December Letter from The Ferns chatting about vegan nutroasts, Nature’s Kitchen and ‘Bon natale!’

“Thank Goodness” nut roast company

In Newport we not only have me with my Veggie  B & B , but around the corner  from me there is a great  nut roast business called ‘Thank Goodness’ run by my friend, Bernadette McCarthy. I featured  her in my last blog with her ‘Shroppies Pie’. She has won awards for her delicious nutroasts

Today I am tasting  her ‘Luxury vegan nut roast’. The nut roast was easy to cook, just open up the top and put  it in the oven for 20-25 minutes

opening the packet

Opening up – prior to cooking

You can see just from opening it up, there are lots of interesting ingredients in there, and   we had  large portions.  I cooked it from chilled and it took only 20-25 minutes.   There were   lots of ‘big’ ingredients – chopped nuts  (some large some small – brazils, cashews, hazelnuts)  which give a variety of flavours and bite-ability. The vegetables are onions, carrot, courgette and mushroom plus lentils and the  nutritious quinoa.

vegan luxury nutroast


It had no egg in it  but held together really well. One of the reasons that people put egg in  anything is to hold it together. Bernadette told me that they did a lot of testing on all the recipes, and the addition of gram flour and peanut butter were the secret ingredients for holding it together – plus these two have additional  protein, which most people wouldn’t know about

Once cooked you can see how delicious it looked with the cranberries  peaking through – they added extra festive  flavour and colour.

I bought my ‘Thank Goodness’ nutroast from Greenfields Farm Shop Donnington, Telford  but other places to buy  are listed on their website.

Mike’s  verdict was “Fantastic! ” In fact this was as good as  or better than my nutroasts ( and I’ve been a vegetarian for 40+ years) , and its not often that I think to myself “This is as good as  my home cooked food”  –  but it was! It was lovely. We shall be having more at Christmas.

The beauty of these products is that at Christmas time or any other celebration, the fact that if you have a vegetarian or a vegan in your party or someone who wont eat the type of meat that you are serving, can be catered for with ease. No fuss! Easy peasy!

In 2016,  I shall eat my way through all of ‘Thank Goodness’ range! January will be the cashew nut pate which we shall try over the Christmas period.

 Nature’s Kitchen

Healthier Eating, Ethical Thinking


This is the motto of another  company that really interests me. I found them at the Greenfields Christmas Event last weekend, which included them selling vegan muffins. I have always had a desire to use little dairy and  fewer egg foods, so these looked just what I wanted. Their website  say that they produce “Healthier baked goods with a focus on seasonal, Fairtrade and vegetable based recipes.  I tried their  biscotti which were excellent and am hoping that they can supply me more muffins nearer Christmas.

The company can be found on twitter @NKShrewsbury  and on facebook/natureskitchenshrewsbury12308626_1651683861765902_8164188030236542325_n

Bon Natali !

Those of you who read my blog last month will have seen my very easy recipe for Limoncello (see below). Wonderful recipe from my sister Pam.

20145 cheewrsSo here we are  celebrating Christmas with my home-made limoncello  and damson gin   “Salute!” as my dad would say.

Merry Christmas!

Linda and Mike

Pam’s Limoncello

6 oz (plus more if you need it sweeter) sugar                   150 ml water

zest and juice of 6 unwaxed lemons                                        700ml vodka


Put the sugar and the water in a pan and boil for 3-4 minutes until syrupy. Then cool. Add the zest and lemon juice and the vodka. Bottle and shake daily for a month or so.