Massacre of the Innocents

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Many years ago I was helping a local lady in her house and couldn’t help noticing her tomato plants. They were heavily laden with beautiful, fat tomatoes,  but the rest of the plants were cut back to the quick almost, with a wee sprouting of leaves at the top and a single stem to support them. I had to ask her about them as I’d just started trying to grow my own tomatoes. She explained to me that the leaves and the side shoots steal growing energy from the fruit, so it’s important to prune them off if you want to get plentiful fruit. She also explained that you need to start pruning once the second truss of flowers appears. I applied it to my own tomatoes and we got a magnificent crop, so I’ve followed her advice every year since.
Today was the first day of pruning for the year, and it always makes me feel like I’m being utterly savage with my poor wee plants.

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We also fed them for the first time today to make up for the savaging. It’ll need doing every two weeks until they are done flowering.  I’m going to soak the clippings to turn them into plant food, which is also a bit savage,  but it will return the goodness the side shoots and leaves stole from the baby tomatoes. 

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Tipsy red fruit salad

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Mmm, whisky and Raspberries! Scottish as ocht!

After having creamy pasta earlier because I found the recipe again on my blog, I decided to round dinner off with my favourite way of having Raspberries.  Since there were also some gorgeous Angus Strawberries in the fridge I threw them together. I’m calling this tipsy because of the whisky, which I like to add along with local honey (not mass produced!  I use Urr Valley which comes from 10 miles away) to give them a flavour like in a Cranachan. The honey can easily be switched with maple syrup or agave, although both come all the way from the Americas so aren’t terribly carbon conscious here in Scotland.  Anyway, here’s the ingredient list for one portion!

20g Strawberries
20g Raspberries
1 teaspoon local honey

1 teaspoon blended Scottish Whisky

Chop the fruit, pour on honey and whisky, stir and eat!
Sometimes I also add a sprinkle of pinhead oatmeal.

A wee news round up

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From my other blogs.
1. There’s this. This weekend in Dumfries.  Please, weather Goddesses,  be kind!

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Does this qualify for an OMG?

2. I’ve started serialising my most epic work. There’s lots to come in time, but for now I’m introducing the main characters.

A Telepath, a Fey Princess, a witch and a Queen; four Threads in The Tapestries of the Veils.

Welcome to the Tapestries.  Step inside for the serialisation of this fantasy series by Angela Miller.

Inside you will find the latest chapters of the series. I intend to serialise them over the coming months. Eventually I will release them as eBooks, but this is where you can read them first!

Oat Scones

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Served up hot with dairy free marge! Yum!

It’s been a while since I posted a recipe, so I decided to post about my favourite breakfast scone. These are super easy to make and tasty with just about anything! 
When I became aware of my wheat allergy, I spent a lot of time experimenting with baking as the wheat free (and gluten free ) breads and rolls available at the time were really too dry and and sweet for my tastes, but sometimes I just get a  need for something quick and satisfying.  I remembered that when I was a Teenager we used to make these simple breads with plain flour, so I got the recipe from my mum and swapped in white spelt flour to begin with.  It worked perfectly, so I started experimenting with flavourings and other flours for different uses.
After quite some time, I perfected the varient below as a breakfast bread. It uses fine oatmeal to make it particularly satisfying. This recipe makes just one bread, but it’s easy to scale up.

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I use a griddle, but a dry and heavy frying pan works just as well.

Ingredients :
                        1/4 cup or 32g Wholemeal spelt flour
                        1/4 cup or 32g fine oatmeal
                        1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
                        1/4 teaspoon of salt

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Put the dry ingredients into the bowl.

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Carefully add water to the side of the bowl. Mix in a little at a time

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You should end up with a reasonably soft, slightly stick ball of dough.

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Make sure your pan/griddle is warmed up to a medium heat. Flatten the dough out in your hands into a rough circle.

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Turn it once it no longer sticks. Keep turning it regularly until it's golden brown. Should take just over five minutes.

If you gently press the sides and the bread springs back rather than denting,  it should be cooked through. 

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Once it's properly cooked through it has a nice bready texture. Spread it with what you fancy! Best served hot 🙂

They are great with (quorn) bacon and sausages too. Happy eating!

Market day

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Before

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After

It went pretty well today.  The Garlic and Herb sold out, and this is all that’s left of the Sundried Tomato and Plain flavour.
I used samples today, and while I know they helped with sales, I really didn’t need a lot of samples at all. I think I used 5 oatcakes altogether. 
The suitcase drew a lot of attention too, I think it sold more oatcakes than the samples did.
Quite pleased now, I think I earned some chill time!

Ready!

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Been busy packaging and packing for tomorrow. 

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Three flavours! Improved labelling!

Got ingredient labels on the bottom of the packets now, with dates stamps done by Alex.
Sixty packets, three flavours: Plain, Sundried Tomato and Garlic & Herb.

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Packed away in the case now. Mum’s added a perspex inner door to the case to help keep the oatcakes tucked nicely inside. The sign is also strengthened so it lasts better.

Baked!

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After many hours slaving away out of the sunshine, in the heat of the kitchen, to the dulcet tones of Ozzy Osborne (amongst others), my stock for Saturday is done!

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This weekend I’ll be selling Plain and Sundried Tomato flavour, which were bothvery popular last month. Additionally I’ll be trialing a new flavour….  *queue drumroll* ……

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Garlic and Herb  flavour! (Ta, Karen! Just cos you said)
They’ll be the same price per packet as the Sundried Tomato (£1.20) while the Plainwill be £1.10.
Market is Saturday, 10am to 12.30pm at Dalry Town Hall.

EDIT: I typo’d the price of the Plain Oatcakes. I have fixed it now. It should have been £1.10 to begin with.