Wednesday, 19 October 2011

hot wild blackberries and barley chapattis

hello wonderful readers! how do you like the new header and background? i was having a little play around with it yesterday, and this was my favorite combo...

anyway, enough of the graphic design, lets get down to the most important thing - food! and budget food in particular. i've been loving cooking with wholegrains this week, and trying out new recipes with pulses.

i've even realised that we've got some accidental dried beans up at the allotment - the ones that got left on the plant and forgotten about... the handful i got after keeping the others for next year's planting went into a big hearty stew this week, and were the best beans i've ever had!

in other news, we are starting to go through the masses of blackberries i picked these last few weeks:

warmed in the oven on top of homemade apple sauce, it's like a crumble without the hassle of making the topping. i served it with the tiniest dollop of local cream cheese from the farmer's market, and it was wonderful straight from the hot oven.

there's nothing quite like knowing there's 6 massive bags of frozen blackberries in the freezer! it was worth the hours of solitary picking to know that we've got the most local, organic, free, anti-oxidant rich berries available :)

as well as berries, i've discovered a passion for flatbread, that i knew i had, but never truly indulged. there's nothing as quick and easy as flatbread, and it's the perfect accompaniment to stews, soups and dals.

barley chapattis with honey & thyme (recipe below) with red lentil dal and fresh tomatoes from our garden.

barley chapattis with honey & thyme recipe (makes 4)
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 cup barley flour
a few sprigs of fresh thyme, or 1 tsp dried thyme
cracked black pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp honey
1/4 cup warm water

1. mix together the dry ingredients, then mix in the wet with your fingers, to form a soft, pliable dough (add more water if necessary).
2. knead together on a floured surface for 10 minutes.
3. divide the dough into 4, and shape into balls.
4. roll each ball out into a flatbread shape.
5. get a flat frying pan or skillet to a medium high temperature, and keep it dry.
6. place each chapatti one at a time into the pan, and cook until it blisters. you could also grill them.

cook's notes: there are endless variations of these flatbreads, and so many flavours you can add to mix it up a little bit. you can also add a little oil or butter to make it more moist, but the honey keeps it flexible and chewy enough. these freeze quite well, but be sure to reheat in a foil packet in the oven to stop them from becoming rockhard.

now, onto the big budget update for this week, courtesy of the lovely Laura:

last week i told you all that we've managed to save over £50 already in the joint account...and this week i'm happy to report:
  • we've got £76.50 in the account, and i've already got £20 in my purse for the next lot of food shopping! remember how i commented that there was probably far too much food for a week - well i was right, and it's going to last 2 weeks, especially with all the courgettes, tomatoes and squash from the allotment. there's a few spices i'll pick up tomorrow and other necessities like chocolate and tinned chickpeas, but that shouldn't amount to more than £10.
  • the only expense of the week was mum going to purchase cake-making ingredients for a big traybake for church on sunday - it was not wasted money, because she made an epic carrot cake that everyone adored!
  • i did my first EVER lot of carboot sale shopping at the weekend. i broke my not-spending any money on clothes rule, by purchasing a jumper for £1! not too bad, given how warm it'll keep me on snowy winter days. i also picked up a couple of plates to photograph on, and a nut cracker to get through the vast quantity of hazelnuts we've had from the local countryside.
  • i enjoyed wrapping apples for winter storage, and baking a yummy molasses apple tart! wild apples are one of the joys of living in england :) it makes me wonder how i feel compelled to actually pay for them at all!
  • i've spent a few hours weeding up at the allotment, and planning out next years plot and sowing schedule. we'll be having a big bonfire there the weekend after next, and we'll be taking a hot picnic with us to celebrate the awesome free homegrown produce we've had this year!
  • on a totally separate note, i finished listing a lot of university books on amazon (a little extra cash to pay for next year's holiday) and completed a handmade quilt i've been working on for over a year...
it's been a loving work in progress for a long while. but i finally finished it!!

what do you think?

and last but not least, i might just be part of this month's foodbuzz 24x24 again. i was so excited to get an acceptance email in my mailbox yesterday! i so loved making a big swedish feast last time, and this time is set to be similarly epic... i can't wait :)

currently reading: sophie dahl's from season to season - i actually unfortunately don't really love this one as much as her first. i got it from the library, but have been disappointed to only find a couple of recipes i actually want to make. such a shame as i use voluptuous delights loads!


  1. Both those dishes look so good, I'll have to try them! You are very inspirational with your budgeting, I wish I had access to some space to grow my own too. That quilt is beautiful as well, in fact I think you've just inspired me to make a cushion for my bedroom that I've been putting off for too long! I'll be sure to link this post up in my blog later :-)

  2. Yummy those meals look delish, I love that quilt!!!!!!!! x x

  3. I love blackberries and was only this morning looking at a recipe for blackberry flapjacks. Thanks so much for leaving me a comment on my new blog - I have signed up fir your email updates, I hope you might do the same for me. Have a great day.

  4. I have just noticed that you are disappointed with Sophie Dahls new book. Me too. I liked her last one because of the autobiography running through it (even though much of it I had heard before) and because of the TV series - who looks that lovely all the time?.

  5. I love chapatis and love the fact that you made them sweet with honey. And the quilt is gorgeous!


Thanks for leaving a lovely comment - have a wonderful day ♥