Stovax Stockton 5

Having moved into a house with a chimney but no active fireplace we decided to get the chimney lined and a multifuel stove installed.  This had been somehting that we were planning to do during the summer of 2011, but as autum has set in and the nights are drawing in we have realised that there isnot much point to the winter if we cannot have a fire.  This rapidly moved the multifuel stove up thepriority list and we are having it installed on 10th December.  After a lot of deliberation we have decided to get a Stovax Stockton 5.  This is slightly wider than most 5kW stove and therefore takes slightly longer logs.  All the online calculations claim that our room would require a 4 to 5kW stove.  The company that is installing the flue and the stove suggested that we could cope with a 6kW stove.  Building regs state that anything more than a 5kW stove needs an air vent, which also made me err on the side of a 5kW stove.  We chose a multifuel over a dedicated wood burner as we don’t have an easy and free supply of wood so we will be able to burn coal for some of the winter. Before the stove gets installed I have got to rebuild the hearth and also line the builders opening.  The heart is going to be made out of marble tiles and I plan to get some sheet steel cut and blued and it will be fitted into the builders opening to cover up the tatty blocks and bricks that make up the fireplace.  Somehow I have got to raise the level of the constructional hearth to exactly the right level that when I fit the marble tiles they end up flush with the wooden floor.  This week we have had the cavities in our wall filled.  After a lot of research and having many quotes, I ended up getting a grant through the Herts & Essex Energy Partnership who, fortunatly for me, did not get enough people to sign up last year and therefore have a lot of their budget left over so they halved the cost.  It cost me £76 to have my whole house insulated.

So with the insulation and the multifuel stove we should be nice and toasty come the real cold spell in January.


1kg chickpeas (500g dried chickpeas soaked and boiled)
4 cloves of garlic
4 tablespoons of tahini
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 lemon (juice of)
Some freshly ground black pepper
Some stock

Soak dried chickpeas overnight in a large volume of water. Rinse in fresh water then change water and put in a pan. Boil fast for 10 mins then simmer for 1.5 – 2hrs untill soft.

Put the rest of the ingredients into a magimix (or other blender) and wizz untill the garlic is well chopped up. Slowly add chickpeas and stock untill the desired constituince is achieved.
The hummus can then be put into plastic bags and frozen until needed.

End of the Summer

Last week saw the first frost of the autumn and with it the last crop of runner beans.

Today I planted some garlic.  The first time that I have managed to plant garlic in the autumn.  facing the veg patch and going from left to right, I have planted Illico, Jolimont ,  Purple Wight and Solent White.  I look forward to seeing how they get on.  Already the onions that I planted a few weeks ago seem to have sprouted so I hope to have an earlish crop of them next summer.  The cabbages and urple sproutings that I have planted seem to be doing better than I have ever managed, must be because they get so much more attention now they are in the back garden and not on the allotment.

Chutney batch 4

Chutney 2010 batch 4
Runner Bean, Apple & Marrow Chutney

800g Runner Beans
710g Cooking Apple
1044g Marrow
600g Onions
500g Dark Brown Sugar
600ml Malt Vinigar
2 Red Thai Chillis

6g Baldes Mace
6g Whole Allspice
6g cloves
6g cinamon stick

Chop, mix, cook, remove spice bag and then put into steralised jars.
Best left for atleast 3 months to mature.