Monday 31 January 2011

Merged Blog - Catch Up

From this week my two current Blogs are merged - The Vegetarian Farmer and Our New Life in the Country - together.
So there will be a mix of foody talk and farm news all in one place. I hope you enjoy this mix, and as the growing season gets under way it should all make more and more sense as the foods grown on the farm will be turned into thrifty and (hopefully) tasty foods to nourish us and our animals, and help us continue our 'Year of Living Simply'.
The Challenge* went SO well last week with only milk being purchased, but this week I seem to have gone 'wild in the aisles' in comparison. I spent a total of £53.13 with only £16.87 being carried over in Spotty Jug.
My only excuse is that as we were travelling I didn't want to line the pockets of the motorway service giants too much, so I purchased us some snacky items, and as my lovely Mum in law had no idea what Quorn was I bought some fillets for us all to have for our tea....she loved it by the way!!
~ I also managed to nab myself a bargain at the charity shop, this book for only £4. I had been on the verge of buying it for a lot more from Amazon so I was really pleased and to celebrate went slightly wild again in the Health food shop buying Tahini and Yeast Flakes, something I had just read about in another Cranks book. No more excuses... this week I must do better, if we are to downsize the contents of the kitchen cupboards ready for our big move we have to eat the food that's already there not buy more!! ~ A good discovery from last week are the pies in the picture at the top. We call them Leftover Pies, and they are SO yummy. Simply a mix of all the left over bits and pieces from the fridge, inside these particular ones is a mix of spring onions, sweet red chilli pepper, potato, carrot and peas, all mixed with half a tin of baked beans and popped into some flaky pastry. You could do them as pies as I did here or simply fold the pastry over and make a pastie. We ate one each fresh from the oven, one each the following night simply reheated for twenty minutes in the Aga, and we have popped two into the freezer for when we may be in need of a speedy supper. A brilliant way of using up all sorts of bits and pieces (and very economical too). ~ Today we went to look at the first farm property we've been offered and we had a very interesting day. Lots of potential and lots to think about. We have two more viewings of other properties before we can begin to make up our minds, and some other lovely folk to contact who have been in touch. ~ Very exciting times at the moment here on the farm at the moment and if you're wondering what was in the Giveaway parcel for helping me decide what to do with my Blogs you can skip on over to Gems' Blog where she has done a lovely post about it.
~ ~ * The Challenge, for those of you who have never read The Vegetarian Farmer (now merged with this Blog), is for me to have a budget of £70 per week to buy foodstuffs, but to see how little of it I can spend each week by living off the contents of our store cupboards and freezers. Any money left over each week is going into 'Spotty Jug' to be saved for a treat at the end of the Challenge. ~ Wherever possible I will buy only fresh, seasonal produce and things that are needed to turn ingredients we already have into meals. I am also trying to support local small businesses and Farmers Markets and use supermarkets only as a last resort. The Challenge will be over when there are no more meals to be had from our stores. Hopefully by then our own veggies will be well on the way to supplying most of our culinary needs and we will re-think our budget for buying only basic storecupboard items. ~
Sue xx


  1. It is all sounding very exciting. The pies sound and look delicious. xxx

  2. I'm glad you've explained it for me! Sounds like a brilliant idea... although I don't think I'd do very well at it.

  3. My challenge is still going well. January's grocery bill was the smallest EVER. I suggested to Chris that the savings should be spent on something for me....I just got the look!
    Way to go Sue! You are going to get a treat at the end of your challenge.
    Jane x

  4. Those pies look and sound delicious Sue :0)
    Your book was a good find too. I'm a big fan of Rose Elliots early veggie books..basic, simple ingredients, and delicious meals at the end..

    Your home hunting sounds exciting, but scary!
    Have a great week Sue x

  5. hiya- have just had tahini on toast for my lunch- I live on it since I've had to get the calcium intake up! It's also really good as a stir-fry sauce :)
    good luck with the home hunt

  6. The pies sound really good.

    Must applaud you for your book find. It is an excellent book. Nadine Abensur is one of my favourite cooks, she introduced me to many new ingredients like sumac, za'atar - well before Mr Ottolenghi was on the scene.


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