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Friday, 28 June 2013

Tomatoes and benches.

We had the first of Venka's tomatoes yesterday, In fact we had a carrier bag of tomatoes, courgettes and cucumbers. I now have six cucumbers. Heck, what am I going to do with six cues? Dave also picked me a big bowl of cherry sized plums, easy enough to decide what to do with them. Three lots in the freezer for over winter and four jars of jam.

Had a baking day too, so cheese bread and toasting loaves join the fruit bread in the freezer. It is so nice to have the time to do these things. Made some shortbread for Venka and Jordan, but find it difficult to know what to do to repay their  constant kindness. I hope as the year goes on we can do something to help them.
The post lady called today as we had a bumper post delivery. Well, two anyway. A letter from  one of Dave's ex colleagues. It is a pleasure to get a hand written letter, made all the more special as it is so rare. So thank you, Paul and Ann. There was also a late birthday card and housewarming card from the office. Lovely.
Dave is turning his hand to crazy paving around the 'pool'. There are lots of stones around begging for a job.
After being so disappointed about my missing seedlings, I have padded out what is left with more peas and beans and a couple of rows of carrots. I can put more peas in later, I would like to find space to put enough to freeze some. The frozen ones we have had here are like bullets, and starchy, even after ten minutes boiling.
While we were out on our patch we could hear something going on on the road....even a dog passing is an event. But when Dave went for a nosey he found Venka and Jordan fixing the bench outside the gate. The frame was still there, but the wood was long gone. Dave went out to try and fix it a few days ago, but didn't know how long it was till Venka pointed out that some was hidden in a shrub. So was planning to get some wood today on the way back from shopping. But now it's done. Everyone has one of these benches. They are handy for waiting, for chatting with neighbours (and avoiding having to ask anyone in) and just watching the world go by. Outside here, there is usually a gathering late at night, long after we are in bed. I don't know when we will use it, but use it we will. There seemed to be a lot of drilling and hammering, and I believe they went through a few bits making new holes, but it is nice and wide for mature bums!Meanwhile Dave made a thank-you card for them with a picture of him and the dogs enjoying it.
This morning, when Venka and Jordan were tying up tomatoes bin our side, they called Dave over to tell him they are our tomatoes and they have started to ripen so we had better get picking! There are about fifty of them, all laden. So I hope either she will use some, even though they have about a hundred plants of their own, or I am going to be very busy with my little outdoor stove making tomato sauce. There are also about a hundred pepper plants, twenty or so aubergines and pumpkins and thirty sweetcorn. The courgettes we have been eating since we arrived. I hope I don't have to have all the produce from those!  I'll have peppers to last a lifetime. Now, where are Mum's recipes for chutney and hot tomato sauce?

Been to Kaufland shopping today and arrived at the same time as the Scottish couple who showed us around the market a few weeks ago. I have found some different sugars, but not what I need for Christmas cake, so will have to have a re-think on that. Silly me used what I brought with me on the chutneys. I never thought I would say it....but I would love an hour in Tesco!


  1. Keep the blog coming Sara. I am getting hooked.

  2. Really enjoying this Sara - fascinating to see another way of life. I just can't believe all the produce coming your way; it's lucky you enjoy cooking, preserving etc. It all looks delicious!