He’s quite a nervous pup, is our Marco.  His favourite hiding place is in amongst the cotoneaster.


Garlic, Chilli & Parsley Tagliatelle

I’m feeling a little delicate today.  It was D’s sister’s Hen do yesterday.  There were quad bikes, there was a salsa lesson, there were tapas and there was sangria, champagne and wine.  It was fabulous but, man, am I suffering for it today.

Dinner had to be simple tonight.  And so it was.

Taglietelle with Garlic, Chilli & Parsley (serves 2)

3 fat garlic cloves, chopped finely

1 red chilli, chopped finely

Approx. 3 tablespoon chopped parsley

50ml oil


200g taglietelle

  • Add the oil, garlic and chilli to a small frying pan and set over a low heat.  Warm very gently until the garlic starts to sizzle.  Remove from heat and stir in the parsley and a generous pinch of salt.
  • Boil the pasta in plenty of salted water. Drain and toss with the garlicky oil.
  • Avoid breathing on people for the next 12 hours.


So, I’m calling this “broth” partly because I love the sound of the word, and partly because that’s what this soup (or variations of it) is called where I grew up in Aberdeenshire.  My family (originally from the Glasgow area) call this “homemade soup”.  One could make, lets say, carrot and coriander soup from scratch at home and that would be homemade soup  but it wouldn’t be “homemade soup”.  You know?

Anyway, this is the soup I panicked about not being able to replicate after my mum died and I wanted to get the recipe down here fairly swiftly.  What I should say, though, is that this soup has been made for generations in our family and it’s generally agreed (with the exception of when Nana got confused between the nasturtium seeds and the split peas) that the previous generations’ “homemade soup” is always better than the following generations’ “homemade soup”.

Inferior to previous soups, perhaps, but still damn good.  🙂

Broth (makes BIG pot – freezes well)

2.5l really well flavoured chicken stock

2  cups broth mix (Available in Scottish supermarkets.  Not sure about elsewhere in the UK… It’s a mixture of  barley, split green and yellow peas, red lentils and marrowfat peas.  Barley is the most important ingredient so 1.5 cups of barley would be fine as a substitute for broth mix. )

2 large potatoes, chopped into 2cm pieces

1 cup turnip, chopped into 1 cm pieces

1 cup carrots, chopped into 0.5cm pieces

1 cup grated carrots

1 cup shredded chicken

1/2 cup chopped leek

Salt and pepper

  • Add the stock, potatoes, chopped carrots, turnips and broth mix to a large pot.  Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1.5 hours until barley is soft.
  • Add the grated carrot, leek and chicken.  Season to taste.  Simmer for another 30 mins.
  • Done.  🙂

(broth mix)

The Veggie Plots

There were a few months there where I wasn’t at home very often.  It’s our first year in our new home and my intention had been to build some raised beds to start growing my veggies once again. Assumed it was going to have to wait for another year until my lovely partner, D, took it upon himself to do all the hard work for me.

So now I have two raised beds…

Things are beginning to happen in these beds…

And inside, every available sunny surface has been claimed by seedlings that have yet to be moved out side…

And those that will never see the great (but rather chilly) Scottish outdoors…

It’s all rather exciting. 🙂