Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Fairly Normal

Yesterday started national Fairtrade fortnight but due to sickness the blog is a day late. I've blogged about the huge variety  of Fairtrade products that are now available in previous years. Why not have a look at my blog from 2012 here.

From earnings to bananas Fairtrade is becoming more and more normal. What new Fairtrade product will you discover in the next 13 days?

Monday, 16 February 2015

Meat and Two Veg (or a few more...)

I've no idea what I'll be getting for dinner this week, but my shopping is ordered. I know I'll have milk, cheese, some fruit, some veg and some meat but it will be a surprise what exactly arrives.

Over the past few months we've converted to ordering Riverford's "Fruit and veg box plus meat" each week, and we add onto that the extras of milk and cheese. Of course, I can find out what will be delivered but often I don't bother until it arrives when I bring it in from our doorstep on Thursday mornings.

We've enjoyed the variety the boxes give us. Rather than our usual habit of chicken breast, beef mince, peppers, onions, apples and potatoes we have bee eating turkey mince, venison stew, Jerusalem artichokes, grapes, blueberries as well as all the usual staples. It does mean occasionally we have to think about what we'll eat with what (do parsnips go better with venison or turkey?) but we've also discovered new favourite dinners including beef stir fry, chicken harrisa skewers and home made burgers. The variety of fruit and veg has also made eating more interesting as the veg becomes more a part of the main event rather than  just being a filler on the plate.

It's not the first time I've blogged about Riverford veg boxes (see here, here, here, here, here and here). Over the years I've picked them up and put them down again depending on how it fits with life but I always come back and since I discovered their (relatively recent) addition of a veg AND meat box (rather than seperate boxes that don't always suit a couple without a freezer) I can't see myself stopping again for a long time.

The ease of ordering, excellent quality of taste and longevity of produce (most of our veg will be fine a fortnight after delivery) are all reasons to keep going. Another is the cost. Three types of meat (including a joint for two), five types of veg and two types of fruit along with milk and cheese normally adds up to about £40 a week, which for the quality of food (even the not too fussed husband says the veg tastes really good) is fantastic.

So, I've found a love of food again (I never really lost it...) and each Thursday morning is a mini Christmas of opening boxes to discover what exciting food we'll be eating over the next week. Mid week dinners still feel like a chore, but with good ingredients they're more interesting and much tastier than in the past.

Honestly the fact that the food is organic, local and ethical is an added bonus that I often forget, but it's a very nice one all the same.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Grey Ghost

Last Friday I had an incredible visit to an incredibly cold nature reserve with three of my four favourite people. This week's blog was going to be about that visit but one of my companions has got there first! So because father knows best here's my Dad's description of our visit to the brilliant Nene Washes. With hot chocolate and two new species of bird to add to my life list. Possibly a perfect day.


Sunday, 1 February 2015

Winter Walks

Last week turned out to be too much fun to fit a blog in! I even failed to complete my Big Garden Birdwatch. While visiting Norfolk with friends over the weekend we discovered our holiday house didn't have a garden. And it seemed rather unscientific to use the only view from the house which looked out onto The Wash. So I'll wait for next year.

The holiday did give us a chance to visit the RSPB's Titchwell reserve and enjoy the gorgeous reedbeds, a flock of avocets and more greenfinches than I've seen for years. 

This week has been another busy one, but with time for a walk along a Leicestershire canal seeing bullfinches, buzzards, redwings and black headed gulls. A cold walk but with sunshine and birdsong in the air a welcome hour.

Sothe message for this week is get out and into nature whatever the weather as winter's got some magical moments to offer!