Category Archives: books

hummus, sunrise, and a book in between

homemade hummus

Homemade hummus in the early morning sun. Little bit of parsley in it. Basic recipe here.

The Mermaid and the Bear

The book in between is THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR. Set in a fictional castle in Aberdeenshire, Ailish Sinclair’s debut novel blends an often overlooked period of history, the Scottish witchcraft accusations, in particular the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic, with a love story. Out now.

Universal links:

Kindle

Paperback

Sunrise from our garden…

sunset

Nut Roast, a Book on Abuse, and Some Cake…

Marrow stuffed with Nut Roast

Autumn is well and truly underway. High winds. Flooding. Beautiful trees. Log fires. And lovely roast dinners. Above is a quarter marrow (peeled, deseeded) stuffed with the simplest of nut roasts made by blending/processing walnuts, almonds, sweet potato, celery, parsley, sage and some Vecon stock. Roast for about 45 minutes at 200c/400F. YUM.

Holly Bourne’s new YA novel, The Places I’ve Cried in Public is too important a title for us not to mention. It’s a book about abuse. It could help prevent abuse and even lessen the lasting negative impact on the targets of abusive behaviour.

We follow Amelie as she revisits the places she cried during her relationship with Reese, a relationship that she thought was loving. Through this story the author deftly points out many of the red flags that are hallmarks of abuse and which are often ignored or not noticed by young people (or people of any age). This can be because when you’ve grown up in an atmosphere of abuse and control, these behaviours seem normal, but it can also be because they are new and unknown, or because they are perpetuated as acceptable, as in one conversation we were party to recently where an abusive individual was described as merely having a ‘strong personality’. No. A world of big bad no.

Two of the strongest early indicators of whether you’re dealing with an abusive or narcissistic personality, in any relationship type, are that person’s reactions to both your failures and your successes. A toxic person will revel in your failures, your heartbreaks and, in fact, anything that goes wrong for you at all. They will patronise rather than empathise, and sometimes try to convince you that an event that was simply unfortunate was actually your failure.

And success? Well, you’re not allowed to have any. They will chip away at it, pointing out others who’ve had more success, or are ‘better than you’. You may actually learn never to speak of your own achievements, understanding that it makes this person feel bad. They will attempt, and quite possibly manage, to sabotage you too.

No. Walk away. Read this book!

Amazon UK link

Universal Amazon link

That was all rather more serious than we usually do here now… so do have some cake. Morrison’s chocolate vegan cupcakes and Aldi’s Raspberry Tarts.

Cupcakes and Tarts

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A Simple Vegan Stir-fry

vegan stir-fry

Sometimes that’s all you need. Vegetables in a stir-fry. Broad beans from the garden. A good book.

And some sea and sand…

sea and sand

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Chunky Cauliflower Oumph Vegan Curry

vegan cauliflower oompth curry

Ingredients (serves four)

  • A little sunflower oil
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • a red pepper, diced
  • an apple, peeled and cored, diced
  • 1 heaped teaspoon each of these spices: cumin, fenugreek, turmeric
  • 1 cauliflower, chunked
  • a tin of coconut milk
  • 1 bag of Oumph, the chunk
  • sea salt to taste
  • fresh coriander, chopped, to garnish

Fry the leek, pepper and apple in the oil for a few minutes until softened, and then add the spices and mix well. Add the cauliflower and the coconut milk and bring to a simmer for a few minutes before adding the Oumph. Cook for another 15 to 20 minutes until everything is soft and well done, then salt to taste. Dish up and garnish. Best vegan curry ever 🙂

See more main meal recipes here.

ghost, a novel by Helen Grant

Some summer garden camping, with a good book:

summer garden camping

Enjoying…

the near witch

We are enjoying the gentle magic and mystery of The Near Witch. And hot chocolate. And the spring sunshine.

woodland bowl of pizza

Then there’s beautiful bowls and easy meals. Goodfella’s have a new vegan pizza:

spicy vegan pizza

But, our best place to be? Or one of them 🙂 The wild and wonderful woods…

Golden Bunny, Good Book

Golden Bunny in the snow…

book and fire

Good Book in the warm…


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On the Christmas Dish today…

White chocolate coins, £1 from Asda. And beside them on the coffee table, bringing social justice to Pride and Prejudice: Longbourn.


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Christmas Donut, Winter Trees

From the Co-op 🙂

We’re eating lots of carrot soup and reading The Telling.

And enjoying the beautiful low winter sun as it lights the trees…



Vegan Sugarfest Continues Apace…

Oh the products! Hardly a day goes by without us hearing of a new one or two or twenty-six 🙂

Above is the Morrison’s Red Velvet Cupcake (they have chocolate ones too). Lebkuchen hearts and tarts from Aldi in the background.

Let’s all remember to eat some vegetables too.

And read books. Currently enjoying The Child

Also: Great Crowns of Stone.

And seriously: remember, remember, the broccoli of November!


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Summer?

It’s summer! Well, summery… sometimes. Along with the start of barefoot beach walks this means The Last Bus Canteen (totally vegan café near New Pitsligo, Aberdeenshire) is open again at weekends:

Also of interest to local people: The Davron Hotel in Rosehearty has a new extensive vegan menu which boasts starters, mains and various puddings.

Book-wise we’ve been enjoying:

Philippa Gregory’s The Taming of the Queen and Deliciously Ella with Friends, a plant based cook book with lots of full colour photos.

And rainbows, we’ve been enjoying rainbows…