Lettuce : Paris White Cos

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I’m really looking forward to trying out different varieties of lettuce this year in the garden, this particular variety has been around for a great many years and is listed online as an heirloom variety.

A really tasty cos (barrel-shaped) lettuce with an old fashioned flavour.   Sweet and crunchy, ideal for summer salads.

  • Sow Indoors March-April
  • Sow Outdoors April-July
  • Harvest – From may Onwards
  • Cost £1.49 per packet
  • Seeds Sown Indoors in the greenhouse on Sunday 26th April 2009
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Squash – Sweet Dumpling

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I have never tried growing squash before so this is a first for me and I’m quite excited about it 🙂

Sweet Dumpling – This small, mildly sweet-tasting squash resembles a miniature pumpkin with its top pushed in. Weighing only about 7 ounces, it has sweet and tender orange flesh and is a great size for stuffing and baking as individual servings. Sweet dumplings are tiny but great for roasting and presenting whole.

  • Sowing Time : Indoors Mar-May & Outdoors May
  • Harvest : October
  • Cost £1.79 Per Packet
  • Seeds Sown : Indoors in the Greenhouse on Sunday 26th April 2009

Nasturtium – Maharajah Mixed (Tropaeolum Majus)

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When I was in my local Garden Centre yesterday, I picked up some Nasturtium seeds, and chose the variety “Maharajah Mixed”

They were sown direct into the garden, the spot I chose for them was along the boundary fence, right next door to this is my eglu, so I think the chickens will appreciate a lovely splash of colour this summer 🙂

Nastrurtiums do best in poor soils and without feesing.   Flowers and foliage are edible and good in salads… so we can add a splash of colour in our summer salads too 🙂

  • Flowering Time : June/September
  • Cost £1.49 per packet
  • Planted : Saturday 25th April 2009

International Kidney (Salad)

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A superb very waxy, new/salad variety introduced in 1879 and one of the oldest varieties still in commercial production, particularly in the channel islands. Smooth skinned, with creamy white, waxy flesh and superb flavour. The most important crop on Jersey produced and sold as the world famous ‘Jersey Royal’.

Plant : April/May

Harvest : July/August

Cost : £0.50 for 12 Tubers (at reduced counter in local garden centre)

Planted : Sunday 26th April 2009

Vale’s Everest Potato (Maincrop)

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A new part coloured potato from Scotland, Vales Everest has a highish dry matter content and makes excellent chips and bakes well too. As a maincrop it’s ready from Setpember and stores well into the winter. Gives excellent crops of large oval tubers. A Maincrop variety. Skin Colour – White. Flesh Colour – Cream. Uses – steam, mash, chips, saute, baked and roast.

Tuber characteristics
Smoothness of skin   Smooth
Shape of tuber   Short – oval
Depth of eyes   Shallow – medium
Colour of skin   Red parti-coloured
Colour of flesh   Cream
  
Botanical description
Maturity   Maincrop
Height of plants   Tall
Frequency of berries   Few
Colour of flower   White
Colour of base of lightsprout   Pink

 

Plant : April / May

Harvest : August/September

Cost : £0.50 for 12 Tubers (at reduced counter in local garden centre)

Planted Sunday 26th April 2009

Organic Lady Balfour Seed Potatoes (Second Early)

Organic Lady Balfour Seed Potatoes (Second Early)

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I got an absolute bargin at my local garden centre yesterday, I picked up 3 x bags of seed potators for 50p each!    I will do a write up for each one individually, so here is the first one.

“Excellent resistance to the major potato diseases including blight scab and virus Y, it also has strong resistance to eelworm. The variety also gives very high yields even in soils with low fertility.”

“This means that in most seasons it can be grown without the use of chemicals and with little fertiliser making it easy to grow and ideal for organic culture.”

“The pink-splashed tubers are very attractive with tasty creamy flesh which is moist and firm meaning Lady Balfour is best suited to boiling and roasting.”

  • Yield: High
  • Shape: Oval
  • Skin: White/Purple eye
  • Flesh: Cream
  • Cooking: General Purpose – good for boiling, baking & roasting
Plant : April/May
Harvest : August/September 
Planted : Sunday 26th April 2009

Rhubarb and Apple Crumble

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Ingredients :

  • 450g (1lb) Rhubarb, shorn of leaves, trimmed and cut into 2.5cm (1in) lengths
  • 450g (1lb) cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
  • 150g (5oz) light muscavado sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

For the crumble :

  • 60g (2oz) rolled oats
  • 175g (6oz) plain flour
  • 110g (4oz) unsalted butter
  • 110g (4oz) demerara sugar

Method :

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C, 400 Degrees F, Gas 6
  2. To make the crumble topping, mix the oats and flour, and rub in the butter until you have a pile of small crumble.   Stir in the sugar.
  3. Mix the rhubarb and apples in a pie dish and dredge with the light muscavado sugar, then sprinkle with sinnamon.
  4. Sprinkle the crumble mixture evenly and thickly over the top.
  5. Bake for about 30 minutes, or a little longer if necessary, until the top is golden brown, with the juice bubbling up a little round the sides.
  6. Serve hot or warm with cream or custard or even some gorgeous white chocolate ice cream to melt and ooze into the hot juices.

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Recipe courtesy of Sophie Grigsons Country Kitchen – ISBN 0-7553-1054-3

Happy Easter

Wishing you all a very happy Easter 

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 My Rowan tree in the far corner of the garden,  buds just starting to open out… I bought this tree as a pencil sized stick from my daughters school when she was 5, she is now 17 … we have watched this tree grow and flourish with my daughter 🙂

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My Pink Champagne Rhubarb… I’m planning to cut some later this afternoon and make a rhubarb crumble with it 🙂

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Finally Gloria, one of our black pekin bantams, clearing the weeds from my 3rd raised bed.  Gloria is top of the pecking order within our pekin family, she has a really cheeky strong character 🙂

Lemon & Poppy Seed Madeira Cake

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I had some lemons in the fridge that needed to get used up, so I had a browse through some recipe books and found this recipe from Nigella Lawson.

It is from her Book How to be a Domestic Goddess – isbn 0-701-16888-9

Ingredients:

  • 240g Softened unsalted butter
  • 200g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 3 large eggs
  • 210g self-raising flour
  • 90g plain flour
  • 1 x 2lb loaf tin
  • 2 Tablespoons of Poppy Seeds

Method :

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C / Gas Mark 3
  2. Cream the butter and sugar, and add the lemon zest
  3. Add the eggs one at a time with a tablespoon of the flour for each.
  4. Then gently mix in the rest of the flour and finally, the lemon juice.
  5. Sprinkle with caster sugar (about 2 tablespoons should do it) as it goes into the oven.
  6. Bake for 1 hour or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  7. Remove to a wire rack, and let cool in the tin before turning out.
  8. Makes 8-10 slices.

I got distracted… and as a result I forgot to put the poppy seeds in 😀

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Easter Truffles

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Ingredients :

  • 150g / 6oz Plain Chocolate
  • 40ml / 2 tablespoons Brandy (Adult version) or fruit squash (Kids Version)
  • 50g / 1 1/2 oz Butter
  • 60g / 2 oz Icing Sugar
  • 50g / 2 oz ground almonds
  • 16 small sweet paper cases

Method :

  1. Break up two thirds of the chocolate into a bowl and place this over a pan of hot water.
  2. Add the brandy and leave to melt
  3. Take off the heat and stir in the butter, which should not be too hard.
  4. Mix in the sieved icing sugar and the almonds s that it is well blended.
  5. Leave to cool place until the mixture is firm enough to handle.
  6. Divide into about 16 even-sized pieces and roll into balls.
  7. Grate the remaining chocolate, place on a piece of greaseproof paper and roll the truffles in it.
  8. Pop each one into a paper case.

Recipe courtesy of  :

“The Cadbury Chocolate Cookbook” by Patricia Dunbar ISBN 0 600 32018 9