Tuesday 31 July 2018

Courgette and cheese bake and green beans with tomatoes recipes

Hello All
The gardens are giving generously now and it is time to think creatively about what to do with the courgette glut. The abundance of tomatoes and green beans are never seen as a challenge though. Here are two tried and trusted (by me) recipes that you might like to try.

Courgette and Cheese slice  - as a base I use
2 large courgettes, grated - I used yellow and green
one onion, chopped
a little oil
3 eggs, beaten
2 cloves garlic, crushed
a cup of tasty cheese. grated
salt and pepper
parsley chopped
 You could add some grated root veg if you want. I added a large potato (grated) too last time and went really well.
Grease a tray and set oven for 170
Grate the courgette and put into a sieve to drain off the water.
While draining, saute the onion and garlic in the oil.
Squeeze the courgette in a cloth to get out as much fluid as possible.
Tip courgette (and any other grated veg you might have) in with the onions and fry gently for about 5 mins. Add the rest of the ingredients and tip into your tray.
Cook for about 25 mins until set.
Eat hot or cold. Good with salad, or as a packed lunch, or with jacket potatoes, or with the next recipe.

Green beans with tomato
1lb french beans cut into similar lengths 2 to 3 inches suits us.
1 chopped onion
3 crushed cloves garlic
2 tbs oil
2 tbs vinegar (whatever suits you)
1 tbs honey or sugar
1 and a half pounds of fresh tomatoes, skinned and chopped. or a tin of chopped tomatoes.
chopped basil.
Salt and pepper
Place beans in a saucepan of boiling water, cook for 5 mins and then drain and steep into cold water, drain and put aside.
Saute the onion and garlic in the oil for 5 mins.
add the sugar/honey and caramelise for a couple of mins.
Add the vinegar, tomatoes, seasoning and chopped basil and cook for a further 5 mins.
Add the beans.
This is best eaten when warmed through.
This freezes very well or can be kept in the fridge for a couple of days until needed.
I served this up with some new potatoes and the courgette bake for a tasty veggie meal, all from our garden.

I was cutting out a dress pattern yesterday and was reminded of the days we saved the tissue paper cut away for loo paper. Anyone else remember doing that?! We also saved the paper that was wrapped around bars of soap to draw on. It sounds like those days might be coming back when we don't waste anything. Not a bad thing.
All for now.

Sunday 22 July 2018

Events, dogs and plastic

Hello All
I realise that it has been over two months since my last post. I have rather lost my blogging mojo and goodness the time flies nowadays! Much has happened and I have been really busy. However, onwards eh?
This glorious (too hot.. give us rome rain!) weather has meant that I have spent many waking hours in the gardens and next to none in the house. The blossom has been exceptional this year hasn't it? The trees are now groaning with smaller than usual fruit  The bees have been busy for the last four months  Yesterday while I was hanging out the washing the smell of honey coming from the hives in the garden was very strong. It looks as though it is going to be another good honey year.
 The vegetable patches are now producing well, what a great feeling that is. I have tried to fill every available space with something useful.
I have quite a few events taking up my time, which I am actively involved in setting up/ running/ hosting etc and I didn't quite know how I was going to really fit them in. I guess it is time I learnt to say "No" more often. The most significant (i.e I am heavily involved) are -  our Civic Society meeting, the AGM of a Hydro project, co-hosting (and cooking for) a yearly meet of a Book Plate Society at my friend's mansion, our yearly family and friends Festival (30+ tents 200 people) and a couple of heritage exhibitions. I usually have a few fishing trips to Cornwall thrown in, but David is not well enough to go. These events have now passed successfully I'm relieved to say and I am now  girding my loins for some more happenings and of course the honey and garden harvests that will now roll out over the next couple of months.
 We have new dogs added to the family pack! In the header picture is, from the left,Sammie, Coda and Jed. Unfortunately Jed passed away last Autumn, aged 14. He was a gentle soul. Now that his mum, my eldest daughter, has moved jobs, house and county and they are finally settled  they have rescued a lab/springer cross called Bailey. He is such a livewire, I guess it is the springer in him. Coda now has a new sister called Hattie. She is a Bernese Mountain pup, quite delightful and already huge! Finally, my grandson and his partner now have a Shiba-inu (no neither have I!).called Freja (the J is pronounced Y) Our dear Sammie, my youngest daughter's rescue is still with us at 15 an a half. So it is fun and games when they are all here on Sundays for tea. I will try to get some photos this weekend, maybe it is time for a new header.
I went to "Belper Goes Green" last month. It is a two day/ three evening event. It was very interesting, though I was surprised not to see The Green Party represented and little made of the drive to reduce our use of plastics.
Talking of plastics, when we were coming home from Cornwall at the beginning of May we called in at our favourite services at  Gloucester. There was a pretty impressive display of plastic-free items for sale. However the prices were extortionate ( e.g.£24.00 for a wooden brush for cleaning your computer!!) and I'm not sure everyone is understanding the principle. One woman picked up a couple of wooden with bristle sink brushes declaring that she would throw her plastic ones away when she got home. I was all set to ask her if there was still some life left in her plastic ones or could they at least be repurposed when my mind reader of a husband steered me away! (incidentally I bought a couple of wooden and bristle sink brushes from B&M for less than £2 each)
In common with many I am working in reducing plastic use. The throw-away/use once bags/containers have  bothered me for some time, if only for the cost but mostly because of the earth's finite resources. Now seeing the impact on our oceans and rivers (Hail ! Saint David Attenborough) I have decided to be even more active in reducing my use of these items. I stopped using plastic shopping bags several years ago, but am now ramping up my fabric recycling with bags for fruit and veg. Guess what everyone will be getting for Christmas this year?!
While this doesn't really cover a couple of months in my life it sort of brings us up to date and gets me back into the swing of things.
Won't be so long next time
Love Gillx