Friday, 11 January 2019

Review, Greggs vegan sausage roll.

Ahh the famous Greggs vegan sausage roll, much rumoured and anticipated, much discussed on social media, but what's it like?

Review, Greggs vegan sausage roll. from UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #vegansausageroll #greggsvegansausageroll #greggs #veganblogger

The pastry is really light and flaky, the sausage inside is a good, moist texture and is made of Quorn.  It tastes, well, sausage roll-like.  It's nice.  I've eaten more than one since they launched last week. My mum says they're too salty, my colleague says they're a bit greasy, my meat-eating husband says they taste pretty much like the original Greggs sausage roll.  

My most favourite vegan sausage roll are the Linda McCartney ones.  Comparing the two, the Greggs vegan sausage roll has lighter, crispier pastry, the Linda has thicker pastry, the Greggs has a more succulent filling and it's more salty and umami, the Linda vegan sausage roll is more herby and a bit more stodgy.   

Review, Greggs vegan sausage roll. from UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #vegansausageroll #greggsvegansausageroll #greggs #veganblogger

When I went to buy mine the store had sold out, but if you ask the staff they'll pop some more in the oven for you and they'll be ready in about 10 minutes.  

Have you tried one yet?




Friday, 4 January 2019

Charity shopping.

I haven't been blogging for a while, but I have been charity shopping! 

Charity shopping, wherein I show you my new retro woven basket, pottery brooch, marbles and retro Christmas decorations.  From UK charity shop blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #charityshopping #thrifting #opshopping #secondhand

This little plastic woven basket had to come home with me.  It needs a good clean, but I think the best charity shop finds always need a good clean!
Retro woven basket, £2.49, local Age UK charity shop.

Charity shopping, wherein I show you my new retro woven basket, pottery brooch, marbles and retro Christmas decorations.  From UK charity shop blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #charityshopping #thrifting #opshopping #secondhand

If you look carefully at this little pottery brooch you can see that there's little faces in it.
Handmade looking pottery brooch, £1, local hospice charity shop.

Charity shopping, wherein I show you my new retro woven basket, pottery brooch, marbles and retro Christmas decorations.  From UK charity shop blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #charityshopping #thrifting #opshopping #secondhand

An obligatory 'you've found my marbles!' type joke was made by the shop assistant when I bought these and I managed to be polite and not groan.  I always buy marbles when I see them cheap in charity shops because I like to put them in the tops of my pot plants (inside and outside plants) as decorative mulch. 
1.2kg jar of marbles, £1.25, local hospice charity shop.

Charity shopping, wherein I show you my new retro woven basket, pottery brooch, marbles and retro Christmas decorations.  From UK charity shop blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #charityshopping #thrifting #opshopping #secondhand

Finally, I bought a selection of ornaments in the run up to Christmas.  I spotted the little wooden carousel in the shop window and had to run in on my lunch half-hour to buy it, all the others came in a £1 bag of decorations, mixed in with some modern stuff I gave straight back to the charity shop.
Carousel decoration, £1, local hospice charity shop.  Bag of decorations, cost £1 but kindly bought for me by my mum, local PDSA charity shop.

Have you bought anything fantabulous from the charity shops lately?


PS. Check out my other charity shopping posts for more like this! 





Friday, 9 November 2018

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, September and October 2018.

Like every good husband should, mine bought me a big-arse gardening knife for my birthday!  

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, September and October 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukpermaculture #ukgardenblogger #suburbangarden #gardening

Ooo yes, it's very effective at getting up big weedy roots - I'm most happy with it.

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, September and October 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukpermaculture #ukgardenblogger #suburbangarden #gardening

The front garden is coming on, we hired a skip for Joe to put his diggings into, and completely filled it (we also emptied the loft - don't you love it when the person you bought the house from leaves the loft full of 10 dismantled flatpack cupboards and a bed, thanks for that!).  The next step is to put some hardcore down and compress it down by hiring a whacker plate, then it'll be time to put gravel down.  I'll be relieved when it's done! 

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, September and October 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukpermaculture #ukgardenblogger #suburbangarden #gardening

I've been topping up the garden beds with some of the soil dug up from the drive.  This little raised bed is in the corner of the front garden, I used the lasagne method of layering drive-soil, leaves and branches, more drive-soil then a top layer of more leaves.  The top layer of leaves is to stop cats pooping on the soil!  The drive-soil is pretty clay-y, so I hope it'll get better over winter, especially with the garden waste mixed in to help break it up.  

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, September and October 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukpermaculture #ukgardenblogger #suburbangarden #gardening

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, September and October 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukpermaculture #ukgardenblogger #suburbangarden #gardening

I did the same for the last weedy corner down the side garden.  I hoed and weeded the worst of it, covered in a layer of garden waste (mostly buddleia and raspberry prunings), then a thick layer of driveway soil, I planted some narcissus and tulip bulbs in the soil, and some strawberry plants transferred from around the garden, then covered the whole of the side garden in a layer of hedge trimmings (again - cat poop deterrent).  It looks so much better without all the weeds.

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, September and October 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukpermaculture #ukgardenblogger #suburbangarden #gardening

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, September and October 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukpermaculture #ukgardenblogger #suburbangarden #gardening

I did the nice autumn activity of collecting up seed heads and acorns and planting them up - we'll see what comes up in spring!

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, September and October 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukpermaculture #ukgardenblogger #suburbangarden #gardening

I've been growing some ginger in a pot outside all summer.  I lifted it gently to see how it had grown, which wasn't very much.  I reburied it to let it grow more, but it got frosted and looks super unhappy now!  I'll try again next year though, if we keep having hot summers, and I get an early start with it in the conservatory I should be able to get a better harvest. 

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, September and October 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukpermaculture #ukgardenblogger #suburbangarden #gardening

That's kind of it for the garden for the last few months.  The weather has been so rainy, and I've needed some time to look after my family the last couple of months, both of which have meant less time for gardening.  I'll still pop out for a while if we get any dry days, but I've said goodbye to proper gardening for the year, and started dreaming and saving for next year's projects!

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, September and October 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukpermaculture #ukgardenblogger #suburbangarden #gardening

I did have a final gardening flourish this afternoon though, in the almost drizzle, grey skies and extreme wind, I planted a tree.  It's a crab apple called 'Red Sentinel', it'll have little red fruits that stay on through the autumn and winter.  I had to trim the roots to fit it into the pot (aka stainless steel bin), I hope it will survive!

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, September and October 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukpermaculture #ukgardenblogger #suburbangarden #gardening

How's your garden this month?




Friday, 31 August 2018

My homegrown harvest, August 2018.

So, it's a good year for raspberries.  They started early, I've had soo many and there are sooo many still to come.  No complaints, they're my favourite.

My homegrown harvest, August 2018.  From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenharvest #gardenblogger #suburbanpermaculture

I've had lots of firsts this month too - first home grown apples (last year the squirrels ate a share of the only one!) and first tomatoes of the year, there are loads of green ones on the plants, but they seem to be ripening one by one! 

My homegrown harvest, August 2018.  From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenharvest #gardenblogger #suburbanpermaculture

My homegrown harvest, August 2018.  From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenharvest #gardenblogger #suburbanpermaculture

My homegrown harvest, August 2018.  From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenharvest #gardenblogger #suburbanpermaculture

I've got nine blueberry plants, in their 2nd or 3rd year, and I'm getting ok crops off them now.  Lots of kale too, all of just one plant, I'm giving the stuff away!

My homegrown harvest, August 2018.  From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenharvest #gardenblogger #suburbanpermaculture

Anyway, I think I mentioned my homegrown apples then got distracted by kale, I had 8 apples off my Discovery apple tree, and 2 off my other apple tree, that I bought as a Discovery apple but definitely isn't (it was a very cheapo tree from Wilkos!).  Woohoo!  Apples!  I'm doing the thing and growing my own fruit.  One day I will be Barbara from the Good Life. 

My homegrown harvest, August 2018.  From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenharvest #gardenblogger #suburbanpermaculture

My homegrown harvest, August 2018.  From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenharvest #gardenblogger #suburbanpermaculture

Finally, here is a spring onion.  A caterpillar popped out of it just as I was about to cut it up, and made me jump, and then the caterpillar fell on the floor and I haven't been able to find it, so there's a caterpillar on the loose in the kitchen somewhere. I'm not sure why I had one random spring onion in my raised bed, but I did and now I've eaten it and it was yummy. 

My homegrown harvest, August 2018.  From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenharvest #gardenblogger #suburbanpermaculture

What have you been growing and eating this month? 




Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, August 2018.

There's been some lovely sunshine for gardening in this month.

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, August 2018.  From UK permaculture gardener secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #suburbanpermaculture #gardenblogger #suburbangarden

It's all going on this month!  Joe's digging up the driveway, to level it and then lay hardcore and gravel.  He's digging up lots of soil, which he's making into a pile at the bottom of the garden.  I've been sieving the soil and topping up my raised beds with it, and when the driveway is finished I'll sieve some more of the soil and put it in my front garden raised beds.  

Here is drive progress...

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, August 2018.  From UK permaculture gardener secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #suburbanpermaculture #gardenblogger #suburbangarden

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, August 2018.  From UK permaculture gardener secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #suburbanpermaculture #gardenblogger #suburbangarden

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, August 2018.  From UK permaculture gardener secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #suburbanpermaculture #gardenblogger #suburbangarden

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, August 2018.  From UK permaculture gardener secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #suburbanpermaculture #gardenblogger #suburbangarden

I've also been making progress with the side garden.  I think I've said before that I basically don't weed unless I have another plant to replace the weed with - to cut down on the work of constantly weeding an area and trying to keep the soil clear, when mother nature clearly has different ideas.  I focused on this area under my Discovery apple tree this year, and I think it's been pretty successful.  

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, August 2018.  From UK permaculture gardener secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #suburbanpermaculture #gardenblogger #suburbangarden

If you look at the far left of the photo above you can see all those green weeds, they're next on my to weed list, but maybe next year! 

I've planted strawberries, wild strawberries, chives, garlic chives, Siberian perennial onions, red and white clover, curry plant, rosemary, sedum and yellow creeping Jenny, as well as daffodil and tulip bulbs for the spring.  

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, August 2018.  From UK permaculture gardener secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #suburbanpermaculture #gardenblogger #suburbangarden

I'm pretty happy with my raised beds, I'm eagerly awaiting my first courgette of the year - I was soo late planting this year!  I've had loads of kale and some chard, but I'm still waiting to see if my other late plantings of cauliflower, sweetcorn and shallots are going to do anything.  

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, August 2018.  From UK permaculture gardener secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #suburbanpermaculture #gardenblogger #suburbangarden

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, August 2018.  From UK permaculture gardener secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #suburbanpermaculture #gardenblogger #suburbangarden

I'm also waiting for all these tomatoes to go red.  Putting this planter on the corner here, which is the sunniest part of the garden was the best decision - these are the healthiest tomatoes I've ever grown.  The beans and peppers I've tried to grow round the sides of the basket haven't worked so well though, I'll have to rethink it ready for next year.

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, August 2018.  From UK permaculture gardener secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #suburbanpermaculture #gardenblogger #suburbangarden

All of my blueberry plants have been repotted, and I've been rewarded with lots of blueberries and loads of new growth too. 

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, August 2018.  From UK permaculture gardener secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #suburbanpermaculture #gardenblogger #suburbangarden

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, August 2018.  From UK permaculture gardener secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #suburbanpermaculture #gardenblogger #suburbangarden

That's about it for the garden this month.  It must be autumn, because my 'autumn joy' sedum has started flowering 

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, August 2018.  From UK permaculture gardener secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #suburbanpermaculture #gardenblogger #suburbangarden

How's your garden this month?




Friday, 3 August 2018

Review - Slab vegan artisan fudge.

Friends, I feel it's my duty to bring to your attention this amazing vegan fudge. 

This is Proper Fudge.  I've been disappointed many times by vegan fudge, it's always soft and fondant-y and a bit kind of doughy, nice enough but I can make that kind of fudge myself.  This Slab artisan fudge is still soft, but it has that crunchy, crispy, almost crystal (but not gritty), melt in the mouth texture of the dairy fudge I loved in my pre-vegan days.  Does that make sense?  I'm not sure I have the right words to describe how good Slab fudge is, suffice it to say it's satisfied my fudge-y needs in a way no other vegan fudge ever has. 

Review - Slab vegan artisan fudge.  From UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganfudge #slabfudge #slabveganfudge #veganfudgeuk

I ordered 4 flavours, classic (it's sweet and slightly vanilla-y), death by chocolate (it tastes like the chocolate fudge icing my mum used to make for my birthday cakes), maple and walnut (this is for Joe, but I've taste tested it for him and it's super sweet and maple-y with nutty bits in) and choc toffee (this is my favourite, the toffee flavour is ah-maz-ing and it's swirled with chocolate fudge).  It's all coconut based, and you can taste that slightly in all the flavours, moreso in the classic and chocolate flavours.  

I asked for my fudge to be packed with as little plastic as possible (because I'd seen this post on Instagram!).  This is how my Slab fudge order arrived.

Review - Slab vegan artisan fudge. From UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganfudge #slabfudge #slabveganfudge #veganfudgeuk

One piece of fudge had a bit of a whoopsie and was broken, but it's going to get broken when I eat and chew it anyway, so that's not an issue for me. I've kept it wrapped in it's greaseproof paper and popped it into a Pyrex box.  Yey for plastic free fudge!  (although the box did have plastic tape and bits on it, it's so hard to do anything completely plastic free and I really appreciate the effort Slab made to reduce the plastic)

Slab vegan fudge costs £3.50 per 150g piece, and you get free shipping on orders over £10.  They also sell dairy fudge, so make sure you order from the right section!  Fudge is made to order and mine came within 6 days of ordering.  I had cause to contact their customer services with a question, and they got back to me within a couple of hours and were super friendly and knowledgeable.  

This isn't a sponsored post.  I just like fudge.  And I'm going to eat some now! 




Tuesday, 31 July 2018

My homegrown harvest, July 2018.

Lo!  Tis the first raspberry of the year!  I'm not sure why they're so early this year, they're autumn fruiting raspberries ('autumn bliss') and I didn't have any til late August last year so this is very strange but enjoyable.  I think I like raspberries even better than strawberries!

My homegrown harvest, July 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #homegrown #harvest #suburbanpermaculture #gardenharvest

We've had the last of the strawberries, and some blueberries, black currants and blackberries too this year.  Joe's been eating most of them with yoghurt for his breakfast.

My homegrown harvest, July 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #homegrown #harvest #suburbanpermaculture #gardenharvest

My homegrown harvest, July 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #homegrown #harvest #suburbanpermaculture #gardenharvest

My homegrown harvest, July 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #homegrown #harvest #suburbanpermaculture #gardenharvest

My homegrown harvest, July 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #homegrown #harvest #suburbanpermaculture #gardenharvest

I planted a few mange tout plants, and the touts have been ready to mange this month. I'm not keen on the giant mange tout (although it doesn't help that I let some of them grow overly giant!), I think I'll just plant the purple ones in future. 

My homegrown harvest, July 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #homegrown #harvest #suburbanpermaculture #gardenharvest

My homegrown harvest, July 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #homegrown #harvest #suburbanpermaculture #gardenharvest

I planted my broad beans late this year, and only planted about 6 beans (because of snow!  It seems a long time ago since it was cold enough to snow!).  They've actually been the most successful broad beans I've ever grown, they were lovely plants that didn't need any support and had hardly any pests and grew loads and loads of beans.  If you've been reading my blog for some time then you'll know that I'm a very picky eater, so I, of course, don't actually like broad beans - but I do like falafel so these got turned into a batch of falafel and were frozen for a later day. 

My homegrown harvest, July 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #homegrown #harvest #suburbanpermaculture #gardenharvest

My homegrown harvest, July 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #homegrown #harvest #suburbanpermaculture #gardenharvest

How's your garden this month?  What are you eating?