi grain flour - this is what I meant to buy first time. Hill Farm Rape-seed oil is local -Heveningham near Halesworth. The tomato sauce is Wilkin and Son Tiptree - Essex and the sausages are Taste of Suffolk from Bury St Edmunds.(I always buy these or another local company- Brundish Farm - sausages anyway) and as you can see on offer as a BOGOF.

My pepper grinder broke recently so I replaced it with a Maldon Salt Co. (Essex) although I'm sure they don't grow the pepper there!

Then there is milk from Suffolk Cheeses and Suffolk Blue cheese from them too both bought at The Hog and Hen farm Shop. The milk is £1.25 and that small bit of blue cheese was £3! - Blimey!

Lunch same as yesterday scrambled egg sandwich and beetroot.
More of the cauli made cauliflower cheese. The sauce was made using the local flour and cheese,
and eaten with a piece of home made bread.

Too much home made bread!

I cooked the remaining cooking  apples and served up a little  with half of a baked egg custard. I did take a photo but it looked very unappealing ( although it tasted lovely) so won't include it.
The egg custard was 1 egg, a little sugar, local milk and NON local Nutmeg.

I'd forgotten how good a baked egg custard is and made with the milk which comes from Guernsey cows and isn't homogenized it was  good and creamy.........and full of calories too probably!

Back Tomorrow

Monday 18 November 2019

1 Week Eating Local Part 4

 I looked at the BBC on line weather forecast yesterday and what it looked like reminded me of Craig Revel-Horwood on Strictly describing a poor dancer.....................DULL, DULL, DULL. Every day is a 'light cloud and gentle breeze' and the only bit of sun peeping out is Tuesday morning. I shall need to work hard at not getting depressed and gloomy myself!

Thank you to everyone for comments yesterday. Jayne mentioned the way supermarkets operate a just-in-time way of ordering and how little it would take for the system to implode.  I think that's the way all manufacturers work now.
It's one of the reasons we tried to be very self-sufficient for all the years at the smallholding and now
I like to keep plenty of food in my cupboards, especially living up the end of a lane, on back roads without a 4 wheel drive.

Apologies for not commenting on everyone's blogs. I start the day with good intentions but then time slips by.

Anyway, back to the Eating local.....................I cooked the last of my  beetroot from the garden.
And had a scrambled egg sandwich with beetroot for lunch and forgot to take a photo AGAIN........seems I'm not very good at this sort-of challenge!

This, in case you don't know is a cauliflower!
It's from the local farm shop but not grown there, it just about qualifies as local as it's grown in the Fens on the Norfolk/Lincs border.

Vegetables are grown commercially in parts of Suffolk. On the light sandy soil close to where we lived in Knodishall they frequently grew huge fields of carrots and onions, but they aren't sold locally. They go off to big packing warehouses and then to supermarkets, which could be almost anywhere.

It's difficult to find real local vegetables unless you grow them yourself............Oh how I miss the smallholding years!

I used part of the cauliflower for a curry
The curry started with the last of my onions, one of the local apples bought at boot sale and the smallest of my two remaining butternut squash. Thickened with the local flour and then of course curry powder NOT local! then add hot water. Added some home grown potatoes and some of the cauliflower plus a spoonful of my homemade chutney, pepper and small teaspoon of sugar. I meant to go outside to fetch in some chard but forgot.

The curry was divided into 3 portions and two went in the freezer. Normally I'd eat curry with rice but we don't grow rice in Suffolk..............yet, although with climate change who knows what will happen,  then I thought about making the new-fangled idea of cauliflower rice but quite honestly the thought of it doesn't appeal at all - even if it is wonderfully healthy and ecologically such a good idea, it sounds awfully "windy"!
 Instead I baked one of my potatoes and served up the curry on top. It was delish.

Back Tomorrow

Sunday 17 November 2019

1 Week Eating Local Part 3

Next day

 I had the second half of the quiche with baked potato - getting towards the end of my own potatoes now- and kale again. Same breakfast and same lunch. I thought I'd taken photos of the little apple pies but found I hadn't.

The third day
Toast and honey again.

Used the first of my leeks from the garden plus another of my potatoes to make soup. I used an OXO veg cube for the stock. (IF I was very good I would have home made vegetable stock in the freezer but I don't) 

Still some kale left so a 2 Egg omelette filled with kale and a slice of home made bread. The Suffolk Churn local butter is very hard so when spreading it on bread I melted a little bit in the microwave. It spreads on toast without  needing to melt it, and it's exceedingly good, but double the price of the same amount of supermarket own brand unsalted butter.

Back Tomorrow

Saturday 16 November 2019

1 Week Eating Local Part 2.

Thank you for comments yesterday. I'm posting the Eat Local posts retrospectively so the car boot where I got the apples was nearly two weeks ago and I'll soon be at the end of my week  (Does that make any sort of sense?) I did it like this to give me plenty of time for taking photos and uploading.

Except for tap water the things I've been drinking through the week aren't local. I could have bought very local Aspall Cyder or James White Apple or Beetroot Juice  and if it had been summer I might have done but I need hot drinks this time of the year and no coffee, tea or chocolate is grown locally! (Told you this was just  a sort-of challenge). So you are welcome to say I've cheated all week if you like!

I also had some home made cheese straws leftover from the Bonfire party to eat. They were not made using local produce but they could have been.

After the car boot sale (Yesterdays post) I called in at the Hog and Hen Farm Shop  on my way home, (it's a relatively new farm shop  about 4 miles from me), for some local basics...... Flour from Marriages in Chelmsford Essex for pastry and bread, butter and cheese from Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses and the only really local veg they had..........kale from a nearby village.
 I could have got milk there, also from Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses  but had some started in the fridge - not local but I didn't want to waste it...that would be silly. Other things I had already in use will keep for a week. 

The breadmaker made me a loaf of bread and I realised the flour I'd picked up was seeded rather than multi did I do that? so hope it doesn't disagree with me as some seeded things do.

So breakfasts have been simple......... home made toast and local honey.This jar and another already started have travelled  all the way from the village next to the smallholding and I've had them since we moved - so it's a good thing that honey doesn't go bad! and it's about time it was used up.

Dinner - Made a very small flan using the non-local milk, local flour,butter and eggs plus my own red pepper from the freezer and chard from the garden. Half of it eaten with my own frozen roast vegetables and some of the kale.

I  used 1 cooking apple to make 2 bun-tin sized small pies with the pastry trimmings from the quiche and had one for lunch and an eating apple with a piece of Suffolk Gold cheese.

Back Tomorrow

Friday 15 November 2019

1 Week Eating Local Part 1

Last Saturday I mentioned that it was knowing our sugar is a locally produced food that gave me the idea for the (sort-of) challenge and this was the other nudge ................... I found these cuttings as I sorted out a folder full of my old Penny Pincher letters that was falling apart.

The first is a comparison of prices between supermarket and farmers market, I didn't believe it then - about 15 years ago- and its even more unlikely now.
The pages come from the NFU (National Farmers Union) magazine I think and show two baskets of produce costing almost the same. There are no farmers markets close to me and those a bit further away are just once a month........and expensive, but probably the price we SHOULD be paying..........compared to supermarkets - who bulk buy and push down the prices they pay to farmers.

The second are pages from the East Anglian Daily Times - also from many many years ago when they ran a campaign called "Shop Local", and are comparing the miles food travels to reach our plates. Comparing supermarket to the authors local farm shop on the Suffolk/Norfolk Border. Over 13,000 miles for the basket on the left and 173 miles for the local produce.

I thought it would be interesting to see if I could manage for a week with local produce from Suffolk mainly but adding Norfolk and Essex if necessary (plus spices from distant lands). I won't compare costs as I already know that local will be about double the price of supermarket for some things, which is why this will just be for one week!
Of course Summer or early Autumn would have been a more sensible time to eat local - more food from the garden. Eating local was something that was commonplace at the smallholding when we were mostly self-sufficient in fruit and vegetables. But Hey-Ho....I'll give it a go!

So I started at the Car Boot sale  with local apples from a private seller's own orchard - Eating Apples 8 for £1 and Cooking apples 5 for £1. Eggs are available from several farms withing a few miles and are £1 for half a dozen.

That's the beginning

More Tomorrow