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I thought I should just explain the lack of posting…my camera is broken.  I feel lost without it – I don’t quite know how I can blog, food just doesn’t seem as interesting when only written about.  So I shall have to post lots of other people’s lovely images.

So, at a time when money is tight and I can’t go out and just buy a new one I am having to think creatively about how to raise the funds for a new camera.  Until that time, you and I are going to have to be content with camera phone pictures – great from a distance, not so good on close-ups of scrumptious food.

Oh well.

Recently we have eaten lots more corn on the cob cooked simply with butter, salt and pepper; sweetcorn fritters – this time with slithers of crispy bacon and tomato salsa; homemade rice paper rolls filled with loads of raw veggies and a soy and ginger dipping sauce – Tes at Home has a great recipe for her spring rolls with creamy peanut sauce.

And I have finally accepted autumn is upon us by starting my day with a bowl of porridge drizzled with maple syrup.  I am quite excited about autumn…Halloween…Bonfire Night…and then Christmas.

Images: {1 and 2} Martha Stewart; {3} Country Living

Image: Eva Lindh

Wishing everyone a very happy Christmas!  We are settling in for a cosy evening by our new wood burning stove with a delicious baked Camembert – and it’s still snowy outside.  Have a lovely holiday with family and friends!

It is snowing here!  How exciting – it never snows here, it only ever rains…and rains some more.  So we are very excited to see big white flakes tumbling from the sky.

The bunnies have been out having fun in the snow – our littlest bunny and newest addition to our family seems to be getting along well with Lovage and so fingers-crossed will be staying…

She has a name too – Daisy.

Here is Lovage and Daisy having fun in the snow…

Borage, Lovage and Daisy had their first Christmas present (I didn’t know bunnies got presents at Christmas!) delivered today from the lovely Carole and Geoff at Fed & Watered.  Carole and Geoff, along with a lady called Clare are our bunnies ‘furry godmothers’ – they come and look after the bunnies when we go away on holiday.  They come highly recommended!

It’s been over two weeks since I’ve posted anything – which is terrible, and the opposite of what a blog should be.  I have been flat-out at work organising a big conference which starts in just over a week.  Co-ordinating 90 delegates and a further 40-50 contributors, not to mention the logistics of room allocations, menu choices, and who’s staying where, has quite literally sapped me of all my energy.  Coming home has involved a quick dinner then slumping in front of the TV in a bid to switch off from work.

Christmas seems so far away now.  The aftermath of Christmas dinner has faded…

aftermath of Christmas Day lunch

aftermath of Christmas Day lunch

Granny’s gluten-free mince pies are a distant memory…

homemade gluten-free mince pies

homemade gluten-free mince pies

Little sisters are back at school and studying hard…

my little sister

my little sister

And there’s not a crumb left of the turkey and cranberry Boxing Day bagels…

turkey and cranberry Boxing Day bagels

turkey and cranberry Boxing Day bagels

But, I have seen my first snowdrops and spring is on its way.

some of our edible Christmas gifts

some of our edible Christmas gifts

Over the weekend we have started to put together our Christmas presents for our family.  For a couple of weeks now we have been building up a box of bits and pieces, that on their own look pretty odd – jars of coconut oil, garlic powder, jars of every shape and size.  Now we have embarked on the exciting process of making gifts out of them. 

The weekend has seen us marinating olives, mixing popcorn and potato wedge seasonings, and melting all kinds of oils and butter to create some delicious smelling hand balms.  Other than eating and growing food, this is when I seem to be most in my element.  Last Christmas staying at N’s family, I disappeared into their workshop, spread myself out over a stunning old wooden workbench and busied myself arranging  baskets with tissue paper, gifts, and weaving in ivy and berries. 

homemade Christmas hampers :: Christmas 2007 ::

So back to the weekend.  We made two types of marinated olives (ideal for an olive-loving family member) – Lemon Fennel Olives and Thyme & Chilli Olives.  I’ve filled two medium-sized kilner jars with these delicious concoctions and will later tie raffia round them and a label to say what they are.  Recipes below for anyone interested in having a go.

Lemon Fennel Olives

Approx 400g green olives (not pitted)
1-2 tsp fennel seeds
1 lemon
1 tsp black peppercorns
2 garlic cloves
Olive oil
Nice glass jar

Be sure to sterilize your glass jar first.  We washed ours in soapy water, rinsed, and placed in a low oven (50ºC) for about 20-30 mins until dry.

Slice the garlic into thin slivers.  Carefully peel the lemon.  In a bowl combine the sliced garlic, lemon peel, a squeeze of lemon juice, and the peppercorns.

Drain the olives and rinse.  Combine the olives in the bowl with the other ingredients and spoon into the sterilized jar.

Cover with olive oil and seal tightly.  Leave for about a week to let the flavours infuse.

homemade marinated olives

homemade marinated olives

Thyme & Chilli Olives

Approx 400g black olives (not pitted)
Couple of sprigs of fresh thyme
1-2 tsp crushed chilli flakes
Glug of red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, in their skins
Glug of extra virgin olive oil
Nice glass jar

Sterilize the glass jar first (see above).

Crush the garlic cloves in their skins, and bung in a bowl with the chilli flakes, red wine vinegar, thyme and a glug of extra virgin olive oil.

Drain the olives and rinse.  Combine the olives in the bowl with the other ingredients and spoon into the sterilized jar.

Cover with olive oil and seal tightly.  Leave for about a week to let the flavours infuse.

This recipe is adapted from Nigel Slater’s Real Food.

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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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