It’s been two weeks since the last pottery class and I was so looking forward to be back. We delayed going last week in order to avoid Manx Grand Prix traffic so it seems like ages since we’ve met up. This time around, we were shown how to make pitchers but I think it’s generally been a class consensus that we work on whatever we’d like. So far I’ve only had the chance to make two mugs and a spoon-rest so I wanted to make a few smaller things this

Sounds pretty weird doesn’t it? But after one taste, you won’t even remember a time when you couldn’t use chocolate and beetroot in the same sentence! Just like the carrots used in carrot cake, the beetroot in this recipe adds sweetness as well as rich moist texture. It’s also a great way to use up spare beetroots coming in from the garden this time of year. Chocolate & Beetroot Cupcakes Makes about 16 200g Plain Flour 150g White Caster Sugar 100g Dark Brown Sugar 100g Cocoa Powder 1 tsp Bicarbonate

It’s that time of the year when you’re not bringing home a handful of this or that from the allotment but literally bucket loads. I went up this afternoon with the intention of digging up a few spuds but then got caught up in finding other goodies lurking about the plot. I have no idea where the cauliflower came from by the way; I must have bunged in an extra seedling at the bottom of the plot and forgot about it! No matter, it’s going to make a delicious curry

Calendula petals are one of the only botanicals you can blend into cold-process soap and still hope to retain a nice colour. Others such as lavender will turn greenish-brown and rose petals will change from vibrant red and pink to an unattractive rusty brown. Another reason for using calendula in soap, and other skin care products, is that it’s genuinely good for you. Natural components found in this flower have been used by herbalists for generations to treat skin conditions such as eczema and the healing of wounds and burns. Learn

Lemongrass is one of my favourite tasting herbs, and one that I never thought I would grow at home. I use it when cooking Thai dishes and it’s just divine in a Tom Yum Soup served with a side of jasmine rice. Its lemony-ginger taste is also delicious as a refreshing tea, a cup of which I’m enjoying at the moment. Lemongrass is commonly grown from seed in the UK, and you can buy a packet of them for around £1.50. However the seeds are quite small and fiddly and

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