Recipes from my Suffolk Kitchen

Wednesday, 22 March 2017


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 I'm not a great joiner of clubs or similar things, especially during winter when venturing out in the dark and cold doesn't appeal.
 So although I loved my 20+ years as a Cub Scout Leader before smallholding and my several years as Membership bod for the Suffolk Smallholders Society once we had the smallholding, I've not done anything lately.
Now there is more time and I really ought to make an effort. Colin's sister H happens to be President of a WI two villages away from where we live now and there was really no excuse not to go and visit a meeting. Last time I was a WI member was back in 1991 and I used to go with several neighbours and we enjoyed the meetings, it was a big group.......... about 30 or so members of all ages and  always interesting.
The group I visited on Monday is much smaller, less than a dozen ladies so H was pleased to have numbers boosted by one plus the subject was Bookbinding and you know about me and books!

The speaker was a neighbour of a member and had never done a talk before and then the overhead projector broke down just as he was about to start, but he did very well and had brought along old books and tools of the trade. He gave a brief account of the history of books and then described how he repaired damaged books and made things like record books for private hospitals. Then we all crowded around his lap-top to see the small photos which we should have seen enlarged.

After the speaker came delicious cakes and coffee, the members take it in turns to make refreshments, two people each month.

I just went as a visitor this time but will probably join properly next month. My only problem is that I don't really want to go on the theatre outings and other things organised so I hope that doesn't matter.

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Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Another Jug..........Now How Did That Happen..............

Early Sunday morning I had to go to Number 9 to see if the boiler service receipt was in the draw with cooker instructions and other things left for the new owners. The buyers solicitors said that I'd only included a 2015 service report, I'm sure I sent the 2016 one to our solicitors, but luckily had kept a copy of the receipt.
On the way back I "happened" to call in at our nearest car boot sale which has just restarted after the winter
 Not many booters there yet but I came away with these and yes, that is another little jug. Interestingly this one, which was £1, says "Tonquin" Staffordshire  Dinnerware  by Clarice Cliff on the base but its very unlike the bright geometric designs normally associated with Clarice Cliff ,  just a pink and white pastoral scene,transfer printed. Also in the picture a big punnet of mushrooms for £1, more Sudoku books for 50p each, Mangetout seeds 50p each and old book from the 1920s also 50p and in the front a new padded gilet/waistcoat for me to wear when working outside also a 50p bargain.

Did you know Ostara or Eostre is one of the names given to the Vernal or Spring Equinox. Named after a goddess of spring and new life and presumably turning into Easter as Christianity spread.
That was yesterday, which was not at all spring-like.Grey and windy in the morning and pouring rain in the afternoon. Before it rained I managed to finish the last bit of weeding on the soft fruit bed so it's all ready for planting the gooseberry bushes when they arrive.
Col went online to source some Niger seed and suet fat balls for the birds and with the order came a plant catalogue. Now I'm seriously tempted by their offer of  "spend £25 and get a lemon tree for £1.99". I could get an apricot tree, or 2, like we had at the smallholding. So deliciously tempting!

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Sunday, 19 March 2017


Seems odd to be talking about cutting down trees a few days after blogging about planting a mini wood but cutting down trees is what we were doing on Saturday.
When Mr and Mrs F bought the additional bit of land in the 1980s they planted Poplars down one side and Willow and Ash down the other.
The Ash were specially planted to provide firewood as they can be coppiced and will regrow from the base(and burn green too of course) although most of them hadn't been cut at all. Several of the willows had branches sticking out into the field and they can break easily so needed tidying. Colin wanted to make sure I would be OK for firewood next winter just in case, so organised an old friend from his council days to come with Big chainsaw and Giant wood chipper and he took down 6 small Ash trees and several willow branches. Luckily my sister and brother-in-law had said they would help so we were able to tackle the clearing and sorting of logs and brushwood while L did the cutting down.
 I'd intended to take a photo but of course we were too busy to remember!
After  5 hours work we were left with heaps of willow and Ash,wood chips and a big heap of twiggy bits for kindling.

Lunchtime Sunday after a lot had already been shifted and split
Then on Sunday Cols brother came with the log splitter, which looks a Heath Robinson affair but is very effective, and I forgot photos again until after lunchtime.

 By lunch time Sunday we had a good heap stored and even more by the time we finished  at half past two.
There are still several piles of smaller logs on the field which only need cutting - not splitting, and we hope to get them done early in the week. We are just glad that the doctor put Colin back on steroids again which has given him a bit more energy!
 It was very satisfying to be able to get outside and do some "proper" work.

Thank you to lots of new visitors commenting, sorry I didn't get round to replying.......slightly busy!

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