Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Time for a treat!

The beetroot patch is starting to get slightly feral. Time to thin it out and use the beetroot. So..what to do with the beetroot? What's your favourite recipe? I have quite a few up my sleeves, and shall try them all in the next few weeks. But I am always happy for new ideas.

One of our favourites - Beetroot & Chocolate Muffins. Recipe adapted from Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden Cooking.

Here is one of the gorgeous roots. Isn't it stunning?
All grated. Looking amazing.
I added the zest of a whole orange to the mix. Just because I love the chocolate/orange combination.
Plonk mixture into muffin tin. And the best bit! - put a generous piece of good, dark chocolate in the middle.
Oh, okay. Two pieces, if you must! :)
Fresh out of the oven.
Let cool slightly. But not too long. I like the chocolate to be still warm and oozing out. A dollop of cream is justified, I think. After all, this is a muffin with (a lot of) healthy beetroot!
Yes! That's how I like it!
And now for a brisk walk, to feel all virtuous. And to make room for more muffins. :)

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

More Spring colours

The daffodils have started flowering like crazy now.
There are all kinds of varieties about.
It's a cheerful sight, isn't it?
Aren't they just gorgeous?
I like them all. :)

Monday, 27 August 2012

Seeds and Mr. Fothergill's again...

Another box of seeds arrived from the good people of Mr. Fothergill's. More tomatoes, a tomato seed tray (which I will do tomorrow), and various seeds for summer fruit and veggies. Thank you, Mr. Fothergill's!
The box to the left is my box full of various seed packets that had to be sown as soon as possible. They will germinate in a warm spot inside, so that when planting time comes (around early-mid November) they have reached a good size.
These are handy boxes (with a lid) for warmth-loving seeds. They are great for inside as they don't make a mess.
One of Mr. Fothergill's seed packets. Black Krim tomato that also came with a cute little label.

Friday, 24 August 2012


Remember the pig we cut up? Well, the salami is now ready to eat. And it is delicious! Definitely worth all the work.
Maybe this is not the best picture. But every time I have some slices on the board, they disappear!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Slight sowing panic.... and Mr. Fothergill's

Every year around this time I seem to fall into a slight sowing panic. There are soooo many seeds, and just not enough warm space to start all the warmth-loving seeds.

Here is just a tiny selection of seeds that need to be started indoors.
Remember the package I received from Mr. Fothergill's? Well, here are the two seed cups. Parsley and tomato. Just follow the instructions. Here are all the components. It's pretty straight-forward and easy. Also a bonus - especially when the weather is still wild and woolly - that you can do it all indoors and don't have to venture out into the cold.
Add water to the jiffy blocks.
Let them soak up the water.
Stir (I used a chopstick).
Sprinkle the tomato seeds over and cover lightly. The packet contained a very generous number of seeds. So at some stage after germination, I'll have to thin them out or transplant them all.
Cover with the lids and wait for things to happen.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012


You may remember the Caerphilly I made 2 months ago. It was a ripper!

Here it is. Nicely matured.
Cut open and looking really good.
Sliced and ready to be gobbled up.
This is one of our favourite cheeses. Lovely taste, and even better - it is ready to be eaten 3 weeks after you make it! It's also pretty easy to make. Must make another one soon, now that we have cracked this one open. Who else is making cheese out there? And what's your favourite one? :)

Monday, 13 August 2012

First asparagus of the season

 Wow! How time flies. Suddenly it is time to harvest our first asparagus again. What a joy!
 You can see them poking out their little heads. Just don't forget to check on them again the next day. They grow like crazy.
Together with some little broccoli heads and parsley...
... you can't go past an asparagus omelette!
Oh, how I love our seasons! :)

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Busy bees

As soon as there is a sunny break in the weather - and no wind - the bees are out in force. It is such a beautiful sight. All these busy bees foraging.
Here they are enjoying a gin & tonic...uh... some sugar water (1 part sugar, 1 part water).
 We've been feeding them this syrup since Autumn, as the weather gets rather cold and they need some help to survive the Winter. That's why it is so uplifting to see all these bees out in the sunshine.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012


Flowering nicely in the garden. Such an easy plant to grow. Very hardy.
Takes frost and drought and neglect. What's not to like? :)

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

More colour in the garden

Suddenly you see lots of colour in the garden. What a joy that is!
Such a stunning camellia flower! :)

Saturday, 4 August 2012


All was well this morning. Then we went out for a bit over 2 hours. And came back to a scene of destruction on the balcony.

Something (I suspect white cockatoos) had attacked my succulents. It (or they?) must have gone from one pot to another.

The flat-ish terracotta pot on the top rack had 3 healthy succulents in it. One landed on the rack below (behind the pots), one ended up on the ground.
The one left in the pot was hacked at. Nice bite marks, ey?
Then it went to the next pot and ripped that out (but it didn't manage to drop it on the floor) and attacked it.
That's the ground underneath the next rack.
Where most of my aloe vera (and some dragon fruit & cardamom plants) where decimated.
As you can imagine, I'm slightly* upset. I just hope the culprits don't come back for more. :(

*bit of an understatement, actually.


...again. Just because they are beautiful.
Aren't they?
It's still Winter here, but it's getting slightly warmer during the day. I love this time of the year. But then, I love every season. :)

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Another sign...

... that spring might actually be a possibility some time in the future?

Our hellebores are flowering. My only regret is that they are not up on a slope, so that when we look up, we could actually see the pretty side of the flowers.
They are lovely, aren't they?