About this blog

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Wales, United Kingdom
In autumn 2010, my husband Ian and I both quit our jobs, sold our house and left the flatlands of the east for the mountains of Wales. Our goal is to create a more self-sufficient lifestyle in a place we actually like living. Whilst Ian will continue to earn some money as a freelancer, my part of the project is to reduce how much we spend by growing and making as much of what we need as possible. The purpose of this blog is to keep friends updated with how the grand project is progressing, but all are welcome here. If you're not a friend already, well perhaps you might become one.

Sunday, 29 April 2012


Last autumn I managed to collect quite a lot of hazelnuts, or at least hazelnut shells. The trouble is, rather a lot of those shells turn out to be empty. Here's a little test, for demonstration.

The promise of twenty delicious hazelnuts...

... delivers only four nuts, and those are rather small.

I won't give up on them, though. I'm encouraging hazel trees to grow in my garden (and they don't take much encouragement) and I'll gather as many as I can next year, too, because I love eating these nuts. It's just that at breakfast time, cracking twenty or thirty shells just so I can get enough nuts to chop onto my cereal is a teeny bit tedious.


  1. Personally I blame the squirrels! they seem to know which nuts to take and which to leave; which is why I try to forage at least twice as many as I think I`ll use and still end up with as half as many full ones as I would like.
    Try toasting the hazelnuts (after shelling!), or rolling them around in a dry frying pan on the hob for a few minutes to really intensify the flavour.

    1. Hi Sashky,
      I think you're right about the squirrels. I thought I'd done very well to find some before they did, but actually I just got their rejects! I love roasted nuts, but I like them so much raw that it doesn't usually seem worth the effort to cook them.


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