Friday, August 31, 2012

Mad Scientist

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Linking up with Soulemama today for {this moment}

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Saturday gardening journal

Here I am shamelessly recycling this post from last saturday!! nothing much has changed in the past week, still way too much swiss chard despite giving lots away and eating more if it of course!...

Since Ginny's first gardening journal I've been planning each week to participate in the fun, but never quite manage it.  Even my yarn along posts are very sporadic at the moment. So after preparing this post I realized that Ginny doesn't do her gardening journal every saturday and typically I didn't choose the right week.
But I've just discovered that Samantha over at Lodgepole Peace Farm is doing a similar thing so I'm going to link up with her today.

When I put my 'hoist' on the table this morning I quickly grabbed the camera and got to peeling and thinking of what I would say in my first ever Saturday Gardening Journal.

Notice the absence of Swiss Chard! even I, a chard maniac, am 'over' this vegetable, and we still have loads of it in the garden.  We seem to have planted some kind of giant self-cloning variety.  The kids, who were never that enthusiastic in the first place, have gone from "oh no not that again" to an outright declarations of "we hate this!".
just look at all that swiss chard!!  thankfully I remembered to take this picture before hanging my smalls on the washing line!

Thus to date we have harvested:
-New potatoes
-Spinach - and have a 'late' variety now coming up, much to Tino's delight.
-Beetroot - they are very slow this year so I'm trying hard to leave them a bit longer, but they are soo yummy.  This one is going into a little jar of chutney.
- Flat yellow and green beens - which I'm starting to freeze now as they are coming thicker and faster than we can eat them.
-White cabbage
pick ' n eat - a speedy snack, who said 'fast' food couldn't be healthy.
-Cucumber - eaten and pickled (and eaten a jar of the pickled already)
-Rhubarb - pies and jam
-Red & Black currents - jam
-Squash - some one gave us the seeds but I don't know what they are actually called. I sliced one into half-moons and roasted it with oil, salt and various herbs - including lavender, and it was delicious.  I think I might try the next one with butter, maple syrup and cinnamon as seen in Ginny's post.

The leeks are fattening nicely and I think I will freeze them in small batches for soup this winter.  Also planning on freezing ice-cubes of parsely as the dried stuff has no flavor, but will dry the mint, lavender, thyme and rosemary.  Not quite sure what to do with the oregano yet?
My prune tree has 5 prunes, 4 more than last year but I doubt that they will ripen, this is a very temperamental tree, I don't think it ever got over the rough treatment it got from some hungry deer two winters ago!

there are actually 5 prunes hidden in this picture!
She sprouted lots of flowers in the spring, I rather hopped they'd all turn into big juicy plums.
but just look what deer are capable of doing.  The tops were too high to reach , the bottoms hidden by snow, and the rest as you can see, is history.

Unfortunately the mirabelle tree out the back didn't appreciate getting pruned and has refused to produce anything at all!

a mix of flowers and herbs make a sweet smelling table decorations.
my handsome garden helper!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Bread 'n Jam - and a little bit of pesto

No pectin no problem! have no idea what went wrong with my two previous jamming exploits but this time I bypassed the 'added' pectin and my gelée came out tip top.  Just fruit and crystalized sugar.

doesn't this sugar bowl make a nice jam jar!
As Richard's big 100 km mountain race is fast approaching  I have been making my 'pain sportif' or extra energy bread for his morning feast.  I don't recall where I got this recipe so I can't give anyone credit for it.

Pain Sportif
200 ml almond milk
100 ml water
500g bread flour (i use multi-grain)
20 g dried yeast
5 g salt
100 g muesli rehydrated in 100 ml of almond milk
50 g honey

I like to let my bread machine do it's own mixing and rising thing, then knead it by hand and let it rise a second time for approx. 45 mins before cooking it in the oven.  Richard won't eat bread cooked in the bread machine, says it looks like a house brick!

This pesto is an almost permanent addition to my fridge at the moment as we have tons of mint in the garden, and sadly no basil, not for want of trying!   The recipe tends to change slightly with each batch but the basics are fresh mint, almonds, garlic and oil (I have been using an omega 3 mix), I then add bits of whatever else might be lurking in the kitchen or garden - spinach leaves, swiss chard greens,  parmesan, lemon juice, and I think I may very well have put honey in the last lot!

I've often heard my father remark that it would be wonderful if someone could invent a pill so we wouldn't have to bother eating, or more importantly to him, cooking.   No No No No, silly silly idea!!!