Friday, 31 May 2013

Things I Loved This Month...May...

This month I've been loving...

* tidy flat * planting my little garden * planning and saving for a trip to Brazil * sunshine *   The Great Gatsby * vegan sausage and mash * hugs at work * vampire books * Radio 2 * gingerbread men * stripey towels * flying kites and magic shows * nice customers * Doctor Who (although no thanks to John Hurt!) * Doctor Who conversations with kids at work * tardis and darlek necklaces * lie ins * butterflies and bees * pink elephant watering can * watching Natalie Woods Biopic, Once Upon a Time, Big Bang Theory and Neighbours * bunny salt and pepper shakers * warm clothes off the radiator * dinosaur socks * balloon hat * sewing * ducklings * 

What have you loved?  Hope you've had a most excellent month!  

Monday, 27 May 2013

Garden Update...Pretty Flowers and Planting Out the Veggies...

I spent a couple of days playing in mums garden, getting my little veggie plot sorted out.

First, I appreciated the pretty flowers...

Then I planted my courgettes, sweet corn, broad beans and chickpeas.  I'll plant some spinach and herbs when I remember to take my seeds with me!  My bit of garden is the bit in between the brick path and the wooden path-thingy.  My wigwam is still there at the back and I've planted geraniums round the bottom of it again.

In the garden of our old house there was a patch of self-sown wild strawberries, I dug a few up and brought them to mums new garden.  As you can see they've spread out along the edge of the border, so I dug a few up and put them on the border of my veggie patch, I thought they'd look pretty and you can never have enough strawberries!

Just wanted to show you mums pea sticks, they're branches off the plum tree.  They had buds on when mum cut them off, which have blossomed even though they're no longer on the tree.  Don't they look pretty?

 Look, figs!

The first thing I've eaten from the garden this year, purple sprouting broccoli.  Yum.

More garden prettiness.  We dug that pond when we moved in, it's doing so well and has frogs in it and tadpoles too!

Hot!  (I took this photo at about 6pm, it had been much, much hotter in the daytime!)

My balcony is still pretty too!

How are your garden's doing?

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Easy, Cheap Vegan Meals...Pasta and Garlic Mushrooms, Vegan Sunday Roast, Sweet corn Fritters...

Here are some more of my easy, cheap vegan dinner ideas...

Pasta and garlic mushrooms - fry chopped mushrooms and garlic in a little oil, mix with cooked pasta.  This is one of my urgh-just-got-in-from-work-and-need-to-eat-carbs-and-sit-down-now meals.

My vegan version of a Sunday dinner - roast potato and red onion wedges (cook the potatoes whole in the microwave first, before cutting into wedges and roasting with the onions in a little oil and sea salt), whatever veg I have in the fridge and I have either stuffing balls or a vegan sausage (the stuffing balls are from a dry packet mix, not much nutritional value but they taste nice and I can get 4 servings out of a pack of Paxo).

Vegan sweetcorn fritter - let me promise you, a vegan sweetcorn fritter is very yummy.  I posted the recipe for these years ago, but I've slightly changed my method now - I leave out the egg replacer, and put in turmeric, nutritional yeast flakes and spring onions.  Sometimes I make a couple of little ones, and sometimes they get stuck together in the pan and form a giant mono-fritter.  Both are good.  Also good to take in your lunchbox, they warm up well in a microwave or a toaster (if you're careful!).

What yummy vegan meals do you like making?

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Vegan Junk Food...So Malty Aldi Fruity Malt Loaf...

I have not eaten malt loaf since I was a child!  This is all sticky and malty and when I eat a slice of it spread with vegan margarine I'm 8 years old again!  70p from Aldi.

Here are the ingredients, you can click to embiggen them...

Have you made any magical, vegan junk food discoveries recently??

(This product is vegan as far as I can tell - items have suitable for vegetarians labelling, no dairy/eggs in the allergy section and the ingredients list contains no animal ingredients that I can see)

Monday, 6 May 2013

Library Love...Gardening Books...

Some of these are library books, some are from my own shelves, these are what are inspiring me this year...

Grow Your Own Crops in Pots - Kay Maguire
This book is great for my balcony, 'cos it specifically about growing in pots.  It has tips for trees as well as growing from seed, listed alphabetically with lots of useful info.

James Wong's Home Grown Revolution - James Wong
This is my main inspiration this year.  Mr Wong shows how easy it is to grow unusual and exotic crops, that would be expensive to buy in food shops, in your own garden.

The Edible Garden/The Thrifty Gardener - Alys Fowler
I go back to both of these Alys Fowler books over and over again.  I would love an Edible Garden like Alys', with food-plants and flower plants mingling together to create prettiness, and I would love to wear her vintage dress collection too!  The Thrifty Gardener has loads of info on gardening cheaply, composting, propagation and all sorts of helpful things.

Success With House Plants - Readers Digest
I bought this in a second hand book sale for a couple of quid, and it's fantastic!  It has pretty much all of the house plants ever, listed alphabetically, with instructions how to water, position and propagate each type.  

How to Grow Fresh Air - Dr B. C. Wolverton
I go back to this book again and again, it's the result of a study of how well plants remove toxins from the environment, it lists the 50 top plants and explains the science too.  Really interesting!

Do you have a favourite gardening book?

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Easy Green Things To Do This Month...May 2013...

Here are some easy green things you can do this month...

I think this one is really important, the EU is proposing a law that will mean all seed varieties have to be registered and regulated in order to be saved, swapped or sold.  This is being pushed by multinational seed companies and if it goes through will damage biodiversity.  There's a petition to sign and you can find more info, including EU commissioners to email here.

Write to your MP to ask them to support a ban on free plastic bags in England.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) are campaigning to prevent a new planning law resulting in more building on green field land - write to your MP here.

The Fairtrade Foundation are asking for a better deal for small farmers, join their mini, virtual, march here.

Check out Be the Start campaign, promoting a sustainable future and inspired by Prince Charles!  There's a daily topic for each day of May here and more info here.

If you have any ideas to be added to this months list, then let me know in the comments section and if I like it, I'll add it!  And feel free to share any of this info (or the whole post) wherever and with whoever you like!