Thursday, 6 May 2021

Weird weather

About 9.45pm yesterday, we heard distant rumbling and thought it was people putting out their dustbins for today. Then we saw loads of flashes and realised it was a storm.

It got closer and louder then the rain came. Unfortunately this coincided with Ruby's bedtime routine and she hates going out in this type of weather for her night time ablutions but she eventually went out.

Unfortunately for her and DB who was watching from the doorway, on top of the rain, it began to hail and eventually 'snowballs' fell heavily, with the strong wind blowing them onto DB. It probably lasted about 30 minutes but was very loud. We had had heavy showers and hail on and off all day, NONE of which was forecast:(

Although the ground was clear this morning, flat surfaces had accumulated them:

Poor plants, I am surprised they are still standing!


Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Brrr and Coconut Chicken Curry

The weather this winter and spring has been so cold. Not the snow kind, just wet and with a very cold wind. The heating (which we have at only 20C), has barely had a day off and we have spent more on oil this year than usual.

Yesterday, we had just started to take Ruby for a walk when the heavens opened and we got pounded with a massive hail shower. We were soaked and chilled to the bone within minutes and returned home quickly. Ruby was shaking herself constantly to try and get them off her coat.

Although I am in need of a change of diet, wanting to go onto lighter food, sometimes, a hot and spicy meal is required.

Using this recipe, we made the full amount. However, we used low fat coconut milk as that was all we had. As such, it needed thickening a little plus we added a chicken stock cube. Next time, we will use just half the lime as it was also too much for us:

It made enough for us both plus another meal each for the freezer. We enjoyed this one and will stick with the low fat coconut milk as it is less calorific!

Monday, 3 May 2021

Well

I thought the ending to Line of Duty was very poor, it didn't make any sense at all. Ah well, life goes on nonetheless!

Not looking forward to the weather this afternoon. The covers of beds 1 and 3 have been removed so they can get a good drink. The garden will feel better for it but no doubt, the weeds will go mad. 

After our walk last week, we sat outside. The sun was shining and we thought we would be okay. No sooner had we sat down, the clouds and wind came and we were soon frozen. DB kindly went back to the car to get me a bigger coat but I chilled by then. The place wasn't serving hot food either which didn't help. Although to be honest, it would soon have gotten cold.

Track and chase apparently changed 4 weeks ago. Before, just one of us would scan the code to register, now everyone has to do so, even if you are in the same house. I don't have a smart phone so had to fill out a form. Whilst understandable and which I agree on, is going to be a pain, as I don't like giving my email out at the best of times, let alone the home phone:(

Time for some lunch which will be leftovers, as will tea tonight.

Saturday, 1 May 2021

Sprouts and Microgreens

What is the difference?

Initially, they seem to be the same in their growth habit but microgreens are left to grow longer and taller and are eaten when they just begin to form their first pair of true leaves.

I am currently in the process of growing radish microgreens. After one week, they are at this stage:


The mereest hint of true leaves, another couple of days I reckon. We both tried one and you can tell they are radish. 

I used to sprout things years ago, gave up, but have now taken an interest again. I don't want to keep using compost as apparently, they grow just as well on paper towel, or better still, on a silicone mat which can be reused time and again. 

Neither of us are keen on lettuce and tend to want to cover it in dressing which rather defeats the object. However, sprouts and microgreens, being so flavourful, shouldn't require any or very little dressing so hopefully, a win win situation.

Watch this space!

Friday, 30 April 2021

Not keeping this new recipe - pork and fennel meatballs!

It feels like winter has almost returned. Cold weather, a biting wind and for some, rain.We will be having soup for lunch for the next few days, hopefully by then, spring will reappear and we can have lighter meals.

The reading of this recipe gave us hope it would be lovely. Whilst I enjoyed making it, we didn't enjoy it. The meatballs were bone dry, DB hated the garlic element even though I cut the amount in half. Both of us felt there was no need for the florence fennel. Luckily, I had an over ripe avocade to use as a dipping sauce:

On a different note, after four abortive attempts to worm Ruby, we have finally gotten something else into her and hope it will stay there. All the last occasions, she has been very sick after all of them:(
 

 

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Disappointed!

We decided to go clothes shopping, what a disappointment. DB managed to find some dog walking shoes but no trousers, shirts or slippers appealed to him.

I went for jeans (on my last pair now), maxi skirts and a few tops - no luck either. We went in all our usual haunts but couldn't work out what season their clothes were! I am not fully convinced they have summer clothing in although it would normally be in by now. Maybe they are waiting to see if they can clear the winter/spring items.

If summer clothing is indeed in, I will be stumped! We came home with two freshly baked cheese scones from our favourite Deli.

Welcome to Lorie Mck.

Tuesday, 27 April 2021

Cashew Nut Milk

Trying a different nut milk this week - cashew nut. I soaked 1/4 of a cup of nuts overnight, rinsing the next morning until the water was clean. These were drained and put in my whizzer machine with 2 cups of water:

Whizzed for about 20 seconds they turned into this:

Quite a creamy blend with a pleasant taste (once a bit of maple syrup was added). I used it in my smoothie. Again, if my diet required it, or cow's were no longer allowed, I would use this, alongside the previously made hemp milk but I do really prefer cow's milk.

 

Monday, 26 April 2021

Bulk buying when possible - my 5L storage area

In the spare bedroom, sitting alongside the bed settee, is my 5L storage container area.

For washing up, hand washing and making my own laundry liquid, we use Ecover. It works out slightly cheaper to buy them in bulk and uses less plastic. Another thing we buy in these 5l containers is white vinegar. This is used for household cleaning, preserving, fabric conditioner and if necessary, hair conditioner (I normally use apple cider vinegar):


There is another washing up liquid around the corner. I wish we had the kind of place nearby where we could get these and other items refilled, but alas, we don't.

Sunday, 25 April 2021

Tuna Salad - yum!

I have never bought tuna in water before, always preferring it in oil. Not anymore after trying this gorgeous recipe - here.

Even substituting red onion for spring onion (was all I had), plus adding some 'needing to be used up' radishes, it was light and extrememly tasty.

We had a quarter each of it like this:

The rest we had another day. It would make a fantastic sandwich filler. She used her portion on half an avocado.

 

Saturday, 24 April 2021

New dog lead for Ruby

We received a lovely new lead for Ruby after ordering from this British small leather company here:

She is very talented, repairs and makes lots of things, quite a lot associated with Saddlery and dog items but also takes on custom orders for other items. She creates leads, collars, knife sheafs (for those pesky sharp implements), belts etc. No job is too large or too small and if you would like anything making that is different to the above, give her a check out! Like most small businesses, she could do with some orders...

Some of her work is plain leather but she has a great talent for carved and stamped leather goods and has produced some gorgeous very intricate work. If you need anything making, give her a check out.

Another business I like, this time American, is the artwork of this fantastic artist Paola, see here.

She posts quite a lot of her work free to the UK. The jewellery is hand made by her boyfriend Luke.

Friday, 23 April 2021

New breakfast for me

 Here was my breakfast for today:

One banana mashed into plain yoghurt, topped with a few raspberries, blueberries and 1/2 tsp nettle powder, plus a dribble of maple syrup.
Stirred in and woofed down!


Thursday, 22 April 2021

At 5:40pm

I was resting after tea when the phone rang. It was the medical centre. Ah, thought I, going to book my 2nd jab, so as I answered it, I was walking towards the kitchen to check the calendar for dates.

"Hello, medical centre here, we have a few vaccinations leftover from today, can you come now if you want one?"

"Certainly can" I said and within a short space of time, I was there, in, had it done and was back home. Would have been week 10 today since my first one.

How's that for service?

Yesterday afternoon, I also gathered my 4th, and probably, final lot of nettles for drying. I could detect the smell wasn't so fresh as the first few whilst they were drying. These so far are crumbled and stored in an airtight jar, unlike the first two which were turned into powder.

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Visiting at last!

Under guidance published early December, which allows us to form a support bubble with DS and family, we were able to meet everyone at last. DDiL was on a course, DS was working and we got to look after DGD for 2 days. Boy, did we sleep well.

First day went well, just a bit of crying around 4pm, hunger probably but we didn't pick up on it. Next day, 5 or 6 crying bouts and eventually she allowed us to cuddle and distract her. Teething still ongoing, so red cheeks, recovering from a sore bottom and wind didn't help but we got through until tea time when DS came in and started to look after her. Phew!

We really enjoyed our visit, it was lovely to interact with her and have conversation with someone other than ourselves and E. Ruby was a bit perplexed but very gentle with her.

She is so happy, plays on her own quite a bit before needing interaction from us, smiles all the time, babbles, is walking around the furniture and pushing her little trolley. She had her first walk outside pushing it and managed about 230 metres. We reckon she may well be walking next time we see her. 

Granddad started whistling at her when she was having a bath and she duly pursed her lips and blew air. She does hand washing action when prompted as she watched her parents clean their hands after changing her nappy.Other grannie is visiting next then we hope to go again in June.

Monday, 19 April 2021

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Rhubarb

We thought we had gone through a travel and time warp yesterday when we came across 3 large fields of rhubarb - very ususal for us:



It looked a bit sparse in places but the rhubarb crowns were just starting to push through to fully through in other bits - a lovely sight.


Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Hemp Seed Milk

Hulled hemp seeds (hearts) are readily available in most health food shops and online. Bought milk, which sits on the shelf, has additives to keep it safe such as Acidity Regulator (Dipotassium Phosphate), Emulsifier (Sunflower Lecithin), Stabiliser (Gellan Gum), Sea Salt.). The rest, which is the base of the milk, = water and hemp seed base (4%).

If you make it yourself, it doesn't have these as it is stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. It is so easy to make so I had a go. There are various recipes 1/2 cup hulled hearts to 2 or 4 cups of water or 1 cup of seeds to 3 cups of water. I decided to try 1/2 cup hearts to 2 cups of water. Some add vanilla extract and/or maple syrup/one date, a pinch of salt. Just the hearts and water were put into the large container of my blitzer:

Blitzed for 15 seconds, rested and blitzed for the same time gave me this:
I added 2 teaspoons maple syrup, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract but forgot about the pinch of salt. This is the sweetened version, some like it without these additions. I am storing it in an ex coconut oil jar in the door of the fridge:
It splits a little overnight but a quick shake and it is good to go. My smoothie this morning used one banana, 3/4 of an apple, 2 spoons of pumpkin seeds, 2 spoons rolled oats and this milk. It was different but nice.

Next time I make it might try 2/3rds cup of hearts to 2 cups of water. Alternatively cashew nut milk might  get made.

I love cows milk but like to try alternatives, especially in my smoothies, porridge etc. All part of my better healthy eating regime!
 

Monday, 12 April 2021

One of those days ...

Going to wash the pots this morning, the kitchen tap had been left on and all the hot water was gone. That also put paid to washing my hair first thing.

Get the washing on I thought, no DB was out walking Ruby in a pair of trousers (I thought) he wanted washing so that too was put on hold.

Change the covers on Ruby's beds - done but she was filthy when back from her walk, so needed a hose down - now got one damp bed - ah well.

Couldn't find my bag of poppers and tool to apply them. Trim Ruby - can't do until she is thoroughly dry:(

So far, not so good. Anyhow, the sun is out, I am alive, so that's good isn't it?

Our meal the other night consisted of steak strips with onions, mushrooms and soy sauce with another new recipe of potato salad:

We made half the recipe which can be found here.
 Yesterdays batch of dried and powdered nettles - above.

 

 

Sunday, 11 April 2021

Another new meal and more nettles

I went to pick another bowl of nettles this morning which are now in the dehydrator. Whilst I powder mine when dry as I use them in smoothies, if you put gloves on, then crumble, you will get flakes. These can be used as tea in their own right or added to regular tea, or added to baking, cooking, you name it.

The next meal we tried was White Chicken Chilli, the recipe for which can be found here:

Had to use butter beans instead of haricot or other white beans. Also made a bit of a slip up as I forgot to alter the method to take into account using only half the ingredients. This gave less juice but again, a lovely meal which we will do again.

Our lunch was this:


I have just started to use her meal prep ideas for carrots and celery, storing them in jars of water in the fridge. So far so good, still nice and crisp.

Saturday, 10 April 2021

Eating more healthily

We feel we eat relatively healthily to begin with but want to increase our healthy meal recipes. I am going off our traditional meals and am need of something lighter and brighter, if that makes sense. I recently began looking at the downshiftology recipes and videos and some look great. 

Last night for tea, we made a half amount of her Ultimate Chicken Salad, see here:

This should have served 3 people on its own but we both felt it needed a bit more so added a hard boiled egg each and divided one avocado between us. I will pare back the amount of dijon mustard as it was a tad too much for me. The recipe didn't call for radishes but we had some so used them.

We both enjoyed it and agreed it would stay in our new menu range. Her way of cooking the chicken breasts and how to shred them in a food mixer was a great idea. We have enough shredded chicken left to do a half recipe amount of her White Chicken Chili. Thanks Lisa!


Friday, 9 April 2021

The new style funerals

 Neighbours, friends and family, gathered on the streets to say farewell to our neighbour, it was lovely to see. All would have liked to go to the service but due to Coronavirus restrictions, that is no longer possible. Not even all his family could attend in person, so sad.

We, like many, watched the service online. A quiet, reflective, non religious service, with a celebrant rather than a minister. I found out so much about him and his wife that we didn't know, as most of it happened before we moved in.

A truly wonderful man, kind, simple living, always with a smile on his face. Taken way too soon.

Thursday, 8 April 2021

Nettles

I have recently been reading up on stinging nettles. I picked some for a vegetable soup but wondered what else they could be used for and what they are good for.

Most advocate using fresh nettles but as they aren't young enough for long (top leaves only and before flowering), others suggest freezing or drying them, so I did the latter.

Donning rubber washing up gloves in a lovely shade of pink, I set of to a local patch. Avoiding those close to the track where dogs might have peed on them, I moved further up the ground to fresh newly emerged ones. Now I had my eye in on what to look for, I avoided the new dead nettles (different family, edible but not so tasty).

I picked two bowls worth, came home, rinsed and spun them in my salad spinner:

Their stalks were cut off before laying them into 5 of my dehydrator trays. (Can be done in a cooling oven or on a sunny windowsill). I dried them for 4 hours, the smell was divine for the first hour, not dissimilar to freshly mown grass:
Once dried, I tipped the trays onto my worktop to ease scooping them into my blender. Be warned, they can still sting at this stage as I found out!
Once whizzed up and sieved, this was the final product - about 5 tablespoons:
This precious powder is now stored in an airtight brown jar. There are loads of sites that talk about their benefits so I haven't bothered to link any here.


Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Solved!

I have had problems with my throat since my early twenties. Recently though, things have gotten worse, certainly for the last 15 months or so. Not being able to easily see the G.P. hasn't helped. 

Eventually I got so fed up I wrangled my way through the system to get an actual physical appointment. He recommend an ENT appointment, with a long wait, as it turns out, of 38 weeks minimum.

Well, I thought, what if it is something nasty, that will be too late so we decided I would go private. I sent an online booking form on a Thursday which they immediately acknowledged. Friday they got back to me to let me know due to the current situation there would be a 3 - 6 week delay. Fine thought I, at least that's quicker.

I phoned to book an appointment the following Monday and got one for 8 days later - result!

Today was the day. He was absolutely lovely. Took my history, gave me a thorough ENT check up (wax in ears, yes I know) and palpated my neck which was nice and soft. He then explained he wanted to put a camera up my nose and told me how much that would be. I said okay.

He gowned up, squirted numbing spray up my nostrils, turned the monitor so I could see what was going on up there and off he went.

It was fascinating to say the least, like exploring a giant interconnected cave system. He explained all the structures I could see, asked me to say 'ahh', cough and take a deep breath. I could see my epiglottis move as well as my vocal chords open and close. I could see the entrance to my sinuses and eustachion tubes. 

It was a very strange sensation having such a numb throat. He told me there was no sign of anything nasty, no infection, no polyps, no irritation, nothing lurking anywhere.

He explained what I have, and that basically, it is a flare up of my long term throat problem. He did wonder if acid reflux might be involved but ruled that out once he had seen inside my throat area. He informed me ways to help with it, exercises I could do, throat hygiene products (inhalers, nose sprays and humidifiers etc).

He didn't need to do anymore or see me again unless of course, things changed. Phew, a great deal off my mind.

Saturday, 3 April 2021

Brrr...

Well, the weather reports were not inaccurate regarding temperature and wind chill. It is quite cold again today although tomorrow the sun is supposed to come out and give us a relatively warm day (15C) if we are lucky.

Seeds planted a couple of weeks ago have resulted in a nice half row of radish seedlings, a 1/4 row of beetroot and as yet, no lettuce. Probably too cool for them even under cover. As they were all out of date seeds, we shall wait and see what we get.

Ruby scoffed her breakfast as normal but mid morning, I gave her a small spoonful of the treatment given yesterday, which again, she woofed down. However, come lunchtime, she stuck her tongue in her small bowl of lunch twice then walked away. She will go without until tea time and see how she goes. She seems to be drinking a lot at the moment. Gonna be one of those dogs I guess. 

DB brought our last leg of lamb in from the freezer and sawed 2/3rds of it off for tomorrow. The other bit was wrapped and placed back in the freezer for another day, soup or something else small - lamb pasties maybe?

Bed has been fully changed, washed, dried and put to one side for ironing. TV recorder has been set up for the week and we shall look forward to trying to catch a late evening tennis final in Miami featured Dan Evans and Neil Skupski, again the top dogs I believe.

Are you doing anything exciting this weekend or just chilling at home?


Friday, 2 April 2021

Cool and breezy

 Soup for lunch with a small amount of baby nettle tops for extra benefits. Washing is blowing on the line. It was so cool I had to put a coat on.

Ruby didn’t finish all her breakfast for some reason, didn’t really want to eat what she managed. Her stomach and guts had that squirty squishy noise going on. So, for the first time, she has had slippery elm, half dose in a small spoon of yogurt. She woofed that down and has eaten a small bowl of her food for lunch. She seems more settled now.

I am checking her poo for worms just in case, as we still haven’t managed to worm her without her vomiting:( Mind you, I did read on an online vet page that proving she kept it down for a minimum of 3 hours, it would have had time to work. Time will tell.


Thursday, 1 April 2021

New bulbs are coming up

Chiondoxia and Scillia:


My labels seem to indicate they are the same or very similar in flower type. I have blue, white and pink.

Dog Tooth Violets:

Unsure of their colour until they open. Finally Snake's Head Fritillary:


A bit blurred as they were wafting in the breeze. Hopefully, they will opensoon and I shall be able to see what their colours are as well.

DB took a snap of me applying white spirit to woolly aphids on some of my apple trees. They started on one and are migrating around. Painting them with white spirit seems to either kill them off or at least weaken them:


 


 


 

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Walking again!

 Gosh, it felt good to meet up with E., her dog, us and Ruby for our first proper walk this year. The weather was glorious although we were a tad hot and bothered by the end of the 4 miles.

We had a small takeaway snack, shared a slice of Bakewell tart between us and had a cold drink at the end of it. We had brought foldaway chairs and sat in the shade cast by the trunk of a large tree.

I was tired and aching so had a warm bath later on. This morning I was even more sore and stiff but it has now gone away. We concentrated on the dining room carpet and remaining rugs, gosh, that carpet was very grubby. Shows what you get used to! The house smells nice and fresh now. The bedrooms and conservatory will be done when the next warm weather arrives, might be a while.

We had morning and afternoon tea on the patio, plus lunch. I have finished dead heading the front garden as well as the new growth was showing.

Monday, 29 March 2021

Carpet Cleaning

In order to have all our carpets cleaned, it would cost us between £100 and £200 per session. Now that we have Ruby, they are getting grubby a little bit quicker. When we have our 4 grand dogs down, grime builds up even more.

After seeing the results of DS and DDiL when their carpets were cleaned, we decided to invest in a Vax carpet cleaner. Just cleaning all the carpets twice will cover the cost of the machine and investing in a 4l bottle of cleaner will last us for 10 - 15 whole house washes.

As you know, Ruby has been unwell a few times on the carpets and hands and knees cleaning just doesn't cope well with those scenarios. The lounge carpet (very old and grubby) was changed when she became house trained otherwise it would really have smelt dreadful by now.

We began yesterday with the kitchen carpet, a large rug from the lounge and a smaller rug from the conservatory. The kitchen carpet hadn't been done for ages and the light today isn't very good to show you the difference but it is so much cleaner. Most people don't have carpet in their kitchen for this reason but we like the warmth it offers in the one room in the house that doesn't have heating:

A large blackberry and raspberry sponge cooking in the oven:
Here is the water from just the kitchen:
This is the water from the large lounge rug and smaller conservatory one:

Everywhere smells so much better. Despite a thorough hoovering beforehand, the machine still had loads of dog hairs in it when DB cleaned it after finishing. Today we plan to do the lounge and inner hall. Watch this space!

Friday, 26 March 2021

Easter tree (twig)

It is a few years since we last did an Easter tree. I got reminded the other day reading Mama's Mercantile so picked three sturdy twigs yesterday. Hopefully, the warmth in the house will also open the leaf buds as I have no idea what I picked:

They are in a mini milk bottle which is inside a heavy ex candle jar.

Don't forget here in the UK, that our clocks go forward this weekend. We have a list of things we need to change ourselves alongside those that should do so automatically, but we check them anyway.



Thursday, 25 March 2021

Out of sync!

My Autumn flowering pond lily has sent up a new flower. There are also some new green leaves floating - like the rest of us - it seems to be a bit out of sync.

The sun is shining brightly today although one or two light showers are predicted with more rain and cold weather for the weekend.

We are waiting for a parcel to be delivered. If it arrives early enough, we will go pick up much needed items.

Anyone taking bets yet on how mad next week will be? 

We hope to start our walking again but with the Easter school holidays happening, hope it won't be over busy where we plan to go. Normally, we would go further afield to somewhere we know won't be busy but aim to remain relatively local. We are both in agreement that we will not be in any hurry to ditch our masks or stop washing our hands.

My radishes have good first stage seed leaves showing and I hope it won't be too long before their true leaves appear. Obviously, being under cover has helped a lot. No sign yet though of the beetroot or lettuce.

The winter heathers are still in full bloom, covered in bees. Once they start to turn, I must remember to clip them back and feed the soil.

Touch wood, Ruby seems to have settled on her new food. It took a week before she was better toilet wise. She has lost a kilogram so we hope that will go back on soon. Guess she is just going to be one of those dogs with weird digestive problems which this food is supposed to help.

Her worming treatment failed. First off, she wouldn't take her usual stuff, then she had a bad reaction to a chewable alternative. We are going to try her old medicine but in a different form, disguised in a hand formed mince meatball. Hopefully that will be okay. Other than that, she is her usual cheerful self. This is her after we threw all these toys and she retrieved them:

I have started watching Max out in the Lake District, link here.

If you enjoy watching dogs, Springer Spaniels in particular, plus fantastic scenery, you will enjoy this. Kerry has a particularly soothing voice, the scenery is beautiful and the dogs often make me laugh out loud.


Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Weird

Although it is supposed to be 10C outside, it is grey, cloudy and cold. Inside feels similar.

Our neighbour died on Monday, not of COVID, but it was far quicker than expected. It was only a couple of weeks ago that he was waiting to be seen by teams to work out what help was needed for them both. We haven't seen him recently, weren't able to visit him whilst in care and because of restrictions will probably not be able to attend the funeral.

We both finally had chiropractic treatment yesterday, it was badly needed. Hopefully we shall be okay for a while and get through to our next time. I am patiently waiting until I can have massages again as they keep me going inbetween treatments.

We will be able to team up for a walk next week. We are so looking forward to it and treating ourselves to a snack and hot drink afterwards (outside of course) so hope it is warm!

I noticed again, a price hike on food. Oats (when on offer at 2 packets) were £3.00 but are now £3.70. We chose a slightly cheaper brand and got them at 2 for £3.00! Tea leaves have gone up by 20p amongst other things off the top of my head.

We are going to empty out my food boxes currently under the bed and get as many items as possible into the pantry then begin again. The grace period for Brexit import and export taxes was due to finish the end of February. It has now been extended to end of April and potentially the end of July.

With the EU threatening to block vaccines I am sure they won't think twice about blocking other items just to punish us further for daring to leave them. I am getting prepared once more.


Sunday, 21 March 2021

Growth at last!

Signs of growth in the vegetable, fruit and shrub garden, spring has sprung. Still, mustn't be complacent as we all know Mother Nature always has the last laugh!!

Soon, it will be April and Beechgrove Garden will begin. Monty Don started Gardener's World last Friday so all is right in the world.

Herewith some green bits - radish seedlings under cover - lettuce and beetroot still to show:

Leeks from last winter along with my mini compost bin:
One of three rhubarbs:
Summer dwarf raspberries with alpine strawberries in the background:
Hydrangea outside the kitchen window:

A few green shoots are also showing on my gooseberries. Early pears and apples have swollen flower buds on them.

Well done to Neal and Ken Skupski for winning their maiden ATP 500 tour title in Mexico.


Saturday, 20 March 2021

Baking done!

Our weekly biscuits have been made - lemon and chia seed - plus a jar of granola created and baked:

We treat ourselves to just one a day with an afternoon cup of tea. Hopefully, when the sun decides to come out, it will soon be warm enough to do so on the patio.

Granola is sprinkled onto our smoothies/porridge or banana yoghurt breakfasts. It helps it last for  2 or 3 weeks.

 

Friday, 19 March 2021

Jigsaw Central Temporarily Closed!

 It has taken us 5 days to complete my Mothers Day jigsaw - Monday:

Tuesday:
Wednesday:
Thursday and remaining pieces sorted into shapes before beginning:
Friday (today):

Today was the easiest day as there were only 50 or so pieces left, which we had sorted into their relevant shapes.

There must be more to life soon!


Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

The recipe for this can be found here.

As you can see, mine is a different colour as she used roasted red peppers from a jar. Might try that next time but as it is, I grilled these to char them, put them into a bag to loosen the skin and went from there:

The tub on the left went into the freezer. We shall use the tub on the right over the next couple of days. I think a 1/4 tsp of smoked paprika would have given it a more smoky taste but we found it fine.

Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Trail Mix Granola Bars

Another recipe from the same site can be found here.

I no longer had an 8" x 8" tin so bought a reduced price non stick one, not just for this but other recipes as well.

I lined it in both directions so the entire thing was lined. Once everything was in there, I pressed it down with a potato masher.

Herewith our version. As you can see, we cut them into 16 squares rather than 8 fingers. They go a little soft after a few days and are slightly sticky on the bottom but gorgeous:

If I had had any chocolate leftover from doing the banana bites, I was going to dribble it over the top of these for an extra touch.


Monday, 15 March 2021

Thank you son!

 Here is my Mother's Day present from DS:

I think it might take us quite a while!

This is the one we have just finished entitled Zoe's Flower Shop. It was lovely to do once we got the lower half sorted:

We had a lovely video call with DS and DGD, watching her walk around the furniture, grin 'chat' and smile at us plus have her lunch. DDiL was out with her horse so missed chatting to her.