Sunday, 29 November 2009

Passing on an award

I was given this award a couple of weeks ago by Jo and Kella thank you both very much and I'm sorry to have taken so long to pass it on.

By accepting the award you have to pass it on to 15 other people who's blogs you enjoy, and put a link to their blogs. I have chosen the 15 and hope they accept the award, but I will understand if they don't as some people don't like getting involved in these things. I myself have declined in the past, but I have had a change of heart. I have to say it's hard choosing.

If you accept the award and pass it on, don't forget to let the people you pass it on to know
I hope I have done all that's required.

All I have to do now is get around to letting the 15 people know !!!

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Little Princess

Hello everyone, have you missed me or didn't you even realise that I hadn't posted for weeks ?I have been so busy that I didn't get any time to post, and then I found it hard to get into it again. I had all the words in my head, but just couldn't get them written down, very odd !

The title of the post is referring to my little granddaughter Florence who was baptised last Sunday, and she really looked like a little princess. She was so good whilst being baptised, but by the end of the service she was fed up with it all and looked very cross, wouldn't smile and got very fidgety. The photo below was taken prior to her baptism, so that's why she is smiling.

The weather has been dreadful hasn't it, and those poor people that have had the floods, my heart goes out to them. I can't imagine how it must feel to have to leave your home, especially at this time of year with Christmas only four weeks away.

I have tried to get to the allotment so many times over the past few weeks only to be beaten by the weather. I am beginning to think someone 'Up There' is having a laugh at my expense, as on a few occasions I have actually been on my way and the sun was shining, and as soon as I turned the corner and the lottie was in sight the heavens opened and I had to turn around and go home again, Aaarhhhh !!

I desperately want to dig the second trench for the asparagus and put the manure in. The first trench was dug and filled weeks ago. If I don't get it done soon the soil wont be ready for planting the asparagus when it's delivered in the spring. I am only going to plant 10-12 as most books recommend that this number is enough to feed the average family and there is only two of us, although my daughter-in-law is partial to asparagus as well.

Today was cold, raining and windy, so definitely not gardening weather. I decided to give my study/craft room a sorting out, as most of the time I can never find what I need and have to go through all the drawers to find it. It took best part of the day and I'm still not finished. All the drawers are now tidied, sorted and labeled, so I know exactly where all my craft things are now.

So much has happened since I last posted, we have had a Christening and a funeral, and although that was a sad occasion Austin got to meet up with cousins he hadn't seen in a long time and one he hadn't seen since they were children in India.

I have started another blog 'Recipes from Allotment Heaven' the link is on the right side of this blog. There are only a couple of recipes there at the moment, but I will be adding to it, and hope you will e-mail me any of your favourites, so I can add them and put a link to your blog under the recipe.

Well that about wraps it up, I wish I could say I have been busy on the allotment or in the garden, but the weather has me beaten as I am sure it has you too if you live here in the UK.


Monday, 9 November 2009

Chickpeas and Pumpkin curry, and Raspberry canes

Yesterday I made a fabulous vegetarian curry with this Squash ( below ) which is called 'Uchiki Kuri' and I would recommend growing them as they are delicious and such a pretty fruit as well.
The recipe was in the Sunday supplement magazine and taken from a book by Nigel Slater called : - Tender Volume 1: A cook and his vegetable Patch. I had a look through it in the shop today and it's now on my wish list for Christmas (cheaper from Amazon )

I had to adapt the recipe a bit to my own style as I didn't have dried chickpeas, but had a can of organic ones, I didn't have coconut milk so used a chunk off a block of creamed coconut I had in the fridge. So I can't say if the original is better than my adaptation, all I know is it was delicious. I also added cooked french beans at the end of cooking for a bit of contrasting colour, this wasn't in the recipe either. great served with Brown basmati rice.
You will find the recipe for this dish here

'Uchiki Kuri ' Squash

Chickpeas, with Pumpkin, Lemongrass and Coriander.
(and green beans !)


Thanks Ena
I met a lovely lady today who gave me lots of early fruiting raspberry canes. I posted a wanted ad on Freecycle, and Ena very kindly offered me some that needed digging up. So Austin and myself went along and dug up quite a few. Some are for us and some for a couple of other plot holders. I already have late fruiting canes, so the early ones will extend the harvesting season for me. Mmmmm more raspberry curd !!

Ena also gave me some seeds called 'Pea beans' apparently grown like runner beans up a wigwam or climbing frame. I have never heard of them before, so googled it and there is quite a lot of info to be had, I just have to find time to read up on them before sowing next year.

So if you are reading this post Ena, thanks for everything and for the cooking apples as well.

I am still collecting leaves for my leaf mould and now have about 10 sacks, and still collecting. The things we gardeners do !

Friday, 6 November 2009

Perfect Curd this time !

I have made the 'Pumpkin and Ginger' Curd again, and this time it's perfect. I now know what I did wrong before, I had the water bubbling beneath the pan with the ingredients in far too hot, and the eggs curdled, also I grated the lemon and orange zest really fine this time. It was worth doing again as the texture is lovely and smooth (except for the bits of yummy stem ginger of course!).

Right texture below

Wrong Texture, what a difference !!

I think the difference in the colour is down to the lighting, not the actual curd.

I don't know what the weather was like in your area today, but here it rained almost all afternoon, and I never got to do anything on the allotment as planned. It is sooo frustrating. I still have garlic to get in and another asparagus trench to dig and prepare. I did manage between downpours to dig up a couple of my favourite Dahlias from the garden. I am leaving some of the least favourite ones in the ground, but special ones are being dug up and the tubers stored in dry compost until next spring. I also have some in dry sawdust/wood shavings. I have to admit I didn't store them in anything last winter and they lay about in empty pots, but they survived. How do you store yours ? any suggestions would be welcomed.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Keepsake boxes

I know this has nothing to do with sowing and growing, but I thought I would share these photo's with you of the beautiful keepsake box that we have bought for my granddaughter Florence's Christening which is in a few weeks time. We also bought her brother Bertie one for his christening present. They are adorable boxes and are from 'Freya Designs' they do all sorts of sizes and for all occasions, they are beautifully made and the service is first class. If you need a special gift for someone look no further than here :

The writing is very fancy, and it's lovely to have it personalised with the recipients name.

This is the largest box in the range and it really does hold a lot of special things. There is also a lovely wooden plaque inside the lid that you can write a special message of your own with a permanent marker.

This design is the' flower fairy'
I don't know if you remember that on a previous post I mentioned that my packet of Poppies from T & M didn't give a good germination rate, so I e-mailed them about it. I have since received a new packet of seeds free of charge. That was a welcome result, although it's too late now to sow them, but I have some coming along from the first packet and I will sow some more from the new packet in the spring. It certainly pays to complain, in the politest way of course !!


Almost the week-end again ! This week I have been collecting more leaves for leaf mould and preparing my two beds for the asparagus which I will plant next spring. I have dug the trenches and added gritty sand (which they love apparently) and cow manure. I'm going to cover them with black plastic and leave it covered until the delivery of the plants, I wish I had planted some last year, but I didn't have the space. I decided that I would rather give the space to asparagus as it's so expensive to buy, and I will grow less potatoes as they are as cheap as chips !!!!!!! he he