Tuesday, September 25, 2012

So far this week.............

I have picked lots of veggies from up the allotment and cooked a huge veggie curry.
Seven pounds in all!

We had to have some for lunch of course

And I vacuum packed the rest popped them in the freezer to enjoy in the deep midwinter

Here are the eggs from my little bantams.  The brown one (top right) is from Dolly my bantam silkie.
She's been broody lately - and she also laid the the tiny egg on the bottom left on Saturday.  It's the size of a small marble - and has a yolk inside too - you can feel it when you shake it!
I took it to my son's so that my little grandson can take the eggs to school for his 'Show and Tell' day.

Friday, September 21, 2012

This week I have.......

 Cleaned out the chickens
 Mowed all the lawns front and back
 Did some weeding of the flower beds
 Had to spread the mowing over several days due to the weather
 Still have some flowers - this  fuschia is looking spectacular and very tall
Alstromeria are regrown and flowering again after been cut right down
 The duck gets to see daylight again
 Moved everything around in our little conservatory/diner/laundry room - to fit my keyboard in - I need to practice every day, and would not do that if it stayed in the studio at the end of the garden during the winter
 More mowing

 Some flower arranging today - done in the garage as there isn't much room elsewhere
 The gladioli arrived yesterday in tight bud, but overnight are just starting to open up - they'll look a picture by Monday
Spent another 3 hours up the allotment, took lots of photos with my little camera - but had a malfunction so nothing to show for it.   Mr Lottie dug up the last row of potatoes which are now in sacks and hanging in the garage.  We have another three full carrier bags of French and Runner beans to prepare for freezing, and have cooked another 20lb of mixed veggies yesterday, and apart from all the veggies mentioned in the previous post with roast veggies, this one has mushrooms pumpkin and lots of french beans, bagged them up and put them in the freezer this morning.  The above is a curry flavour one.

Heavy rain today - but still achieved lots!

Off to the 'pictures' tonight in a village hall a few miles away to see The Best Exotic Magnolia Hotel.

Could do with a laugh - taking cushions for backs and botties as the seats are so hard!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Harvest Cookup

 You can see the above photo on yesterday's post.
 I really didn't intend to 'process' all the veggies - I ache from yesterday's hard physical work up the allotment!
 But I decided to get them done whilst still absolutely fresh with the help of Mr Lottie
When we sorted out the potatoes there were lots of tiny ones - and we couldn't just throw them away, so Mr L washed them and I put them into the mix as well.
Absolutely delicious roasted vegetable mixes are such joy in the dark winter months.
 So I shall be busy tomorrow weighing and bagging these
 Remember the big trays with lids that the school dinner ladies used
Well I cooked three trays full - they were  heaped up high and gradually cooked down
 This bowl is as large as a  big washing up bowl!
I just don't have any more energy left to bag them up tonight.
Apart from the contents of the wheelbarrow 
Here are some of the ingredients that went into the mix.

I used all the above plus.........
Tiny potatoes that most folks would throw away
Fresh Oregano from the garden
                            Onions                   (33p)
                            Celery                    (49p)
2 large jars of roasted red peppers    (£3.58)
4 tins economy chopped tomatoes    (£1.24)
                          Total                        £5.64

A provisonal guess would be that I have 10lb - 15lb of roasted veggies here - enough for 20 - 30 meals  - not bad for an outlay of £5.64 is it!

I have used 8oz today which I added to 1lb lamb mince, with mint sauce and mushrooms and made a delicious huge Shepherds Pie topped with creamy mash made with more of the little potatoes and have half the mince mix in  the freezer for another meal.


I got up early and bagged the mix up and popped it in the freezer
20lb 12oz


Saturday, September 15, 2012

2012 Allotment Diary - Me: 81 hrs He: 68 hrs

 Lots of squash still needed picking on this plant
 The potato plot is looking a bit parched
The soil was rock hard - but we decided to attack the weeds and have another go at digging up spuds
 I dug up the weeds
 And made a big pile for a bonfire
 Mr Lottie dug up the spuds - we have one more row to dig up hence the yellow marker
 We have a nice row of parsnips to look forward too.

 How parched the lawn looks now that I have mowed it!
Another pile of courgettes, squash and marrow to roast.

How  I missed that huge marrow last time I do not know!
Potatoes left out for a few hours in the sun for their skins to harden.
We were rather disappointed with the yield from tow and a half rows.
But we realised how lucky we were, as everyone else had Blight or their crops were ruined by slugs!
So the mere fact that we had a crop of maincrop spuds at all is a miracle.
We are still eating our early Rocket potatoes - which are larger than these and gorgeous!
 Whilst I was working my socks off, grading and putting into sacks my pototoes
My chickens were 'chilling out' under the hedges - nice life huh?

Friday, September 14, 2012

I made a bag too!!!

Last month I went to a flower arranging workshop and had such fun making this
 This took me absolutely ages to make - about three hours, but it will be quicker next time now that I know how to do it.
 And you need to be so patient to tear and weave aspidistra leaves and pin them into the shape you want. You can use any leaves actually - I chose these hoping that it might be quicker, rather than using small individual leaves!
 I liked the dried poppy heads - if you use them remember to shake the seeds out first - or you'll get covered with them as I did!
 Foliage (with the exception of the aspidistra of course) from the garden, and the lavender too.
On the reverse of the bag I used eleagnus leaves - in reverse - they look like leather.  
The handles are plaited crocosmia leaves.
You'll need two block of floral foam either held together with kebab sticks or glued when dry with a hot gun.  Oh, and if you shape the block before covering you get a realistic shaped bag.
Once the flowers wilted after a couple of weeks, I put the bag out side under cover - and it's going lovely shades of brown as it's drying out

2012 Allotment Diary - Me: 78 hrs He: 65.hrs

I have been spending lots of time up the allotment but frankly have been so worn out when I have finished working that I haven't had the energy to type up posts!
At it's worst after the weeks of rain, the paths and potato bed grew weeds which shot up in such a short time.  But it didn't take me long to sort it out bit by  bit.
These photos were taken when it was work in progress
I haven't had time to take photos since - there has been so much work to do.
The comfrey which I cut right to the ground a couple of months ago has shot up!
It took several 'goes' to get the paths this short
The climbing beans have been amazing, with non stop cropping.
It has taken me many, many hours of picking, stringing, cutting, blanching, bagging and freezing.
Just three plants here - and since this photo they have got even bigger
I have picked so many squashes, courgettes, pumpkins - of all shapes and sizes
These are the last of the green ones - I had already picked a trug full of yellow ones.
It is so nice to have it under control again!
Here is yet another batch of mixed veggies ready to go in the ovens to be roasted.

To date I have roasted over 50 pounds of mixed vegetables, peppers, tomatoes, beans, onions, garlic, all sorts.
Quite a lot of these scrummy  crumbles which never last long!

Think I/we will have to spend more time up the lottie this weekend - digging up yet more potatoes as we are due rain next week.