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Quiet Times

Less traffic in the air and on the roads is making for a much more peaceful life.
This area of Cornwall is already pretty quiet and now we are really noticing the difference...
Trips to the outside compost toilet can be quite eerie - especially in the evening, but we do admit to loving it...Peace and quiet, clear skies and an increase in birdsong.

Last year, we stayed in rural Hampshire near the border of Berkshire and we were genuinely shocked at how noisy it was each and every day. The constant hum of traffic and planes flying over.
We wondered whether the lack of quiet was the cause of many people seeming stressed and impatient. This trait we usually see in city people, but it was intriguing to see in the countryside.
It is amazing how quickly we become immune to what is going on around us, but do we still feel it subconsciously?

The life we lead would not suit most people, but we love it.
We were never cut out for life in a city or town and living on a housing estate in Cheshire …
Recent posts

Embracing Life at Home

We realise just how lucky we are to be living in the countryside. Lockdown for us is quite different and although, like lots of other people, we have lost the majority of our income - we find it easy to adapt and already live very frugally... Our work on the outside world has reduced to one day a week and instead, we are able to help out on the farm in return for rent and some food.
We have an organic veg and fruit box still being delivered to supplement what is available here and have no need to venture out to supermarkets or nearby towns. Those of you who know us are probably aware that we are not big supermarket shoppers anyway, so we feel no loss for them. 
We don't have a freezer and cook from scratch, often making extra for the next day.  We eat simply...oats for breakfast, homemade sourdough for lunch and usually rice, quinoa or very occasionally pasta for dinner. All served with fresh veggies and pulses. Easy.
 We've already dried a jar full of young nettles for our m…

Take Time

How often do you take time to be thoughtful and quiet? To breathe and be in nature? Do you start your day slowly, even when busy? 
We like to spend our mornings gently waking - reading to each other, writing, sometimes singing, making breakfast and taking time to leisurely eat and digest our food before we begin our day. We choose to live in the slow lane, from where we observe others rushing through their days, often stressed and with a need to fill every moment doing what they consider to be meaningful.  We feel no guilt in being lazy and happily sit around chatting instead of doing what we loosely planned to do. You may think it's procrastination, but we prefer to think of it as "going with the flow". There is more to life than filling your days with stuff, working hard, keeping up with your neighbours and it's not until you get off that treadmill that you can see for yourself just how great life can be. Part of the process for us in slowing down was to write mor…

Keeping It Simple

Oven baked potatoes with haricot bean hummus, baked tomato and mushrooms and silken tofu pan-fried with kale, onion and lots of crushed garlic.
A simple tasty feast...vegan, organic and oil-free.

Today's hummus is made with haricot beans, fresh lemon juice, fresh parsley, ground cumin, smoked paprika, a tiny pinch of Cornish sea salt and some crushed peppercorns.
 We love baked tomatoes. These have fresh oregano pushed into the centres and a sprinkle of black pepper.
We bake them for 30 minutes.
Kale, onion and garlic frying in water and soy sauce, turmeric and cumin. We added silken tofu after 10 minutes and fried for another 10.
 Sime's plate...piled high, as usual!
Since we stopped using oil some years ago, we found that soy sauce, miso and lemon juice are great alternatives, though organic vegetables seem to be naturally more flavoursome, especially oven roasted vegetables.

We rarely follow recipes and tend to make up meals with whatever we have in, so when we are asked to r…

Lonely Planet Goes Vegan - The Vegan Travel Handbook

It's a sign there are big changes afoot, when a company like Lonely Planet acknowledges that veganism is here.
Although we are not into buying stuff anymore, we do have a passion for books...especially travel books! We have collected many travel guides over the years and we continue to use our French ones even though they are probably over 20 years old now. We bought our first Lonely Planet Publication in 1991... Europe On A Shoestring! We found it to be a great resource, using it frequently to do research when planning trips, as well as taking it with us. 
We love nothing more than sitting with maps and travel books, dreaming and planning our next or future adventures and always try to find whatever information we can about places to eat, so when we heard about a new vegan travel guide - we had to check it out.
Click here for a preview of The Vegan Travel Handbook 
The book features various lists like The World's Top 20 Vegan-Friendly Cities...of which we have visited 8. 
Th…

Red Lentil and Garlicky Vegetable Stew and Herb Dumplings - Vegan, Organic and Oil-Free

All this cold weather makes us crave warming stews or hippy slop as we usually call it!
For this one we fried 1/3 of a butternut squash, half a red pepper, 2 carrots, a handful of green beans and a bulb of garlic with a good sprinkle of mixed herbs, water and a splash of red wine for around 10 minutes.


Then we added a can of chopped tomatoes, 8oz water, 4oz washed red lentils, a teaspoon of ground cumin and simmered for around 20 minutes.

We made the dumplings earlier, as it's good to let the batter stand for at least 15 minutes.
We used to make the dumplings with vegetable suet, but have used rice as a replacement for years now. This time we used 6oz brown rice cooked in turmeric, 3oz wholemeal flour, half a chopped apple, 2 teaspoons of ground flax seeds, 1 teaspoon each of  baking powder, dried sage and thyme, a good handful of fresh parsley, a pinch of Cornish sea salt and a sprinkle of black pepper.

Use a tablespoon to scoop enough of the mixture to roll into balls on a flou…

Oven-Baked Tofu and Vegetable Burgers - Vegan and Oil Free

We made these quick burgers for lunch today.
In the food processor, we whizzed up firm tofu, garlic, leek, carrot, green pepper and mushrooms. With soaked sundried tomatoes, cumin, chilli flakes, black pepper, tomato puree and maize flour.
We were hungry so we just used raw vegetables, but the burgers are tastier if you fry the veggies first in a little soy sauce, or better still - use a variety of roasted veggies. 

Once all whizzed up - dollop on to a baking tray and bake in a hot oven for 15 minutes, then turn the tray round and bake again for another 15 minutes...no need to turn the burgers over.

Leave them to stand for around 10 minutes...

And serve them up!
We had them on sourdough rolls with dry roasted potato wedges.
Delicious!!!

Here's our Simple Burger Recipe again if you are interested in trying this method.
Night, night,
Love Kay and Sime xx