January 2010

Home Made Hydroponic Chilli Grower For Under £10

Mark A Hole

Take One Air Brick

Air Pump

Cut Hole In Lid

Mix Vermiculite & Percolite

Feed 5mm Tube Through Lid


Finished Build



Rosemary Spiced Nuts

500g mixed nuts
15g unsalted butter
3 tsp clear wildflower honey
2 tsp Cornish sea salt
2 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
½ tsp cayenne pepper

Preheat the oven to 180C. Spread nuts on baking sheet. Toast until just golden, 10-15 minutes. Melt butter, honey and sea salt. Fold in rosemary and cayenne. Tip into honey butter to coat. Cool before decanting into jars or wrapping in parchment.

Let’s Build A Sledge


After an article was published , some of my chums , decided to fashion up some sledges over the snowy period.

One of the team having lived abroad [ AUS ] for most of here childhood had never sledged before , her first two runs ended up destroying the first two of three sledges OOOps.

So , after some hasty rebuilds in a cottage kitchen, where the kitchen table quickly became the Black & Decker Workbench , it was a case of sledging in the dark by headlamps.


Matron even Sam Spee , the rescue dog liked dancing in the snow.

Then a late supper , supported by Zebra production , home made Kiwi Miner Stout , and a long hard cycle home up hills covered in snow and ice , in bed by 0230 hrs .


Return trip day two , this time loaded up with some more ale , some strawberry cider , some ginger beer , some apple and black berry vodka , and some home made flap jack super food bar.

The perfect energy food , all gooey and sticky , ideal to kick start the day.

Just For Ms. Mole et al who consumed and requested the recipe.

Zebra Style High Energy Gooey Flapjacks

These honey-sweetened flapjacks are great for breakfasts on the go. If you’re having them at home, serve them warm with a dollop or Greek or natural yogurt and some fresh fruit. Makes 12 big or 16 smaller flapjacks

200g unsalted butter
200g demerara sugar
200g honey, agave syrup or brown rice syrup
450g muesli or a fruity porridge oat mix.

Lightly butter or oil a 20cm x 30cm (8in x 12in) cake tin, or line it with parchment paper. Put the butter, sugar and honey in a saucepan and heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Add the muesli and mix well.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared cake tin and spread to about 2cm (¾in) thick. Smooth the surface with the back of a spoon. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 15-20 minutes, until it’s lightly golden around the edges but still slightly soft in the middle. Let cool in the tin, then turn out and cut into squares. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.



A second day of pain and a little bit of snow kiting thrown in for good measure by headlamp.

Followed by good home cooked sausage beans and mash , and yet another cycle ride home , I’m feeling the pain today.

Summer Berry Sorbet with Cracked Black Pepper

Summer Berry Sorbet with Cracked Black Pepper


500g mix of blackberries, redcurrants, raspberries and strawberries
250g caster sugar
juice of ½ a small lemon
splash of water

Place all the ingredients in a thick bottomed pan.

Bring to simmer, blend and sieve.

Allow to cool then churn in an ice cream maker

I add 1/4 tsp freshly crushed black pepper at the end of the freezing process.

The combination of the sharp fresh fruit and the subtle hot pepper , works wonderfully.