Out Walking the Dog

Just thought I would share some pictures I snapped yesterday whilst out walking the dog over the fields 🙂

This for some reason is my fav tree, I have no idea why, I just love it and it makes me want to hug it 🙂

I snapped this rusty old hinge on a wooden fence post

Chunky managed to throw himself into the burn for a swim

And these gorgeous little flowers were growing everywhere, I later found out that they are called Cuckoo Flowers

I called this next picture Dandelion Hill, seeing as this was the only dandelion growing on the hill

Chunky again, this time with his chops tucked in 🙂 .. he had been swimming again!

More Cuckoo Flowers.. they are beautiful

More swimming…

and a few of last years skeletons

Hope you enjoyed the walk 🙂

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

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 🙂

happy-easter

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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Tulips ….

Tulips

Originally uploaded by T o w n i e

Tulips that I bought last weekend, they are gorgeous, and were an absolute bargin in the reduced bucket for 40p…

I love having flowers around the house, theyre bright, cheery and I just love looking at them (as well as photographing them).

In the past I have seen myself taking a special trip to the shops just to buy some flowers, but I made a rule with myself, that I would only buy flowers now if..

a. I’m in the shop at the time &
b. They are reduced in price

All part of my frugal living regime… that way I can still have flowers, but they are more of a special treat now.. so I only get them if I’m at the shops and only if they are reduced.

Certainly makes you appreciate things more 🙂

Hola :)

I have been a tad remiss with my blogging of late, its that time of year again… clocks spring forwards, it get lighter at night for longer … things need to be done, you know what its like..

 Some good news tho.. I got home from work last night and my lovely other half had fixed and re-build my greenhouse which had been badly damaged in Feb/Mar with the gale force winds, so he got a big cuddle for that 🙂

With the greenhouse now fixed, I can get on with planning what seeds i’m going to sew, Last year was our first year at growing veggies etc in the greenhouse and was a good learning curve for us.

I want to grow more tomatoes this year, the small cherry/bitesize toms did very well indeed and cropped all the way through the summer and autumn for us, this year tho I am going to grow them in big pots instead of growbags, that way they are more portable should the need arise for some extra room.

There are loads of jobs requiring to be done in the garden too, the raised beds need turning over and prepared for me planting..

Some of the veggies I would like to grow this year include;

Peas, broad beans, beetroot, carrots, runner beans, tomatoes, onions, garlic, leeks, brocolli,

Also, want to grow more herbs… basil, coriander, parsley… I already have thyme and rosemary in the garden.  But will have a nosey at the seed catalogues and find out what else I might fancy.

I have some chilli cherry tomato seeds that I will sow tonight in the greenhouse.

 I cant half waffle on about gardening stuff eh.. lol

Rhubarb Cornmeal Cake

 Its that time of year again when the rhubarb starts to push up out of the ground after its winter sleep and what better way to celebrate its return than to make this delish cake…. another fab recipe that I discovered last year 🙂
I’ll need to post the recipe for rhubarb scnapps (rhubarb vodka) too its absolutely lovely, I made some last year, but thats for another day 🙂
Rhubarb Cornmeal Cake
Recipe extracted from The book… How to be a domestic godess by Nigella Lawson.
Ingredients :
500g Rhubarb
300g Caster Sugar
150g plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
155g fine cornmeal (polenta)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
125g unsalted butter, soft
250g natural yoghurt, preferably bio
1 x 23cm springform cake tin, buttered and lined.Method:preheat oven to 180 degrees C / gas mark 4Wash and dry the rhubarb if necessary (which i rerely find it to be), and then trim, removing any stringly bits and cut into 1/2cm slices.

Put into a glass or china bowl and cover with 100g of the sugar, while you get on with the rest of the cake. Dont let the rhubarb stand for more than half an hour or the sugar will make too much liquid seep out.

Mix the flour, bicarb, salt, cinnamon and cornmeal together. With a fork, beath the eggs with the vanilla in a measuring jug or small bowl.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and the rest of the sugar, then gradually add the egg and vanilla mixture, beating while you do so. Then add the flour-cornmeal mixture alternatively with the yoghurt. They just need to be combined, dont overmix.

Finally, add the rhubarb together with its sugary, pink juices, folding into the mix, and then pour the speckled batter into the prepapred tin.

Put in the preheated oven and bake for about 1 hour or until springy to the touch. You may need to cover it with foil after about 40 mins so that the top doesnt catch. Let cool int he tim on a wire rack for a while before unmoulding.

Serves 8-10..

 

Spring ATC swap

Over on the Neeps forum they were running a Springtime ATC challenge, they had to be exchanged by 11th March, and now that the person I was sending it to has received it, I can post the picture of it on here… so here it is Springtime Mice..

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For those not familiar with ATC’s they are Artist Trading Cards and have to measure 2.5 x 3.5 inches and can be decorated in any way.. I chose decoupage springtime mice, they came in a book of decoupage that I bought in Holland.