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Sunday, 26 September 2010

Shopping, cooking and books

Saturday was a beautiful autumn day with sunshine and blue skies but also a very cold wind! We had a choice of markets today as there was a Farmers' Market at Montacute House - always a good one and also one in town. We went to Montacute - this is the entrance to the old stable yard where the market is held beats the supermarket eh?!

I didn't take photos of all the stalls it was too crowded but amongst the usual veggies, jams and chutneys, bread etc there was one lady selling teas and one of these teas was called Monkey picked tea! I kid you not. When I asked if it was true she said that the monks in this particular part of the tea growing world used to use monkeys to pick the delicate leaves since their little hands were less likely to damage the leaves. Seems they just can't get the monkeys nowadays though and this tea is picked in the normal way apart from one branch picked by a monkey for good luck!

Another lady was selling chocolate which she said contained enough antioxidants in one small portion to provide 100% of your RDA and equivalent to 8 lbs of tomatoes! It would apparently strenghten the immune system, maintain heart function, improve the memory, nourish the skin and keep you feeling young and fit - why ever didn't I buy some I wonder! See for yourself here! I love being able to chat with the stall owners and just see what you can find out. It's amazing what you learn at a Farmers Market or as the French would say I go to bed less stupid tonight!!

Not sure what these ladies were doing but it looked as if they were preparing some vegetable soup - didn't stay long enough to find out. We did however buy a cauliflower, some broccoli and a bunch of carrots plus some local grown (must be greenhouse or polytynnel surely) strawberries and a loaf of crusty bread.

Easy supper tonight then - cauliflower cheese - I always think it looks a bit insipid just using cauliflower - all white with pale sauce - so I always make mine with some broccoli and carrots for added colour - forgive the photo it looks horrible but really it was delicious!

Served with a slice or two of the fresh crusty bread.

And fresh strawberres for pud Yum!
My weekend reading is from these two books I got from the library.

The landscape one has lots of lovely ideas for textiles including these lovely landscape postcards I'd love to have a go at.

And this interpretation of a photo of a cliff and beach - lovely isn't it?

I wanted the Free and Easy stitch Style one for its tips on free machine embroidery - something I want to master but so far without much success. These daisies are an exercise in controling the stitching...

... and this lady is supposed to be a self portrait again to master the stitching. Not sure if anything I might produce would be entirely recogniseable though! Might make me look better than I do of course!!

Hope you are having a great weekend and thank you for all your kind comments on my previous posts.


  1. Great excuse to have some of that Chocolate then...Em x

  2. Oh would I defintely have bought the chocolate! Sounds like you almost can't live with out it!
    Good luck with the free motion stitching, I've been trying for ages to master it. I guess it takes a lot of practice.
    Take care,

  3. Hi Jane....I love farmers markets. Gosh I could do with some of that chocolate.......sounds like the sort of chocolate I have been waiting for, I would not feel guilty eating it!!!

    The vegetable cheese looks yummy, there speaks the vegetarian. It is one of my favourite dishes during the winter months.

    Love the artwork......the postcards are lovely.
    My grandfather used to send me postcards when I was a child, and some of them are stitched. So pretty......

    Hope you are having a good weekend.....

  4. I love the idea of those stitched Postcards - it would make a great Blog Swap project for next year, don't you think?

    Jill x

  5. That landscape book looks great, might have to look out for it.


  6. I always knew chocolate was good for you !!!
    I like some brocolli with my cauli too.
    You could try some textile postcards using some of your lovely skyscape photographs.
    Vivienne x

  7. How lucky you are living near lovely Montecute! I liked the Monkey picked tea story. Your meal looked delicious - I will be putting extra vegetables in my next cauliflower cheese dish.
    Helen x

  8. Jane,
    I'm with everyone else about the chocolate. I would definitely have bought some... probably cleaned out the stall I suspect. The stitched postcards are super too. Jill's idea for a blog swap sounds like a winner to me with this one. Lesley xx

  9. Your supper looked good, I love cauliflower cheese. Both the books look interesting, I've always fancied having a go at free machine embroidery but it always seems a bit scary to me. I have visions of never being able to untangle the sewing machine again!

  10. Yum, it looks good to me Jane. I always add chopped fried bacon to mine. Love the look fo the market too x

  11. You know, I had a lovely roast dinner, lovingly cooked by my DH, so why oh why am I longingly looking at that delicious cauliflower cheese? And drooling? It looks so very yummy, I could eat some despite the roast dinner, lol.

  12. We always knew chocolate was good for us. It's now confirmed. :-) I love the books from the library. Must see if I can get them from my local library here in Australia. Cauliflower and broccoli cheese, always a delicious meal. Yours looks so yummy.

  13. Looks like a super farmers market, I would rather shop there any day. I HATE supermarkets! Your cauliflower cheese looks divine! Lizzie

  14. We had cauliflower cheese too.......... Lovely markets you have near you. I get the urge every now and then to get the sewing machine out and stitch freestyle too.........

  15. I'd really like to know what those buxom ladies were up to!

  16. Your baked cauliflower looks delicious - I love cheese sauce! The book on sewing has lots of great ideas too!
    Lucy xxxxxx

  17. Ah - Shopping, cooking and books - nothing better! I love Farmer's Markets and go to the one at Wyken most Saturday mornings but yours at Montachute looks very interesting Jane - love the monkey picked tea story!

    Wish we had some blue skies - its been raining here for days now ...


  18. I love cauliflower and broccoli cheese its already a favourite in my house but I have never tried adding carrots....I will now it sounds and looks delicious! Im forever looking though our library for good books on sewing and embroidery, I came home with 4 on quilts last week to inspire me to put a backing on this UFO quilt I've returned to. I like the embroidered flowers

  19. Wow, I'd better get some chocolate down my neck then eh?
    Your supper looks delicious.

  20. What a lovely farmers market! Our farmers market are never as exciting as that! The books look good too, looking forward to seeing what you create from them! :-) x

  21. You can't beat a good farmers market. I'm always a sucker for the breads whenever we go to one. I knew there was a good reason why I liked chocolate!

  22. Love Farmers Markets, who needs the supermarkets? Love the cauliflower cheese, one of my all time favourite dishes, we often make it with broccoli too!


  23. Our local farmers market was a let down when we visited so I feel like I'm missing out hearing about yours. We would definitely have stocked up on the chocolate, sounds very interesting stuff.

    Kate x


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