One thing we talked a lot about while we were away was food.
We grow and sell organic food for a passion and for a living and are rather obsessed with the stuff. The fresher, the closer to your kitchen it was grown, the fewer nasties used to grow it, the better.
But still we are aware that unless you prioritise food, the more often you end up taking short cuts and finding yourself with some not so great food habits. I think that's what happened to us before we left. We were so tired from looking after the farm and growing great food to send off to other people, that we ended up putting some not so great food on the table for our family.
So while we were away we resolved to come home and to prioritise our family's eating habits. To grow and pick and cook and prepare from the kitchen garden/farm as often as possible. To prepare from scratch as often as possible. To eat local and organic and in season as often as possible. To include the kids in the process from start to finish no matter the messy consequences as often as possible. To experiment. And to start broadening our food horizons with new flavours and tastes and ingredients as often as possible.
And you know what? I think we are succeeding.
We have been making all our own bread and pasta and pastries and doughs. We have picked and used berries and lettuces and herbs and beans and garlic and onions and eggs and plums from the garden. We bought and swapped masses of produce at the farmer's market. We have introduced a few new menu items and experimented with some new to us flavours. And the girls have been involved and made a mess and had fun.
And I think making it pretty has made a big difference too. Using lovely crockery and cutlery. Having flowers on the table. Making a meal an event rather than a rush. Spending time as a family eating and talking (not with your mouth full) and enjoying each other.
To be honest I am dreading school going back. I am not good at rushing. A huge, important aim for me this year is to continue on with this food plan. Maybe we'll have to start menu planning. Maybe I'll have to get more organised. I think I can. I hope I can.
RECIPE: Easy Peasy Pie Pastry.
Gathered from lots of recipes, adapted over time.
Used for any sweet, fruity pie filling.
225g of flour
140g butter, cold, cubed
Zest of one lemon
2 egg yolks
Chuck flour, butter, sugar and zest in your food processor and mix.
Add yolks and a drop of water and mix to make into a dough.
(I love that moment when the mixture binds and becomes a smooth dough).
Roll half of this dough out to line a greased metal pie tin and pop the other half in the fridge.
Pack your cool filling tightly into the pie bottom.
Paint the edge of your pie bottom with an egg wash mixture of one yolk and a splash of milk.
Get the remaining dough from the fridge and roll it out on your floured bench.
Pop it on top of the pie or cut it into strips and weave them like we did.
Use any remaining dough to decorate the pie.
Press the top onto the bottom around the edges.
Egg wash the top.
Cut air holes in the top if it is sealed.
Our rhubarb/berry pie was cooked at 150c for about 50 minutes.
Breathe in those yummy pie smells. Admire. Get out some pretty plates. Eat with yogurt or cream. Enjoy.
Are you good eaters? Do you menu plan? Are you adventurous? Do you think about the ingredients? Are you trying to be better like me? Could you eat salad every day like me? Have you made/eaten anything amazing lately? What are you eating today?
See ya! x