Thursday 29 June 2023

My first potato harvest in years

 Our first batch of potatoes was sown in compost bags and yesterday, we harvested the first bag. Now, I haven't fed or topped them up as much as I should but even so, we got 2lb 12oz:

I didn't realise they would be ready but the bag next to it, when watered, showed some potatoes sitting on its surface. The variety is Winston and we were a bit worried as they are supposed to be watery but we found them lovely.

Two more bags to go plus 4 large tubs - should be interesting!

Tuesday 27 June 2023

Taking the mickey!

 Shopping this week, I came across Bird's custard pods - say what I thought.

The package holds 4 pods and costs £2. Each pod has 22g of mixture which melts into 1/4 pint of milk, which along with sugar, will give you 1/4 pint custard.

A standard tub of custard powder costs £2 but for that, you would be able to make 16 x 1/4 pints custard. So pods may be more convenient if there is just you or you only require a small amount BUT it will cost you £8 to make the equivalent you would get from a tub.

Then of course there is all that plastic and packaging:


Saturday 24 June 2023

Blimey I am hot already!

 It’s going to be hot and humid this weekend. Having done my watering, I set to weeding. It felt coolish when I started, but three large trugs later, I am steaming:(

Attended a new specialist clinic being trialled at our surgery. Pleased to say, I am doing reasonably well so far, but my extra tablet has dropped my blood pressure somewhat on the low side. Have had a block put on my medical records to state under no circumstances am I to have any extra pills such as ACE inhibitors otherwise I will pass out!

Have now been added to the regular clinic so that is good. Supposed to be seen back at the hospital within six months of my last appointment, want to put a bet on that happening. Surgery says I am to phone them up a month beforehand to remind them, yeah, right!!! The surgery itself will see me again in March. Hey ho!

Saturday 17 June 2023

Being in the moment

One of the things I really enjoy about growing, foraging, harvesting and drying herbs, is being in the moment. Some might say that is practicing mindfulness but I don't really know.

Take the picture below:

Such gorgeous colours. Just one shelf in my dehydrater, separated bramble leaves and English marigold (Calendula). Not to be confused with French marigold, a whole different plant.

This was a trial but the marigolds took too long to dry so they now get dried in the conservatory over several days. Once 3/4 dry, I pull the petals off the heads, even though both can be used. Stored in a jar, they look like saffron! Haven't tried it yet in a tea but most will be used as part of my homemade shampoo. 

I tried but didn't like rose petal tea and certainly will not be trying lavender tea. Although I love their smell, I really don't like the flavour.

So far, for herbal tea, I have dried bramble (blackberry) leaves, nettles, elderflower, lemon balm, lemon verbena. I am currently drying mint, and have had to buy some camomile and linden (lime tree but not the kind which grows limes). Not much wild yarrow around here but I have bought some of the proper kind of plants, which will be dried when ready.

Next year, I shall try harvesting goose grass and maybe hawthorn flowers, time will tell.

Monday 5 June 2023

Baking and harvesting...

 A few days ago, I made some cheese scones and a bread and butter pudding in the air fryer. The scones had to be carefully turned halfway through cooking but came out great:

The bread and butter pudding tasted lovely but wasn't quite set in the middle, note to self:

After dehydrating 5 trays of elder flowers, here are the results. First picture, combed off the stalks:

Almost packaged, look at all that lovely pollen (about 1 teaspoon in all) which helps with the flavour:
Into an 8oz jar:
We shall harvest at least once more, in a few days time.

Sunday 4 June 2023

A gorgeous smell

 The house smells heavenly as I dehydrate elderflower flowers for tea later in the year. Not a bad taste as I tried some fresh yesterday but it will need a touch of lemon zest methinks.

All our usual harvesting places are disappearing for some reason. Some have been felled or just died, others overtaken by ivy.

We’ll let a few more days pass before going out for more.

Thursday 1 June 2023

Keeping warm by making things...

 Still cold here with a brisk cold wind. Not the weather to be out and about on the beach or even in the garden.

As we had run out of marmalade, I set to and made some orange and ginger:

As well as the 5 jars above, there was also a small dish and a whole Le Creuset marmalade container made!

Then I made us some vegetable tikka masala curry, enough for us both for 3 meals:

I baked us a pudding in the Ninja to have for lunch as well as something else nice. Pictures to come another day.