October Already!

Seriously, how has the year gone by so quickly? I know they say time speeds up as you get older, but at this rate I’ll be 93 in less than 24 hours!

October is one of my favourite months, but then I am a Scorpio, so what else would you expect? Halloween/Samhain is the best festival of all time in my opinion, hands down beats Christmas and New Year. I really need to be kept away from the decorations sections in the supermarkets because I tend to go a little mad.

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Of course the other great thing about this time of year is the marvellous varieties of squash available. We love pumpkin, and I shall be stocking up and cooking and freezing as many of the big carvers as I can. There does seem to be an increasing selection  of other squashes in the supermarkets here now too, especially if you look in some of the higher end shops like Booths or Waitrose.

Last year I ordered a big box of spaghetti squash direct from a fenland farmer, something I must sort out doing again very soon – the squashes have such a lovely long shelf life that stocking up makes a lot of sense.

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What is your favourite squash recipe? I shall be having a go at a paleoified pumpkin pie again this year, but I want to try something a bit more adventurous too. Having said that, it will probably end up being a pumpkin inspired ice cream, as I plough on with getting my paleo ice cream ebook ready for sale towards the end of the month!

Just to give you fair warning, I’ve set myself a challenge this month – a blog post a day. Gulp. Let’s see if I do better with that than I did with Whole30!

TTFN

 

A Little Bit of Pride

Back in the days before Paleo I made a rainbow birthday cake for The Boy – as rainbow cakes go it wasn’t the best made, if you google you will see some real beauties. All the same I was rather proud of it. The Pride season was coming up and I thought it would be a cool thing to use for a t-shirt for anyone attending a march, indeed my friend Helen bought one, and some badges, to wear to the Edinburgh Pride.

I’d completely forgotten about my little spread shirt shop until I saw a rainbow cake on my instagram feed the other day, so I figured it was time to dig it out again because, even if it’s not paleo, the cake shirt is pretty cool I think. See what you think…

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They’re quite cute arent they? The daughters came up with a cool design that makes a great gym shirt, and there are a couple of other designs on there too, including a lone ape,  but we do need to come up with some paleo options which could be fun!

Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush…

I’m sure pretty much all of you dear readers will now be singing away, reminiscing about childhood nursery rhymes, but how many of you have ever seen a mulberry bush, let alone eaten a mulberry?

When my teenagers were little they had a mulberry bush game from Orchard Toys, sadly it doesn’t seem to be available now, but it was a firm favourite back in the day. We sang the song and stomped our teddies round the little bush as we collected cards that went with the actions we had to perform.

As a child I remember singing the song and doing the actions in the playground at school, having been taught the song by my mother who remembered playing the same game herself. Mulberry bushes have therefore been part of the childhood of at least 3 generations of my family, but we had never seen one, nor eaten its fruits.

I’ve seen the ugly looking little berries in their dried form on various online shopping trips, but they never really appealed, mostly because of how they look, but also because I imagined they would be crispy and generally sensorily repugnant, as well as rather pricey!

When Detox Your World offered me the opportunity to receive some ingredients for review, I jumped at the chance to try out some of the products that I’ve looked at, but never been brave enough to buy. Top of the list was a packet of mulberries.

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I really didn’t want to try them when they arrived as they just looked so unpleasant. After several days (seriously, this is how unadventurous I can be with new foods!) I decided that I had better bite the bullet …. well it turned out that they weren’t remotely bullet like, instead they were rather soft, with a slight resistance, if that makes sense, and had a really sweet taste – incredibly moreish in fact! My children, when they could get past the look of the berries, thought that they were rather like raisins; my son’s descriptive powers went a bit further and said that they were almost toffee like, and that he would choose them over toffees if they were available in a shop! High praise indeed from The Boy with a ridiculously sweet tooth!

Mulberries were definitely a winner in this family then. However… one of the other exotic delights I chose to try out was Durian Fruit. Now it does suggest on the website that this is something that you will either love or hate, with some people suggesting it tastes of garlic and onion, but I was tempted by the promise of vanilla, banana, caramel and custard flavours.

I tried it out, in a VERY small amount, in my first trial of our passionate chia seed pudding. I was dubious as soon as I opened the packet in all honesty. The smell was odd, vaguely unpleasant but I could definitely detect some potential for creamy vanilla-ness, so I ploughed ahead and dropped 5 little pieces into the pudding to soak overnight, imagining that this would bring out the best of this curious little fruit.

Oh how wrong I was! The smell intensified almost immediately the fruit came into contact with the liquid, it was so repugnant that I imagined that come morning, going downstairs would result in the family all making a quick dash for bowls and toilets! No wonder that Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transport System carries signs like this!

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As it happened the smell didn’t get any worse over night, and we all bravely tried a spoonful of the durian chia pudding; I should have videoed the facial reactions really, I think they would have become a youtube success! Disgust and horror would be the words that best described what my family thought of this delicacy – some may call us philistines, I would say that we have highly developed tastebuds, and that any fruit that is encased in such heavy duty armour as the durian, was obviously never meant to be eaten by any sensible human being!

Durian is reputed to be highly prized for its aphrodisiac qualities, and its high tryptophan content (the chemical that makes us happy)…. If any readers would like to try it for themselves I’d love to know what they think, and would be more than happy to send them the remains of our packet! Drop me a comment in the box below and we can consider this a competition of sorts!

In summary then: Mulberries we would definitely go round and round the bush for, durian  would see us heading for the hills at speed.

Huge thanks to Detox Your World for giving us the opportunity to try these items, it was lots of fun, and we will definitely be back for everything, except the durian!