Friday, 31 October 2008

Dare to Wear it Pink 2008

An information pack was delivered to my boss at work and he gave it to me as I am always raising money for charity. So on Friday 31st October 2008 I encouraged my work mates to dress in pink and put a few pounds into the little box provided. As it was half term most people were away so it was down to a handful of people to join in. Some did and some didn't, nothing new there! So here is a picture of me and Dr Mark Hodgetts entering into the spirit of the day. It was taken by me on my mobile!
I went out and bought pink iced cakes for people to buy (as some people forgot to wear pink, how can you forget!) Anyway last count we raised about £50. Thank you to everyone for raising money for such a good charity.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Saturday morning October harvest

I was putting out the washing this morning in the autumn sunshine and thought I would check my late sown carrots. To my amazement I had managed to grow a healthy bunch ready for tonights dinner. I wasn't going to try to grow any in my first year but I'm so glad I changed my mind! The ones I grew were Suttons F1 Maestro £2.75 a pack. I have left some more in the ground for next week. Next year I will grow lots more.

The Tristan T&M courgettes are still producing fruit, not as many but I never thought they would last into October. I managed to make a batch of spicy courgette chutney in August so that will be good for Christmas with cheese & biscuits. Everyone that has eaten my apple and tomatoe jam has said it was really nice. My dad ate the whole jar so I gave him another jar today from last weeks batch.

The celeriac that Anne gave to me as seedlings have given me four little plants. I thought they would be bigger but as its the first attempt I don't think they have done too bad. I think I should have watered them a bit more!

Jobs to do for October : collect leaves and bag up to make home made leaf mulch. It takes about a year but its worth it. I hid six bags at the back of our pond last year and have already used them to work into the vegetable patch. The worms will take it down into the soil ready for the spring.

Enjoy your garden today.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Celeriac soup recipe

I have some celeriac to harvest this weekend and I found this recipe to try. For lunch today I am making chunky vegetable soup out of the leftover veggies from this week plus fresh beans and courgettes out of the vegetable patch this morning. I've taken down the runner beans and the French beans and courgettes are still producing, not bad for October! I still have some carrots to harvest but thought I would save them for Sunday dinner.

Sunday I intend to sow the broad beans as I was advised to start them off in October. The bed is ready with home made compost that I dug in weeks ago. Enjoy the sunshine this weekend and make the most of your garden.

Ready in 45 minutes

25g butter
1 leek white part only thinly sliced
350g celeriac, roughly diced
150g potato, roughly diced
600ml vegetable stock, hot
5 tbsp single cream, to serve
Fresh chives, to garnish

1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add the leek and cook for 3-4 minutes, until softened. Add the celeriac, cover with a sheet of damp greaseproof paper and a lid and cook gently for 10 minutes.

2. Remove the lid and paper. Add the potato and stock to the pan. Cover with the lid, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, partially covered, for 10-12 minutes, until tender. Cool, then blitz with a stick blender or whizz in a food processor in batches, until smooth.

3. Stir the cream into the soup, season and reheat until piping hot. Divide between cups or bowls and garnish with chives.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Tomato & Apple Jam

I visited my sister today and she gave me a bag of cooking apples from her garden. Then my mum gave me the last of her home grown tomatoes. So I intend to make this on Sunday morning.

500g tomatoes (skinned, deseeded and diced)
500g apples (peeled, cored and diced)
1kg granulated sugar
Juice of half a lemon

1. Put the tomatoes and apples in a large pan with the lemon juice and gently cook on a low heat until the fruit turns into a pulp mixure.
2. Add the sugar and bring to the boil, and boil rapidly for 5 mins stirring to prevent burning.
3. Reduce the heat, and simmer very gently for a further 15-20 minutes stirring to prevent burning.
4. Allow to cool then pour into sterilised jars.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

WILLOW 1991 - 7th October 2008

Sadly my wonderful cat Willow died in her sleep this morning. She has been with me and my family for over 17 years and was one of a litter of four kittens that we watched being born by her mum Wilma. Her sister Pipa sadly died yesterday morning, she was my mums cat.

She will leave a huge gap in our lives and our dog Moss will miss her too. Recently Willow started to sleep in the dogs bed and the often shared a plate of left-overs together, spagetti was their favourite !

She will be buried today next to my vegetable patch in my back garden so that she can be with me when I am out there pottering. I have ordered a small silver plaque to be put on an old chair that we used to sit in together.

Goodbye Willow