The Tenacious and the Tasty

A thrush has realised the yellow strawberries are edible, so this terrible planter is now for the birds. It’ll liven up in time.

I saw this when walking home, funny to look at my own garden and be surprised.

The pile is expanding.

Okay, some photos are meh, but they’re WIPs, the heuchera chunks are starting to regrow!

It can’t all be pretty flowers, well it could but I refuse!

Okay, this need a primer…see below.

Yo, Dear Reader, the plants above are Lucifer’s Crocosmia, I know that because they came into my garden years ago as mystery bulbs, established far too invasively and that’s when the fun started, buckle in, Dear Reader, this gets strange in places. I took up a clump of these that were in a pot, they’d filled the pot with bulbs, not roots mind, bulbs, that was taken rudely and hurled into the then junk heap. It was covered over the years with more junk and eventually it was set on fire, it was matted several times and presumed dead…so to recap: Uprooted, hurled, set ablaze, smothered several times and then today I see it poking out of the matting and I am in awe, Dear Reader, it has earned its place. I just wish every plant could be that tenacious.

This rose came with it actually, it’s less invasive, but not by much.

I once lamented there were too many pink roses and now I just admire how varied they are.

Hebe and wire plant, but just found and left to root after feeding and they’ve done so well.

Really need to clean them up this year. They never went dormant last year.

Such a pretty rose, sadly there weren’t any in the store this year.

Since we’re talking about unkillable plants, I have to talk about the yellow strawberries, that I think is fair to call them naturalised at this stage, Dear Reader, I find them everywhere, in any pot, on the ground and you can yank them up, pot them and they’ll just set fruit. The aforementioned thrush walked up to a new plant with a berry, looked at me in askance and tore it off, before again looking at me, I don’t want your beaky berry thanks!, and devouring it. I’m surprised as most birds ignore them for the colour. I found that plant the other day, with fruit and it didn’t even register being repotted. So when it came to filling the planter that causes so much heartache, I just grabbed a tray of plants I’d found and repotted and set to it again. I’ll get fruit in time, I have them in a tyre, a coal scuttle, two planters and now in a wall planter. They started as seeds and are now a fixture. I have also found three new red strawberry plants and am currently repotting and rediscovering so many salvaged plants. A lot of work goes in to the garden, Dear Reader, but the joy is brings is far vaster. I hope the heat holds so I can have a break from everything and just garden, I’ll take what I can get, Dear Reader. I’ll be back again soon, until then stay safe and take care.

The Secret Garden Squash is flowering.

The Rambler is starting to get green again. More light from here on so I hope it’ll do even better next year.

The Hebe has a white segment too. Really cool.

The nasturtium I found with a bit of root is back too.

The fig tree stays neat and compact, perfect for that spot.

Colombo Powder

Yo, Dear Reader, can you believe it, I have a new recipe to share, it’s been, well it’s been a while, this is just a quick and simple curry blend from here, very slightly changed, I always look for he most authentic recipes from other countries, which means more often than not I can’t eat them or can’t adapt them and still call them by the same name. I find it’s important to respect he original recipes, there’s a reason they’re made the way they are even if you’re unfamiliar with them. This is a pretty simple curry blend, but the rice adds a beautiful nutty flavour and functions as a thickener, I’d post a photo, though it was just a simple curry, but I ended up ill with a stress headache and could about just eat it. But you know me, Dear Reader, I’d never post anything I didn’t consider up to standard and if I get the chance I will update this with a photo. I have a simple brown rice recipe too, I haven’t made wholegrain long grain rice in years, only wholegrain basmati, so I’ll pop that up for anyone that may need it soon. It’s the usual recipe, with the tea towel tip added, no need to wash the brown rice at least. Funny how these two recipes will combine to make a self thickening curry and a quickie rice that syncs up its cooking time with the curry. Which isn’t a fluke, I mostly planned things out that way, it’s helped over the years. I’ll be back to myself soon, Dear Reader, for now I hope you’ll find a use for this in some way or other, until later, stay safe and take care.


45g Brown Rice
1/2 Tbsp Ground Mustard Seeds
1/2 Tbsp Ground Fenugreek
1/2 Tbsp Black Pepper
1 Tsp Turmeric
1/2 Tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 Tsp Ground Coriander
1/2 Tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp Ground Cloves


  1. Add the Brown Rice to a saucepan and stir over a high heat until an even golden brown colour and fragrant. Be careful not to burn. Remove from heat and pour in a bowl to cool.
  2. Grind the Rice when cool and mix together with the Spices and place all everything into a jar. Shake to combine. Store in an airtight jar.

Thanks For The Help, Jack

Solo garlic is interesting to watch grow.

The tradescantia grows slow, no wonder the huge plant died back, it was probably too forced.

Some of the lucky bamboo is plated. The rest has yet to root.

Before I start, Dear Reader, I just want to thank someone who has stood by me, who has made my work so much easier over he years, who has taken my burdens as he own and worked at making them ever lighter, yes, Dear Reader, I’m thanking myself. The Jack that threw shovels of well rotted composted into soil and the Jack that covered the ground with wilted sweet peas that left Dearest Darling Jack with so little work in cleaning up the front garden. All joking aside, Dear Reader, it takes a long-term view to see how the work has lessened, but it really has made the difference working at cleaning, weeding and amending each and every year. You wait so many months, somewhat dreading the condition of everything to find it much better than expected. The stony, hard sol in the front garden is soft and mostly stone free, it hasn’t caught up to the vegetable patch yet, but in time it will. The long trough planters sunk into the ground keep the stones clean and everything is ready for planting whenever I buy trays of flowers. Correction: Whenever the trays are available, Jack is already ready, Dear Reader. Spring is when I kick it up, but I’m already working through the Winter months.

First daffodil. Tiny little thing.

A lack of light makes them close up, but it really is pretty this way.

Only four original leaves remain.

Well, the thirty seven stalks of lucky bamboo are starting to go into their final homes, I put two in with the slightly beaten jade, the two smaller ones aren’t doing well at all, but the large one is turning into a tree, another fifteen into two pots, one for me and another for a friend and still I have far too much left over in water. As with everything like this, Dear Reader, we put our own twist and show our personalities and preferences in every step and stage. I’m using a mixture of potting soil, sand and grit, aquarium grade for another, future, project and orchid mic because why waste? It’s very dry in my room and even with a pair of humidifiers I can’t call it damp, the soil tends to dry quickly, ideal for some plants and most seem just fine. You have to see what’ll live in the places you’re planting, a label can tell you a lot, but experience and failure and, yes, even successes will teach you far more. Buy cheap though, always buy cheap when you can, Dear Reader.

Orchids grow slowly, so very slowly.

Windowsill Orchid. Pleione Formosana. It’s a bulb and I haven’t grown bulbs inside before now.

I’m learning quite a lot about Orchids, mostly that despite the exotic feelings they engender they really are tough and pretty simple to care for once you understand that they really should be sitting in the crook of a tree and letting their roots air and grip. Once a week, after misting daily, mostly daily, I pour water through the pot to hydrate everything, misting doesn’t do much for the lower layers, the leaves block a lot too. Whether it’s correct or not, it works, the plant is healthy and happy. It needs more sun, we all do, Dear Reader, but other than that it’s chugging along happily and I’ll look after it as long as it’s with me. The Windowsill Orchid was on the garden store I buy from, it came as a purple bulb and other than that I’m just letting it grow. It could be made to grow in water only, but I want this to establish not to bloom and fade away. I like plants to grow as naturally as they can. That’s all for today, Dear Reader, another storm is coming so back to being stuck in and grouchy I go, until later, take care.

Glutinous Rice Balls Rice Balls (Tang Yuan) With Rice Flour

Whatever else this is it’s the nicest dough I’ve ever kneaded.

The original is here, Dear Reader, I haven’t altered this at all, just halved it. Yes, Dear Reader, I read about this flour at the start of my journey, heard it made a roux, yes, I’ll get to that too, and here I am way too many years later, but i’m here. I have to say there’s no gluten in this despite the name, hey, blame all the other recipes thinking you’re an idiot and I’m one too, we know better, Dear Reader, Sweet Rice flour is something rarely seen here, but is extremely common all across the vast continent of Asia, I have very little knowledge to impart, but when searching for mochi, which I can’t make because I can’t tolerate the cornflour used for rolling and that I can wouldn’t work for dusting, but I did remember seeing this recipe before and curious quester that I am, Dear Reader, I had to try it when I came across this flour on Amazon. It sounds too good to be true and only myself and my nephew took to it with qualms and I tell you, Dear Reader, I have been missing out.

I was going to fill them, but I was interrupted, but I did end up with a tester.

Two ingredients, one is water and the other would lead you to believe it’d be a heavy, stodgy mess, but, no, Dear Reader, whatever properties this rice gets when being ground, this is a fast version, I think it’d use pounded cooked rice otherwise, it becomes something greater than it should be. The dough is so light and elastic, but it stretches too, it seems impossibly good as a sweet, different definitions of sweet wherever you go, Dear Reader, big world and all that, base because it has the perfect texture, when cook it becomes somewhere between a turkish delight and a marshmallow, but even hat can’t do it justice. My nephew and I ate them unsweetened and loved them, with a little honey they became even more amazing. They’re surprisingly light and airy, not to chewy, but wit just enough bite and a little natural sweetness, but they would be better in something or filled with something. They’re eaten warm, they don’t heat too much, but let them cool a little. They stick to you and stretch they’re an honest joy, Dear Reader, they’re happiness encapsulated in a squidgy little ball. I haven’t much of the flour, I don’t want to make all sweets either, but I’m going to see what I can do with this curiosity. Until later, Dear Reader, take care.

Next time I try them in a syrup.


70g Glutinous Rice Flour
60ml Water, More As Needed


1. Add the Rice Flour to a bowl and add Water, mix with a fork until a mallable dough has formed. Add more water, a teaspoon at a time, if too dry and more flour, a pinch at a time, if too wet. Knead into a ball.

2. Bring a pot of water to a boil. While the Water is boiling pinch off a teaspoon of dough and roll it into a ball, place onto grease-proof paper and continue until all dough is used up. Keep covered until water is boiling.

3. Add Balls to pot and cook until the Balls rise to the top and float. Scoop out and let cool for a minute before eating.

Apple and Raspberry Jelly

Part of me is grossed out by the whole apples and part of me is glad the compost bins are here.

The raspberries are really vibrant.

Yo, Dear Reader, I promised you I’d share the recipe if it worked, really I should be leaving these in dusty presses to be long forgotten and rediscovered in the colder months, but who has time for that in this busy age? No, no, it’s all about speed, that’s why this recipe takes…a really long time? Ahem, anyway, it worked, whether it constitutes a Fruit Cheese I’m not sure of, there’s a very different texture here and it is solid, but I’ll call it a jelly and save confusion and potential mislabelling.

This took nearly half an hour of smushing and squeezing. Worthwhile, but slow.

A slow simmer, everything about this recipe is laid back.

The big difference here is that we’re using sugar and not jam sugar, the apples are providing the pectin, but what’s really unusual is that the apples aren’t stained through a fine bag, they’re pressed through creating a very silky smooth puree rather than a liquid, this makes this jelly very differently textured from a smoother jelly and makes it feel more than the sum of its constituent parts. We’re also excluding the lemon and the butter, the fruit scum seemed to clear itself thanks to all the stirring, but if it was bad you could skim, but that’s an aesthetic consideration, I’m not fussy that way. This just takes a lot of time, leave aside an hour or two and be prepared to be very confused as to when it’s cooked, I added the testing step because it really doesn’t change all that much ones it re-thickens and you’re left with a pot of simmer sauce and no clear idea of where anything ends. This is why you come here, Dear Reader, the honesty and the information the cook books often fail to include, we cooks and bakers aren’t omniscient and shouldn’t have our recipes make us appear so.

It looks grainy, but it’s so smooth.

Pop a spoon in, pull it out and it just stays in one firm piece, take a bite and it melts.

There isn’t much in the cooking, just time and patience, Dear Reader, and the best part is you could get all of this, sans sugar, wild, or from your own garden, mine is a mix, the raspberries are mine, from frozen and the apples came from a friend. The taste of the fruit matters as even with the sugar you’ll have the texture and sourness of the apples and the tartness of the raspberries balancing everything out. It really is so tasty, it could work as well savoury as sweet, there’s just enough of a balance of savoury and sweet here to have the flavour scales tip depending on how you serve it. A lot of these preserve recipes are for using up Summer fruits, really it’s probably the reason they exist in the first place to preserve the taste of Summer for the colder months, it’s far too easy to pick up a jar of jam all year around so recipes that create something that can’t be bought are far more worthwhile then straight and simple versions, though fresh will always top store bought in my eyes,er, mouth…ummm. I have a few more recipes waiting on fruit to ripen, so, Dear Reader, you will just have to wait a while until they and I are ready. Until later, take care.

I have people I make Jams and Jellies for, it’s keeping a family tradition alive.


750g Cooking Apples
500g Raspberries
Sugar As Needed


Place a plate or saucer in the freezer before starting.
Use strongly flavoured fruits.

1. Cut up the Apples without Coring or Peeling and add to a large pot, add just enough water to cover the base then cover and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until the Apples are soft.

2. Add the Raspberries and cook uncovered until everything can be mashed to a pulp.

3. Rub the Pulp through a fine sieve and return to the pan and cook until as thick as possible.

4. Weigh the Pulp and add equal weight in Sugar to the pan, cook on a gentle simmer, the Sugar will cause the mixture to loosen, cook at least until it thickens again. Cook for around 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently, being careful of burning.

5. Drop a little of the mixture on the chilled plate and if it sets as a solid soft mass then it’s ready, if a thicker set is desired cook for longer.

7. Wet Clean Jars and heat in the microwave for one to two minutes until dry. While they sterilise soak the lids in boiling water for a minute or two. Pour the warm Jelly into the prepared Jars while they’re hot then screw on lids and let rest at room temperature overnight.

8. Store in a cool dark place and refrigerate once opened.

Doux Doux

There is a jar on my, now very crammed, spice rack, still clinging for dear life to the wall it resisted so much, marked sweet sweet. It naturally causes confusion to anyone but me. Then again, it’s my spice-rack so it can be as eclectic and bewildering as I am. It did set the ball rolling on this post, along with some purchased organic parsnips, the really wonderful kind not too long from someone’s garden, and, yes there are some growing in mine, but how they’ll fare is still up in the air, they’re keeping the weeds at bay whereas these freshly purchased ones are keeping Jack in sweet vegetables. Which is where we come in.

Now, you’re naturally thinking that I mean honey roasted, which I don’t, so you’re probably assuming they’ve been caramelised in the pan after boiling or steaming, which again, is wrong, then, Dear Reader, you’re just going to let Jack ramble because you’re so kind-hearted. You see, I’ve mentioned this countless time, but you have to keep pointing it out, I was once morbidly obese and sugary coated, filled and packed everything wasn’t just an option here and there it was life. You wouldn’t believe what I once could eat, I honestly struggle with it. So there’s that sweetness, the sweetness not of a beautiful sunset, the laughter of children or the endless small joys of your everyday lives, but the pleasure of a part of the brain that reacts favourably to sugar, which science can probably explain and Jack is tired of so he’ll let you go to Google, instead of either of these sweet joys I’m talking of a third, why mention the first? Because I’m a jerk and want to keep typing to fill out a post.

So, I’ve given up almost all sugar, in fits and starts, quietly resigned at times and screaming bloody murder at others, and the hardest part of it isn’t that it was difficult, it was hellish, but that people who still consume a vast quantity of sugar, not only do they not realise that it’s everywhere, not literally, stop opening the presses and licking the chairs, Dear Reader, it’s in a lot of food, processed mostly, but you’d be surprised when other people are preparing your food, but they don’t realise it affects their taste-buds so much. Much like a smoker, Jack wasn’t ever a smoker or a drinker, nor a pious,¬†officious jackass, funny that. I also dislike the I Quit Sugar brigade, due to the prevalence of alternatives not marked sugar. That’s another topic for me to alienate readers on, Dear Reader.

So, what am I getting at. We’ve established that there are two types of sweetness. We haven’t? Oh. We’ve only established that there’s the sugar sweetness that most think of when sweetness is mentioned and then I became side tracked. Well, to resume the thread and pick up the parsnip…The what? Ah, he natural sweetness problem. All vegetables, when fresh and grown in preferable conditions, like my garden say, have a natural sweetness that bare any resemblance to sugary food, but in its own right is a blessing to the taste-buds, but if you are a sugar fiend you may have trouble every recognising it. A freshly harvested carrot is sweet, the naturally stored sugars are present in every bite, to me, one who eats like this all the time it’s a joy. When I mention it to someone else it’s a mystery.

Which is a shame, I love the sweetness of cold-brewed tea, freshly harvested vegetables, the slight hit from yellow skinned squash, the surprise in every golden beet and the absurd sweetness of fresh strawberries. There was no way I’d taste or enjoy any of this if I consumed sugar as I once did. Am I suggesting you cut down on your sugar? No, you do what you want. But if you ever read me mentioning the sweet flavour of something that seems savoury then hopefully you’ll remember the two kinds of sweetness and it’ll make a little more sense. All the differences between people can be bridged by a willingness to learn and teach, when willing. That’s really all I have to say, it’s interesting to have been on both sides of so many polarising experiences, tiring too, Dear Reader, but as I have fresh parsnips I’m happy enough for the while. Until later.

Italian Herb Rub

Sunlight either makes for great photos or washed out ones.

Taken from here. Naturally you can use this on anything, I just used chicken. So, Dear Reader, I often lament the fact that it keeps getting harder and harder to find new recipes, well, a little bit of inspiration pushed me down a new avenue, I realised when tidying up my spices and refilling various jars of even more variegated sizes that I had no herb rubs, only primarily spice based ones. Of course there are many recipes out there, but finding ones to match my unique needs was an issue. Of course you can just toss anything in a rub and you’re probably going to find it edible, but I like a little more certainty that it’ll taste good, I do find herbs more difficult to use like this as they can be very strongly flavoured when dried, I find dried rosemary much too overpowering, but love it fresh, dried basil is very different in taste from its fresh counterpart, sage seems to be the exception, but I prefer it fresh when possible. This blend was just the right balance, very fragrant when being baked, but not too overwhelming, it worked well with the hotchpotch of food surrounding it. My plating is just for eating, Dear Reader, slam it on the plate is my method, get your own, my motto, and my cooking is questionable at times as because I timed it wrong I ended up almost making cranberry caramel! The sauce was coming off the spoon in spun sugar, tasted fine and it’s all fine with me. It’s not every blogger that admits to being that much of a screwball in the kitchen, Dear Reader, but I am what I am as Popeye once said. That’s it for today, I have another rub for beef to try so hopefully that works too. I’l be back sooner rather than later, take care.

PS. Slight change here, I just realised I omitted the brown sugar and used black pepper instead, I have a fair few blends with sugar so I’m happy to keep this as is. Poor Jack is getting addled, must be the lack of new recipes!


Equal Parts:

Dried Basil
Sea Salt
Dried Oregano
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Dried Parsley


1. Mix everything together and use to coat meat or vegetables.

Jack Consumed By Flowers! Readership Dwindling, But Lovely Smelling

First strawberry of the season. Tender and sweet. The second was eaten by birds. Netting (Bird safe) is now in place.

I have posted this before, but not in this exact colouration.

Peach? Orange? Porange?

Finally this planter does well.

The Honeysuckle is nearly in bloom.

Ah, Dear Reader, I’m amazed you’re still here. How my readership has survived after all these garden posts is beyond the ken of Jack, but I might have to pretend you’re enjoying them to alleviate any worries about my readership because I’m not stopping. The weather hasn’t been that bad, I managed to weed the garden today, cleaning both sides, the big cabbages are keeping he weeds at bay to a fair degree, the weeds just haven’t the same hold they used to have when they’d been settled for years. I’ve been using bits and pieces, I had a sandwich, waffles, quiet! they’re bread, with mustard greens, mizuna and lettuce. I still find salad greens bland, but they’re good for you so, why not? I added some mixed basil to my cold brewed rooibos and it gave a pleasant herbal taste to the brew. I’ just going to enjoy the fresh produce and see what will come of it all.

My garden is made of those bamboo poles.

I’ve lost the nametags of all the roses. I’m a genius.

Hard to get it all in a few shots.

They baulked a bit at the colder weather, but seem okay.

The rambling rose.

It really is amazing all that can grow in a smallish space. Careful planning helps, naturally, but even with mistakes you can repair and redo. You just need to be very, very, ever so, patient because sometimes those mistakes take a year or more to be rectified. Gardening really will teach you patience if you can stick with it. You’ll become the envy of all meditating monks the world over. Sadly today the garlic gave up, these sudden heat waves have a way of thrashing my efforts, but to make amends the garden has decided that yellow strawberries are going to seed at random because I recycled some of the soil they’d been buried in. The cycle of Jack is a badly drawn circle.

Second generation cornflowers.

This one is a favourite.

There are bees everywhere.

Let’s hope I’ll be able to save these seeds too.

It’s hard to get a whole body shot as there are roses all over each other.

I’m running out of stories, Dear Reader! There are too many blooming flowers! It is gratifying to know all the year’s early work has paid off and each year the plants that will return are better able to grow. Roses that are poor fed or badly pruned will suffer in time, I’ve seen roses that bloomed beautifully one year struggle the next, I’ve dug up large roses with piddling root systems. A shame, they give so much joy and ask for just a little care.

Give it a few years, I’ll have it flowering everywhere.

Finally a red rose!

Droopy? No, they’re cascading.

Pink in all shades.

Naru’s garden.

That’s all from me, but the flowers, well they never stop. Take it easy, Dear Reader. Hopefully when I return again it’ll be more exciting.


The iris is very pretty this year.

Everything is green at least.

So much to water…so, so much.

Also delphinium.

Not delphinium.

Potatoes are still in flower.

Triple centred. Sounds like a candy.

But What Can I Use It In?

I was reading through Cooking Without Gluten’s post today and I still marvel at the depth that goes into ever part of Irena’s recipes, the choice of ingredients, the balance between the benefits of each and the flavour, the wealth of understanding in the well written posts. What this has to do with humble Jack, well, I suppose I’ve tired in my own way to do something similar. We’ve both attempted to fill a gap in the free-from world, how successfully is up to you to decide, Dear Reader. That gap is the gap between available ingredients and actual practical, teaching recipes, intersecting with various diets along the way of course. To surmise simply: You can buy, say amaranth, you can fail to cook it because the packet has no proper instructions, you can find generic lists of the benefits and general facts, but if you want depth then you might be out of luck. You can replace that with so many ingredients, Dear Reader, and that’s very depressing.

So, Dear Reader, what prompted this, you ask. Almost nine years of this successful free-from life, and again struggling to buy cereal that I could actually eat, again and realising that he alternatives have no real information outside of basic preparations. Thankfully I have procured some boxes to hold me over, until a re-stock hopefully appears. So, I can have buckwheat flakes, which I can’t eat hot with milk, and watery flakes are just thin gruel, but what about the recipes, you, a different more smug, self-satisfied Dear Reader ask, which I answer thus: There aren’t any! I’ve searched for uses so often that I just made my own and this has repeated so much that this blog hosts an absurd amount of recipes for somewhat obscure ingredients. But one person can only do so much, I can take so much neglect from the free-from world, but it tires me out to have to struggle just to eat. Without cereal I lose so much, I have to balance nutrition, calories, availability and so much more. I do that already, I do that every day and everyday I scroll through recipes that I’ve seen countless times before, I see brands filling the shelves with the same products, junk-food disguised, I see charities helping sponsors before me and it makes me tired, so very tired, Dear Reader.

I’m not attacking my fellow bloggers here, but I am asking what I often ask and that’s to branch out just a little, try things that you’ve never seen done. Use ingredients in ways that challenge their common uses, we could do so much good. I have a tin of coconut flakes, they’re high fibre and might be used to boost a low fibre cereal if the need arises, this is my life, Dear Reader, it entitles me to some bitterness, and when I search for recipes it was either “breaded” chicken or what you can already imagine. Just add it to this and that. Baked chips abounded too. I may find a special use for them, perhaps they’ll be the cornerstone of a special kind of recipe, like chia was, but I doubt it, at least I’ll have tried. Not just for myself, but for people like me. It’s all too easy to forget those on extremely restricted diets, whose general answer to all food questions is: “No, I can;’t eat that either”. It’s a stressful thing to be a success, but to still struggle so much.

Jack is being depressing, Dear Reader, but the truth can’t always be made palatable. It’s all too easy to ignore it already, you just scroll past this and forget you ever saw it. For me, well, if nothing else I’m looking forward to harvesting some more basil, I have a recipe here that uses a lot in one serving, I’ll have to ditch the lime, but Red Rubin, an improved Dark Opal that does seem more vigorous, though that might be the heat, mixed with some lime basil might make for an interesting meal. If it works well without the marinade I’ll list it separately. I do miss the citrus, but not the stomach pains, all cleared up now thankfully. To end on a positive note I’ve now gotten down to a large tracksuit, still big and tall, but a far cry from 6xl. I have to buy as stock appears, the story of my life since the age of sixteen, but I’m happy they fit so well. I’ll be tidy if not trendy, let’s face it, Dear Reader, trendy and gardening don’t exactly mix. Torn jeans are in, but not rose thorn jeans. Until later.

Rooibos Royal Milk Tea

I kept steaming up the lens.

Yes, yes, I know, I could’ve called it Royal Milk Rooibos but then it’d sound as if I’d made something called Royal Milk. Yeah, tisane, red tea is a tisane…hah! You know, Dear Reader, I’m almost certain I made this years and years ago with tea bags. Here I am, more experienced and in possession of loose tea. I honestly bought the loose tea for the composters, but they had a fine filter that didn’t taste of metal and honeybush, which I could’ve used, but I wanted the more intense rooibos, so I’m having the occasional cup of loose tea and this popped into my head. If you want a better breakdown of milk tea hit up the link (Original here) I’m just trying it out as a one off, I take my tea plain, hence the lack of any sweetener recommendations below. I didn’t even make any cookies to have with it, mostly because they’re work and I’m lazy.

Tea for tw…er, one.

You can naturally use any tea here, but the reason rooibos works is that it’s more like black tea than herb teas. If you’ve never gone through the trio of rooibos, red, green and honeybush, there is a wild, but I didn’t find much difference between that and red, then you really should consider giving them a try. The reason I drink it is that it was a replacement for caffeinated teas and teas laden with sugar and milk, usually taken to eat an entire pack of biscuits because of the intense pain I mistook for hunger back in the fat-days, over time I’ve grown to love the taste. Now, the milky tea drinkers are the aberrations in my mind. I don’t do well with too much caffeine so I stick to these teas.

This is simply a milky cup of tea, instead of adding milk cold you heat it gently, the tea is also brewed very strong. You’d be surprised when using loose tea how even the mildest of tea can be brewed to strongly. I may, just may, have brewed an intense cup of honeybush and almost choked on the taste. Honeybush seems artificial, Dear Reader, there’s an intense aroma and a mild taste, too mild for something with this much milk, but worth mentioning to any red tea neophytes. Loose tea has this grand feel to it, as if you were somehow elevated by drinking your leaf steepings with bit floating in it. I like the fact I can adjust the taste of the teas, that’s not a bad trade off for the messiness loose tea entails. The worms, still slowly doing something, probably, will reap the rewards. All things go back to the soil, Dear Reader, I’m just trying to make the best use of them that I can.


180ml Water
120ml Milk or Dairy Free Alternative
8g Loose Rooibos


1. Add Water to a pot and bring to a boil, add the Rooibos and reduce to a simmer. Let cook for 2 minutes.

2. Add Milk to the pot and slowly bring to boil. Once a boil has been reach remove from heat and strain into mug.