little happy things in the kitchen

A few things that have been making me happy in the kitchen this week:

A vegetarian cookbook for children is a rare thing. This one is beautiful, not full of baking stuff, instead it has a small collection of dishes that can actually be meals not just desert. Only thing I would say is that I would like to see more recipes…

The warmer days are upon us, and with it more frequent trips to the allotment which also means herbs regularly, especially now that I’m not buying them in a package.

The frequent trips to the garden also means more weeding, so the volunteer dandelions that come up where they shouldn’t I just pick them, bring them home and eat them. Eventually  the plant will weaken and stop producing, until another grows somewhere else… so is the nature of weeding…

Sprouting seeds has made an appearance again after a long time…

Well, this one didn’t actually made me happy to finish,but it makes me happy that I made it and used it up. Not to fear, there’s more  flavored vinegar coming, this time with ground ivy that I picked today.

Autumnal Equinox

Yesterday we celebrated the Autumnal Equinox with our friends at the home education group. We made a communal soup on a open fire, inspired by the stone soup story. We have been doing this for three years, and is something that I really recommend to do as a group when the weather gets colder. Each family brings a vegetable (just two or three is enough, you don’t need the full bag), then you cut it and throw it all in a pot. While the soup is cooking, you can tell the story of the stone soup, as we also did. Seasonal baking is also recommended, and we were lucky to enjoy that too!

It is a very special thing to come together like that! Food cooking and sharing is  a special thing indeed, besides it’s delicious too!

a few things

Whittling, or the beginnings of

Dirty clothes from berries

And a belly full of them

Last year I let two chard plants go to seed to see what would come out of it, and I’m glad to report that there are a quite a lot of new ones that seeded, though the slugs are getting most of it…



For the first time I made red gooseberry jam. It’s delicious, it might be my favorite one!

jam and ice cream making


Em Português mais abaixo.


A reader asked me about the jam and ice cream we made the other day. I thought to write up a quick post, as it might be useful for other people too.

I use and recommend The Basics Basics Jams, Preserves and Chutneys handbook, it has everything you need to know, how to prepare the jars as well as various recipes.

For those who have never made any jam, the process, simplified,  goes something like this: cook fruit in low heat, until you like the texture and most of liquid has evaporated, add sugar, once that is dissolved bring to high heat to reach setting point as fast as possible.

In the book there is only one strawberry jam recipe, to add other flavours, like lavender or elderflowers (I think rosemary might be good too),  I steered the flowers or lavender, after the fruit was cooked but before adding the sugar. I doubled the recipe which filled two 450g jars and one 230g.

I use any kind of jar, but most of them are from Lakeland (this ones and this ones) as well as their lids. I also use wax discs from lakeland (I swear I’m not being paid for advertising, it simply is what I use), which sits on the top of the jam to avoid contact with air, I bought them a few years ago and still have years of discs worth. By the way, this is an interesting method that I want to try soon.

Now the ice cream. I simply poured a bit of honey over the strawberries, then into the blender, after that mixed with the yogurt, basically you just want to make a very thick smoothie. I then poured into ice lolly molds. Technically might not be an ice cream ( I’m sorry if I mislead you) but it gets as much excitement as any shop-bought!


Uma leitora pediu-me dicas sobre o doce e o gelado que fizemos no outro dia, então, resolvi escrever um poste, pode ser que a informação seja útil a outras pessoas.

Eu uso e recomendo o livro The Basics Basics Jams, Preserves and Chutneys handbook, tem tudo o que se precisa saber, como preparar os jarros, assim como as receitas.

para quem nunca fez doce, o processo simplificado é mais ou menos assim: coze-se a fruta em lume baixo até gostar-mos da textura e a maior parte do liquido ter evaporado, adiciona-se o açucar, quando este estiver dissolvido aumenta-se o lume para muito alto para atingir o ponto o mais rapido possivel.

No livro tem apenas uma receita de doce de morango, para adicionar os outros sabores, como a alfazema, ou as flores de sabogueiro (penso que alecrim também ficaria muito bem), mexi as flores ou a alfazema no doce, quando a fruta já estava cozida mas antes de adicionar o açucar. Eu dobrei a receita do livro, o que me deu para enchjer dois jarros de 450g e um de 230g-

Eu uso qualquer tipo de jarro, mas a maior parte são estes e estes do Lakeland, assim como as tampas. Também uso os discos de cera da mesma loja (eu juro quie não estou a ser paga para fazer publicidade, é simplesmente o que eu uso). esses discos são para evitar que o doce venha em contacto com o ar, comprei-os à uns anos atrás e tenho ainda que dê para muitos mais. Já agora, este é um método interessante que quero experimentar em breve.

Agora o gelado. Simplesmente coloquei um pouco de mel e os morangos no liquidificador, depois juntei iogurte, basicamente é como se estivesse a fazer um smoothie muito grosso. Quando estavamos todos contentes com o sabor, colocamos nas formas de gelado. Tecnicamente isto se calhar não é um gelado, mas as crianças têm tanto  entusiamo como se fosse do supermercado!

In strawberry land / Na terra dos morangos


from our garden

Em Português mais abaixo.


Yesterday we went to pick strawberries at a pick your own farm, not far from Glasgow.

Today we made plain strawberry jam, strawberry and elder-flower jam, strawberry and lavender jam and strawberry and Greek yogurt ice cream… That’s a lot of strawberries right? In the afternoon I went to the allotments, and guess what? Yep, I brought home more strawberries…

And that last photo? That must be the biggest strawberry I’ve seen, which came from our very own garden!


Ontem fomos apanhar morangos numa quinta em que somos nós próprios que apanhamos a fruta.

Hoje fizemos doce de morango, doce de morango e flores de sabugueiro, doce de morango e alfazema e gelado de iogurte grego e morangos… é muitos morangos, não é? À tarde fui sozinha à horta, e? Pois é, trouxe para casa ainda mais morangos…

E aquela ultima fotografia? Deve ser o maior morango que eu já vi, e que veio da nossa própria horta!


It’s probably about three years since I took a bigger interest in foraging and plant identification. Since then I have learnt a lot, but there is always something that I feel is amiss, the fact that I know all these names in English but not in Portuguese. I have decided to make an online Herbarium  so that I can learn the names of the plants in Portuguese, and expand my knowledge.

wild garlic

Wild garlic, ramsons (Allium ursinum)

PT: alho-selvagem, alho-dos-ursos

Edible, not found in mediterranean regions.


Juniper (Juniperus)

PT: zimbros, sabinas, juníperos

Edible berries, can be used fresh or dried to flavor dishes and is the main ingredient in Gin

Cow berry

Cow berry

Cowberry, Lingonberry

I couldn’t find a name in Portuguese presumably because it can’t be found there. I saw plenty in the Cairngorms, where I became acquainted with it.

Edible berries.


ragwort leave

Ragwort (jacobaea vulgaris)

 PT: erva-de-são João, mija-cão, Tasna, Tasneira

Poisoning to cattle and horse but very good for pollinators and other insects.

Linn Park and wild garlic

Linn Park




Now we can say that Spring has arrived: we’ve had the first taste of Hawthorn leaves, the first potato and nettle soup, the first pick of wild garlic, we’ve seen many, many buds in the trees, the brown soil is slowly being covered by green, plants sprouting everywhere… and, and,and… It’s a busy, lovely time of the year in Scotland.

Linn Park

wild garlic

wild garlic pesto


It’s fairly easy to find wild garlic in Glasgow, Pollok Park and the river Kelvin come to mind, but in Linn Park the abundance is incredible! So the other day, when we were there with friends, we picked some. Today I made two batches of wild garlic pesto (I call it pesto, but I don’t use cheese; only nuts, wild garlic and olive oil) The one on the left is made with cashew nuts, which I had never used before but it might be my favorite, and the other with hazelnuts, because that’s what I had.

We use this in pasta, of course, but if you add more olive oil you can use as salad dressing or drizzled over roasted vegetables, potatoes, or pretty much anything…

This year I also want to try to make wild garlic pakora  and ravioli, which I intend to make every year, but I have never done it. Have you tried it?