Posted in Garden Pond, In the garden

My Lovely Pond

I haven’t been well recently, but now I’m definitely on the mend. I went outside and cleaned the pond of leaves with an old sieve I keep for the job, taking care to place the scooped waste beside the pond so anything that has been accidently gathered can make it’s way back home. My pond gives me joy and I felt better just doing that little job.

Posted in In the garden

New Path

Well, I am so pleased with this mornings work. I have been contemplated putting a path in front of this shed for ages. This morning I just got up and did it and I think it’s super! I think the shed needs painting now though.

Posted in Greenhouse

First Sowing of the Year

As you may know, I always like to get the sowing of broad beans in early. The earlier I sow, the more I can grow and you do need a lot of plants to get a decent portion of beans. The seeds in the paper cup are left over from last year and have been sitting around in the damp, but I’m giving them a chance, you never know. The others I’ve chosen for quantity and they were bought in the autumn when I sowed my first lot straight into the garden.

I have sowed twelve of each and I’m looking forward to the first signs of growth, probably three weeks.

The ones I sowed in November are somewhere near that polytunnel that’s in need of repair (wind damage!). The water has receded now but who can say whether the broad beans will still germinate. I love the anticipation 🙂

Posted in Greenhouse

Insulating the Greenhouse

I decided insulating the greenhouse would be a good idea, as it means I can start sowing my seeds earlier than usual and I have somewhere to put my geraniums until it’s safe to put them outside.

I decided to do it today as I was feeling the weight of the COVID restrictions and needed to do something that I could get completely absorbed into. I actually discovered that lining a greenhouse on your own needs the use of virtually your whole body, but I managed it.

I have sorted through my seeds already and made a list of what I would like to buy and am now looking forward to the new growing calendar! 🙂

The rolls of insulation and these little fixing thingies were bought from Harrod Horticultural

Posted in Preserving

Homemade Rosehip Syrup

If you’ve never had Rosehip Syrup before go for it, it’s easy to make. if you are in the UK, there’s still time to make it. There is still a few rosehips around on the hedgerows and on footpaths. It tastes wonderful and is packed full of vitamin C. I picked 1 KG (with the help of my friend picking some from her garden).
Whizz up in the blender with enough water to cover the hips each time.
In a very large pan, add the mushed up rose hips to 1ltr of boiling water, bring to the boil and simmer for 15mins.
Drip through a jelly bag or muslin for 30mins or more (do not squeeze)
Add 325g sugar for every 500ml of liquid and put into the cleaned pan.
Heat until the sugar is dissolved and the boil for about 3mins.
Then decant into sterilised bottles and seal while still warm. Note: I sterilise my bottles by washing them in hot soapy water and then rinse them and put them on a baking sheet in a low oven for at least 15 minutes. Take them out of the oven when your syrup is almost ready and fill with syrup while the bottles are still warm.
There you have some amazing syrup to have over ice cream, pancakes or whatever you might normally have syrup on. Enjoy!

	
Posted in Preserving

Pickled Walnuts

Well we’ve lived in this house with a very large walnut tree in the garden for fifteen years and I’ve never pickled walnuts before. I remember Grandma and Grandad having them at Christmas but being only little I never tried them to see what they tasted like.

So here goes!

Pick them in July. First they need to be tested with a fork to make sure the shell hasn’t started forming. Then put them in a brine for two weeks, changing the brine every three days.

Then lay them out on a tray to dry, they will then turn completely black.

The white dust on them is the dried salt so I rinsed it off before pickling them.

This is the vinegar and spices to be brought to the boil in a pan.

Put the walnuts in sterilised jars and fill up with warm vinegar. I shared the spices between the jars as well

Two months and I can see what they taste like! 🙂

Posted in breakfast, cooking, Easter, family, Food, Fruit, home, Jams & Jellys, Self reliance, spring

Pancakes for breaKfast

With the kids or on your own we can celebrate food over this strange time of lockdown. You can make pancakes for breakfast, especially at this special time of Easter!

2oz plain flour, 2 eggs and a little milk makes 6-7 small pancakes. Double that for more, halve it if you are on your own (give left overs to the birds) 🙂

I use gram flour as I can’t eat wheat but use any plain flour!

mix it up together with a fork squashing any big lumps, little lumps don’t matter.

Turn on the pan on a high heat and add a tiny bit of oil (we are cooking them not frying them) and spread it out over the pan. You might have to add a little more during cooking all the pancakes but remember a teeny tiny bit!

put a large spoon of mixture into the pan.

Your pancake needs turning over with a spatula as soon as little craters start to appear like the ones I’ve ringed around.

Only leave it like this for a few seconds and then put on a warm plate and make the next one.

Note: When the pan looks like it’s smoking, don’t panic, just turn the pan down a little but not a lot, you need it hot.

Then you can put them on the table with all your chosen toppings 🙂 You can use savoury toppings if you prefer.

Note: in your enthusiasm, don’t forget to move the pan safely of the heat.

For the more fussy among us, just jam is ok 🙂

Happy eating!