Category Archives: Seasonal

I ran out of time…

I believe I may be very cute indeed

I had such a lovely post lined up for you today but the day ran away with my.  I spent all morning working on … well working on something, then I spent an hour doing paperwork, followed by lunch (Boy the Elder is still on half term) then some work on the post.  Except that I have just taken delivery of a new vacuum cleaner which needed building, which BTE did with great skill, so I had to try it out as I haven’t been able to vacuum for two weeks. In the middle of that I got a ‘phone call from a friend who was trying to organise a meeting point for the children to do some Halloween stuff, except that Boy the Younger had Cubs first and I had to sort out some stuff for him so he could get his IT badge and then I remembered that I needed another pumpkin to make a big pot of soup for us all.  But the pumpkins were all gorn so I had to use a butternut squash which took twice as long because Boy the Elder wanted it to make another lantern. I was going to write the article when BTY got home from school and then, while he was at cubs, make the soup.  Except that Cubs was cancelled at the last minute so we had to re-arrange the entertainment and abandon the article in favour of the soup.  By the time we got back it was time for ‘Doc Martin’ and now I have a splitting headache and I’m afraid I shall have to retire to my bed.


However, if you click on the link above, you will find three recipes for pumpkin as you’re bound to have some left or be able to pick up some post-Halloween bargains.


Filed under Children, Food, Leftovers, Life in general, Recipes, Seasonal

Joy of Soup

Red Winter Soup

One of the lovely things about the darker nights and colder weather is that home-made soup is on the menu more often.

Tonight we had Red Winter Soup which packed full of Vitamin C to help ward off colds.

In our local Co-op this morning I found four tins of Chestnut Puree in the bargain bucket for only 34p each so I bought them all for future use in Chestnut and Bacon Soup

Pea and Ham Soup

With root vegetables becoming seasonally cheaper, lovely lentil and vegetable soups can be recycled for days.
Make a huge pot and on Day 1 cook some chops or chicken pieces in it.  On Day 2 add some sausages and on Day 3 eat it on its own with good bread and a chunk of decent cheese.

Raid your local butcher or delicatessen and ask them for ham bones for hearty Pea and Ham Soup.

There are still patches of new nettles out there

And of course, let us not forget that Halloween is coming up.  Don’t just carve pumpkins, scoop out the flesh and use it for Pumpkin Soup.

And the beauty is that most soup can be made from Storecupboard Ingredients!   Put Soup into the ‘Search’ box for more souper recipes.


Filed under Food, Leftovers, Nutrition & Sensible Eating, Recipes, Seasonal, Storecupboard

A delicious Sausage Stew

This is a recipe for a delicious, nutritious, easy and cheap sausage stew which is just the job for warming you up on a chilly day.  This recipe serves 6 easily and uses storecupboard ingredients.  If, as in my case, there are only 2 or 3 of you, eat the stew with the sausages on day one, then eat the rest the next day either on its own with bread and cheese or add some lamb chops, chicken legs or bits of black pudding.


1 x large saucepan or casserole dish suitable for the hob
1 x chopping board
1 x vegetable peeler

a little oil
8 good sausages
1 medium onion – chopped
1 small swede or half a big one – peeled & cubed
3 medium parsnips – peeled & cubed
3 medium carrots – chopped into chunks
2 medium potatoes – chopped into chunks (I leave the skins on)
1 can of chopped tomatoes
1 pint of stock – I made half beef and half chicken
1 heaped tablespoon of tomato puree
1 tablespoon mixed herbs
1 flat tablespoon paprika
1 tin of baked beans
seasoning to taste

Heat the oil in a saucepan
Add the sausages and cooked until nicely browned
Add the onions and soften a little, adding a bit more oil if necessary
Add all the other ingredients except the baked beans
Cook on a low heat until the vegetables have softened, stirring occasionally (probably about ½ hour to 40 minutes)
Add the baked beans and cook for a further five minutes
Serve in big bowls


Filed under Food, Leftovers, Recipes, Seasonal, Storecupboard

Fish Cakes and Apple Crumble

Dinner last night was a pleasing combination of two old favourites.

Fish Cakes using up some leftover mashed potato and

Apple Crumble with my first gift of autumn apples

Although how such skinny boys can eat a cooked breakfast, have a two course lunch, a snack mid-afternoon and then a two course dinner is beyond me.  All height and feet I expect.


Filed under Food, Leftovers, Seasonal

Chocolate Crispy Cakes – for the able and less able

I haven’t made chocolate crispy cakes since I was ever so wee, and they are generally considered to be a recipe which an amoeba with acronyms could manage.  Despite being an accomplished and confident cook, The Wartime Housewife Buggered It Up. (Sounds like an Enid Blyton re-vamp – I shall publish at once).

I had two bars of milk chocolate in the larder, so I thought I’d use those.  On exposure to the slightest heat, the chocolate solidified into a glutinous, granular mass which resisted all attempts to absorb the syrup.  I stirred and stirred but nothing happened.  I became reckless.  I added an ounce of butter which made it separate, so I added a great dollop of double cream and went at it with a stick blender.  Result!  In went the cornflakes and bish bash bosh.  Crispy cakes with a satisfyingly toffee-like texture.

This is what I should have done:-


1 x heatproof bowl
1 x saucepan
12 x paper cases
a tray to put them on

6oz / 180g dark chocolate
2 tablespoons of golden syrup
3oz / 90g cornflakes
Mini eggs to decorate

Melt the chocolate into a heatproof bowl over a pan of hot water
Stir in the golden syrup
Stir in the cornflakes until they are evenly covered in chocolate mixture
Spoon the mixture into 12 paper cases
Arrange the mini eggs on top – you could also put a tiny fluffy chick in the middle if that’s your bag
Put them in the fridge to set.


Filed under Food, Recipes, Seasonal, Slider

Creamed Mushrooms – a dish for St. George

There is a mushroom called The St George mushroom or Calocybe gambosum which is one of the few edible fungi to be found at this time of the year.  It is so named because it only appears around the time of St George’s Day which, as I’m sure you all know, is 23rd April.

St Georges Mushroom

It is fairly common and widespread in the UK and can be found on grassy verges, the edges of woodland and at the roadside.  As well as being a culinary delicacy, it is thought to have some anti-bacterial properties and has been reported to lower blood sugar levels. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you never to eat fungi that you find growing wild unless you are absolutely, 100% sure what you’re doing.  I do not want a poorly executed recipe on my conscience.

I love mushrooms in all their wide variety and they are an excellent source of mycoprotein.  Creamed mushrooms make a delightful and tasty lunch or supper, served piled up on hot buttered toast.  This recipe will serve 2-3 so why not get in your favourite mushrooms and have this dish for lunch on Saturday; a portion for yourself, England and St George.  Or something.


2 x medium saucepan
1 x wooden spoon
1 x toaster

1lb / 480g mushrooms – halved, quartered or left whole depending on the size
1oz / 30g butter
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3floz / 90ml double cream1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon cider or apple juice
1/2 tablespoon parsley – fresh and finely chopped
hot buttered toast

Melt the butter in the pan and add the mushrooms
Cook over a low heat for 5 minutes or so, making sure not to burn the butter
Sir in the lemon juice and half of the cream
Simmer for about 8 minutes and season if you wish
Pour off the liquor into the other pan and keep the mushrooms warm
Pour in the cider, the parsley and the rest of the cream and turn up the heat
Cook, stirring continuously, until the sauce had reduced by half
Return the mushrooms to the sauce then serve immediately on toast


Filed under Food, Hedgerows, Recipes, Seasonal, Slider

Fun Easter activities for all the family

Now that the school holidays are nearly upon us, it is a great time to get out those paints and glue, eggs and flour and get creative.  Or better still make your children get creative.

Easter baskets

Easter Baskets:

Hot Cross Buns


Hot Cross Buns:

Egg decorations


Faberge Egg Decorations:

Simnel Cake


Simnel Cake:

Egg cosies


Felt Egg Cosies:


Filed under Seasonal