Tropical Friday; Caribbean Tiramisu


The tradition for Tropical Friday was started two years ago. It was the first Friday of December and it was raining ice water. I was remembering the intense heat which I experienced in India earlier that year and wished I could be back there right at that moment. Unfortunately the transporter has not been invented [...]

Recipe; Quince Jelly

Quince jelly

Neighbour’s Back Garden My mother’s next door neighbour has a large quince tree in her back garden. In fact I can remember her planting it as a young sapling back in the 1980s. Then, in the 1990s I recall my young son scaling the garden wall and scrumping a big, beautiful quince; taking a bite, [...]

Making Capers from Nasturtium Seed Pods

Nasturtium seed pod 2

Nasturtium One of the most versatile flowers to grow in your garden is the Nasturtium for a few simple reasons: Everything is edible, pollinators love them and it attracts black fly and aphids keeping them away from your veggies. Tropaeolum, common name Nasturtium, was named so because the plant produces an oil similar to watercress [...]

Preserving Figs at the Villas

Figs freshly harvested

A good year for figs 2013 has turned out to be a good year for figs at the Villas, making up for the fact that our five year old tree tree only offered us a somewhat-less-than-grand total of just three fruit last year! Due to the fact that the fruit all reached ripeness at roughly [...]

Recipe; Courgette, Ginger and Lemon Jam

Courgette, ginger and lemon jam

Overgrown Courgettes After baking 3 chocolate courgette cakes and 2 savoury courgette cakes I am still finding overgrown courgettes through the thick foliage. It was time to do something drastic with these whoppers. I searched the net for a jam recipe that involves courgette. I tried one last year but failed miserably because I was [...]

What To Do with Overgrown Courgettes? Make a Cake!

chocolate courgette cake

Glut It is that time again when courgettes grow out of control before your very eyes. The large leaves often conceal even the whoppers and in no time you find you just can’t keep up with harvesting. Hating waste, I have been searching for new and unusual recipes to help deal with the courgette glut [...]

How to Make Lavender Cordial

LAVENDER Basket of lavender

Summer A delicious, scented drink that is perfect on a hot summer’s day, diluted with chilled water and served on ice. Needless to say, avoid flowers that have been treated with insecticides and pesticides or polluted with traffic fumes. What you need; Lavender flowers (as many as you can muster) 1 kilo sugar 1.5 litres [...]

Recipe; Gazpacho Andaluz

Gazpacho finished

Summer gluts of tomato mean two things around here – cold Andalusian gazpacho and pots full of thick tomato jam. Today I am making the first of these for our supper. This is very much a Iaia version rather than a faithful reproduction of the traditional soup – I would love to hear your own recipes, [...]

Recipe: Chickweed Pakoras

Chickweed Pakoras served

City Folk Last Saturday we had friends over for dinner …city folk. I love saying city folk because I once used to be one, but not any longer. We live in the country now, with an abundance of gravel paths, hedgerows and the smell of cow dung in the air. Everywhere around us there is [...]

Elderflower cordial – the taste of summer!

Elderflower Cordial

Elderflower Season Last year I made elderflower cordial for the first time and was so thrilled with the results that I shared it with you on Sow and So as soon as I possibly could. However, the elderflower season is fairly short and I was conscious of the fact that by the time I’d made [...]

Recipe: Dandelion Marmalade


River Cottage Here I go again referring to River Cottage …I just can’t help myself. I started watching the series a long time ago and Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall (I can even write his name now without making a spelling mistake…) has been a great inspiration to us, moving out of the city and into the countryside. I [...]

Recipe: Nettle Soup

Nettle soup finished

Nettles There is nothing more rewarding then preparing free food. There is so much food to find in nature and it wont cost you a penny. Some are not so obvious and some, like mushrooms, you must be extremely sure you have the right kind. One plant almost anybody can identify without a doubt is [...]

The Best Sauerkraut Recipe …EVER!

sweet pepper in parts

Cold Outdoors there’s a snow storm raging. It’s so cold out there that it’s hard to maintain a pleasant temperature indoors. I keep putting logs on the wood burner while the visibility outside gets worse and worse… Sauerkraut At times like this I like to make one of Holland’s famous staples: sauerkraut stew but with [...]

Tropical Friday: Things you didn’t know (but always wanted to ask) about the cashew

First Friday of December Last year I named the first Friday of December Tropical Friday. It was raining and cold then and it is snowing and cold now. This year instead of flowers we have an illustration of a Cashew tree, drawn by my Dutch friend Lotte. Facts about a Cashew On the left is [...]