About Me

We moved out to Portugal to live a frugal but better , simpler and peaceful life, our house is a very basic, semi ruin, up in the hills outside Figueiro Dos Vinhos, where we work our land, enjoy life with each other and our dogs, and hope to make the smallest carbon footprint we can,

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Sun, Sun, Sun !!!!

Oooh the weather has been glorious ever since my last update, the sun has shone every day and although its generally only 65-67 degrees its so good to feel the sun on our bones again.
Night time and morning are chilly, and we've had a slight frost a few times so Im not getting complacent.
Rik has worked hard and rototilled the whole veg plot for me, plus a new area on the upper level, as Im going to seperate the overhead watering areas from the ground watering areas to make life easier. Last few days we planted a few early spuds, cabbage, garlic and Jerusalem Artichokes. This week in go the peas, broad beans, parsnips, swedes, beetroot, maybe caulis and brussels too. Im going to put the squashes into seed pots this week to start off , I have to buy tomato plants and pepper plants as its never warm enough early enough for them at Bou├ža. This year I hope to barter some of my stuff for plants instead...
The cottage is picking up a little, a couple of bookings coming in now, and of course our biker friends who come in the summer have rebooked.
Thespare room has come to a halt due to all the other stuff going on outside, but the floor is in and the room is huge, it gets the morning sun and will be a smashing place.
Well off to market now...
Pat

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Update

The weather is picking up, a few days sun forcast... hoorah!! A couple of bookings too.... hey money...
Rik is working like mad on the spare room, the pillars to support the balcony are now done, and support beams being cast later today... hmmm maybe the whole floor will be in and ready to concrete by the end of the week...
The door did get put on the downstairs adega so its less drafty down there ...
Im now going to rush home and actually get out on the veg plot....
Pat

Cheap soup

Hmmm a couple of recipes that may help Alan over on Tales from the edge of town blog

Quantity of veg depends on how many you are cooking for and how many days you want it to last, I make a biggish pot and eat it till its gone, generally 2-3 days (lunch with bread) and the dogs finish off the dregs ..

Potato and Onion Soup.

3 med Potatoes (either scrubbed and cubed or peeled if you like)
1 large onion, peeled and chopped.
As much garlic as you like chopped fine.
Any odd ends of veg, or 1 carrot chopped. (Ive used an odd outer cabbage leaf, or turnip tops or a leek)
a veg stock cube.
a dollop of olive oil.


Fry off the onion and garlic in the olive oil till soft, add the cubed spud and carrot and odd veg, stir and cook a few mins till all nice and coated with the olive oil. crumble in stock cube, stir again, add enough water to cover veg by about two inches and simmer till spud is very soft...
Blitz with hand blender for few seconds, this will thicken it up (always use spud as thickener for soup) taste and season if needed...
serve with soda bread recipe on here somewhere.


This works just as well with the addition of some left over cabbage, leave out the veg ends, I do the same thing with carrots and green beans, or soak a few dried beans over night , cook and add to make a big soup, pearl barley does just as well and no soaking...

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Update.

Well, the weather seems to be improving a little.... we had two days without rain... and now some days when it stops sometimes... I suppose you could say showers but the showers are still longer than the breaks... but we are seeing the odd sunny periods too... never mind soon be summer... then we'll be asking for rain !!!
The spare bedroom is moving along nicely, the blocks are in, and Rik is now building pillars to take the weight of the lovely balcony that room is having, he's having to repair some of the stone wall under there too as we have a bit of erosion, he assures me it nothing to worry about so I wont.... Hopefully he'll get time today to put the door on the downstairs adega, which leads off my kitchen, that will stop so many drafts...
Rik worked a day for some friends yesterday so we managed a few euros shopping today... I spent 11 euros!!! wow, not bad eh... Im also trying to persuade Rik to splash out on another low energy bulb for the dining area... but an equivelent 100watt one as the others are just too dim...
We are living downstairs at the mo as the range is alight all the time for cooking and it means we save dry wood in not lighting Bertha upstairs ... just means the bedroom is freezing....
Dry wood is a bit of a bugger at the mo, Im drying logs in the oven before we can burn them... luckily that oven is so efficent on a good day I can get ahead and am slowly building a little store of dry stuff now....
More soon.
Pat