Growing Horseradish

(from 20 Everyday Herbs – see below)

Horseradish is a prolific plant and should be positioned carefully in the garden. It will tolerate partial shade but prefers a sunny spot if possible. Choose a permanent place as horseradish will last many years.

Dig the ground deep and clear out any weeds, large stones and non-organic debris. The cleaner the soil, the bigger the roots will grow. More preparation will guarantee better crops.

The horseradish root likes a rich well-manured soil and not too heavy. All root crops struggle in heavy soils.

To inhibit rapid spreading, containers work well as they literally contain the plant.
Fill containers with organic compost and position in a sunny spot. Make sure the container is well-drained, and kept watered and weed-free.


Not easy to find horse radish roots for sale online although Ebay might be worth a shot. Not even Amazon seemed to have any when I looked. They sell a lot of wasabi which is a close relative but I’m not sure if there are any different growing requirements.

Thompson and Morgan (UK) have some Wasabi salad seeds to cultivate leaves which have a fiery flavour! Might be worth a try 🙂

You get around 500 seeds for about £2.50 and apparently they’re easy to grow, even on a windowsill!

Wasabi Seeds Here (UK)

Horseradish is usually grown from root cuttings which you can buy from good garden suppliers. Plant the root in early spring or autumn. Check on the supplier’s growing recommendations, as size of root, variety and regions will have varying needs.

A neighbour or local gardener may be happy to donate a root or two to start you off. Plant as soon as possible after the roots have been lifted from the soil.

Plant the roots according to how big they are. The smaller the root the shallower it should be planted.

Try taking your own root cuttings in the autumn. Dig the roots up gently and use the largest one in the kitchen, then re-plant one or more of the side shoots.

Also, sections of root can be planted in the spring to produce new roots in the autumn. Horseradish does spread quickly though and care should be taken not to let it take over the whole garden. For container growing, choose a large well-drained container and fill with fresh compost before planting.

From seed:

Horseradish can be grown from seed sown in spring. The seeds should be sown in a sunny patch and the ground must be cleaned of large stones and perennial weeds, and dug deeply before sowing to allow for root growth.

Again, the cleaner and richer the soil, the better chance you have of harvesting a good crop.

Thin out the plants when they are a couple of inches (5cm) high to allow space to grow. Keep weed-free and watered especially during dry periods.

Alternatively, sow seed in a large well-drained container. Always use fresh compost when planting containers. Old compost may have been drained of nutrients from previous plantings.

Once established, and with very little attention, the bed will become a permanent horseradish patch and will produce healthy roots for many years.

Dig up all the roots every autumn. Use the largest roots in the kitchen and re-plant the others. This method of cultivation keeps your horseradish patch producing roots regularly and also helps to control the rapid growth.

The young leaves can be used in salads and sandwiches. Take a few from each plant and allow to grow again before using more. The root is cleaned, grated and eaten raw, often mixed with vinegar and cream and served with a Sunday roast.

Horseradish root is said to be stronger tasting after the first frost, so if you can leave them in until then, you will get a better result.

Text from ’20 Everyday Herbs’ – a must-have if you’re planning to grow some herbs this year and why wouldn’t you?!

Download from your preferred store here –

Healthy Living Books – Herbs and Healing

Happy Gardening!

Linda x

October Gardening

Needing some more dry days in Cornwall this autumn. But, between the showers, it’s possible to get some tidying or clearing up done before it gets too cold. Preparing the garden now will give you a head start in the Spring.

Clearing:
All garden debris should be cleared this month. Harvest remaining summer crops and have a general clear up before it gets too cold and wet to plan gardening days. Clean as much as you can now and you’ll have fewer pressing jobs later on.

Rake up all leaves.

Compost what you can. Burn some if you need to. Leaves can be hung in sacks with a few drainage holes if you have a lot of them. They will turn into leaf mould that can be used as a nutritious mulch.

Pests:
Slugs will probably re-appear in the wetter weather so check all your winter veg carefully and get rid of slugs and snails quickly.

Plants:
Bring in or protect vulnerable plants. If you’ve left a lemon tree out all summer, bring it in before it gets too cold. Plant over-wintering vegetables now if you haven’t already done so. Spinach, broad (fava) beans and even fruit bushes.

Fruit trees and bushes planted now have time to establish their root systems before the spring. But always check that your variety is able to cope with winter weather before you plant.

Spring flowering bulbs should definitely be planted by now.

Prune all dead wood from fruit bushes and woody shrubs now. Think air-flow when pruning fruit bushes. Any tangled branches should be pruned back and any diseased or dead parts removed.

Split your perennials. Rhubarb crowns ad chive plants can be carefully dug up, divided and re-planted now.

Crops:
Lift all root crops and potatoes before it gets too wet and/or cold. Dry in the sun for a few hours if possible, then store in a dry cool place. Storing vegetables needs a little care. Don’t just throw them all in a box and hope for the best! They should be stored separately and in trays out of direct light in a dry area and away from rodents. Some gardeners like to store in barrels of sand – although these can be vulnerable to mice attacks.

Harvest all summer crops, including fruits and store.

There are four usual ways of storing crops. Laying them in trays, as above, bottling/preserving, drying and freezing. Each food crop will be best stored in a different fashion, although some will cope with more than one way.

For example, strawberries make great jam, but you can also freeze them. Frozen fruits tend to lose their texture and some taste when frozen but it’s still possible. Check on storing instructions online for each of your crops.

Happy Gardening!

Linda x

P.S. This article comes from a printable Garden Journal with monthly tips that you can use every year. Grab it from Etsy now while it’s at a seasonal low price!

Handy Gardening Tips

Here are a few general growing tips that may come in handy.

**Always make sure plants are in well-drained soil or compost. Check your soil outside for drainage and make sure containers and pots have good drainage. Very few plants will survive in waterlogged soil.

**Check your plants every day. Get someone else to do this if you are away for a few days. They must be watered in dry weather and sometimes need shelter from a hot midday sun. We don’t tend to have that problem very much in the UK, but you never know.

**Grow what you like to eat. Doesn’t matter how great the beetroot harvest is, if no-one wants to eat it, it’s a waste of your time and energy.

**Local growers may have valuable tips that will save you from a crop failure, especially if you are intending to grow fruit or vegetables which are not acclimatized to your region. Chat over the fence with your gardening neighbour and get them to talk about their crops. Guaranteed they will love to share their tips!

**Don’t rush into the garden and dig over the ground in one go, especially if you aren’t used to daily physical (hard) work-outs. Back ache isn’t comfortable, and could keep you from pottering in the garden for weeks. Take it slowly – even half a square metre a day will soon give you enough prepared soil for seeds or small plants.

**Always use good potting or seed compost in pots and containers to give your plants all the nutrients they need.

** Use bio-degradable pots so that you don’t disturb the roots when planting out.
Save cardboard tubes from the inside of toilet rolls, kitchen towels etc; Cut them in half so you have 2 tubes and then cram them into a seed tray. Fill with compost and sow your seeds as usual. The cardboard should survive just long enough to plant out and then will decompose safely.

You can also buy a ‘pot-maker’ tool these days from most garden suppliers. Or simply roll newspaper a few times round a rolling pin or something similar. These home-made pots only need to last a few weeks so they don’t have to be perfectly symmetrical or garden works of art. 🙂

Happy Gardening!

Linda x
P.S. This text was lifted straight out of ‘Growing Everyday Vegetables’ available as a download in lots of online bookstores. Choose your favourite supplier on this page: Growing Vegetables

Natural Beauty Tips

Give the beauty counter a wide berth and go for the natural look. Here are five easy ways to bring your inner glow to the surface and shimmer with natural beauty.

These ideas and five more are fleshed out in full in my new book ‘Natural Beauty’ that should be out by the middle of October.

This image is the cover I’m going for at the moment (any feedback would be very welcome!)

  1. Positive Energy

Don’t let the world grind you down. When the negative energy invades your headspace, replace it with positive thoughts. Yes, easier said than done, but you may remember reading somewhere ‘think positive’ or ‘this too shall pass’ and the thought alone will give your positive energy levels a boost. This positive energy will glow through your skin and put a sparkle in your eye.

  1. Fruit & Veg

The 5-a-day mantra has been so overplayed, many of us have kind of blanked it. However, although 5 portions of fruit and veg a day will help, in reality the quality of food most of us have access to, is not what it was a couple of generations ago. Up you portions. The vitamins and minerals in fruit and veg will help keep your skin in great condition and all your organs working well. Always include green leafy vegetables for roughage.

  1. Have Fun!

Do something you enjoy doing every day – just you – not in relation to someone else. As long as having fun to you isn’t consuming a box of chocolates, you’ll benefit from high serotonin levels working in the brain… the feel good factor. Pop outside with bare feet and connect with the earth for a few minutes (40minutes is best but whatever you do is good) – this helps balance out any oxidization and electrical impulses.

  1. Time & Space

Allocate a time in your busy week that is just for you. It doesn’t have to be the same time, just a convenient one. Lie down and rest with a couple of cucumber slices over your eyes, or give yourself an organic face-pack and sit down while it’s working rather than rushing around doing stuff. Or even better, meditate or do a little yoga. Do what feels good for you.

  1. Exercise

Hmm, kind of a scary word but a challenge worth facing. There are so many theories, courses, programmes and ideas about exercise routines that we can get lost for days trying to research what’s best for us. If you really can’t face the whole gym experience, try choosing a ten or twenty minute video that suits your mood. From walking on the spot to full blown aerobics workouts, there is an abundance of choice. Try a few. Find those that suit you and create a playlist.

Naturally yours 🙂

Linda x

5 Ways to Save the Planet

Make a difference from the comfort of your own home

There are many of us across the world that would love to do more to help our planet survive but are scuppered by lack of time, energy and often money.

This article shows how it can be simple, fun and inexpensive to dissolve those guilty feelings and enjoy harmony with the environment rather than it being a constant cause for concern.

Here are Five Fabulous ways to do your bit for the planet

As little as 20 years ago, recycled or organic goods and products weren’t mainstream and often cost at least 3 times as much as non-organic, making it harder to do your bit for the environment especially if you were bringing up a family.

There’s been a huge increase in availability as the green campaigns for a healthier planet grow stronger. And there are lots of tweaks we can make in our lifestyles to help even more.

Recycling

Many areas have recycling posts or specific containers for individual households. This may seem like an extra chore at home, but habits only need tweaking to make it work. Make sure everyone in the household, apart from maybe the tiniest tots, knows where each item should go; plastics and glass, paper and food etc;

Find a permanent spot for the recycling containers to make it even easier. If you have to go looking for the compost bin, chances are those food scraps will end up in the regular rubbish.

If you have a garden, create a compost heap for the vegetable peelings. A year later you’ll have beautiful compost to dig into the garden or fill plant pots with.

Check over any packaging before you throw it away. Maybe it could be added to the craft box or perhaps be useful in the potting shed. Clear plastic bottles make excellent mini-cloches for delicate plants. Cut in half and you have two cloches for free! And yoghurt pots are perfect for seedlings with a hole punched in the bottom for drainage.

If you’re planning to make jams or preserves later in the year, wash and dry empty jars and lids and store them somewhere safe.

Health begins at home

Gardening is one of the fastest growing ‘hobbies’ which means a whole lot more of us are eating fresh organic produce picked from our own garden, balcony or even window box. There are many plants you can grow in pots; you don’t even need a garden to benefit from a few organic veggies or a daily serving of your favourite herbs.

Herbs not only flavour your food, most of them have medicinal properties as well. A daily glass of tea made from thyme and honey for example will help prevent colds. With a healthy diet and a few natural remedies, you can avoid spending huge sums on potions and medications from the pharmacy.

As well as natural health remedies, try a few natural ‘quality time’ cures as well. Set aside 15 or 20 minutes here and there to play a game with the children – not a computer game. Play games you used to play and enjoy a nostalgic moment while passing on fun ideas to the next generation… aaah wonderful!

Games can be incredibly simple and so much fun; playing ball with tiny tots helps them develop hand eye co-ordination, pencil and paper games are a brilliant way of teaching children new words etc; and simply having a good old fashioned game of Monopoly could be just what the doctor ordered!

Spend more, save more

Commercially there is more competition nowadays for organic produce, which in turn has helped push the price down for the average consumer. Hopefully the organic producers will benefit from larger numbers of consumers to off-set the lower prices.

Sometimes just a few extra pennies can buy the organic alternative – scan the prices before buying because it’s so easy to assume the organic product will be too expensive, when it may not be. Spending a few extra moments checking prices and food labels is time well spent. Write a list before you go shopping and (try to) stick to it.

Buying two bags of 24 packets of crisps because they are on a ‘buy one get one free’ promotion is dodgy because if there are 48 packets of crisps in the larder, they probably won’t last as long as 2 lots of 24 packs! The only way round this is to have a really good hiding place or avoid the BOGOF promos!

When you shop in a supermarket, you are open to all the marketing skills of big corporations and it’s very easy to be led into the aisles of ‘not-so-healthy’ foods, especially if you have children with you.

But if you know you’ve just spent a little more than usual on some organic tomatoes, you’re less likely to be persuaded to part with any more cash than necessary. Shopping in this way can lead to a healthier fridge and wallet! (And it may be a good idea to leave the kids at home.)

Avoiding Land-Fill

With information and practical videos at our fingertips, we can learn traditional skills, some of which have got lost somewhere over the last few generations and get creative in our gift ideas, avoiding buying plastic ‘land-fill’ stuff at least some of the time.

Home-made gifts are always special and you can make them planet-friendly too! Try home-made jams and dried tomatoes for ‘foodies’ or knit something personal like a toy for a child or a delicate shawl for a fashion conscious friend.

Although it pains me slightly to say that you could start planning Christmas presents a year in advance, it’s not as bad as it sounds. Once you have a few ideas for gifts you can make, they can be separate projects you can dip in and out of throughout the year. Long winter evenings or rainy Sunday afternoons are great times to open your ‘Christmas’ project box and dabble a little in something creative.

If you’re planning on giving home-made jams etc; you may want to grow your own strawberries. Strictly speaking, it will take a whole season to start off your gift, but a little pottering in the garden always gives you a boost of energy and well-being.

Do It Yourself

With tons of scientific evidence proving the ingredients in many processed foods aren’t necessarily good for humans, we are all looking towards a less chemically dependent diet. Cooking programmes on TV channels get huge viewing audiences. Indulge in creating meals to really enjoy sometimes rather than throwing any old fast food on a plate because everyone’s ‘starving’ hungry.

The media have been promoting sterile bleached homes for many years and, although we are wising up to the fact that a sterile environment isn’t necessarily good for our immune systems, the habits are hard to break.

Try to avoid products containing bleach. In most cases it really isn’t necessary and causes untold harm to the environment. Next time you enjoy a G&T, don’t throw the slice of lemon away, wipe it round the sink after washing up and the lemon juice will remove many stains. And it leaves a lovely lemony smell in the kitchen.

*Brush up on traditional skills and create soft furnishings such as throws, cushions, bedspreads etc; Build furniture to fit any space or take a pottery class and create beautiful eye-catching sculptures. Make your home a place of beauty, health and harmony … oh, and environment friendly too of course.

Linda x

Cabbage Recipes from Yesteryear

“Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education” … Mark Twain. 🙂

Let’s dispense with the college education and cook up some good old fashioned family cabbage recipes.

These recipes come from a book called “Science in the kitchen” published over 120 years ago. I’ve been trawling through to find the best of the recipes that can be incorporated into today’s lifestyles.

They favoured using cream quite a lot, but lower fat alternatives could probably be used. Also it seems they used to do an awful lot of boiling – steaming is probably a healthier option. A little intuition and experimenting may be needed!

Baked Cabbage.

Prepare and chop a firm head of young white cabbage, boil until tender, drain, and set aside until nearly cold. Then add two well-beaten eggs, salt to taste, and a half cup of single cream or rich milk. Mix and bake in a pudding dish until lightly browned.

“This would probably be best baked in a medium preheated oven. The time depends on the size of the dish etc;. I would check it every 10-15 minutes”

Cabbage and Tomatoes.

Boil finely chopped cabbage in as little water as possible. When tender, add half the quantity of hot stewed tomatoes, boil together for a few minutes, being careful to avoid burning, season with salt if desired, and serve. If preferred, a little single cream may be added just before serving.

“I haven’t tried it yet, but I think you could probably use a tin of tomatoes if you haven’t any fresh ones. Heat through first.”

Cabbage Hash
Chop fine, equal parts of cold boiled potatoes and boiled cabbage, and season with salt. To each quart of the mixture add one half or three quarters of a cup of single cream; mix well and boil till well heated.

“Not sure what a ‘quart’ is in todays weights and measures 🙂 but I would suggest adding cream a little at a time, and judging how much you need as you go.”

Chopped Cabbage or Cabbage Salad.

Take one pint of finely chopped cabbage; pour over it a dressing made of three tablespoonfuls of lemon juice, two tablespoonfuls of sugar, and a half cup of whipped cream, thoroughly beaten together in the order named; or serve with sugar and diluted lemon juice.

Mashed Cabbage.

Cut a fine head of cabbage into quarters, and cook until tender. When cabbage starts to cook, add 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters. When vegetables are tender, drain through a colander, press out the water and mash very fine. Season with cream, and salt if desired.

Stewed Cabbage.

Chop cabbage quite finely, and boil for about twenty minutes. Turn into a colander and drain thoroughly; return to the pan, cover with milk, and let it boil till perfectly tender; season with salt and cream to taste. The beaten yolk of an egg, stirred in with the cream, is considered an improvement by some.

“Well… I guess there’s all sorts of things you can do with cabbages!”

But before I go, I’d like to share a recipe from my childhood that you can make with leftovers that have been cooled and put in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

Bubble & Squeak!
Mix cooked cabbage, chopped finely with cooked mashed potato in a large bowl. Bind with a beaten egg and season with some fresh chopped herbs. Form into balls, flatten and fry in hot oil until cooked on both sides and hot right through. If available, dip in beaten egg and flour before cooking to give a crispier crust.

Bon Appetit!

Linda x

Beetroot Recipes

Beetroot is incredibly good for you and as the first roots are coming out of my garden, I wanted to share some things you can do with these nourishing vegetables…

Pickled Beetroot

Beetroot is traditionally pickled for winter storage, or bottled if you have the right equipment. This simple pickling recipe is worth a try.

Prepare jars by washing and rinsing well then dry in a very slow oven. Use small beetroots for pickling, unless you have huge necked jars of course. You shouldn’t cut beetroot before cooking as the roots ‘bleed’ and lose colour and goodness.

Twist the tops off small beetroots and rinse under running water. Place in a large pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer until all beetroots are tender.

Being careful not to burn yourself, rub your finger gently over the beetroots. If the skin come away easily, they should be cooked. Drain well and leave to cool slightly.

Put as many beetroots as you can in each jar without damaging them and pour pickling vinegar over them. Seal the jars. Label and store out of direct light until needed.

Remember to use! Remove from the jar and slice or cut into small cubes to garnish a salad or mix through a green salad. They can be eaten with almost any meal. Slice and brighten up a less than colourful dinner and treat yourself to a dose of vitamins at the same time.

Beetroot Soup:

Although you should always cook beetroot whole, beetroot soup is an exception to the rule.

Home made soup is worth it’s weight in gold when you are feeding a family through the winter months.

Because everything is cooked in one pan, and the liquid is either blended with the vegetables after cooking, or eaten with the vegetables, no vitamins, minerals or taste are lost.

Ingredients
6 small beetroots
1 parsnip
1 or 2 carrots
1 onion
2-3 cloves garlic
2 stalks celery
Approx. 1litre/ 2 pints vegetable, chicken or preferred stock.
A little cooking oil
A little water

  1. Scrub or peel beetroots, parsnip and carrots. Rinse under running water.
  2. Slice the carrots and parsnip and grate the beetroots. Set aside.
  3. Chop onion, garlic and celery, then put into a large pan with a little cooking oil and a little water.
  4. Cook over a low heat, stirring to prevent the vegetables burning.
  5. When they are tender, add the grated beetroots, sliced parsnip and carrots and stir well.
  6. Add stock and stir gently. Cover the pan and bring to the boil.
  7. Then reduce the heat and simmer for about 30-40 minutes until all the vegetables are tender. Serve hot.

This soup can be blended and then returned to the pan and very gently re-heated, stirring all the time. Serve hot in individual bowls with a spoonful of single cream swirled on top.

Raw beetroot:

Beetroot can be grated raw and stirred into a green salad, or use as a garnish on a large serving dish of salad leaves. Peel first and rinse before grating.

Grated beetroot makes an excellent garnish for a hard-boiled egg dish.

Beetroot and Potato Salad:

This pink dish will get the kids interested, and it’s a great grown up salad as well!

Ingredients
about 150 ml of natural yoghurt
4 potatoes
4 beetroot,
1 small red onion
1 small green pepper

  1. Twist leaves off beetroot, rinse and cook whole in boiling water until tender. Drain and leave to cool.
  2. Scrub or peel potatoes and cook in boiling water until tender. Drain and leave to cool.
  3. When the beetroot and potatoes are completely cold, cut into cubes, roughly the same size and stir together gently in a bowl or serving dish. Stir in the finely chopped onion.
  4. In a small bowl mix together the natural yoghurt and very finely chopped green pepper.
  5. Then stir most of the yoghurt mixture through the vegetables. Keep some aside and spoon over the top.

Garnish with a few parsley leaves if you have them available, or keep a little of the finely chopped pepper to sprinkle over the salad. Chill for 10 minutes before serving.

Bon Appetit!

Linda x

Immune System Boosters

After taking a year off, the flu is apparently coming back this year so time to boost your immune system!

Moderate Exercise
The last thing you probably feel like doing is going for a run when it’s cold and wet. Even getting to a gym is a chore. So, change it up a bit. If you’re not used to exercise, take it slowly. In fact, why not give yourself a challenge. Start whenever it suits you. Maybe when the clocks go back and days are shorter?

Try a few youtube videos that suit your age and health status. Choose one that works for you – i.e. it challenges you but following the exercise doesn’t send you to your bed for the rest of the day! Even if you ‘used to’ do sport or exercise, take it gently at first.

A walk in the fresh air is always a good start if you haven’t been doing any form of exercise recently. Fresh air is a helpful immune system booster.

Keep Hydrated

It’s usually easier to down a pint of water in the summer months than in the winter. I guess we feel the need for warm drinks on a cold winters day.

Try to avoid drinking endless cups of tea and coffee – even if it’s decaf – and go for the occasional lemon water or simply plain boiled (and cooled) warm water.

Place a slice of lemon in a cup and pour on boiling water. Add a sliver of ginger for an extra boost. Leave to steep for a few minutes and enjoy. Experiment with herbal teas or use edible herbs you have in the garden like lemon balm or thyme for example.

Manage Stress
We all know by now that stress really isn’t good for you. A small amount of stress works but us humans have a brain that doesn’t always help us. That darn brain keeps you thinking about the stressful situation until you decide enough is enough – but the moment of realization can sometimes take years.

Simply saying ‘Let it Go’ really doesn’t cut it although I find the quote ‘This too shall pass’ can be very helpful.

Treat yourself to some relaxing techniques; yoga, meditation, a bubble bath, whatever suits you but allow yourself a time of reflection on your levels of stress at least once every day – then do something to reduce it. It may be that balancing stones on top of each other may be relaxing for you or maybe knitting? Needlecrafts are creative and can be practical and very relaxing.

Get Enough Sleep
There are plenty of theories about sleep and how much you should or shouldn’t get. Personally, I believe it’s down to the individual to decide what works for them. We often have busy lifestyles that can affect our sleep patterns.

If you’ve been on the beach all day or out in the garden, the fresh air could easily send you to sleep faster and for a longer time. It really depends on the individual and their lifestyle.

Check in with yourself. If you’re feeling tired or groggy, consider how much sleep you got last night, log it (use your journal if that’s your thing) – and adjust your lifestyle to set a better sleep pattern. It could be that you just need to adjust your caffeine intake or late night cookie consumption … hmm guilty.

Watch the Diet.

Although the health authorities and governments have been pushing a vax, they have also been seriously lacking in helping their citizens boost their immune systems, but that doesn’t mean we can’t rebel and have a go at this ourselves!

There are plenty of foods that will help keep your immue system on top form. Although just looking at pictures won’t cut it. You WILL need to eat the stuff 🙂

Some of the best and well-known foods that could be included in your diet are:

Broccoli
Spinach
Ginger
Garlic
Turmeric

But, do a little research and find the best foods for you. Let’s defy the powers that be and stay healthy this winter with a few natural immune system boosters.

Good Health and Happiness

Linda x

Everyday Eggs

Eggs are a great source of non- (direct) meat protein and are probably the least ‘messed around with’ source.

1 egg has about 90% of the daily required amount of vitamin B12 and eggs are rich in other minerals and vitamins. They contain significant amounts of:

Vitamin A
Vitamin B2
Vitamin D
Iodine
Selenium
Protein

and tons of other good for you things.

And it’s amazing how versatile a simple egg can be. Sweet or savoury, the humble egg is an important ingredient in many recipes. This is a traditional way of poaching eggs. The splash of vinegar really works!

Poached Eggs

Ingredients:

1-2 eggs per person
Vinegar

Method:

  1. Two thirds fill a medium sized pan with water and pour in about 1 tablespoon of vinegar.
  2. Bring to the boil.
  3. Crack an egg into a small cup and then gently ‘pour’ the egg into the boiling water. Do this slowly to avoid splashing.
  4. Allow water to come up to boiling point again, then reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes until the white of the egg is totally set.

NB: Make sure the egg doesn’t sit on the bottom of the pan. Gently stir the water round with a wooden spoon to make sure egg is cooking properly.

  1. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain carefully on kitchen paper. serve on hot buttered toast. Or mash avocado flesh with a finely chopped mild chili pepper, spread on toast and pop the poached egg on top. (Yummy!)

Tip: Cook only one or two eggs at a time.

Poached eggs can also be served with gammon steaks and smoked salmon.

Boiled Egg Sandwiches

Boiled eggs are a great sandwich filler. Simply peel, slice and sandwich between 2 slices of buttered bread. Or try these ideas:

Egg Mayo:

  1. Boil, cool and peel eggs, then place into a fairly large bowl.
  2. Chop finely and stir in a light mayonnaise or natural yoghurt if preferred.
  3. Spread over buttered bread and serve as open sandwiches or cover with another slice and cut into triangles for afternoon tea.

Egg Salad Sandwich:

  1. Wash and dry lettuce and cress or watercress if preferred. Shred as finely as possible. Iceberg style lettuce can be grated if it’s crisp and solid enough.
  2. Prepare bread and butter. Spread with egg mayo (above) or slices of boiled eggs.
  3. Top with salad and another slice of bread. Push down gently and cut into squares or triangles.

With either a sliced boiled egg filling or an egg mayo filling you could add any of the following:

  • sliced ham
  • grilled bacon
  • finely chopped spring onions
  • sliced tomatoes
  • a little grated hard cheese
  • feta cheese and sliced olives
  • smoked salmon

or any other preferred sandwich filling. We used to buy ‘Americains’ in France that were basically a short french loaf filled with ham, sliced tomatoes and/or green salad, sliced boiled egg and mayonnaise. Delicious 🙂

Bon Appetit!

Linda x


P.S. I’m working on some new recipe books and the “Easy Egg Recipe” download on this page will be taken down soon so grab a copy now while it’s free!

Growing Groceries

Wouldn’t it be great to avoid the weekly supermarket shopping nightmare from time to time? Think of all the petrol, cash and not least of all, the STRESS!

An added bonus of avoiding supermarket shopping is that you aren’t tempted to buy ‘two for the price of one’ family packs of chocolate, snacks and other bad-for-you-munchies!

So, putting aside all the negative stuff you don’t need anyway, let’s move on to the positive approach of growing groceries yourself …even if you live in an apartment, have never grown a plant before, or have a small family budget.

The very first thing you should decide is what you want to grow for your family. It’s possible to grow crops that can be harvested in all seasons of the year, not just the summer months. Do a little research. Generally in-season fruit and veg will be less expensive in the shops, but don’t let that put you off growing groceries yourself- especially if you’ve never tasted a home-grown tomato before. We’re going for quality here – in taste, freshness, vitamin and mineral content … oh, and lack of chemicals!

The Salad Bowl:

As well as delicious cherry tomatoes, crisp celery and sweet peppers, there are hundreds of varieties of lettuce you could grow. The ‘cut-and-come-again’ types are practical and tend to be easy to grow when you’re just starting out. Buy the right seed as some lettuces are specifically designed to crop in the winter months. Sow seed thinly as lettuce tends to germinate well.

Down To Roots:

Root veggies are traditionally grown in long lines in fairly deep soil. Although you do need a certain depth of soil, root crops can also be grown in containers. Even potatoes, although not strictly a ‘root’ but a ‘tuber’ can be grown in barrels, specially designed potato planters or even old car tyres on a patio. There are varieties of carrot seed that will produce shorter fatter roots but are ideal for container growing or in a garden with little depth of soil.

Everyday Veg:

Grow peas and beans together in the same plot, but move them every year. Peas are wonderful plants, they grab nitrogen from the air and store it in their roots, so at the end of the season, digging in the roots will enrich the soil for next years crops. Dwarf broccoli and spinach can be successfully grown in containers, and don’t forget to plant some winter kale and Brussels sprouts!

Herb Corner:

It’s always a good move to grow some herbs. Aloe Vera is a great plant to keep on the kitchen windowsill as the sap will treat minor burns. While thyme will not only flavour a Sunday roast, it can also help prevent and treat colds. Many herbs have medicinal properties, and they will also earn you loads of Brownie points when you add them to an everyday meal and turn it into a cordon bleu feast!

Fruity Treats:

Fruits are easier to grow than supermarket prices would have us believe! Lemon and even orange trees are a popular addition to homes in less-than-tropical climates. Apples and pears can be trained to grow along a fence rather than taking up the whole garden and smaller plants such as raspberries, strawberries and gooseberries have been grown in the home garden for centuries.

All in all, there isn’t really much we CAN’T grow, you can even grow your own potato chips! – growing groceries can reduce your supermarket shop to once a month for provisions. You save time, money and stress. And you gain health, wealth and feeling good. Perfect!

The above text was taken from ‘Grow It, Cook It!’ (Details on this page Growing Books )

Happy Gardening!
Linda x

P.S. Just for a laugh, how about growing a cheese sandwich?!