dainty pig

(I do hope the lovely dainty pig doesn’t mind me borrowing her blog name for this post…)

It’s high time the kitchen got a mention. If you happen to pop by in person, it’s the place you’re most likely to find me. This is in no small part down to the combined demands of my hearty appetite and rather delicate digestion – a recipe for potential disaster of the grumpy kind that I spend plenty of time in the kitchen with my little helper(s) attempting to avert. As far as possible I avoid wheat, dairy and a host of other things in order to keep on the straight and narrow… it’s not terribly convenient but I’ve now had over a decade of experience of adapting recipes.

So… here some culinary adventures from the past week or two:

Gingerbread with a hint of cardamon in it… a little crystallised ginger thrown in next time might not go amiss… (and possibly also the treacle that I omitted). The recipe was adapted from Antoinette Savill’s ‘The Gluten, Wheat & Dairy Free Cookbook’.

Asparagus and roasted pepper quiche… because I’ve been getting a little weary of rice cakes for lunch of late… and because  my sister mentioned she and her husband have been doing a weekend quiche bake for the week’s packed lunches. It would appear that even vegetable-averse 2 year olds are tempted by the mini ones I made from the leftover pastry…

No recipe as such, but as a rough guideline:

rice flour

maize flour

olive dairy-free margarine

3 duck eggs

soya milk


strips of roasted red pepper

a sprinkle of dried mixed herbs – would’ve been better fresh

Pancakes: as a loose rule we tend to do this for breakfast on Sundays… (one of my attempts to inject a little Waldorfian rhythm into the week…) However, this week, as is often the case, I found the store cupboard rather wanting. Having run out of my normal combination of flours, I threw in all my weird, slightly out of date ends-of-packets (hemp flour, buckwheat flour, maize flour, soya flour)… a risky desperate measure, but surprisingly well received – or at least this is what happened next…:

The ‘Sunday’ pancake recipe began as a faithful rendition of this from the dainty pig… it worked well during pregnancy when (paradoxically) eggs and I didn’t agree – but since Dilys arrived, eggs are back on the menu and we’ve been tinkering with the recipe (usually a result of the missing ingredient scenario I mention above) so we now often add an egg to the mix and tend to omit the lemon rind.

Apple, raspberry and redcurrant crumble (in the making): we are blessed to have a community-run organic vegetable shop in town – the fact that I am able to buy fruit and veg from local growers serves both to salve my veg-bed guilt and to encourage my penchant for conjuring up new culinary concoctions – I try to buy whatever is freshest, cheapest and most local… not always the most obvious combinations result.

In a world divided between ‘fruit of the crumble’ and ‘crumble of the crumble’ lovers, I am of the latter persuasion. My crumble varies every time – this one was a mix of oats, rice flour, agave syrup and toasted chopped mixed nuts – I sometimes add ground almonds, dessicated coconut, cinnamon, mixed spice… according to my whim… or the contents of my cupboard…

Vegetable Cake. We’ve been making a lot of cake lately – something to do with the gravitation towards sweet things that comes of being a little sleep starved and clutching at anything that promises a little more energy… that, or merely the result of spending all my time with a two-year old with a decidedly sweet tooth. Nevertheless, cake for me is an exercise in duping my taste-buds. My cakes are always sugar-free, and this one holds the added virtue of being comprised largely of home-grown veg… (Yes, those seeds did indeed turn into a modest harvest!). The recipe (much requested by those who’ve tasted it) is adapted from my well-thumbed copy of ‘Optimum Nutrition for Babies and Young Children’ by Lucy Burney. As always, the proportions are variable:

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1 and 1/2 cups flour – I use rice and/or buckwheat usually

3/4 cup ground almonds

1 cup oats

2 teaspoons mixed spice

3 teaspoons baking powder

100g walnuts, pecans… chopped

500g dates (or other dried fruit – i have used dried bananas in the past) soaked in boiling water to soften then mashed

1 grated courgette

2 grated carrots

4 large eggs

2 cups sunflower oil

Mix dry ingredients, then add dates, eggs, oil.

Bake in a large greased cake tin at 180 degrees for about an hour.

Medicine lollies. How to treat Summer snuffles? Pack as much vitamin C as possible into a heart shaped ice lolly! We had oranges and redcurrants to hand – the currants served to roughly hold lolly sticks into place – albeit at jaunty angles. Et voila! Strictly speaking, the coldness possibly counteracts the vitamin C but we seem to have made a remarkable recovery nonetheless.


  • My word you’ve been deliciously busy…

  • So much yumminess and lovely photos. I like seeing those little hands getting in there and mixing the ingredients against the red and white gingham.
    I’ve been planning to make ice lollies for a while. I hear they’re a total foodie craze in the US right now – popsicles and paletas.
    I sent Meredith photos of your cardi and yarn gift over on http://www.aknittingblog.com – hope you approve.

  • annie


  • Alice Coleridge

    Always so great to see what you and the girls have been doing. These all look wonderful :-)

  • love the style on your blog!
    thanks for the link action :)
    will stop by again soon!!

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