We are getting more and more from the garden, and if it wasn't for having to buy carrots for cake I would need very little from the market. We had the first of this year's beetroot the other day and are still gorging on baby carrots, peas and courgettes, as well as freezing peas. I have had to resort to chucking posh salad leaves over to the chickens (they are not overly impressed after the initial excitement) as the weather conditions are perfect for salad growth. I made some land cress soup one day and it was delicious...you could taste the vitamins! I have pulled up the last lot of garlic I planted as the leaves were yellowing and I might just be able to squeeze some carrots in there. I didn't expect there to be much in the way of usable bulb as they were only put in recently when I was going to throw the last of it away when it sprouted and tasted musty. But I was surprised to find a good few very nice sized bulbs, mostly single, like an onion, but very usable and worth putting in. We have lost the last three iceberg to the weather and we just have too much salad, but where I cut a couple off there have sprouted a few more crispy leaves which add texture to salads.
|Dave had a furtle (technical term) and found some nice taters|
|New leaves coming on the lettuce stump|
|Land cress soup Yum|
Looking back at the photos we took when we arrived last year our tomatoes and peppers are not far behind despite the cooler weather. But it is certainly tidier out there. We have had very little sign of the hops which covered all the walls and chicken pen last year. In fact nothing dare sprout in the chicken pen except a lonely nettle! Brcause of the tidier garden we have not had the mass of insects we had this time last year and have only just started to hear crickets at night. I don't usually go out when the dogs have their last wee at night, but I did last night and there were fireflies everywhere. This is the only time of the year we see them, any later and we are in bed before the sun.
A friend had her 50th birthday this week and her OH asked if I would make a carrot cake for her birthday do at one of the village bars. After past failures with soft rollable icing I was going to use buttercream for the top, but I tried making a recipe for roll out buttercream icing which I have tried before but which uses golden syrup, but used corn syrup instead and it tasted much better. It was a bit of a dark colour and went darker when the colour of the cake came through so maybe would be better coloured or thicker. It had a better texture than last time too and held together better. I still wish I could afford to buy British fine icing sugar though. It looked fine decorated anyway and went down well at the party. So well that I now have orders for Christmas goodies.
We did another boot sale the other day, the first one at the venue which was a beautiful setting and sellers parked around the village square. But it was a long way and we hit some of the roughest roads in the area. We only took cards and paintings but hopefully there will be at least one commission for a painting and sold quite a few cards, but not enough to cover diesel. Unfortunately, most buyers were Bulgarian and the cards were just too expensive for them though they did like them. But I am selling as cheaply as I can with most under a quid, which after materials leaves very little and I felt bad about that. Much as we like the venue, it is unlikely we will go again, which is a shame.
We stopped off on the way home to see their local reservoir and dam, which must be lovely on a nicer day. Dave got stung on his neck by what must have been a bee as the sting was left in his skin. At least he knows that a sting is not as bad as the thought, so when (if) we get the bees it will not be so worrying. A swarm went over the other day and we heard it over the TV it was so loud. Unfortunately it didn't stop!
|A herd of water buffalo resting on common ground. Not something you see every day|
|We had three stretches of road where the potholes were dreadful and we feared for the car!|
|Our seed grown poppy|