It’s dark outside, and cold. I’ve not been getting enough fresh air at all. So a chance to get away for a weekend to the outdoors was just too good to pass up. We’d been looking around for somewhere to stay and needed something that was manageable from London in the time we had and we’d been looking at too many things on both Tumblr and Pinterest that meant we didn’t just want your standard “room” or “cottage”. Our criteria were along the lines of “cute”, “rustic” etc and we wanted a cabin in the woods. After trawling through various sites and a whole heap of “glamping” type places that offered accommodation that was alright, I guess, but next door to about 20 of the same thing with them all about 2 metres apart, we eventually found a “shepherds hut” at a little place in Wales. The hut in question was in the grounds of the Kingstone Brewery in Tintern, Wales. We were in luck, it was just a couple of hours drive away and the hut itself (especially at this time of year) was private. It had its own cabin next door with a lounge area, kitchen, bathroom etc and the hut itself had a bed.
Oh man, it’s been a stressful week. I had a wonderful weekend away in Wales (The Wye Valley, more on that to come) and was feeling oh so relaxed, then I came back to an insanely busy and stressful few days both in and out of the office. Just before I went away however, I was approached by Domu, who asked me to create a slow cooker recipe for their new Slow Cooker Recipe Hub. This prompted me to take my slow cooker with me to Wales and I made a couple of different things, a more standard 3 bean chilli and then the recipe I opted to share with them, Pumpkin Jam. Yeah, OK, I’ve probably overdone it on the pumpkin this year (the pancakes aren’t even up yet…).
So the other week I posted a pretty scrummy Sweet Potato, Coconut & Chilli Soup recipe. At the same time that I made the soup I also made up a large batch of bread rolls. I don’t make bread anywhere near as often as I mean to. Rising times generally put me off as I mainly bake in the evening and the fact that it’s just not as shareable as a sweet bake. I mean, if I turned up at the TT Towers with a loaf of bread I’d probably get just a few funny looks and a “Mike, we employed you because of cake, not bread” (I remain convinced that I only get jobs because of my baking). However alongside this soup I wanted to do something other than just pop to sainsburys and get a disappointing breadroll on my lunch break. Having eaten some pretty great jalapeno bread recently I thought I’d give it a go myself and make some Jalapeno & Cheddar Bread Rolls which pair well with a spicy autumnal soup.
So as anyone that follows me on Twitter & Instagram knows, I went veggie for October. It was partly as a “solidarity” type effort as some people at work were doing Stoptober and giving up cigarettes so the wider team gave various things up, and partly because I just wanted to know if I could. I used to be a very picky eater. When I was a kid I’d snub basically all veg and it took me moving out to really realise that I needed to start getting veg into my diet. Fast forward 9 years and here I am, in a much more open minded place and I just generally love to eat most things (apart from the odd thing, looking at you cucumber and banana).
I have been contemplating a monthly run down on what I’ve been cooking and where I’ve been eating for a while now and thought that a slightly more unusual month was a good place to start. So here goes. If you hadn’t already guessed, food is the reason I am poor as all hell. I have my own spreadsheet google doc which I keep update with places I want to try and where I have.
Won’t lie, this hasn’t been the best month for me in terms of listening to anything particularly different. In part because I’ve been listening to a couple of the albums I mentioned in my last round up. Namely TWIABP – Harmlessness and Shit Present. That doesn’t mean I’ve completely neglected it though. So without further ado:
Foxing – Dealer
Sad music all round this month. This is the second album from this lot, and it’s a superb follow up to The Albatross (which is one of my favourite sad albums of the last few years). Perfect for both sunny autumn days and dark, dank misty autumn nights I highly recommend this album. The whole album just feels like a step up from Albatross and has a generally “bigger” and more mature sound. I’ve still not seen this band and missed them in the summer when they came across with Tigers Jaw because of a family wedding. They’re high on my “must see” list.
The Medic (Albatross)