The joys of being a weekend gardener, going gluten free, and a bit of charity shopping

Feeling quite tired today – I went to bed late and woke up early. It was foggy and cold first thing and has been wet all day. I have a lot to do in the garden, so was hoping for a nice sunny Autumnal day. As it was, I ended up digging over one of the vegetable plots in the rain! I want to do some work on the first part of my garden, which consists of flower beds and grass. The bed on the right hand side suffers from the many trees along the neighbour’s boundary. It still sees a lot of sun but plants often fail to thrive because the trees suck all of the moisture up. I have decided to make it a dry garden, so I need to move a lot of the plants over to the left hand bed. I can’t do that until I have expanded that bed though as there is no room!! It is hard to be a weekend gardener at the mercy of the British weather. I will get there though, a little at a time.

I have had an easy cooking day today as there were plenty of leftovers for our lunches and my dinner tonight (the girls have gone out) from my dinner party yesterday.

I have been eating gluten free for a week and I have to say I am feeling a whole lot better for it. I already have to avoid lactose (thank goodness for Lactofree products, which make this easy), but gluten is a whole new ball game. It seems most of the women in my family suffer from IBS and it seems mainly to be aggravated by various food intolerances. These are annoying when you are trying to get by on a budget. Lactofree milk is much dearer than Aldi’s own, and gluten free bread is extortionate. I don’t like it much, but the Sainsbury’s Free From rolls aren’t bad, so I have been having those with my lunch at work, or some GF crackers. When I have time I will experiment with making some bread, but for now I am sticking with baking cakes, as this is much more fun and seems rather easier. The pavlova I made for last night’s dinner was gluten free – an easy win – and I also baked some passable chocolate brownies.

I have been advised that Dove’s Farm is the best GF flour to use, so I will get some when I next pass the supermarket.



One of our dinners this week were these delicious field mushrooms (69p for three at Aldi at the moment) stuffed very simply with bacon and cheese. They were delicious and that was a very easy GF dinner. I must try to pop in there again this week for some more.

...magic mushrooms

…magic mushrooms

I picked up a GF baking book in the charity shop the other week. It seems rather complicated, with various flours being used. I will maybe keep things simple and try substituting the Dove’s Farm flour in the usual recipes I like.

I discovered that there is a very good charity shop down the road from me the other day. It is actually a collection centre for Barnardo’s, but has a small shop at the front, and it sells all the clothes for 99p! It is even open on a Sunday, so is perfect for me. A couple of weeks ago I bought 5 items and they were all in great condition and fitted well. Today I went back with my daughters  and found a nice black coat plus another top. The coat is obviously well used but it still has lots of wear, and is the kind of style I like. For 99p how could I not get it? The girls spent about a fiver each as well, not that they need any more clothes. Their wardrobes are heaving!

6 thoughts on “The joys of being a weekend gardener, going gluten free, and a bit of charity shopping

  1. liz Adams

    you might, once you decide you want to bake bread gluten free, take a look here:

    I’ve been baking from their Healthy Bread book for years, no gluten problems for me, but in general they really do offer very easy ways of making excellent bread. I never buy bread any more! so I’m betting their gluten free recipes are probably just as straightfoward, and lot cheaper than buying storebought gluten free bread.

  2. Attila

    I am intolerant to wheat and find Doves Farm GF flour to be really good, although now I generally use asda own brand gluten free flour which I suspect is identical; I made the same things with each brand and there was no difference. DF’s website has some good recipes but check out the comments too. If you are ok with oats, I find things that need breadcrumbs can be made with oats e.g.meatballs.

  3. Deb

    I don’t know if you follow Frugal Queen, but she is also gluten free, and she posts quite a lot of recipes on her blog. They look delicious!

  4. thedomesticstoryteller

    If you do find the perfect recipe for gluten-free bread, I would love to know about it! I tend to buy my gf bread when it’s reduced from Waitrose. I can normally pick up a loaf or pack of rolls for £1. Going gluten free was the best decision I made, glad it’s working out for you too 🙂

  5. Linda Kay

    It is sooooo much easier to eat gluten free now with a special section dedicated to that in the grocery store. There are lots of recipes, etc. I had a friend a number of years ago who had to eat gluten free, and it was much more of challenge to find the right items at that time.


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