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Has anyone come across this before – a roasted and salted corn snack? They look like popping corn, before its popped, but don’t break your teeth.
They are brittle and salty and pretty tasty – I’ve never heard or seen of them before but came across them in a deli in the Cotswolds.
We are spending the weekend in the Cotswolds with my family, and popped into The Organic Farm Shop. On the road in there is a wooden area with a lovely family of piggies rooting about beneath the trees.
After calling to them, two little piglets trotted over to investigate – they reminded me of the two pigs in Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Pigling Bland.
They were so gorgeous with their pink snouts smudged with rust coloured earth, their cheerful grunting and inquisitive eyes.
But they soon got bored and pottered off to find good patches of soil to snuffle in.
These two were sat in a dip, one sprawled out, the other on its haunches, enjoying the afternoon sun and licking each other – how I wish I had a better zoom at times like these!
A last parting picture of one of these lovely piggies…
Where has the past week gone? I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything for a week now – it seems to have flown past. Mr Rigg and I have just spent the weekend with my family in Gloucestershire, which was lovely.
Image: Izzy Burton Photography
Although very chilly we had bright blue skies and the autumn colours are started to appear. On Friday I spent the day working at the National Trust head office in Swindon as part of my volunteer work for them. I am the Sustainable Food Communication Officer working alongside the Local Food Co-ordinator, and I am really enjoying my work.
I loved his programmes and the recipe books, so to meet him was just incredible. He seemed really down-to-earth and interested in the work the National Trust is doing. What a great man!
Image: Valentine Warner
Saturday morning was spent getting measured for my wedding dress (aah!) which was both exciting and slightly surreal.
I have already found my wedding dress in a beautiful boutique in Cheltenham but it needs some alterations. My dress is handmade by an incredible lady who runs the boutique, and is made from 100 year-old handmade lace. I can’t wait to wear it!
Image: Izzy Burton Photography
In the afternoon my little sister did a photo shoot of Mr Rigg and me picking blackberries – she is going to be taking photographs at our wedding and so she’s practising. Mr Rigg and I aren’t that comfortable in front of the camera, but she managed to take some lovely shots.
Image: Izzy Burton Photography
Saturday evening we celebrated her 17th birthday with roasted vegetable lasagne and warm apple cake.
Happy Birthday Iz Biz!
The weekend finished with a lovely autumnal walk on Sunday morning with my mom, dad and Alfie the deerhound. We came across a pear tree that was overhanging the lane, so picked some pears to take home. Then we discovered a walnut tree!
Image: Izzy Burton Photography
We gathered pocketfuls of walnuts and once home opened some up to reveal the walnuts inside. Mom popped one in the oven to roast it slightly and it was delicious!
This week I am taking a few days off from work and have left Mr Rigg and our menagerie of animals behind in Cheshire. I am visiting my family in the Cotswolds and trying not to get too hot in this almost unbearable humidity.
My mom’s garden is full of bee’s swarming over her lavender hedges, whilst everything else is looking a little thirsty. We’ve done a bit of shopping, sat for a while to chat and drink coffee and strawberry lemonade (delicious) in Made By Bob, took Alfie the family deerhound for a walk in search of a little owl that is nesting in an old tree (sadly we didn’t see it), and ate a scrummy courgette risotto.
Tonight we are planning a summer vegetable pasta dish, using vegetables from my mom’s allotment – the last of the broad beans, French beans and an assortment of courgettes. All mixed together with a health glug of good olive oil and lots of garlic.
We also rescued a rather forlorn butterfly from the village church, who was covered in cobwebs. We freed him from the dust and webs and set him on a bunch of purple wisteria flowers – he happily tucked into the nectar and I took a few snaps.
Will be back towards the end of the week no doubt with a full round up of making clotted cream ice cream, homemade scones, strawberry jam and other bits and pieces! But for now, I’m enjoying not being tied to the laptop.
My little brother, who is 13, loves fishing. He is lucky that we have friends with riverside houses who let him sit on their banks and fish for trout for free. The weekend before last when N and I went home to visit them, the little brother went out fishing and brought me back a handsome trout for my birthday present. What a treat!
And what a beauty he caught! I accepted the gift on the premise that the little brother would gut it and clean it for me. He did so willingly. I must add in here that only a year ago he was too squeamish to even touch raw chicken, so he has come a long way.
So the following day, having returned to our little house in Cheshire, N and I decided to cook the trout for my birthday tea. The weather was scorching, so N prepared the barbeque and I faffed around trying to decide what to do to my trout. In the end, we just bunged a couple of thin slices of lemon in its belly along with a handful of garden herbs. We scored deep gashes into the flesh and poked in some slices of garlic, finishing it off with a drizzle of oil and salt and pepper.
The trout was then wrapped in foil and popped straight onto the hot coals and took hardly any time at all to cook.
In addition to the trout, we boiled up some Jersey Royals and tossed them with lots of butter and mint. We picked a bowl of salad leaves from the garden and dried them off in our new kitchen toy – a salad spinner!
I was so pleased with the way we cooked the trout, it was absolutely perfect, just cooked, still moist and a beautiful blush of coral pink. If in doubt, just keep checking it.
Next I painstakingly removed all the succulent flesh from the bones, which took a while, but as the kind of person who can easily be put off by chomping on a bone, I felt it was worthwhile. This was all that was left of the fishy when I was done with it (avert your eyes or quickly scroll down if you’re squeamish – I must say I think there’s something rather beautiful about it):
We were left with a big pile of gorgeous pink trout flecked with thyme leaves (we devoured the whole lot!):
So there you have it – an incredibly simple, incredibly delicious and in fact incredibly cheap meal: baked trout, new potato salad and a pile of salad leaves.
We realised that ignoring the minor ingredients such a lemon, oil, salt and pepper that our meal had only cost the price of the potatoes. The rest was free - a fish from a beautiful Cotswold river (the one below in fact), and homegrown salad and herbs from our garden.
A big thanks to the little brother for catching us such a tasty tea!
I am visiting my family in the Cotswolds for the weekend. I have left N with his dissertation research, two naughty bunnies, and the rugby to keep him occupied. After having a rather blonde moment and ending up four junctions down the motorway too far and nearly in Bristol (I have done this trip a million times so there’s no excuses) I finally made it down on Friday for lunch with my parents.
Visiting my family in the Cotswolds always feels like I’m coming home, I just feel so relaxed and at ease here. By the time I was 18 I had lived in over twelve houses, been to about four or five different schools, and lived in the USA, but this is my home, the place I will always come back to.
This morning I dragged my mom and little sister (not so little anymore, nearly 16 as she likes to keep reminding us) to Stroud Farmer’s Market. I visited this renown farmer’s market for the first time last summer and it was fantastic. It is in the heart of Stroud, set throughout the small ancient streets and offers a huge variety of goods. I was struck by the choice, which is often so limited at farmer’s market, especially by the stalls selling vegetables.
Despite being a rather chilly and blustering early Spring day, we had a lovely morning and came home with a basket of goodies. We weren’t there to do our weekly shop, although I wish I lived close enough to do my weekly shop here, so just bought some ‘treats’. We also tried some scrumptious olive oil and cheese. The little sister tried a lot of cheese.
My basket contained: Monmouthshire air dried ham from Trealy Farm…
…a Jammie (like a jammy dodger but made with shortcrust biscuits and homemade blackcurrant jam – I will be trying to recreate these at home) from Hobbs House Bakery…
…a piece of Morn Dew (cow) cheese and a Little Rachel (goat) cheese made by a man in Shepton Mallet (this is the best cheese I have tasted in a long time); a bottle of organic whole milk from Jess’s Ladies Organic Farm Milk (I dream about this milk when I’m at home in Cheshire – it is to die for and how all milk should be)…
and a Mixed Berry Doughnut (yes I said doughnut) made by Pippin Doughnuts.
Mom’s contained: a bunch of locally grown purple tulips…
…two Mixed Berry Doughnuts and a Cinnamon and Brown Sugar doughnut from Pippin Doughnuts…
a loaf of bread from a lovely bakers whose name I can’t remember…
…an Organic Cotswold Brie from Simon Weaver (check out their website for some delicious sounding recipes); a Black Nancy (rolled in charcoal) and a Trickle both from the Shepton Mallet cheese man. The little sister also polished off a vegetable samosa.
The afternoon was spent at the local garden centre where I picked up a couple of small trays of lettuce (oakleaf and red little gem) and some purple sprouting broccoli plug plants. I will plant them down at the allotment and cross my fingers that the wild bunnies don’t annihilate them.
All in all I have had a pretty perfect day – food and gardens – and my family thrown in for good measure.