Cooking is a chore

Here on the homestead we’ve tried most cooking methods, roasting, frying, boiling, slow cooking, meals-for-a-month, baking ad nauseam. So far so dull. Logistics of mealtimes are hard, the small army needs FOOD about 2 hours before DH appears so whatever it is has to be re-heatable, edible by the masses, mashable for baby, nutritionally balanced,  not the same as last night, not poisonous for Clifford (the big red dog) who will steal whatever he can and not too expensive. And yes, I’ve done 1001 interesting things with ground beef.

Not impressed with a cookbook I bought a while back, published by a venerable broadcasting organisation who should have read it. Advertised as “ways to feed your family cheaply and save time and money” I want to know where they shop to get avocado cheaply or lobster and trout on BOGOF!

Answers on a postcard please!



This years’ harvest

Seed catalogues are lovely things. All pretty pictures and aspirational text. DH wants parsnips, I want peonies.

In the interest of grow your own parsnips win but I get a dispensation for hollyhocks at the back of a bed in an unreachable spot. Its not much of a dispensation given they’re already there but I’m taking it as a win.


Today’s request, from Minima, among others was for ‘a tornado’. Sorry not just this minute. Mummy will do a great impression of one half an hour before Aunty visits!

So, more crochet today – intrepidly (or stupidly) starting on a rather lovely swing coat. Why can I not keep the edges of anything straight? Much undoing and muttered cursing. Still it will be lovely sometime in 2027 when it’s finished.


More digging and delving, not aided by Clifford (the big red dog) who went from big and red to big and black and dirty very quickly.

Thence to big and wet in the bath.

Thence to big, red, wet and in disgrace.

More free exercise cleaning the entire bathroom and children post Clifford bathing.

Swiftly followed by a couple of glasses of Sav. Blanc which wasn’t homegrown.

BackofBeyond isn’t known for the climate appropriate for grape propagation.



How can there be so much to do in the winter ina  garden? Everything is supposed to be asleep. Lots of clearingout of beds. Glamour spot of the week – unloading half a ton of horse manure and digging it in, then constructing a compost heap for the remains to go into.


Digging should be considered an olympic sport – quantity per hour with extra points for style, soil type (clay get max points) and muscles pulled. At least the green credentials are retained – zero travel, weight loss (sweat), and hopefully veg at the end of the year.

Barbados has a champion sugar cane cutter (tons cut) so why not digging?



Home Sweet Home

It’s good morning from the happy homestead – a growing collection of people, animals and plants in the frozen wastes of England. I don’t intend to put any political comment on here, that’s not what it’s for unless something really riles me. If you want politics try the New Statesman or Private Eye. They’re better at it and have had more experience.

This is all about home and what it means to us – home made (if possible – I like my clothes to look like clothes, not potato sacks and shoes are better left to the experts). Home grown – as much as possible, trying organic, not enough discipline for biodynamic. Home reared – particularly children, chickens, dogs and possibly ducks. 

Home cooked – always, catering cheaply for the masses on a limited budget (aren’t we all!) Cakes, stews, salads and seasonal. How do boys eat so much?