Monday, September 1, 2014

Blackcurrant Jam



While we were in Scotland we visited a couple of berry picking farms, Scotland has some wonderful fruits and in the summer it shines. You can find gooseberries a tart fruit that aren't allowed in North Carolina as it apparently carries a disease that infects the white pine. You can also find black currants, tart little berries that go into making Ribena a favorite British drink. In 1938 Ribena was invented taking its name from the Latin word for blackcurrants: Ribes Nigrum, it was given as a vitamin C supplement after world war two and still has the label rich in vitamin C.

The kids also enjoyed picking blackcurrant's in my brother and sister in laws Edinburgh back garden,  and we snacked on wild raspberries in the woods behind my parents house :-) 


British gooseberries 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Isle of Arran Photo Series


We recently visited the beautiful Isle of Arran off the West Coast of Scotland despite growing up in Scotland I had not yet managed to visit an Island. So we planned a wee two day visit to Arran, we choose Arran as its easy to get to and known to be great for food and scenery. 

It was fun taking the car ferry over from Ardrossan with the kids and exploring the little Island, it really is like Scotland in miniature with mountains, great beaches, cute little towns and villages, and a historic castle. 

Arran has a long history dating back as far as 7000 BC and has influences from many invaders and rulers over the centuries such as the Irish, the English, the Vikings and the Celts also various clans. It has always had a small population and it dwindled in the 1800's with the highland clearances and many set sail for America. Most of the folks on the Island are now are involved in Tourism and many are from other countries the locals often leave to find work in other places. The Dukes of Hamilton used the castle up until the 1950's and hunted on the island. With the introduction of a regular ferry service in the early 20th century it started to gain popularity as a holiday destination and it remains this way to this day. 


A farmer bringing the cows in for the day, just up the road from the creamery , home to the Worlds best cheddar, it recently won an international award for its aged cheddar 

Fishing boats Kildonan 

Whiting Bay 


Brodick Castle dating from 1588

The amazing castle gardens 

A beautiful mountain stream flowing into the sea 

mountains in the distance Brodick


Lamlash 


Looking out over Holy Isle, you can take a ferry to this Island, where there is a Buddhist Monastery 

An old ship wreck 

pretty garden complete with palm trees the Island enjoys mild weather, although rainy as its in the gulf stream 






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Monday, August 18, 2014

Market Brunch



On a recent trip to the North Carolina mountains we ate at The Fork and Spoon a fab restaurant in Spruce pine. I ate the first evening with my friends and the second day I took hubby and the kids there for brunch, hubby still mentions how good the food was. I had an open sandwich with pulled pork seasonal vegetables and an egg. Fun modern Southern this was a brunch I made inspired by that. I used lovely bacon from the farmers market but it would be just as good without it.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Lemon Rice




I made this lovely rice dish recently its popular in South India and my hubby loves it, such a fun way to add some pizazz to rice. Its great eaten with dal, spicy fried potatoes and yogurt.

Diggs Latham School Garden




Ingredients:

  • 1 lemon
  • dash of sesame oil 
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon urad dal
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 3 -4 tablespoon of cashew nuts 
  • pinch of aestofida
  • 1/4 tablespoon of turmeric
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 2 green chilies 


Method: 


  1. cook the rice and keep to one side 
  2. squeeze and get the juice of one lemon
  3. heat oil and pop mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves, turmeric and aestofida and cashew nuts
  4. add the rice and mix in the lemon juice and salt to taste 




I have started to volunteer in gardens over the last couple of weeks after becoming a master gardener so much fun but also hard work, but helping in the community is so rewarding also took the kids with me, they enjoyed picking purple hull peas at a Diggs Latham school garden. The lady who runs the garden also a master gardener and community garden mentor Irma Jackson is an inspiration.



We are going to see family in the UK next week I can't wait its been over a year the longest time I haven't seen my family. Will share pictures on the facebook page and twitter and also vine some videos if your curious about the sights, sounds and food of England and Scotland.


Much love ....

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Cape Cod Photo Series


We recently returned from a trip to Cape Cod, its a lovely part of America rich in history and a great summer destination. It almost feels like you are stepping back in time, you will find pretty towns to stroll around with art galleries and good seafood, lovely gardens and beaches. We stayed in Brewster in the Middle of the Cape and drove to Wellfleet a delightful little town, then returned via Eastham and saw the National seashore the beaches in this National park are stunning they go on for miles and wilder than the other side of the cape. There have been a few sightings of great white sharks recently. The weather is great this time of year like a perfect English summers day. 

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