Vlog 1 Time to Bloom & Grow

Summer is finally here and although we had a really lovely sunny end to May its been a pretty wet June so far…we have had a little sunshine though but after the heat wave at the end of May our garden really needed the rain so its been such a blessing!

We don’t have much to eat from the garden yet but the fruit trees were covered in blossom and this left us with the hope of a good harvest in the summer and autumn months.  The blackcurrants and gooseberries are growing nicely and we have so many ideas for them this year.  I am also waiting so patiently for the elderflower to come out and I look forward to making a cordial or two and then some immune boosting syrups in the Autumn months with the berries from the remaining flowers. 

I love how the most potent of berries are available in nature just in time to give us a boost before the cold winter months.  Its as though the earth knows exactly what we need and at what time.  That is why I really have been trying to focus on local and seasonal foods because I feel we can benefit so much from eating in tune with nature and our local surroundings.

I have been using some of our young kale leaves from the garden with mint in my smoothie recipes …we have so much mint at the moment! … don’t plant it directly into the garden they said…well I did and now have loads.  I also like to add some delicious authentic raw honey, kefir milk or kefir water and a banana to my smootheis and it seriously makes the most delicious smoothie.  Apart from a fresh strawberry smoothie this is probably my favourite breakfast in the summer months  

I like to keep breakfasts light in the summer and usually have a smoothie but at the weekend I love to cook up a special breakfast treat for everyone.  In this recipe I’m making warm sourdough toast with slices of smoked salmon, mashed avocado and a warm drizzly poached egg.  (sub – the recipe is on my website).  Food is love to me and I like to think my kids feel that through the meals I serve up to them and I really try to keep things seasonal but hey life gets busy sometimes and we also eat the odd bowl of cereal.  I love my time in the kitchen despite the craziness at meal times.

So for most of the month I’ve spent so much time gardening, researching recipes for our new smoke house we are building and also a great deal of my time is spent chasing after little Mary … she is so speedy just now.  I’ve never had such an early walker…she is definitely a determined yet beautiful little soul…she inspires many of my recipes as I really try to feed her so many different foods at the moment to introduce lots of taste and texture.

We always spend time outdoors every day and in the summer that usually involves a walk with the dogs to the small forestry area close to our home.  Its so beautiful there and there are many things to forage throughout the seasons.  One of my goals this year is to learn more about foraging wild foods .  I know there are many recipes I would love to try and there are also many health benefits to eating wild foods as I mentioned before its another way to keep in tune with nature and our surroundings.  Theres also the whole sensory experience of foraging and the satisfaction of gathering and eating food in the wild as nature intended.

In this next recipe I am making a delicious smoked ham soup…my granny called this hank shunkie soup…it is absolutely delicious and is my dads favourite soup.  Its such a traditional Scottish recipe and one that is close to my heart.  I either make mine with previously made bone broth or stock cubes if that’s not available and a smoked ham hough.  I tend to keep this one for the colder months but we have had some really cold wet days recently and I was craving a bowl of this delicious soup. 

A lot of my time just now during lockdown is spent educating my boys.  We do a lot of outdoor activities and are learning so many new skills.  My son is painting with sticks and other textures from the garden and has created a black hole.  I also love arty projects and have really been enjoying my monthly scrawl art box just now, its giving me a chance to get creative in a different and try out new techniques.  I’m no Picasso but I do love a bit of drawing or painting. 

In this evening recipe I am making a delicious middle eastern sweet and sour fish recipe.  I have adapted the ingredients a little from one of my cookbooks and I’m also using chicken instead of fish fillets as it works really well with the chicken and I will definitely be making this again as the kids loved it with some fluffy rice and they even ate all the vegetables so it was definitely a hit. 

Theres always housework and cleaning to be done at home in our wee cottage but no matter whats left to do me and mary always squeeze in time for a warm bath in all seasons.  A hot drink and a peek at the sunset always hits the spot in the evening too. 

Thank you so much for watching my first vlog in the wee larder kitchen I can’t wait to share with you our beautiful harvests and recipes next month.  I hope to share some more seasonal recipes as well and of course some more traditional Scottish recipes.  I really love traditional Scottish cooking and find that so many recipes are not just healthy but fit into the seasons really well because they had to rely so much on what was growing seasonal and what was available locally and I think if we go back to looking at our ancestors lived in the kitchen, home and garden we can learn and benefit so much.  I really want to take some of that traditional knowledge back to you. 

Lots of love and I hope you enjoy your gardening and cooking this June.  Take Care, Angie 😊