Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Foodie Challenge- Making Flour And Butter

So yesterday was the first day of my foodie challenge and, I'll be honest, I did spend A Lot of time in the kitchen. But it was raining all day so I didn't mind.  

The first thing I wanted to do was make my own flour so I could bake bread. I got some spelt grain and slowly ran it through the grinding function on my juicer.  My juicer is one of my only kitchen gadgets. It's a Matstone so it can do lots of things beside juicing. I usually use it for grinding almonds into almond meal but on this occasion it worked well for spelt grain.  It took a long time as I had to run it through the machine several times as it was very very course initially. However, once it was all run through and I had seived it it was much better. I tried not to remove too much of the husk but some of it did have to go otherwise I think anything made with it would have been very tough.  

Once I had made the flour I then made a small loaf of bread. I was worried the flour would not rise well but I needn't have worried. It rose really well and apart from being a smaller loaf and flstter than usual really just because I had less dough, the texture was really good and it tasted really good! 

I then set about making my own butter.  I have done this before so sort of knew what I was doing. Apart from being a bit greasy the experience was fun and I ended up with a good sized pat of local, organic, handmade butter. 

I had some flour left over and dh requested scones. Because I don't use sugar I replaced it with honey and raisins giving the scones a looser texture.  They didn't rise quite as well and were quite crumbly but they tasted delicious.  I saved some of the cream from butter making and also made some 'jam' by gently cooking a chopped plum with a little honey. So we had our own version of a cream tea in the afternoon.  

I also made a simple sweet potato,  lentil and veggie soup which was very nice and we had eggs on toast.  

I have told dh that today's menu will be a more simple affair as I am hoping to get down the allotment before the rain starts again!

The butter is really good.  

The scones are amazing but a 'one off' treat!

The bread turned out amazingly well but is a much smaller loaf


Tuesday, 15 September 2015

My 'Week Off' Foodie Challenge

I find food fascinating.  I am very interested in the role it takes in our health and wellbeing.  I am very proud that I haven't eaten fast food for at least 10 years and that I started regularly attending farmers markets and buying local produce about the same time.  I love supporting small,  independent shops and the majority of my shopping is done this way,  rather than in supermarkets.

As I have a week off work this week and the weather is terrible! I am going to give myself a food challenge which is to eat a completely unprocessed diet this week unless I am making myself from scratch.  Does that make sense?  E.g butter I can have, as long as I make it myself,  if I want bread, not only must I make it myself but I must grind my own flour also, honey?  Yes, as I buy it in its raw state. Tinned beans?  No, but dried beans that I soaked and cooked myself would be fine.  I like a challenge and am looking forward to doing this! Back to basics. I will let you know how I get on :)


Monday, 14 September 2015

Back After A Break :)

Hello! I know, it's been ages but I've missed blogging and I have a week off this week so I thought I'd get back in the swing (!) of blogging again this week :)

While I've been gone have we turned our back on our love of vintage?  No! We're loving it even more, that's one of the reasons I haven't had time to blog.  

Since I last posted Dh and I have joined a local WW2 re-enactment group.  I am going to be 'joining' the ATS and hopefully doing wartime women proud by bringing the past to life. Because of this I have been reading like crazy. I have a little frugal trick I have for getting cheap books and supporting my local library in the process.  I find the books I want on Amazon as it's easier to read reviews and find books within certain genres etc, then I find and reserve it using my local library app, it gets sourced and delivered to my local library, usually within a couple of weeks for the princely sum of £1.

We're both very excited about the group. We went to Blunsdon At War this weekend in civvy 40s gear and it was brilliant. We camped over and it was freezing (almost!) but there was a 40s singer Jayne Darling performing to 'the troops' in the evening and she was Brilliant!  The atmosphere was great even if it was a bit chilly!

On other fronts the main thing that has changed is we are no longer rationing. I have PCOS and have always had skin problems but I found my cystic acne (I know, painful and looks awful) was getting worse and worse to the point the while lower half of my face looked so bad and was really painful. I couldn't work out why it was getting so bad. By process of elimination I have made it 90 percent better by cutting out soya (present in a lot of veggie foods and commercial breads), refined sugar  (heavily present within rations) and cutting right down on wheat and cows dairy (disclaimer: I am not a doctor,  please don't copy me without speaking to yours!). I have been veggie for many years but have recently introduced fish and very small amounts of local organic meats. I don't know how things will progress. We eat mostly food cooked from scratch and I hope to incorporate a lot of vintage recipes that match how I want to eat.

I am hoping to enrol in a dress making evening class starting in January so I can make my own vintage designs!

The allotment has given us a bountiful harvest although the weather seems to be rapidly turning so I'm not sure how well my squashes are going to do.

Hope everyone is well.

These are just some of the books in my reading pile.  The Unsung Heroines book I bought for £1 and it is really good: loads of pictures and is mostly comprised of memories from the women who were there.  It's a fascinating insight into women's role in the war.  The other two are library books I have yet to start.