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The past 10 days I’ve been away on a bit of a business roadtrip (I run my own small business) around the South West – visiting Somerset, Devon, Cornwall, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. Phew! It’s been wonderful but exhausting, and I hope to share a few snaps from my trip shortly.
I’m now nearly 30 weeks pregnant…which is like 6 1/2 months, which sounds much more scary than when you count it in weeks. I have been pleased to get home and rest over the pat few days, back making simple lunches and dinners and walking the dog. I missed this sight a lot, which if you follow me on Instagram you must be pretty bored of seeing by now!
This is my 29 week bump – everyone I’ve met has commented on how ‘neat’ it is. For ages I was worried/disappointed that it was so tiny compared to other women at the same stage, but I really love it and since one of my many midwives (a whole separate story) told me it’s because I’ve got a long torso, I’ve just chilled out a bit.
Since getting home I seem to be on a scrambled eggs with herbs binge, eating it almost every day for my lunch. You just can’t beat a few simple ingredients like these – organic leghorn eggs from the farm up the road, herbs from my garden, sourdough bread, and a bowl of my own grown salad leaves and edible flowers.
Sometimes it takes the simplest of meals to remind you what real, good food actually is. I had this revelation last night as I tucked into my dinner for one of scrambled eggs on toast.
Mr Rigg was away for the night and my dinner choice was based on the fact that I really couldn’t be arsed to make anything more just for myself. We have a lovely farm up the road who produce organic eggs, so I always have a large tray of their eggs on hand for quick meals.
This time I had treated myself to some of their white Leghorn eggs, which I scrambled in my own sweet fashion – melt a healthy amount of raw butter in a saucepan, crack the eggs directly into the hot butter without whisking prior (I had two whole eggs and an extra yolk). Next I turn the heat down and let the eggs cook a little in the butter without touching them, then I use a spoon to break them up. This way you end up a mixture of quite distinct ‘white’ and ‘yolk’ but also some standard pale yellow scramble as well.
I considered skimming some cream off the top of our raw milk to add to the pan of eggs, cream in scrambled eggs is divine – don’t bother with milk! Anyway, that seemed like too much effort, so I just seasoned with salt and pepper and added generous amounts of snipped mint and chives from the garden, plus some pretty purple chive flowers.
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.
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…
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…
It’s one of those moments where I realise that it’s been a month since I last wrote anything here, and whilst I’ve moved on long ago from feeling like I must blog at regular intervals, I still feel like it’s a bit sad – mainly because I really like writing and sharing.
What I really want to share is some nice recipes or pictures of what we’ve been cooking over Christmas, or perhaps some snaps of our lovely new kitchen following our home renovation, but I don’t feel I can move onto those without sharing some pictures of our life for the past few months.
Buddy sleeping on a dust sheet…
Back in October I shared some photos as we began to demolish part of our house ready for a rebuild – that was most certainly the fun part. It’s been downhill since then!
We have lived through dust and chaos, workmen tramping everywhere, more dust, no cooker, no hob, a boarded up window, a radiator-less living room where I’ve been running my business from (or sometimes in bed when there’s been no other space!), a garden that’s more closely resembled a tip, no toilet, the joys of building a flatpack kitchen, sanding, painting, and more dust.
Today’s post is dedicated to my dad, a fellow DIYer, always keen to know what we’re up to. So this was today…
It seems like it’s been forever since we got our grubby clothes on and got stuck into a good bit of DIY and demolition (at this point Mr Rigg likes to imitate Ty from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition – don’t tell him I told you).
In just over a day’s time we will be starting the final bit of our home improvement plan, five years after we bought this little end terraced cottage.
We are determined to do the final push to finish off our house so that we can sit back and enjoy it. We have been slowly sweeping our way down the house, starting with our two upstairs bedrooms, then our main living area (two old cottage rooms knocked into one), and now we are on the home leg – the kitchen, bathroom (downstairs) and what was a manky porch.
This was said manky porch…
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)…
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?
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.
I’ve never had much luck with tomatoes, I don’t have a greenhouse and the English weather seems to be terrible to them. Sometimes I get tomatoes, but then the never ripen, maybe I’ve just had the wrong variety or not cared for them enough.
It must be said, I like my plants (ornamental or edible) to not need a lot of care, I like them to get on with growing without having to be fussed over and tended to too often. That being said, this year, one of my three tomatoes plants is doing really well.
I bought a set of three Jamie Oliver tomato plants, I really liked that they all came as different varieties – I chose a set that had a red variety called Tomatoberry (this is the one that’s doing well), a green and orange striped one called Green Zebra (a few tomatoes on that, none ripening yet), and a yellow variety that hasn’t done well at all.
One day I hope to make this meal again, with everything but the sausages grown in my garden or on our allotment. I do believe that the best food is made with what’s available seasonally and from an idea of what it is you want to eat.
What started as a simple meal (and possibly one of our favourites), of grilled sausages, new potatoes and salad, turned into something a bit more interesting. The sausages came from the fab new Kenyon Hall Farm Shop, the new potatoes were boiled and violently shaken with salty butter and lots of mint from the garden.
But it was the salad that became something far better, using up odds and ends from the garden and the fridge. To a bowl I finely sliced spring onions, added a splash of white wine vinegar and some salt – I like to do this to take the edge off the onions. Otherwise I find that all you can taste is onion.
We are busy picking platefuls of raspberries, loganberries and strawberries from our garden. The first of the raspberries appeared at the end of June, which seemed really early to me – anyone else finding that their raspberries are out earlier this year?
For all the cursing I do during the year about the raspberry canes that pop up in all the wrong places (like the middle of my raised veg beds!), and all the promises I make to pull out all of them over the winter, I can’t help but leave them when we get such a bounty during the summer.
The strawberries have all but disappeared from their original location (overtaken by the raspberries) but have sprung up in unlikely places. If you pull back their parasol shaped leaves you discover lots of very sweet fruits – a wonderful surprise.
The loganberries are prolific growing over an archway, but I find if I don’t pick them in time many of them that still look ok have yucky little white maggot/caterpillas inside them – those ones go on the bird table.
We have too many raspberries and loganberries at the moment to eat, so I bung them in the freezer until a time when we have enough to maybe make some jam. The strawberries are fewer so those we are eating.