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Foxgloves on the allotment

I’m not going to dare suggest that it’s too hot in England at the moment.  It is utterly beautiful and I’m thoroughly enjoying all the sun and warm weather we are being blessed with.  How nice is it to sit in the evenings with all the windows and doors open?

Last weekend a bit by accident we found ourselves spending the whole morning today, dog- and care-free visiting a couple of local markets.  It made me realise that we are both guilty of spending too much time doing DIY and don’t make enough time to just go out and do things together.

First we went to our local farmers market at Abbey Leys where we stocked up on local raw milk, grass-fed Welsh beef mince, real bread, and a bunch of seasonal flowers from my favourite garden gate stall.

Locally grown flowers

Next we decided to try out the Artisan Market in Knutsford – it was our first visit and it was fantastic.  It’s a huge market with lots of craft, vintage and food stalls, the weather was fab, there was a bluegrass style band playing music, and deckchairs for people to sit and listen.

Artisan Market in Knutsford

My favourite stall was a lady selling Transylvanian sweet treats called Chimney Stack Cakes.  Her particularly speciality are these chimney stack cakes which are like a spiral of cakey-doughnuty-bread with different flavourings.  She won us over with a sample of her cinnamon one and one made it into our shopping bag.

Chimney stack cakes

Transylvanian sweet treats

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Sunny meals in the garden

We British are always talking about the weather, it seems we are unable to have a conversation with anyone without mentioning it.  So here I am, talking about the weather – but what incredible weather it has been this past week!

Mr Rigg is convinced this is our summer, last year March was stonking hot, this year maybe it’s May.  I do hope this isn’t the end of hot, sunny weather for the rest of the year, just a few more occasional weeks like this would satisfy me.

Mr Rigg and Buddy

Like everyone I’m sure, we’ve been out in the garden, down on the allotment, cooking and eating outside, and quickly getting in a tan in case this really is our one and only week of warm, cloudless skies.

Some of our many meals eaten outside (and some even cooked outside!) have included this new favourite pasta dish of prawns, rocket and sundried tomato paste…

Spaghetti with prawns and rocket

A rather scrummy and also new favourite omelette with colourful cherry tomatoes from our local farmer’s market, crispy Serrano ham, shavings of sheep’s cheese and snipped chives from the garden…

Cherry tomato and Serrano ham omelette

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Seedheads and blue skies

I am ever-so thankful for the beautiful sunny (if rather chilly!) autumn days we’ve had over the weekend and at the start of the week here in Cheshire – particularly so, because less than a week ago I was still soaking up the heat and basking under spotless blue skies in Greece.  I’ve got so many lovely things to share from our holiday but before that I wanted to just enjoy a few snaps of all that I love about an English autumn.

There are pumpkins at the farm shop, I can’t help but fall in love with all those shades of orange – I just wish the little punks in our neighbourhood wouldn’t see a pile of them by my front door as a good excuse for some street football. B*%!@^#s.

Pumpkins

This morning I made some chicken stock with a leftover roast chicken carcass, I am trying harder to find time to do this and it is so satisfying to have your own homemade stock.  The best I’ve made so far went solid like jelly, which is a sure sign of its tastiness.

Homemade chicken stock

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Buddy the Irish Troodle

Mr Rigg has complained that I haven’t shared a photo of Buddy with his new hair cut.  I would say it’s his summer hair cut, but seen as we haven’t really had a hot summer that would necessitate a trim, and because we got it cut right at the end of August, I can’t really.  So, this is what Buddy looks like now (and above)…

Buddy the Irish Troodle
Taken today at Dunham Massey

And if you remember from my previous post he did look like this…

Buddy the Irish Troodle
I must say he looks like a ragamuffin…

Ha!  It’s like having a different dog!  This is certainly the shortest he’s ever been cut, I was a bit shocked at first, but I actually quite like it now – especially as we now know he’s an Irish Terrier cross Poodle, you can really see the Terrier in him.

Thoughts on a postcard – all those in favour of the long curly locks, or all those in favour of the short but sweet look 🙂

Washing line at sunset

Whilst this blog was mainly started to share my love of food, I did enjoy it more when I shared snippets of our life as well as just what we’re eating.  In a brief return to that, here’s what we’ve been up to recently (it makes me realise perhaps I haven’t shared general life happenings as much because they’re a bit unglamorous)…

Messy garden

We don’t look at the bottom of the garden and what is supposed to be my vegetable beds – it is a jungle and a mess.  Misery making.  It never used to be like this, when did life get so complicated and busy that I couldn’t grow tasty things to eat?

Overgrown vegetable beds

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The Priory Cottages Forest of Dean

I’m not even going to look at how long ago it was that I last wrote a post. March has been a mega month business-wise for me, and I’m quite looking forward to a calmer April.

Last weekend we (Mr Rigg, myself and the dog) spent a long weekend down on the River Severn, just near the Forest of Dean. We stayed at the most lovely wooden clapboard cottage called The Priory Cottages, with an outlook across an orchard and past the owners house views of the river.  I’ve been determined to share some pictures of our holiday before another month passes, so I’m going to write less and try and mainly post pictures.  They are a mixture of my phone and camera pictures.

On arrival we were greeted with a loaf of homemade (and still warm) bread, local farmhouse butter, a jar of homemade plum jelly, eggs from the owners hens, local cider, and garden grown flowers.  You don’t get much of a better welcome in my books.

homemade bread and garden flowers

So immediately we tucked in…

Warm bread and plum jelly

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Whilst everyone else has been enjoying the sun this weekend, we (mainly Mr Rigg) have been stuck inside preparing our living room for an electrician and plasterer this week.

These are photos of what the living room looked like after we’d taken everything out of it and covered all the furniture.  It’s looking terrible.

Mr Rigg spent one evening stripping the terrible wallpaper off the staircase wall, and you can see that we’ve spent the last (quite possibly) 2 years living with bare brickwork, exposed concrete floor along the edge of the room, an unpainted chimney breast, and lots of peeling paint.

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Yes, I really am cooking breakfast for the dog today.  Silly Buddy has spent the latter part of the week chewing on a mobile phone charger and a piece of wooden beading that came loose in our kitchen.  All of Friday his tummy was making these loud squeaks and gurgles, so off to the vet we went.

He’s now got to spend five days on a diet of white rice and cottage cheese.  Hence, I am boiling rice up this morning for the dog.  Boil in the bag stylee – I love our pets sometimes.  At least they keep life interesting.

Like a lot of other people, our pets have funny quirks.  Lovage and Daisy, two of our bunnies, have a funny kind of relationship – they clearly love and enjoy each other’s company, but they do have strange habits.

This is one of them…

Whenever Daisy, the small black and white bossy one, decides to have a drink, Lovage, the sandy coloured doormat, hops over and let’s her stand on him whilst she takes a sip. 

Yesterday was even funnier, as Lovage was already having a snooze in the sun, conveniently below the water bottle.  So Daisy took the chance to use him at a foot stool to make drinking even easier.

What are they like??  Anyone else hae bunnies that do this, or are we the only one’s with the weirdo bunny couple?

Buddy before his hair cut – I think it’s cute (hehe), Mr Rigg does not.  Buddy says it was hot.

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Eat the Earth

I love food, especially locally grown and seasonal food. This is my place to share my food finds and the food I like to eat.

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All pictures are my own unless stated. I would kindly ask that you don't use them elsewhere unless you ask permission first. Many thanks x

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