Seven Years Old!

Kate hasn't captured well in this photo how much I'm enjoying myself sorting out the compost. I wished I had some 'after' photos to share to show how much better organised our compost area is.
Kate hasn’t captured well in this photo how much I’m enjoying myself sorting out the compost. I wished I had some ‘after’ photos to share to show how much better organised our compost area is.

The Grumpy Vegan blog is 7 years old this month!

And what better way to celebrate can there be other than to share with you lucky people a photograph of yours truly working the compost at our allotment at Fernbank?

I may not look happy but I was enjoying myself. There’s no greater satisfaction to be had — well, there are others but I won’t go into them here — than to sort out one’s compost.

This entailed forking out compost made from our household’s vegetable and plant waste. Then, I fork through it by hand, sorting it to remove any unwanted, yet-to-be-broken down material which I put back into the compost. Then, I wheelbarrow our home-made compost over to the fruit trees and spread it around the base of each one.

The next step is to fork over into the now empty bay all remaining compost material. This is stuff that is still breaking down. I put wood and old carpet on the top as it helps with the composting process. This means that there should be another batch of compost in the autumn. Also, there is a new bay ready for all subsequent vegetable and plant waste taken to the allotment.

We’ve already cropped rhubarb and, as is evident from my photograph, I’ve baked some delicious rhubarb crumbles and rhubarb muffins. I always stew my rhubarb with dates–never sugar.

This year’s crop looks promising. There are many flowers on the strawberries. The raspberry plants are growing really well. The fruit trees have flowered but they are still young and still may not crop yet.

Here's Kate proudly showing off some of the beans she's grown from seed and planted at the allotment. Shelly isn't too impressed, however. Note the glorious compost bin behind her.
Here’s Kate proudly showing off some of the beans she’s grown from seed and planted at the allotment. Shelly isn’t too impressed, however. Note the glorious compost bin behind her.

Our friend Kate grew from seed some beans which she planted in other beds.

So, perhaps, our diabolical winter and spring will be compensated by a pleasant summer and a bountiful harvest from the allotment!

 

 

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What’s New for 2013?

The Grumpy Vegan hasn’t been active here lately because … well, because he’s been busy elsewhere.

Something has got to give, as they say.

This is why the Grumpy Vegan website is going on holiday for a while, which means that la Grump’s alter ego can focus on other things.

For example, Kim Stallwood’s long-awaited and much ballyhooed book (yawn, yawn) will be published this year. The poor thing has got to focus on it. There’s also other stuff that demands his attention. He can only juggle so much!

So, that’s the Grumpy Vegan’s advice, which is to go to Kim Stallwood’s website and follow what he’s up to from there.

Meanwhile, may the blessings of la Grump be with you.

Oh, you can also follow the Grumpy Vegan on Twitter!

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Special Vegan Dinner

The Hastings Vegan Dining Club recently enjoyed a treat. We usually meet in each other’s homes or in locations which can accommodate our rapidly growing numbers of now more than 20. Further, we prepare, cook and serve ourselves all our vegan meals.

The staff and students at the Sussex Coast College Hastings preparing the Glazed Stuffed Marrow, Caramelized Onion & Garlic.

But not this time! Our treat was a special dinner of five courses prepared for us by the staff and students of the Hospitality and Catering Department at the Sussex Coast College in Hastings. The college has its own kitchens and restaurants which is open to the public.

One of our members, Trevor Goodwin who, with his wife Penny run the vegan Bay Tree House Hotel, contacted the college and agreed to prepare for us a special vegan dinner. Our meal would form part of the curriculum for the first year students.

The restaurant accommodates 50, of which 25 seats were allocated to the club. Normally we don’t advertise where we meet because we gather in our own homes. This time, we thought, we could not only fill the 25 seats reserved for us, but also sell out the other 25. All but four of the 50 places were reserved by us, our friends and vegans from Sevenoaks and Eastbourne.

The fee per person was £18.95, which included hors d’oeuvres and a cocktail on arrival. The menu consisted of

Glazed Stuffed Marrow, Caramelized Onion & Garlic

Butternut Squash Risotto, Thyme Oil, Sweet Baby Roasted Tomatoes.

Asparagus Salad, Artichokes & Lemon Dressing

Butternut Squash Risotto, Thyme Oil, Sweet Baby Roasted Tomatoes

Chilli Spiced Beans, Pilau Rice & Flat Breads

Lasagne of Leeks, Ratatouille, Garlic & Herb Crust

Sticky Toffee Pudding, Fudge Sauce

Banoffee Pie, Chocolate Sauce

Chocolate Bread Pudding, Rum Roasted Fig

Sticky Toffee Pudding, Fudge Sauce.

Everyone enjoyed the dinner. We were thrilled to be a part of the opportunity for the students in their first year to learn how to cook delicious vegan dishes. We hope very much that the college will serve us a special vegan dinner each term. Of course, everyone has different personal tastes in how they like their food. Some thought the tastes and seasonings were about right. Others thought they could be improved. Instead of having to choose one dish from three, some wanted, instead, to be served a plate with small samples of all three, or have them served individually like a tapas.

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Hastings Vegan Dining Club Annual Picnic

Some of the delights from this year’s vegan picnic on the East Hill.

The Hastings Vegan Dining Club Fourth Annual Picnic on the East Hill recently took place in fine weather. About a dozen of us met, including Shelly, the new canine member.

The pot-luck picnic included various salads, vol au vents, sandwiches, savoury tarts, sausage rolls and raw vegetables. Desserts included fruit cake, upside down plum cake, muffins, fresh fruit and much more!

Afterwards, many of us went into Hastings to celebrate the opening of the vegan 1066 Cake Stand!

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