Thursday 30 September 2021


I was lucky enough to be at my friends the other day and snuffle some damsons - one of my favourite fruits! 

We all love their tart sweetness here so the kids were excited to eat some as well. 

Monday 27 September 2021

Small Batch Preserving Is The Way Forward

 I love just canning a few jars of fruit on an evening, often when writing in the kitchen. 

I know I've said it so many times before but doing it like this, little and often, really does fill up the pantry! 

Sunday 19 September 2021

Baking Before School

Sometimes I get silly ideas in my head - like making bread before school! 

To  be fair it was only the dough that they were making. An enriched one to make apple buns for a bake sale at school.

Tuesday 14 September 2021

Brick Arch Former

 It's not been dry enough to do much on the cob oven, it needs more time to dry out (although I have done more since the last post).

So my eldest daughter and I decided to make a wooden former for the arch over the entrance, a nice simple project we could do together. 

Sunday 12 September 2021

Blighted Tomatoes - Green tomato Ketchup

We've avoided blight the last few years here, but this summer when we got back from holiday it was waiting for us. 

The girls and their mum ripped out most of the plants and seperated up the tomatoes into ones that would ripen and ones to use green, then they sat there staring at me until I did something with them. 

Wednesday 8 September 2021

The Base - Earth Oven Part 4

Although we had some cob bricks made we had nowhere to put them!

I had dug out an area and filled it with hardcore but as I knew the oven would weigh a fair bit I decided to use some concrete here - hopefully the only bit. I lined the bottom of the footing with some left over plastic from our polytunnel and made a frame out of some left over fencing timber from earlier in the year. 

Monday 6 September 2021

Cob Party - 12 Children And Lots Of Mud - Earth Oven Part 3

 I'm a big fan of learning through doing - I'm very much a kinesthetic learner. So the idea of making this earth oven harder for myself doesn't really phase me. Maybe it should though. But I've decided to make the base out of cob as well! 

Then the other day a couple of friends were struggling with childcare (school hasn't started back yet but lots of holiday clubs are already finished), so I said I'd take them all in. And, with my wife, my friend adn her 4 children said they'd come over for a bit of fun.

So at it's peak we had 12 children here for a bit of cob making! The base wasn't ready so it was just for learning to use the materials. 

Saturday 4 September 2021

Apple Cinnamon Buns

Last weekend we went to a food festival in Oxford. The whole day was really great, and a particular highlight was one of the talks I managed to sneak off to without the children. 

 It was with a man who has a company called "Bake with Jack", apparently he's on the TV but I've never seen him (not that I watch huge amounts these days so that's nothing to go by). 

He did a demo where he made some apple cinnamon buns, he was a great speaker, really engaging and funny. I also picked up quite a few tips with baking. 

Thursday 2 September 2021

Trouble With My Damson Trees

 So if you have read this blog for any length of time you'll know that I love damsons. When ripe they're up there with some of my favourite fruits. One reason why I put about another 14 in this year in our new hedge in the second field. 

Unfortunately, other than the one in the photo above (a Merryweather - my favourite as it is a "freestone" damson), the others don't seem to be doing so well in the orchard that I planted 8 years ago
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