Sourdough proving

I’ve probably said it before, but Mr Rigg is the baker in our family.  I think mainly because I just told him he was going to be, and he’s got on with it, and does it quite well now.  It’s one of those skills that improves each time you do it, so it doesn’t make sense for me to attempt a handmade loaf of bread (I’m sure I could manage the ‘bung the ingredients in the bread machine’ version).

For his birthday, I bought Mr Rigg a kilner jar of sourdough started from Hobbs House Bakery.  With me attempting to avoid yeast as much as possible, I really wanted to encourage him to try a sourdough, and we are now onto our third loaf.

Homemade sourdough bread fresh from the oven

The first couple we had teething issues with – Mr Rigg and I both like to try something once and be perfect at it instantly, or we usually give up.  They seem to cook too quickly on the outside but not on the middle, they were still too undercooked in the centre, and just general niggles like that.

I’m pleased to say Mr Rigg has persevered, and last week’s loaf was a great improvement.  As you can see in the pictures above and below, it rose well in the oven and had a good texture inside.  Right in the middle we discovered it was still a little sticky and could have baked for a little longer – but we are learning, and improving, and most importantly not giving up.

Homemade sourdough

The only downside is that I’m finding it difficult to cut out wheat with all this delicious bread floating around the kitchen, something I’m attempting to do as part of my pregnancy.  I’m determined that my final month of being pregnant will be wheat and gluten free, so perhaps we won’t be baking in August.

Advertisements

Seasonal locally grown summer flowers

I am seeing my mother-in-law tomorrow and I always like to have a small gift to give her, so I headed out this afternoon in the rain in search of some pretty flowers for her.

A short drive away from my home is a smallholding that had a garden/farm gate stall – it often is a treasure trove of locally grown produce and the most beautiful flowers (all of which you can see growing just through the hedge).

This is where I headed straight for, although you can often turn up and the stall be empty – such is the loveliness, I think, of a garden gate stall: you never know what you’ll find.

Garden gate stall of seasonal flowers

Luckily for me, today it was laden with buckets and jam jars of flowers from their patch.  When I see such a sight, I usually go a bit doo-lally and if I had enough coins in my purse I would most likely buy the lot.  Sadly I had limited funds and therefore had to choose what I wanted.

For my mother-in-law I chose a gorgeous bunch of ranunculus in hot yellows, reds, pinks and oranges; and two bunches of anemones in shades of purple, lilac and blush.  Together they look like a rainbow.  I also couldn’t resist a small bunch of sweetpeas for myself in delicate creams and pink.

Happy is a girl with a big bunch of seasonal, locally grown English flowers.

 

My baby bump

I have been inspired to approach my pregnancy and parenthood by a wonderful organisation that I came across last year, who celebrate traditional diets and have helped in my recovery from Candida.  Following my diagnosis last year with Candida Albicans and embarking on a detox and overhaul of my diet to regain my health, I was told about the Weston A Price Foundation (WAPF).

I’ve been through so many ‘foodie phases’ since my Uni days: eating lots of Asian food; exploring ‘health’ foods; buying organic, then local; being obsessed by buying recipe books and watching cooking programmes; growing my own (which has stuck), and many others I’m sure I’ve forgotten.

Raw French butter
Raw French butter

Looking back on this I see how lost and confused I was in this vast world of food opportunities and how I was just desperately seeking something that clicked for me.  A way of eating and cooking that just felt right, and natural.

When I started to read about the WAPF everything just seemed to fall into place for me.  Here was this organisation encouraging and teaching all about traditional foods and cooking – it was like someone had designed a guide based on what I was feeling inside about food.  In a funny sort of way it just seemed so much simpler and less complicated than all the other food ways I’d experimented with before.

And I trusted it.  I didn’t worry that in a few months, or years, I’d be told “sorry, that advice we gave you to eat that, well it’s wrong, stop eating it.”

Soaked and dehydrated nuts for yoghurt topping
Soaked and dehydrated nuts for yoghurt topping

Last year Mr Rigg and I had been talking about starting a family, but I’d just been feeling so unwell in myself that it wasn’t until I started to heal the effects of my Candida that I thought I could really consider it.

I was seeing fantastic benefits from the detox I was doing, but I was concerned that I was cutting out some major food groups that I felt I needed to be eating in order to be getting a balanced diet. I just didn’t feel it would be right to try and get pregnant as I currently was.

Me and Mr Rigg
Me and Mr Rigg

I saw all the benefits of detoxing and cleansing my body, or allowing it a chance to heal, but I desperately felt I needed things like dairy back into my diet in order to be in a positive place for my body to create and grow a baby.

Read the rest of this entry »

Rose blooming over our front door

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!

Buddy sleeping

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.

My 29 week baby bump

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.

Simple lunch ingredients

Read the rest of this entry »

Baby vole

On our dog walk this afternoon I came across this tiny baby vole curled up on the field edge.  I thought it was dead at first, but as I tried to roll it over with a stalk of grass to see what it was it moved.

Having spoken to my mum she said it might have been dragged from its nest, whatever’s happened, it seems to be in shock.  I used to work at a wildlife rescue centre when I was studying in Vancouver, Canada, so I’m going to keep it warm and in the dark and just see how it fares tonight.

To get it home Mr Rigg emptied Buddy’s dog treat bag, I turned it inside out and lined with grasses from the field before coaxing it in.  At home I’ve lined a small box with sawdust and hay, and Lovage kindly gave up some of his super soft bunny hair as he’s moulting like mad at the moment.

Baby vole

Can’t say I’m holding out much hope for the tiny thing, but we shall see.

Scrambled eggs on toast with garden herbs

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.

Picking chives in the garden

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Food memories of Greece

So, here we are in the final instalment of my ‘food memories’ of Greece.  If you’ve not read the previous posts, you can read part 1 about our beautiful hotel Kinsterna, part 2 about our day trip to the island of Elafonisos, and part 3 our journey exploring the Mani Peninsula.

Now, on to Athens.

The Acropolis in Athens

The Acropolis in Athens lit up at night

The journey back to Athens from the Peloponnese was much the same as the journey out, but this time with a brief stop off for lunch at what can only be described as one of the world’s quietest motorway services.

I remember driving on motorways in Sweden was pretty pleasant because there were so few cars on the road, but where in the UK you stop a services and hear constant traffic whizzing past, here we stopped and it was silent. Eerily silent.  Then once or twice you’d hear a car pass.  And then more silence.

I’d like to be the kind of traveller who only goes off the main roads to find lunch from a local eatery, enjoying their lunch in some scenic spot – maybe one day I will.  But for now we still stop of motorway services, even abroad, and eat bog standard sandwiches.

Driving in Greece

Read the rest of this entry »

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

Read the rest of this entry »

My 21 week baby bump

I have been dying to tell you this friends for so many weeks now, but finally it has felt like the right time.  Our little menagerie is growing – this time to include a tiny person rather than a furry animal friend.  I am 21 weeks pregnant!

As you can see from the picture above taken on the weekend, I only have a tiny bump so I’ve placed my hands in that typical pregnancy photo way so you can actually see there’s something there – honestly, I’m not just fat from eating too much clotted cream and butter 🙂

I am just so pleased that I can openly mention being pregnant here and also share some of my experiences (yes friends who read regularly I am drinking raw milk and pregnant, please don’t be alarmed I’ve read all the pro’s and con’s and made an educated decision that’s right for me).

It is such an exciting time and for the past couple of week’s I’ve been feeling it move around and I receive daily reminders it’s there and growing in the form of punches/kicks.  It would be lovely to hear from anyone else expecting their first baby.

This is our first baby and so quite an experience and journey for both myself and Mr Rigg (who know’s what Buddy and the bunnies will make of this small new creature once it arrives!), and I’m looking forward to sharing little tidbits of this next adventure with you all.

Breakfast of homemade soaked granola and raw milk

Recently I’ve been trying to wean us off cereals – by wean, I mean I’ve just stopped buying it, which for poor Mr Rigg has meant going cold turkey on cereals at breakfast.

If you’re interested why I’m keen to steer away from cereals it’s because I’ve come to realise that there isn’t much good in them, despite what they like to tell us on their TV adverts.

Soaked granola with seeds, nuts and dried fruit

We had this lovely recipe for granola that we used to make, which was delicious both with milk and yoghurt.  The only problem is that I’ve also developed an interest in how grains were traditionally prepared, and how they used to be soaked before drying.

This is because things like grains and nuts and seeds have enzyme inhibitors in them, which unless soaked first, prevent us from absorbing all the goodness in them like vitamins and minerals.

Honey nut and seed granola

Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

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.

My Pictures

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

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Recent recipes

Food memories: Greece

Food Memories: Dordogne

Food Memories: Amalfi Coast

Food Memories: Naples

Food Memories: Loire Valley

Food Memories: Sweden

Food Memories: Barcelona