As we move closer to our big divorce with the EU, some of us are wondering how our everyday life will be affected with the inevitable increase in food and the cost of living.
The good news is there is a way around this fast moving consumer market – apart from shopping in discounted Superstores like Aldi and Lidl which come with its own challenges like accessibility and the cost of the fuel to drive there.
So if you are willing to make a change you can start in your own back yard by growing your own produce – you will have to put a bit of work in yourself, and prepare yourself for a challenge – but one that is healthy and fun, and will afford you all of the exercise and nutrition that you need.
If you have a family it is a great way to demonstrate to the kids how resourceful you are, and give them a clear understanding of how consumerism is taking over our lives, and that you are doing something about it. You can even get them involved in the process and make it a family activity at weekends.
If you have a garden, then you are home and dry, and all you have to do is prepare the soil and plan what you would like to grow. There are many garden centres near to you who will be happy to help you with the seeds and planting programmes that surround different types of vegetables at specific times of the year, and you can even invest in a smallish greenhouse for the more fragile fruits that you can grow without being affected by the weather.
If you live in an apartment without a garden, and are keen to experiment in ‘the good life’, then put your name down for an allotment or search around for a small piece of ground you can rent cheaply from a neighbour or friend to begin your food growing experiment.
At one time allotments were considered to be for the elderly or gardening fanatics and were definitely not ‘cool’, but it is now hugely fashionable with more and more Celebrities and Business Executives utilising this outdoor activity as a means of staying fit and healthy and as a pure distraction from their life in the fast lane.
So make Brexit work for you and start growing your own, which will save you heaps of money and is the ultimate diet to keep you trim and in shape.
You may want to start with the simpler vegetables, and then gradually add to your portfolio with more exotic yields, and in no time at all you will be self- sufficient and proud to show off your produce and be in charge of your own home grown food garden.
Read the Thompson-Morgan quick overview of their top 10 easy to grow vegetables. This website is informative and will give you a great start to growing your own : 10 Easy to Grow Vegetables
The company has been in business since 1855 and can supply all your gardening needs
Visit Thompson Morgan to see for yourself.
What would be a Sunday Brunch without a little indulgence? As the weather is picking up and spring being on the rise, most Sunday mornings are not as gloomy anymore as in previous weeks. The sun gleaming brightly through the windows makes me never wanting to leave the kitchen table, but to keep on sipping coffee and eating crispy bread rolls for hours. If you are feeling a bit decadent this coming Sunday, why not try these Smoked Salmon and Parmesan tarts with cream cheese served alongside a glass of bubbly? Not only will those flaky tarts be a feast for the eyes and your palate, but a sure-fire way to impress any guest. A toast to the perfect brunch delight!
For 6 Tarts
1 pack puff pastry (ready rolled, ca. 375g)
75 – 100g Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
100 – 150g cream cheese
100 – 150g smoked salmon
Bunch fresh dill
Black pepper to season
What you’ll need:
Flat baking tray
Round stencil (e.g. wide mug), ø10cm
Large bread knife
Rolling pin (to roll out the dough scraps)
Unroll the sheet of ready-made puff pastry and place it on a flat surface (the dough should be rolled in baking paper already).
Take a round stencil such as a glass, mug or small bowl with an average diameter of 10cm and cut out 9 pieces (you may have to take the dough “scraps” and roll it out again to cut out more pieces). The dough itself should not be rolled any thinner as it already is.
Place the cut-outs on a flat baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper.
Grate the Parmigiano-Reggiano and sprinkle it generously on all pieces.
Bake in a pre-heated oven (180°C, fan, middle-rack) for 15-20 minutes until the rounds have risen well and are golden in colour.
Remove from the oven. Half each of the puff pastry rounds to end up with 18 pieces. With a knife, spread six pieces with cream cheese (no need to be exact with the amount, just make sure you have enough cream cheese for all of them) and sprinkle with cracked black pepper. Take another six pieces and place smoked salmon on them as well as fresh dill. Stack the salmon rounds on top of the cream cheese rounds and top them off with the remaining six Parmesan-coated pieces.
(Credit to: Castelli/Parmigiano for these beautiful recipes)
If you like rock, pop and classic cars, you are going to LOVE Britain’s most exciting brand-new podcast…
STARS CARS GUITARS
The Podcast Series
With Tony Hadley, Jim Cregan & Alex Dyke
SIR ROD STEWART says, “Come to my house and drive my Lamborghini and Ferrari!”
ABOUT STARS CARS GUITARS
What is Stars Cars Guitars?
It’s a brand-new podcast, with new episodes every week, presented by singer Tony Hadley, guitarist Jim Cregan and broadcaster Alex Dyke.
What is Stars Cars Guitars all about?
It’s three guys talking about rock and roll adventures, their favourite cars and tales of the stars and friends they met on the way.
So, it’s all about stars, cars and guitars – right?
Yes… and no. It’s also about success, fame, family, laughter, memories and dreams. It’s really a show about friendship. It’s a conversation between three old mates, who like telling stories and sharing jokes. It’s a safe place. Join them!
MEET THE GUYS
Tony Hadley is one of Britain’s best loved singers. He’s a big man with a big voice and a heart of gold. He was the frontman of Spandau Ballet in the 1980s with a slew of massive hits including a number 1 with True.
Now as a solo artist he entertains audiences around the globe with hit packed shows.
A charming, sharp dressed man, Tony’s an international heartthrob and a brilliant storyteller. From Live Aid to Los Angeles, he’s been there and done it, selling millions of records. Tony is also a radio presenter and tv performer, going into the jungle in I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! in 2015.
If the guys were in a car, Tony would be in the driver’s seat with his hands on the wheel.
Jim Cregan is an award-winning rock guitarist, songwriter and producer. He’s been a professional musician since the 1960s and he’s seen the inside of more hotel rooms than Howard Johnson or Lenny Henry. He’s smashed a few up on occasion too.
Jim has lived a rock and roll life on the road, playing with best friend Rod Stewart’s band for more than twenty years. He’s played with everyone, from Cockney Rebel to Cat Stevens and Katie Melua. He’s survived alcohol, drugs, swinging London, flower power, high times in the States and he’s got the Hawaiian shirts to prove it.
If the guys were in a car, Jim would be in the passenger seat, reading the map.
Alex Dyke has been a British broadcaster for 35 years on the tv and radio. He’s worked for the BBC, UK networked commercial radio and Radio Luxembourg.
He’s an award-winning presenter, surprising everybody when he won a bronze Sony Radio award in 2006.
He’s interviewed some of the biggest names in show business, including Sir Tom Jones, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Roger Daltrey, Lulu, BB King and George Best. Alex has an encyclopaedic knowledge of pop music and if he pays more attention in class, he could really amount to something.
If the guys were in a car, Alex would be in the back seat, asking “are we there yet?”, and Tony and Jim would be wondering whether they’d have been better off if he’d got the bus instead.
STARS CARS GUITARS
The Podcast Series with Tony Hadley, Jim Cregan & Alex Dyke
Listen to us on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google
The ways in which people, including those who identify as LGBT, can create a family, have evolved greatly over the years. Modern families are wonderfully diverse, and it is a huge positive, that society is more accepting of different family structures. Jemimah Fleet, family solicitor at B P Collins, who specialises in modern parenting, offers advice on the routes available to creating a family.
Surrogacy is a way of building a family where a woman, who does not intend to be the baby’s mother, carries and gives birth to a child for someone else, whether that’s a single mum or dad, heterosexual couples or same sex couples.
Surrogacy is possible both in the UK and in some countries around the world. Currently the Law Commission is reviewing the UK’s outdated surrogacy laws, which do not meet the interests of those involved in the process. For example, there are various legal obstacles such as the surrogate (as the birth mother) is always considered the legal mother and the intended parents can only apply to court for a parental order, to be recognised as their child’s legal parents, once the child is born. This inevitably places the child in an uncertain legal limbo until legal matters are resolved. This process can take months to finalise – a delay which is both frustrating and creates uncertainty.
The Law Commission’s consultation will help to reform the law which hasn’t changed in decades and aims to ensure the child’s best interests remain the key focus and provides reassurance to all those involved on the surrogacy journey.
Many parents also choose to build their families through donor conception, particularly single women and lesbian couples, who conceive with a sperm donor.
A clinic sperm donor may be chosen, where the clinic will match with a donor who is anonymous at the point of donation. The law surrounding anonymity changed in 2005 and identifiable information is now available to children, who are conceived with donor sperm, if conception was in the UK.
Some may choose to use a known sperm donor, who could be a friend or family member. A key advantage is that there may be a continuing relationship with the donor and you will have more background information about them. But the relationship and the intentions of the donor may need to be managed carefully. Having a pre-conception agreement on the arrangements moving forward, which could vary from minimal involvement to full co-parenting, could be invaluable and hopefully avoid a dispute in the future.
It’s important to remember that legal parentage can be more complicated in these arrangements as the law only allows two legal parents. The birth mother will always be the mother but identifying the second parent will depend on the circumstances of conception. It is vital to seek expert advice to ensure that the full legal position concerning parentage is understood.
B P Collins work with many clients embarking on a co-parenting arrangement, which are usually single women or men; or sometimes friends deciding to conceive a child together. There has also been a surge in people “self-matching” online, having a child together, but continuing to live separately and co-parent. In a similar way to donors, the relationship between co-parents needs to be managed very carefully and we would advise creating an agreement to ensure expectations are aligned. This will again help to avoid disputes in the future and establish a strong foundation for raising the child.