More glut busting

Last night we were visited my friends – both old and new – for dinner. My aim was to feed them on produce from the garden, with any additional ingredients sourced locally. It’s such an abundant time of year that this turned out to be relatively easy (until I got to wanting ice cream).

Our main course consisted of:

  • Yum!


    Frittata, which is a sort of vegetable quiche without the pastry. Ours contained eggs, potatoes, courgette and peppers from the garden, plus onion and tomatoes from a local organic farm.

  • Glamorgan sausages, which are a vegetarian dish made from wholemeal breadcrumbs (flour from the local water mill), cheese (Snowdonia Black Bomber – a Welsh Cheddar) and sage (out of the garden) bound together with beaten egg (home-produced) and shallow fried.
  • Cherry tomatoes (from the garden)
  • Lettuce (from the garden)
  • Boiled potatoes (from the garden)
  • Monkey bread (flour from the local water mill, herbs straight out of the garden)
  • Couscous (haven’t found a local source of this yet!) with home grown pepper, coriander, courgette and tomato

For dessert we had:

  • Strawberries (from a local organic farm) and blackberries (picked in the afternoon from a local hedgerow)
  • Meringues (home-produced egg whites, but bought sugar)
  • Whipped cream (bought)
  • Homemade chocolate ice cream (home-produced egg yolks, but all the other ingredients bought)

You may be wondering why I bother to make ice cream at home when we live near The Hive on the Quay – a great source of locally produced honey ice cream. Well, the issue is that being lactose intolerant, I can’t eat it… so I make my own lactose-free ice cream and it helps to use up the egg glut when there is one (like now).

So, there you have it… a diversity of food, with very few miles on the clock… and now I have a few less courgettes to think what to do with too!

Milling around

Felin Ganol's wheel: power from an abundant resource

Felin Ganol’s wheel: power from an abundant resource

Last week we ran out of wholemeal flour. Rather than being a nuisance, however, it provided a welcome opportunity to visit our local mill.

Just a few miles away, in Llanrhystud, is a beautiful restored water-mill, Felin Ganol and it is from here that we buy our flour. All their flour is organic, but they have worked with Aberystwyth University so that, as well as their standard British flour, they also sell flour produced from our own county – Ceredigion. As you might know, Wales is quite hilly and land for growing wheat is limited. In the past, however, it was produced here and it’s lovely to think of this happening once more and it being processed so locally and in such an environmentally friendly way.

Beautiful restoration inside the mill

Beautiful restoration inside the mill

And, it doesn’t end there. The ‘Bake your lawn‘ project is encouraging schools to grow their own wheat, harvest and clean it, then bring it to the mill to grind into flour and, finally, bake into bread that the children get to eat. I love this idea of connecting children with the food that they eat; after all, even here in such a rural area, I’m guessing that most kids think bread comes from a plastic bag. If you’re interested in being involved, the project isn’t confined to Felin Ganol, but is nationwide: check out the Real Bread Campaign for details.

The produce... good quality, local food

The produce… good quality, local food

Our trip to buy bread (combined with other chores to make sure we optimise car use and limit the amount of fuel we use and thus the cost both financially and environmentally) was a sociable event – including a long chat… not the quickest shopping trip, but it does mean we support a local business, cut down on food miles and are a tiny part of a really fantastic restoration project. Not everyone has a local working water-mill, but if you do – give them your business, and if not, check out your other local food producers you’ll almost certainly find great produce and friendly folks!


%d bloggers like this: