Thursday, March 31, 2022

Adventures in Muesli, and other food stories

As you can imagine, with N's Mum ill, we had some weeks of quietness, panic, worry and bad eating because he certainly wasn’t interested in food that required thought, preferring to opt for toast with things on, or takeaways. But you can't carry on that way forever, so I pulled my socks up and set to, aided by a trip to the farm shop. 

Farm shops are great for inspiration. Not so great on the old wallet, so I tend to limit my visits. They are a treat rather than how we usually shop, but what a treat they are. I even love the way they smell. In no order of preference, I came back with:

  • a Romanesco cauliflower, all spiralling turrets and vibrant green. Plus many other vegetables that were mainly normal and everyday, for e.g. carrots. You don't need me to describe the carrots
  • Mango chutney and caramelised onion chutney. Because, chutney goodness. I'll stop saying chutney now*
  • proper honey from a local bee keeper
  • a loaf of bread stating "takes 3 days to make". It was crustier than a crusty after a week protesting a bypass from a tree top
  • late plums and early rhubarb 
  • strawberries! So so early but not flown in from overseas, grown within 5 miles of the shop! They smell amazing
  • purple sprouting broccoli. 
  • A giant bag of red potatoes that roast beautifully
  • a crumbly, buttery-feel blue cheese that just slightly puckers the taste buds
  • Eggs with golden yolks from formerly free-range but still definitely organic hens
  • a made-on-site coleslaw that creamy and delicious
  • sausages made from pigs raised and butchered locally
I roasted the sausages in a trayful of the vegetables, including the cauliflower, stirred in some of the onion chutney, threw in some garlic and stems of thyme from the garden. 

The potatoes I turned into surprisingly successful gnocchi (the first batch I've ever made that didn't turn gluey and the water into wallpaper paste) and had those with the purple sprouting broccoli and some of the blue cheese when N was out on Wednesday (he does not like PSB). 

The plumbs and rhubarb became a compote for adventures with muesli. To cut the sharpness, I added the honey rather than reaching for the sugar. I mean, honey is sugar, but marginally less so and it meant the compote has a more satisfying flavour than if I'd just bunged caster sugar in. 

Did I mention I make my own muesli? Well I do *pauses to polish halo of smugness*. Oats, sultanas, dates, pumpkin and sesame seeds, ground hazelnuts and almonds. Spiced with ginger and cinnamon. Cheaper than standard muesli from the supermarket (but only because I buy in bulk). Trying to do that from a standard shop where every individual ingredient is tiny-ly portioned and wrapped in plastic for our "convenience"? Forget it. 

Tonight, when we come back from college, I'll make an omelette with spinach, mushrooms and the rest of that blue cheese. We'll have it with tiny roasties, made from those red potatoes, and the coleslaw. Just right for a day where the temperatures have dropped and we'll have been outside planting parsnip seeds. 

Which reminds me, I have a giant parsnip I need to turn into soup. Before I go, I need to tell you that comment moderation has been switched on after a veritable swathe of spam comments for casinos, dodgy Viagra and so on. Is it just me or does the internet just feel like a lot of work these days? Easier to make soup. 

*No I won't


  1. Your local farm shop sounds like an amazing place to visit. I have some early rhubarb in the garden which I am planning to make into a compote too, I make mine with orange, honey and a little ginger. I love the sound of plum and rhubarb, I don't have any late plums but I will remember that for when plums are season later in the year and hope that the rhubarb is still giving then.

    I hear you on buying in bulk to make things like muesli, I make granola which is also impossible with those tiny bags.

    1. It is a cracking farm shop. I've been periodically visiting for nearly 10 years now and haven't found one that betters it. Yet. I keep looking though, in the name of market research!
      Love the sound of adding orange, honey and ginger; I'll have to try that next time I get my hands on some more rhubarb.
      Granola is fab but, yep, you need the bulk buy to make it worthwhile.

  2. That all sounds utterly delicious. I am very fond of a good farm shop as well. There is one near here where you can sit in the cafe (or outside in the summer) and gaze out over rolling green countryside. The children can be very dramatic about purple sprouting broccoli, despite me shouting 'It's a delicacy' at them. CJ xx

    1. I love that you shout "it's a delicacy" at them. N does not have the excuse of being a child though, he just has an unrefined palate. I'm working on him on most things but am secretly glad I get to keep the PSB to myself!


Thank you for your message! I love comments, but not the ones that tell me which are the 'best' casinos or how my live would be improved if I send them £1million *rolls eyes*. For that reason, I've switched comment moderation on. Generally I love your comments just not the spammy ones. Much love, Tx

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