Monday, 15 February 2016

Harvest Monday & a trip to Great Yarmouth

It was Shrove Tuesday (or pancake day) this week so it would be rude not to partake of a few eh! We use a recipe from this old book that my mum gave me ages ago. It's the same as one she used when I was a kid but I think she picked it up at a jumble sale more recently.
The recipe is very easy, 1/4 lb self raising flour, 1 egg, pinch of salt. Sieve the flour, make a well in the middle, drop in the egg, gradually stir in the milk and whisk well. (Makes about 8 pancakes). I'm afraid we did not flip them though, I wouldn't want to risk wasting delicious pancake!
For the filling I used onion, garlic, butter beans, toms and kale and a sprinkle of grated cheddar. The only homegrown element was the onion, which was the last of my stored onions, so a little bit sad, though mid Feb isn't bad to have lasted that long. The butter beans were dried ones I'd cooked in the slow cooker (about half the price of tinned).
Yesterday we were heading out all day so I thought I'd be organised and do a meal in the slow cooker. I had to be even more organised than usual because the squash needed defrosting first. If I'd used it from frozen it would've taken absolutely ages in the slow cooker. Anyway it had a nice colour.
With chickpeas and toms. I also added some fried onion, garlic and spices and a bit of boiled water. It cooked on low for about 8 hours.
Nice to come home to after a chilly day out.
Tonight Jan made us falafels using more chick peas (I did a big batch on Saturday night in the slow cooker and have frozen some in jars - will have to see how they turn out). We've got some self-sown parsley in the lean-to that grew up after my summer plants died off (the parsley seeds were in my homemade compost) which went in the falafels.
And I picked a bit more for some yogurt dip too. The potatoes are the rest of the ones I dug up last week, with a homemade coleslaw. These meals always look like we're really healthy but they don't show the chocolate we (ok, *I*) eat afterwards! Only organic fair trade choccie though of course.
A trip to Great Yarmouth
A temporary exhibition at the Time and Tide Museum in Yarmouth is ending soon, so we decided to catch the bus over to the coast to see it. A lot of people only think of Yarmouth as a tacky seaside resort but there's loads more to it than that. For a start it has some amazing medieval town wall sections still!
The museum is based in an old mackerel (silver darlings) smokehouse, which is an interesting building in itself. Here's a recreation of an old Yarmouth 'row' - there were nearly 150 of these narrow streets within the land surrounded by the old medieval walls - space was tight so they packed the buildings right next to each other. Many of the old rows have been lost over the years but I love looking out for them as you wander round the back- streets.
The exhibition we went to see is called Beastly Machines - an artist has created mechanical beasts that are interactive. This whale was really big!
This frog pedalled the bike. I like the tadpole wheel
The dog's eyes flashed and if you wagged his tail he honked / barked, he hee
These gnus in a canoe slid towards each other
There were other exhibits like this elephant skull - it's thought the air holes in the skulls made people believe they were cyclops' remains.
Fake unicorn...or is it?? (Yes! zebra skull and narwhal tusk)
Back outside, the historic quayside is always nice to walk along
On the beach we were blasted by sand thanks to the strong winds, so instead of a walk along the front we headed inland. A very short walk out of town and you're soon alongside Breydon Water, a huge estuary with mudflats. The bird hide protected us a tiny bit from the chilling wind but it was so cold we didn't hang around too long. But still, we saw teal, widgeon, little egret, shelduck, avocets, godwits, oystercatchers and redshank (plus some other birds we didn't know).
The sun even briefly made an appearance.

Normally we would've gone for a longer walk along the side of Breydon Water but the weather was turning the time we got back to Norwich we were treated to cold sleet in our faces on the walk home. But we did see the Norwich starling murmeration briefly and came back to a warming slow cooked meal.


Ok, thanks for making it through to the end! Linking in with Harvest Monday hosted by Dave at Our Happy Acres

PS I'm going to sow my tomatoes indoors this week .... Exciting.



  1. I love falafels but we don't often make them at home. I do like you and make a big batch of chickpeas (in the pressure cooker though) and then freeze some for later. They always do well for me that way. Those Beastly Machines are amazing.

    1. Thanks Dave. When you freeze your chickpeas do you put them in liquid? I've not this time, to see what happens. I'll prob try making a hummus.
      I think for falafels they work better if fried in more oil than we use, but they were still nice.
      Yeah, the machines were great!

  2. We had a curry last week made form almost the same ingredients as your stew. We used a small portion of the squash and had enough for a meal for the two of us, freeze two
    more similar amounts and also loads of raw squash. Maybe we need to make a pumpkin pie.

    1. That's a coincidence Sue. We had leftovers for the next two days, combining with different things, so it went quite far.
      Mmm, pumpkin pie :)

  3. I love walking through old/medieval buildings/towns and wondering how life must have been when they were first built. It's just fascinating - those walkways are so narrow - they may have needed to keep those lamps permanently lit!

    One reason I love slow cooker meals so much is that all the work is done up front and then you can take it easy - I much prefer that to rushing around before dinner.

    1. Yes it must have been very dark in the rows Margaret. They all run roughly west South west - East North East (one theory is that it meant any floodwater drained away more easily as the land is on an old sand bank in between the sea and the river) so not much light would've got in.
      It's amazing to think of people in medieval times and earlier being in the same place as we walk now. There's even two Roman forts nearby which used to guard either side of the huge old estuary (used to be much bigger than today).
      I'm pleased we've been making more use of the slow cooker recently too. It really pays to invest a little effort earlier in the day to save time and hassle later.

  4. I absolutely have to try making my own falafels some time - love them! And those Beastly Machines are great. I googled the exhibit to get more detail - love those gnus in the canoe ...

    1. Hi Susie, mmm falafels are good! We don't actually make them very often, I think jan was inspired by all the chickpeas I'd cooked! My sister makes amazing falafels but lives in Spain so we don't get to sample them very often! She deep fries hers which I think works better, though uses a lot more oil of course.
      Ah that's cool you looked up the Beastly Machines! Yeh. The gnus were great, I played with them a few times hehe.

  5. What an interesting day out! I love the mechanical animals. We had falafel this week too, with tahini sauce.

    1. Thanks Mark, I like a day out where we get a bit of history and a bit of nature. You're never far from either in Norfok! We have Norfolk Museums passes as well, so a few times have combined a trip to a museum with a walk nearby.
      Yum, falafels with tahini sauce sound good.