It was so warm and so sunny today I couldn’t wait to get outside and start sowing some seeds. First though we needed some breakfast.
A couple of weeks ago I bought Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar book. It is well laid out, beautifully illustrated and clearly presents many of the reasons why you shouldn’t eat sugar. It is not as detailed or as informative as other books I have read such as David Gillespie’s Sweet Poison but I bought it because I like Sarah’s blog, I wanted to get some of her recipes and I wanted to follow her 8 week programme to quit sugar. Today I began week 1. My objective is to not eat anything with sugar added and to cut out refined white carbohydrates which is easy for me as I rarely eat refined white carbs anyway. Cutting out all sugar is hard though as I have been so bad recently.
Harvey and I had bacon and eggs for breakfast. I can not find any organic and sugar free bacon. All the organic bacon has sugar added so I opted for non organic but free range pigs. If anyone knows of bacon which is organic and has no sugar, please let me know.
I had mine with a little cheese and parsley. I made the egg and bacon cupcakes. They are so easy. Preheat the oven to 200 °C and grease a muffin tin. Lay one rasher of bacon in each muffin pan to cover the sides and bottom. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes to get the bacon going. I then used some kitchen paper to blot up any water and fat inside the bacon cases. Crack an egg in to each bacon case (don’t worry if some goes over the sides or top), sprinkle on a little cheese and parsley (optional) and bake for 10 – 15 minutes until the egg whites are cooked.
Ta Daa! These were extremely easy to make and we both enjoyed them. I did cut the fat off. 15 minutes cooking meant the yolks were solid and we would have preferred them runny. I would have found egg and bacon on a plate unappetising without bread but eating them this way, the bread didn’t seem necessary. We had two each.
I popped out to the lovely Walled Nursery in Hawkhurst this morning to buy some seeds, pea sticks and thick hazel bean poles. The bean poles are from local coppiced trees so are more sustainable than using bamboo and will be easier for the plants to climb up than bamboo.
I found my garden notes book. In 2011 I was very diligent about writing down what I planted, where and how it turned out. Much easier to do when you are not working! I decided it was useful and am going to try to keep notes this year.
I planted out some aubergine and tomato seeds. It was just delightful to be outside in the sunshine, planning this years vegetable growing and then getting started. I should have sown the aubergine last month but let’s see how it goes.
I am also late chitting potatoes but again, let’s see what happens. As well as vegetables, I am am trying to grow more flowers in the garden this year, some from seed I sow myself and others by buying seedlings. These sweet peas
and these penstemons are part of a larger collection of seedlings I bought from Sarah Raven. Out in the veg patch I picked some Kale. I have found out which type this is – Kale Red Winter which I bought from the Organic Gardening Catalogue. I also picked some leeks. Not many left now 😦 The leeks were steamed with carrots, the kale was pulled off the stalks, the green leaves were shredded and lightly sauteed in butter. The vegetables were great and I wish I had cooked more. We had them with roast pork and roast potatoes. I made a really good gravy which I got from Nigel Slater’s The Kitchen Diaries, an excellent recipe book. I slowly fried 2 chopped onions in a heavy bottomed saucepan until they were translucent and really soft, added 1 very heaped tbsp flour and cooked for a couple of minutes. I added a glass of Marsala, 500 ml beef stock, 1/2 a tsp grain mustard and 1/2 a tsp Dijon mustard and black pepper. When the meat was cooked, I placed the meat on the carving board, poured away the meat fat from the roasting try and poured the gravy in to the roasting tray. I reduced the gravy slightly while scraping the meat pieces from the bottom of the tray. When we were ready to eat, I sieved the gravy and it was delicious. Quite thick, sweet from the Marsala and full of flavour.
I had a lovely walk with Jane over the road in the woods and when I came home I ate some nuts, a small piece of cheese and enjoyed a glass of wine. I have also had 2 pieces of toast.
I have stuck to Sarah’s week one plan and avoided sugar which I am pleased about but I have eaten too much. Tomorrow I will get back to calorie counting as that worked well in January.