Eden Awaits

I’m very pleased with myself today. I filled that huge barrow 10 times, with 40 shovels at a time and pushed it downhill from the woodchip pile.


I’d done the same a couple of weeks ago (as well as laying more visquine) and it didn’t look quite the same.


With just a bit in the middle needing to be done (2 barrows/80 shovels), I was getting that done!!! Raked in place, more ballast carried to the plot (they’re heavy bags, so doing a few at a time).


I can see progress now and I’m almost ready to get the groundwork done and the shed (8×6 foot) up in time for Winter.

I went back a few hours later, as someone thought they’d lost their cat at the allotment. I couldn’t resist a couple more barrows (80 or so shovels), but dug down for some well composted woodchip this time. I’m pleased I did, as you can see the difference where I layered it on top of existing chip and this part is ready for growing into. Just another 10-20 barrows of the same to cover what I’ve done!


It doesn’t look a lot and you can’t tell how big the plot is.. But the Barrow is in the middle and so what’s on the other side is as much again!


I just wish the woodchip pile wasn’t uphill and this far away from my plot.


My plan is ‘Back to Eden’ gardening and I’m doing an Organic Gardening Diploma to show me the way.

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Return to Eden

This is my wee allotment in the North West of England. Never before cultivated, mown meadow, full of stones and bone dry.


I am quite nr the brook and since these photos were taken (in July) it went from the hottest Sumner to the wettest. So I came back from a month in the US/Canada to the grass being a foot long again (in September).


Progress is, that I’ve re-mowed, got 3/4 of it covered in viscuine and half of this covered in woodchip (10 big barrows/350+ shovels). The Shed is awaiting its hardcore foundations, while laid on site, I’m gradually shifting the ballast to do this and I’ve got some wooden frames to contain soil/chippings to grow in.


My compost bin is full and I’ve been growing at home in 2 ready built beds, and beans in old tires.


The allotments hope to have Bees next Spring and as I was a beekeepers Daughter, I’m keen to help out.


So still in the planning stages, but 1 other allotment plot does it the Eden way… So I’ve help on hand.

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Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy (no bake) cheescake with ginger biscuit base and lemon curd topping

No Bake Lemon Cheesecake with Lemon Curd Topping No bake lemon cheesecake with ginger biscuit base and a lemon curd topping.

This is a favourite dessert in HoniesKitchen any time of the year, but especially on warm Summer days, as it is zesty and refreshing. Luckily, it doesn’t take very long to make and if you can resist eating too early, it’s ready to eat in just a few hours. This recipe is so easy (requires no cooking) that even the kids can make it.


  • 200g (approx ½ pack) of digestives
  • 100g of ginger biscuits (or 2 tsp of ground ginger)
  • 100g butter (melted)
  • 400g cream cheese
  • 200g double cream
  • 100g caster sugar
  • juice and grated zest of 4 lemons
  • ½ jar of lemon curd (or make your own)



Prepare a round baking tin (preferably with a removable bottom – I use a glass bottomed, springform tin) with a 2” side wall, brushing butter around the base and sides. Line the sides with a strip of grease proof paper if available.

Put the ginger and digestive biscuits into a blender and blitz together into fine crumbs, remove and put in a large mixing bowl, add the melted butter and mix in well.

Press the biscuit mixture into the bottom of the tin, approx ½ inch thick, with the back of a metal spoon. Place into the fridge for about 1 hour (or freezer about ½ hour) to set.

In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, ½ of the lemon zest and all of the lemon juice together until smooth and thick. Add the sugar and mix in well.

In a separate bowl, whip the double cream until thick, then whip/mix this into the cream cheese mixture.

Spread on top of the biscuit base, smoothing out the top with a spatula.

Top the cheesecake mixture with  a thick layer of lemon curd, first spooning into the centre and gently spreading out toward the edges (to avoid mixing in with the cheesecake mix).

Sprinkle the remaining lemon zest on top and put in the fridge to set for about 3 hours or overnight. The truth is I find it ridiculously hard to wait that long and so I put in the freezer for an hour, then serve half of the cheesecake and have the remaining cheesecake the following day. It does taste better when set properly though.

No Bake Lemon CheescakeRemove the sides from the base of the tin and if your tin base is not for serving from (I use a glass bottomed springform tin, so mine is), slide a pallet knife or metal spatula under the cake and ease gently onto a serving plate. Slice with a good solid, large knife to cut through the base and serve.



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Houmous (vegetarian and gluten free)

houmousHoumous is a great dish for dipping, as a spread or as a side dish. Full of nutrients this vegetarian (vegan even) dish is also gluten free.


  • 150g (dried) chickpeas (or a tin already soaked)
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 120-140ml olive oil


*If using a tin of chickpeas, rinse and drain and go straight to step 3

  1. Soak the chickpeas overnight in a bowl of water.
  2. Drain, then boil in a pan of fresh water for 45 minutes-1 hour until very tender. Drain and cool.
  3. Place in a food processor with the lemon zest and juice, 3 tbsp tahini and 2 large garlic cloves. Whizz while gradually adding 120-140ml olive oil.
  4. Season well with sea salt and serve with toast*, vegetable crudités or as a side dish.
  5. You can add flavourings such as coriander (1tsp); spring onions (4 chopped) or red pepper (half a roasted pepper, sieved) to houmous. Experiment with your own ideas.


*If serving with toast, remember to choose gluten free alternatives if you want to keep the dish gluten free

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Easy to Cook Chick Pea Curry (vegetarian & gluten free)

Chick pea curryWhilst the best curries are slow cooked, this is a quick and easy Chick Pea Curry … you might want to make sure there are left overs and save for another day (the flavours will have absorbed even more). This dish is vegetarian (vegan even), gluten free and full of nutrients.


Serves: 4 (double up if you want to save half in the freezer for another day)

  • 2 (400g) tins chickpeas
  • oil for frying
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger paste (or 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger)
  • 1 clove of garlic (peeled and chopped finely)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 (400g) tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 blocks frozen chopped spinach


  1. Drain and rinse the chickpeas then soak in water for 10 minutes, then drain and rinse thoroughly.
  2. Fry the onion in a bit of oil until golden.
  3. Add the garlic and the ginger paste along with chilli powder, salt, turmeric and garam masala. Stir until all spices are absorbed.
  4. Add the tomatoes and frozen spinach and stir.
  5. Add the chickpeas and stir lightly.
  6. Leave to simmer for 30 minutes (although the best curries are left to absorb the flavours for at least an hour – leftovers or curry saved for another day often taste better!). If the sauce looks a little too thick add water.
  7. Serve with boiled basmati rice.


*If you add samosas and or bhajis to this recipe, it will no longer be gluten free.

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Falafel (Vegetarian recipe)

falafelFalafel is a vegetarian recipe that is high in protein, high in fibre, low in fat and full of nutrients.


  • 1 pound (about 2 cups) dry chickpeas/garbanzo beans
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3-5 cloves garlic (I prefer roasted)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp flour
  • 1 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of ground cardamom
  • Vegetable oil for frying (grapeseed, canola, and peanut oil work well)

You will also need

Food processor


  1. Pour the chickpeas into a large bowl and cover them by about 3 inches of cold water.
  2. Let them soak overnight. They will double in size as they soak – you will have between 4 and 5 cups of beans after soaking.
  3. Drain and rinse the chickpeas well.
  4. Pour them into your food processor along with the chopped onion, garlic cloves, parsley, flour, salt, cumin, ground coriander, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and cardamom.
  5. Pulse all ingredients together until a rough, coarse meal forms.
  6. Scrape the sides of the processor periodically and push the mixture down the sides.
  7. Process till the mixture is somewhere between the texture of couscous and a paste. You want the mixture to hold together, and a more paste-like consistency will help with that… but don’t overprocess, you don’t want it turning into hummus!
  8. Once the mixture reaches the desired consistency, pour it out into a bowl and use a fork to stir; this will make the texture more even throughout.
  9. Remove any large chickpea chunks that the processor missed.
  10. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  11. Fill a skillet with vegetable oil to a depth of 1 ½ inches. I prefer to use cooking oil with a high smoke point, like grapeseed.
  12. Heat the oil slowly over medium heat.
  13. Meanwhile, form falafel mixture into round balls or slider-shaped patties using wet hands or a falafel scoop. I usually use about 2 tbsp of mixture per falafel. You can make them smaller or larger depending on your personal preference. The balls will stick together loosely at first, but will bind nicely once they begin to fry. *Problems falling apart! If you can get them into the hot oil, they will bind together and stick. If they still won’t hold together, you can try adding 2-3 tbsp of flour to the mixture. If they still won’t hold, add 1-2 eggs to the mix.
  14. Before frying the first batch of falafel, test-fry one in the center of the pan. If the oil is at the right temperature, it will take 2-3 minutes per side to brown (5-6 minutes total). If it browns faster than that, your oil is too hot and your falafels will not be fully cooked in the center.
  15. Cool the oil down slightly and try again. When the oil is at the right temperature, fry the falafels in batches of 5-6 at a time till golden brown on both sides.
  16. Once the falafels are fried, remove them from the oil using a slotted spoon. Let them drain on paper towels.
  17. Serve the falafels fresh and hot; they go best with a plate of hummus and topped with creamy tahini sauce. You can also stuff them into a pita.


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Chick Pea, Goats Cheese and Rocket Salad (Vegetarian and Gluten Free)

Chick pea, goats cheese and rocket saladThis versatile salad of chick peas, goats cheese and rocket is both vegetarian, gluten free and packed with nutrients and flavour.


  • 200g dried chickpeas
  • 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 2 ripe plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • Small handful fresh flatleaf parsley, chopped
  • 50g bag wild rocket
  • 150g mild, creamy goat’s cheese, crumbled


  1. Put the chickpeas in a bowl of cold water and leave to soak overnight.
  2. Drain the chickpeas, place in a pan and cover with fresh water.
  3. Bring to the boil and simmer rapidly, partially covered, for 1 hour or until very tender.
  4. Drain well and place in a large bowl.
  5. While warm, pour over the oil and lemon juice and season.
  6. Allow to cool.
  7. Toss the tomatoes, parsley and rocket with the chickpeas.
  8. Divide among plates and crumble over the goat’s cheese to serve


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Slow Cooked Chick Pea Curry with Butternut Squash and Coconut (Vegan and Gluten Free)

Slowcooked Vegan chickpea and coconut currySlow cooking this chick pea curry with butternut squash, cauliflower and coconut  allows all of the flavours to mingle and come alive. Curry in a hurry can never offer the taste sensation that slow cooking has to offer! If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can still prepare in the same way and allow to cook in a stock pot (or large pan) on a low heat for at least an hour.

This recipe is Vegan, high fibre, high protein, low salt, gluten free and if you are using spinach then you get even more iron than the dish already has (see the nutritional benefits of chick peas in this post).

In case you were wondering and to save you Googling, all rice is gluten free, whether it’s white, brown, basmati, jasmine, etc. But if you want to remove the starch, then pre-soaking and rinsing till clear will make it very fluffy and light.

Whilst it seems easy to buy a packet of ready made curry powder, it’s actually just as easy and much more satisfying to make your own curry blend. The blend I have used is medium heat and full of flavour, but you could increase the depth and flavour as you see fit (experiment every time you cook).


For the Curry:

(curry blend marked with *)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (for frying)
  • 1 onion  (finely chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons of freshly grated ginger (‘or’  1/2 teaspoon ground ginger *)
  • 1 clove of garlic (peeled and finely chopped / crushed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder *
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt *
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric *
  • 1 tablespoon coriander *
  • 1 tablespoon cumin *
  • 2 teaspoon turmeric *
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala *
  • 400g / 2 cups / 1 tin chickpeas
  • 400g / 2 cups / 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 400ml / 2 cups / 1 tin light coconut milk
  • 225ml 1 cup vegetable stock or soup
  • 2 cups (1 small) cauliflower florets
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 400g / 2 cups / 1 tin baby spinach, chopped

For the Coconut rice:

  • 300g / 1 1/2 cups uncooked brown basmati rice
  • 400ml / 2 cups / 1 tin light coconut milk
  • 120ml / 4 fluid oz / 1/2 cup water 1/4 teaspoon salt


For the curry:

Turn on you slow cooker to a high setting. Heat (on medium) a large frying pan/sauté pan and add the olive oil for frying. Add the onions and sauté for approx 3 minutes, until soft. Add freshly found ginger (if using) and garlic and sauté for another minute. Add all of the curry blend  ingredients and allow to mix into a paste in the pan. If it looks like it might burn, turn down the heat a little and add a tablespoon of water. Transfer the onion and curry paste to the slow cooker. Add all of the remaining curry ingredients (except for the spinach) to the slow cooker. Heat on high for four hours or on low for at least 6 hours. Before serving add the spinach, stir in and cook allow to heat through for about 5 more minutes.

For the Coconut Rice:

Remember you can soak the rice to remove most of the starch. This can be done at any time before cooking (whilst the slow cooker is on) for about 30 minutes, then rinse and drain away the water and cook as instructed. Otherwise, simply rinse several times before cooking, to remove some of the starch.

Add the basmati rice, coconut milk, water and salt to a large pan. Using a high heat, bring to the boil, then reduce to a low heat, cover and simmer for 40 minutes. Remove from the heat allow to sit for 10 minutes and serve with the curry.


Serves 6

Approximately 400 calories per serving

Vegan, gluten free, high fibre, high protein, low salt, low fat

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White Crusty Loaf of Bread (made in the bread maker)

White Crusty Loaf

White Crusty Loaf

Bread made by yourself tastes so much better and using the bread maker makes it so much easier. Whilst it still takes 3 and a half hours to make (all the work is done for you) and the magic of the yeast has not been rushed. This recipe makes a 2lb white, crusty loaf that is light and airy.



  • Hand hot water (enough to make up to 300ml)
  • 1 egg
  • 500g white bread flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 25g softened (or chopped) butter
  • 1 tsp dried yeast


  1. Add one egg to a measuring jug and lightly whisk
  2. Top up to 300ml with hand hot water
  3. Put the liquid into your bread pan
  4. Gently add flour over the liquid in the bread pan (taking care not to let the liquid rise above the flour).
  5. Put the salt, sugar and butter into 3 corners of the bread pan.
  6. Make a small indentation in the flour (taking care not to expose any liquid) and add the yeast to this.
  7. Set the bread maker to medium loaf (or 2lb+ setting), medium crust … often setting 1 on your bread maker. Press start!
  8. Remove from the bread pan from the bread maker soon after it has finished and after a few minutes, transfer the loaf to a wire rack to cool (take care to use a dry tea towel or oven mitts, as the bread pan may still be hot).

*Note: The bread is usually best left to stand to cool before cutting as it may not be firm enough if too hot.


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