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  • Writer's pictureLiz Kameen

Grocery wars and potato hash

Bore da, hope everyone able to at least acknowledge the incredible sunshine today even if you can't get out in it.

I realised last week I didn't say thank you for the gifts and cards that we received for Christmas from so many customers - we obviously don't expect these but really do appreciate them, and so many lovely words of support in the cards. We may not get back to you individually to say thank you, but please know every single one was greatfully received. And all consumables (solid and liquid!) much enjoyed! ;)

In the field, we're still in pre-sowing mode, so just tidying up, doing some weeding and generally anticipating the upcoming growing season. Can't believe how mild it's been so far, wondering if we're due some icy cold weather soon.

Eat Your Greens veg boxes:

Boxes this week - squash in regular boxes is Crown Prince, came in very big so we had to chop up some of them. The apples are russets.

If you pick up a box from the shop don't forget to pick up your box tomorrow!

Just a note on invoice admin - we aim to do this on a Friday so if you send an email at the start of week don't worry if you don't get a reply until Friday. We do sometimes take a few days to sort out any invoicing queries just because we're not often at the computer, so bear with us.

The Vale Grocer shop:

Plenty of: Potatoes, onions, orange / purple carrots, golden beetroot, leeks, turnips, squash, swet potato, fresh garlic / ginger / turmeric

Limited: Savoy cabbages, chestnut mushrooms, parsnips, palermo peppers, swede, Prion sprouts / salad / kale*

Fruit: Russet apples, bananas, clementines (reduced), lemons

*If you know you want anything from the field it helps if we can know asap today to give us an idea of what to harvest. We may be limited on what we can get so pre-ordering will definitely avoid any disappointment.

+ local free-range eggs

+ local Cae Main apple juice

+ local sourdough bread from Nant y Felin restaurant

Recipe inspiration:

We were very happy this week making a red thai curry and realising we didn't have any peas or beans...we went to the freezer and pulled out some of the broad beans we'd frozen last autumn. Amazing, they tasted so good especially after a few months without. This is something we want to get better at - saving anything we can't eat fresh as we have too much of it. Currently we don't have enough freezer space, and also get regular power cuts up in Prion, but hoping that in the unit we can get a bit better at freezing things.

Chris made one of his favourite comfort meals this week, potato hash with extras. Hugh F-W talks about this in his leftovers book and if you don't make it at home it's worth a try.

He says 'Melt some butter and/or oil in a frying pan, add a chopped onion and let it sweat. Put any pre-cooked meat / fish / veggies (including potatoes) you have into the pan (keep things quite chunky) increase the heat to medium high and press down with a spatula. Don't be too keen to stir it you want it to brown on the bottom. As it browns, flip bits over so the other side crisps up too. Add herbs / seasonings / mustard. When it's golden remove from pan and serve piping hot with any toppings eg gravy, poached eggs, ketchup, baked beans.'

One of his suggestions is ham hash - add chopped boiled potatoes and boiled ham, along with a spoonful of mustard and a sprinkling of thyme or sage, and any greens, peas, carrots or beans. It's essentially a free- for-all kind of dish to finish up bits in your veg box.

We haven't tried this one yet and it sounds a little odd but bear with me - roast carrot pate (also Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall).

¼ tsp caraway seeds

About 150g cream cheese

50-200g roast carrots

Finely grated zest of half a lemon, plus a squeeze of juice

1-2 tsp finely chopped dill fronds

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 Put the caraway seeds in a small frying pan over a medium-high heat and lightly toast until fragrant, for about 20-30 seconds. Using a pestle and mortar, bash the seeds to a coarse powder.

2 Put the cream cheese, roast carrots, ground caraway and lemon zest and juice into a food processor and pulse until just combined – the pâté should still have some texture to it. (Alternatively, you can do this in a bowl with a potato masher.)

3 Fold in and serve with crusty sourdough.

Finally, someone sent us this Grocery Wars spoof (about 5 mins) and we just had to share for any Star Wars fans - think some people have too much time on their hands!

have a lovely week

#enjoy that tasty veg

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