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Tuesday, 28 April 2009

The £1 Shop

We are lucky in Peterborough in that we have two or three £1 shops. The one I utilise the most is down Bridge Street in Peterborough opposite our old Woolworths for those local to Peterborough. It is a mine of offers all for a £1 - it is very much you pick up what they have in on the day but they do on a regular basis have certain basics they keep in although the names may change. They also do a selection of the old style sweets like Raspberry Ruffles or Mint Chews (the white ones that you chew and chew for ages) Large bags of jelly tots(ideal for putting on top of butterfly cakes with some cream or icing), mixed bags of sweets all sorts of craft and doilies and tablewhere tinned stuff batteries etc. etc. etc.

I stocked up on toothpaste today 125ml tube (the medium to large one) £1 a tube OH likes Aquafresh and I like the MacLeans but they also had Colgate. I also managed to pick up some hair conditioner and some Knights Castille soap - don't see that very often (its a very good base grated down with a little colouring and scented oils to make soap balls as a small present for someone).

I also picked up a 2 x 8 packs of Lily Bulbs 5 x 25 - 125 freesia corms, 4 Gladioli bulbs, 2 x 3 Chinese Lanterns, 3 bags Onion Sets (Stuttgarter). So am well pleased. They always seem to have a selection of gardening bits and bobs. In the past I have picked up pieces of trellis for you have guessed it for £1 a piece. Don't discount them they have their place in these troubled times of ours and it usually enables you to stretch the pennies to something else after all it is the pennies that make the pounds and I do like a bargain.

2009.04.27 My Day

Its been a long old day today at work and it has been miserable and wet n horrible.No wonder I hurt. But we need the water. Was the only secretary in this morning and lots to do. Its been a long old evening as well. Have spent five hours on the computer drafting a statement for my OH for his Tribunal claim against his old company in order that he can take it to his solicitor and then I have had a benefits form to fill in. Very tired and only had chance to do some quick checking to see if everything is okay. This poorly weather is forecast for the week. I do hope that we don't have any severe flooding anywhere like we did last year. I do feel so sorry for anyone who is caught with this sort of weather as it causes so much damage and bedlam. I could really do with a holiday but don't suppose I will get one yet again. Its three years since I went away to Cornwall. I absolutely love it down there. One day - even if it is only a small holding to rent. Ah well can dream.

Sorry its brief but hope everyone is okay and all is well in your worlds

Take care

Sunday, 26 April 2009

2009.04.26 My Day

I didn't sleep well last night courtesy of our new neighbours. They are a young couple but seem to spend most of their time watching television in their bedroom which is on the front of the terrace where ours is. There is only a thin party wall between the two properties. However they seem to have one of these big screen tv's on the wall in the bedroom and at 5 a.m. this morning it was still on full blast. And if it is not the television it is bump bump bump loud repetitive stereo on with what purports to be music. I think I am getting old. I love all sorts of music but this is not even headbanging stuff - just weird I wouldn't even give it the description of music!

So have been a little out of sorts today not feeling as though have been firing on all cylinders. Unusually this afternoon I went up and had a lie down and fell asleep. Trouble is when I woke up about an hour later I felt even worse than what I did before that will teach me to nod off.

Have done a bit of washing today but the best part of the day has been spent pottering around in the garden again. It has been a lovely day again in Peterborough. We are not far from the Nene Valley Railway and have heard the chug chug of the steam engines throughout the weekend carrying their passengers on the short journey down at Orton. The good weather nearly always brings the public out and about and the Nene Park is a lovely place to roam in nice weather as there are all the water sports associated with the River Nene and the boating race track as well.

Have sorted out the growing frames and planted more seed up today. Only small portions of flowers though not trays as don't want to be over-run with plants. Have sown some Snapdragons, Hollyhocks, Delphiniums, Nemesia, Morning Glory, Night Scented Stock, Dahlias, sweet peas, poppies, petunia, sweet williams and wallflowers. I am sure I have some Aquilegia seeds (Grandmothers bonnets) and lupin seeds and Pot Marigolds somewhere but I cannot find them at the moment. I have also planted some clematis seed a variety called radar love which apparently is a very quick grower and flowers within three months of being set according to the seed packet. I will reserve judgment on that until later.

I usually do my own hanging baskets and flower pouches and pennies permitting would also like to do these and small hanging baskets. I quite like doing these very therapeutic. Have seen an idea for a flower ball in one of the magazines as well which could be interesting.

I went up to the market the other week and they had six mixed plants for a fiver including geraniums, fuschias, traling ivies and nepetas so will have a look at those later on in the week. They also had some seed plants so might also be worth a look. We normally locally go to a plant centre called The Barn, which has a nice selection of plants and then of course there is always Wilkinsons. Saw some onion sets there the other week which were not too pricy and some Shallots and Horseradish.

When we went mooching the other week they had some heartsease in different colourways which were quite reasonable; there is the bonus that these can be crystallised to decorate cakes with a little gum arabic, rose water and caster sugar.

I am sort of attempting to have like a cottaqe border and then a veg/potager style plot with the emphasis being on veggies and/or useful plants to start with. Once the veg patch is cleared will then set peas, mangetout radish beetroot etc. We like our food and veggies in this household. No doubt I will make mistakes but that is how you learn.

I am also hoping to get hold of a couple of standard Marguerites - have managed to get these two years running so fingers crossed. I also want some French Tarragon plants and some Lemon Verbena plants. Mum has started me some Aloe Vera plants off - she has a large one and as I am always catching myself on the oven shelf so anything to soothe is always appreciated.

Have lots of ideas some of which are not practical for where we are, but I quite fancy a border of lavender along what will be left of the lawn as lavender is a good fly deterrent and can be used in cooking, and for making lavender sachets, etc. I am also hoping to have a go at doing some lavender and/or rosemary and bay standards - it is apparently easy enough to do with a little time and patience all of which I have tons of. Trouble is in the shops they cost an arm and a leg especially bay - but they do look so impressive - especially at Christmas.

I also quite fancy some roses - scented ones and fancy a rambler and some bush types - a proper cottagey/practical garden. Will have to see what we can achieve. And that's before we even start on the fruit side of things. Have set some Glaskins Perpetual Rhubarb seed - now that seems to have taken. Will try and sort the fruit out a bit at a time - practically speaking even if I get the bushes this year they are not going to fruit properly until next.

Have spent most of the weekend out in the garden and enjoyed the space and the freedom and fresh air. Last year I bought some solar lights and put them in the shed and forgot all about them. Found them this afternoon and they are now in situ in the herb garden and look quite good so am well pleased.

Well bed calls time for some shuteye.

Catch you all soon

Lilac


My Lilac bush at the bottom of the garden is in flower and doesn't it look magnificent it smells lovely too. Apparently it was one of my maternal grandmother's favourites. My paternal grandmother also had it in her garden both lilac and white.

This reminds me of the song "We'll Gather Lilacs in the Spring Again" by Ivor Novello

We'll gather lilacs in the spring again,
And walk together down an endless lane,
Until our hearts have learned to sing again,
When you come home once more.
And in the evening by the firelight glow,
You'll hold me close and never let me go,
Your eyes will tell me all I want to know,
When you come home once more.
(musical interlude)
And in the evening by the firelight glow,
You'll hold me close and never let me go,
Your eyes will tell me all I want to know,
When you come home once more.

Now I am showing my age!

Or if you want a more up-to-date version

Lilac Wine written by J. Shelton

The version of this song I know is by Elkie Brooks but I believe there are covers of the song. I do like Elkie's singing.

I lost myself on a cool damp night
Gave myself in that misty light
Was hypnotized by a strange delight
Under a lilac tree
I made wine from the lilac tree
Put my heart in its recipe
It makes me see what I want to see
and be what I want to be
When I think more than I want to think
Do things I never should do
I drink much more that I ought to drink
Because It brings me back to you...

Lilac wine is sweet and heady, like my love
Lilac wine, I feel unsteady, like my love
Listen to me... I cannot see clearly
Isn't that she coming to me nearly here?
Lilac wine is sweet and heady where's my love?
Lilac wine, I feel unsteady, where's my love?
Listen to me, why is everything so hazy?
Isn't that she, or am I just going crazy, dear?
Lilac Wine, I feel unready for my love...



Funnily enough I never have had lilac wine although I have recipes for it - now as the Lilac is currently in blossom it may be something that I have to investigate.

And here is the first part of the Garden

I am apologising for becoming somewhat of a gardening bore, but this blog is as much a record as to what I am up to - my failures and achievements as much as anything else. The footprint where I have trod.

I just love it when a plan starts to come together and you can see the light at the end of the tunnel rather than the wood from the trees. Well here is the first part of the garden that got overhauled yesterday. Its a small start and I still have a long way to go but at least its neat and tidy and has room to take the new seedlings that I am currently bringing on. I thought if I did a chunk at a time of the garden it would be more manageable for me and at least I would see where I was going. Don't look too closely at the bottom end of the garden that is still a tip - but we will get there. I am hoping to do some hanging baskets and flower bags/pouches herb bags as well as adding different herb plants as this is to all intents and purposes the herb bed. I have another Angelica to put in yet which self-seeded itself in one of the tubs. I am also hoping to start some cut and come again salad leafs the Italian version a Messicata (not sure of spelling) and the French version Mesdun in some tubs so that don't have to buy any salad stuff - also intend to do some rocket.





Saturday, 25 April 2009

My Day

Well its been a very busy today for me today. I was up early and went out into the garden to sow some more seeds as my others are all coming through and will shortly go into the cold frame after being split. Will have to do that with the herbs tomorrow. Have done some Lemon Grass seed, Borage seed, Cabbage, Tomatoes yellow and red, Aubergine, yellow round courgettes, green round courgettes. I also managed to find my plant labels I knew I had had some just couldn't remember where they were. I found them in the greenhouse together with some green hanging plant bags which I didn't know I had.

It was a little chilly first thing here this morning and I had to wear a cardigan and it was blustery and the blossom from the trees was flailing in the air like wedding confetti but the sun was shining. As the day progressed it got warmer and I was able to take my cardigan off eventually. Then I started.

I attacked the small garden that leads up to the back door which was a complete and utter mess like the rest of the garden. I removed all the rubbish and plant pots from last year and the old hanging baskets. I then removed all the excess leaves from the bay tree base and then dug over the garden and managed to get rid of no end of twitch. I then sorted out the window boxes some plants had got a bit big and straggly. Sot they then got transplanted into the border - have planted two rosemary bushes and two sage plants. I also swept the path again and got rid of the green garden waste in the brown wheely bin. I have two new cold frames so I am hoping that he will build these up for me tomorrow then I can reposition the mini greenhouses with the cold frames further down the garden to where they are at the moment. I hope to have photos to show you tomorrow as to what I have done. It is only a small start but at least I have had a go and hopefully I can slowly work my way down the garden.

I have done loads of washing today and got it dry outside (it has had a good blow) and ironed. I have been ironing all afternoon and I still haven't got to the bottom of it (two weeks ironing at least as we both have clean on every single day and then there is the household linen etc.

Have let the growing houses air out and have watered up.

Oh and then I had scampi and bread and butter for tea.

My hands hurt quite badly tonight and it is colder out the wind has a slight edge to it, but I am hoping that have another lovely day tomorrow. Still have loads more ironing to do and I want to sort out some planters for salad crops so it looks as though it will be another early start tomorrow.

Here are some photographs of the garden before being overhauled







Will update tomorrow on what have achieved today batteries and camera "L" Plates prevailing.

Update on Home made Bread

Here's the bread rising nice and high in the bread machine

Well I did it and yes the Waitrose flour certainly makes a difference with the loaf. I think I am going to be using their flour from now on. I also added some milk powder to this batch and I am still using the loaf today - it has stayed fresh because I have kept it wrapped up in a tea towel. I have some cloths on the go at the moment made out of gingham check which are just simple cloths hemmed to put over the bread once it has done - a much lighter cloth as I found the tea towels a tad too heavy.

And here it is all cooked and ready

Completed Crafts 1(d)

Here are some more pieces that have been completed

Tabby needlepoint panel for picture or cushion inserts


Wild Rose Needlepoint for cushion insert

Sweet Peas Needlepoint for cushion insert

Pansy panel for cushion insert

Duck Panel for cushion insert

Ribbon Weaving Tourquise and white


Ribbon weaving Pink and White


Ribbon weaving Pink and Cream with tiny seed beads sewn on

Wildflowers panel - this was one of the first pieces I ever did

Anemone Long Stitch Panel I love the bright colours on this piece

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Kirstie's Home Made Home

I have been watching this new series on Channel 4 and I have to say I am charmed and everything Kirstie is recommending resonates well with me. Just because it is old doesn't mean to say that it has no aesthetic use or practical use. In fact I take a great deal of pleasure in picking up bits and bobs or small pieces of furniture for next to nothing even if they do need restoring. My Treasures as I call them. To me that is making something live again with a little bit of time and TLC.

The other part of it is that not only am I acquiring often beautiful and pretty pieces but I am also making a home with items in unique to me. You have probably gathered I love making things, cooking things and growing things. I have for years collected pieces of china and glass. Sometimes you can find very unusual attractive glassware for pennies and then I mix it all together. I am currently collecting pale green vintage glass pieces.

I would like more small pieces of furniture to do up - I have a Chinese style rosewood table upstairs as well as a small octagonal occasional table and chairs and stools to start doing up. I have also acquired a long stool which I thought was covered with sea grass. On cleaning it up it is yellow string, but it has cleaned up a lot better than I anticipated, although it needs another going over to make sure it is absolutely as I want it. I picked this stool up for £4. It is a little quirky as the front beam has an indent in it but I love it and its potential.




I will post further photo's as the piece is slowly restored.

If you haven't had an opportunity to watch the programme yet or want further information this is the link http://www.channel4.com/4homes/on-tv/kirstie-s-homemade-home/index.html

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Family Day

On Sunday my partner and I were taken out to lunch by my mum. My brother also came with his wife and their two boys, my nephews and we really had a lovely day. Its not often I see my brother and his family so it was nice to play catch up. We both work full time and so have little spare time as such. Although I speak to Mum every night and go often to see her as often as I can. Its a while since I saw the boys, and the eldest is now 5 inches taller than his aunty and the youngest is not far off me. Although I don't see my brother that often - he is a very good brother and I know that if I needed him he would be there. The same as if he needed help I would be there for him. Family values that have been instilled in us since we were small by both our parents - no matter what our differences.

We then went back to mum's for a cup of tea and a natter and it was all very pleasant. I am lucky to have the love of a good family.

Update on seedlings



Well I must be doing something right - the beans are starting to come through and I also have Thyme seedlings and nasturtiums poking through the soil as well as the other beans starting to move the soil.

Will see how it goes

Home Made Bread 1


Well I made this loaf last Friday night when I got home from work in the bread machine. I used a different recipe from one of my many books - recipe as below. This loaf was made using Allinson bread machine yeast and Allinsons white bread flour. The recipe was for the largest sized loaf and yet it only seems to have made a medium sized loaf. I am putting this down to the flour as I have noticed a vast difference between the flours. The best flour so far has been the Waitrose Canadian Extra Strong White Bread flour which can also be used to make pasta. It nearly came out of the pan and the resulting bread was very light and tasty. I am going to have a go and play some more. As the loaf above although not bad, seemed a little heavy.

Here is the recipe I used. Next time round though I am going to use this recipe with the Waitrose Extra Strong White Plain flour and see if there is much difference between them - I think there will be.

WHITE BREAD
This is an all purpose white bread recipe which forms the basis for experimenting with the flours and making small adjustments to quantities if you think it requires them. I am after a good all round recipe for my machine at the end of the day - so please if you have a go or adjust the basic measurements and it turns out okay for you please let me and everyone else know - your feedback will be welcomed and in a round about way we will be helping each other.

Anyway here's the recipe

Ingredients For a Small Loaf


210ml/7 1/2 fl oz/scant cup water
375g/13oz/3 1/4 cups unbleached white bread flour
7.5 ml/1 1/2 tsp salt
15ml/1 tablespoon granulated sugar
25g/1oz/2 tablespoons of butter
5ml/1 teaspoon easy blend dried yeast (rapid rise)
Unbleached white bread flour for dusting

Ingredients for a Medium sized loaf
320ml/11 1/3 fl oz/generous 1 1/3 cups water
500g/1lb 2 oz/4 1/2 cups unbleached white bread flour
7.5 ml/1 1/2 tsp salt
15ml/1 tablespoon granulated sugar
25g/1 oz/2 tablespoons of butter
5ml/1 tsp easy blend dried yeast
unbleached white bread flour for dusting

Ingredients for a Large Loaf
420ml/15 fl oz/generous 1 3/4 cups water
675g/1 1/2 lb/6 cups unbleached white bread flour
10 ml/2 tsp salt
22ml/1 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
40g/1 1/2 oz/3 tablespoons of butter
7.5 ml/1 1/2 tsp easy blend dried yeast
Unbleached white bread flour for dusting

Makes 1 loaf of the relevant size

Method

Choose which sized loaf you would like to make

Pour into your bread machine pan the water. However if your bread machine instructions specify a different order for placing in the ingredients please follow their directions.

Sprinkle over the flour ensuring that it covers the water. Add the salt, sugar and butter in separate corners of the pan. Make a small indent in the centre of the flour pile (but not down as far as the liquid) and add in the yeast.

Set the bread machine to its basic/normal setting with a medium crust. Press start to activate the machine.

Remove the bread at the end of the cycle and turn it out on a wire rack to cool. I always cover with a clean tea towel whilst cooling.

N.B. A richer golden crust can be given to the bread with the addition of dried skimmed milk powder (non fat dry milk).

For a small loaf you will need 15ml/1 tablespoon
For a medium loaf you will need 22ml/1 1/2 tablespoon
For a large loaf 30ml/2 tablespoons.

I used a Panasonic bread machine with Allinsons white bread flour and Allinsons easy blend dried yeast (not granular).

Happy playing

N.B. By the way if your house is nice and warm at the time of making the bread it will rise even more - try and keep away from any drafts as this also has a knock on effect.

Completed Crafts 1(c)

Here are some of the more complicated pieces I have done





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Saturday, 18 April 2009

Good Morning

Good Morning the sun is out and invading every nook and cranny it can it speaks of warmth but at the moment the wind is a tad cold it still has that edge to it, but hey at least its cheerful. The wind is bobbing through the branches of the blossom trees at the bottom of the garden, the cherry, the elderflower, the lilac and apple blossom

I am hoping it will warm up a tad as I want to sow some more seeds today. First I have to do battle with a new cover for one of my mini greenhouses which should be interesting. No doubt the assistant gardeners will put in an appearance before I go into battle. My cats are very fussy and company orientated and still full of fun and very mischievous.

I also have the sheets whirring round in the washing machine and then to go out on to the line to have a good blow. Installs the laundry with such a lovely fresh smell. And clean sheets - its one of those things that cannot be bettered and is akin to new made bread.

I have eaten had a lovely home made breakfast of toast and marmalade. Nothing spectacular, but simple and everything made with love. I made the bread the other evening and although past its best for sandwiches and the like it makes the most yummy toast with lashings of butter on. I topped mine off today with home made Seville Orange Marmalade which I had made earlier in the year. It is dark, sticky and has the most wonderful tangy flavour. It is much more flavoursome than the bought variety.

I have over the years made various home made produce like jams and jellies but it was only due to the support and encouragement of the ladies on the forum at Creative living (there is a link to the web site on the side panel)that I had a go for the first time last year of making my own marmalade. I have since put Seville Marmalade and Marmalade on my make list every year.

What are you saying no I can't do that. Course you can. Go on dip your toe in and have a go at making some yourselves. Although Sevilles are now out of season you can make other versions like lemon or three fruit marmalade. If you need support and advice the ladies on this forum are some of the most helpful and friendly that I have come across thus far. Its well worth making a batch or two as you can always pass on any excess as part of a hamper for birthday or Christmas presents. Everyone always appreciates home made produce.

Well upwards and onwards housework calls and a woman's work is never done and all that.

Catch you all later on

Friday, 17 April 2009

Charity Shop Finds

THE MOON BOAT TO DREAMLAND BY HUGH WILLIAMS

I found this print a few years back; it was dog eared on the edges and was in the back of a local Charity shop unframed. Very unloved and tattered. I loved the picture as soon as I saw it. I think I paid about £3 for it at the time. Turns out it is a 1930's print. So I bought it home, tidied up the dog eared edges and re-framed it in the pine frame; gave it a little bit of TLC. Doesn't look too bad I don't think and adds that little bit difference to my home.

Home Made Things

My first and only attempt at glass painting thus far


A home made wreath. This wreath is made by prodding tiny squares of fabric with serrated edges (little tiny squares of fabric) into a high density polystyrene base. The squares are packed in tightly together. This particular one is white, green and pale pink and the fabric used is acetate lining.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Melting Moments

Now these certainly bring back memories of when I was growing up and learning to cook. I used to have to earn my pocket money by tidying and looking after my own bedroom, doing my own ironing and helping mum out in the kitchen on a Sunday morning when she used to cook Sunday Dinner and do the baking for the week. These were a favourite make the original recipe coming from my Mum's pocket sized Be-Ro book. These will soon disappear and become a firm favourite

100g/4oz butter
75g/3 oz caster sugar
1 egg yolk
few drops vanilla essence
150g/5 oz self raising flour
dessicated coconut

Grease two baking sheets
Cream butter and the sugar together until pale and fluffy; then beat in the egg yolk
Add the vanilla essence and then stir in the flour to give a smooth dough and divide into 24 portions.
Form each piece into a ball and roll in the dessicated coconut until covered.
Place the balls on the baking sheets and bake in the oven at 190 degrees C/375 degrees F or Gas Mark 5 for 15 to 20 minutes.
Cool the biscuits on their baking sheets for a few moments before lifting onto cooling racks.

When cool make up some white icing and top each biscuit with the icing. Add a piece of cherry in the centre to decorate.

If you don't like Coconut use rolled oats/porridge oats you can even use crushed cornflakes.

These will not last long at all as they are extremely moorish


Cinnamon Toast

I have had a bit of a depressing day today and the day seems to have dragged somewhat. I have had dinner tonight but have the munchies again which isn't good and I fancy Cinnamon Toast. I absolutely adore this as I have a sweet tooth in any event, but a dose of this when I am having the blues really perks me up. Now I always keep at least one large jar of cinnamon sugar already prepared in my pantry and I use the scented sugar in tea cakes and apple and cinnamon muffins amongst other things. But you don't have to have this ready prepared - its just something I use a lot of.

All you need is some slices of bread - however many you fancy then for every teaspoon of cinnamon you add two tablespoons of caster sugar and mix them together until well mixed.

Toast the bread on one side only then generously butter the untoasted side of the bread sprinkling liberally with the cinnamon sugar. Pop back under the grill until the mixture begins to melt. Cut into fingers and serve immediately.

I am on my way to the kitchen.

Rhubarb and Ginger Jam

I am starting to use up what is in the freezer in readiness for putting in new supplies as the new seasons goodies fall upon us. I have just put a couple of batches of forced rhubarb into the freezer so I think I am going to be well set up for crumbles etc for the forthcoming months. I still have quite a bit from last year to use so in an effort to use some of this up and free up a little bit more space for the new goodies in the freezer I am going to make some Rhubarb and Ginger jam.

This quantity makes about 3lb

1.1kg (2 1/2lb) trimmed rhubarb (frozen or fresh)
1.1lg (2 1/2lb)sugar
juice of 2 lemons
25g/1 oz fresh root ginger
100g/4 oz preserved or crystallised ginger, chopped

1. Put the Rhubarb into a large bowl, alternating in layers with the sugar and the lemon juice. Cover and leave overnight.
2. Next day bruise the root ginger slightly with a rolling pin and tie it in a piece of muslin. Put the Rhubarb mixture into a preserving pan with the muslin bag; bring it to the boil and boil rapidly for about 15 minutes
3. Remove the muslin bag and add the preserved or crystallised ginger and boil for a further 5 minutes or until the rhubarb is clear. Test for a set and when setting point is reached take the pan off the heat and skim the surface with a slotted spoon to remove any scum. Pot and cover the jam.

Enjoy on thick slices of warm toast with butter - yummy

Crafts Created Completed 1(b)

Here are a few more pictures of some of the stuff I have done over the years

A Cushion panel insert



A Long Stitch Scenic View panel



A Long Stitch Humming bird panel



A Needlepoint Pansy Cushion Cover


A Cross-stitched rose panel for a bed cushion


A cross stitch panel




I hate to have idle hands so it is a way of keeping me occupied and busy.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Lime Curd

I love curds of any description but this one looks particularly pretty as a filling for a Victoria Sponge cake and it is so much more yummier than bought curds.

Ingredients

Makes approximately 2 x 9 oz jars

4 limes
200g/7 oz sugar
60g/2 1/4 oz unsalted butter
2 large eggs beaten

1.Wash and dry the limes and grate the zest. Squeese the limes reserving the juice.
2.Place the zest, sugar, butter and eggs in the top of a double boiler or a small heavy based saucepan (I use a pyrex bowl over a pan of boiling water making sure that the hot water doesn't hit the bowl as it can cause curdling) Stir over a low heat until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved.
3.Once the sugar has dissolved add the lime juice. Increase the heat a little and cooke, stirring until the curd has thickened enough to coat the back of a metal spoon.
4. Ladle the mixture into warm sterilised jars and seal. If not using immediately. The curd can be stored unopened for 1 month in the refrigerator. Once open use within two weeks.

Variations: For lemon orange and tangerine curd simply replace the lime juice and zest with the same quantify of juice and zest of the fruit of your choice. For passion fruit curd use the pulp of 6 passion fruits and the juice of 1 lemon.

This is also delicous served on warm toast or used to fill the bottom of a pastry case, topped off with Meringue and warmed in the over until the meringue has browned.
Scrummy

The Living Garden



Following on from my post yesterday when I was sowing seeds I managed to get the following seeds sown

Nasturtiums Dayglow mixed

Stoechas French Lavender

Chives

Mint

Coriander

Basil

Thai Basil

Moss Curled Parsley

Oregano

Chervil

Dill

Marjoram

Summer Savory

Penny Royal

French plain leaved parsley

Parcel

Basil Sweet Genovese

Angelica

Sage

Lovage

Rosemary

Thyme

Alpine Strawberries

Isabel climbing bean

Andante Dwarf bean

Gold Rush Yellow courgettes

Marrow

Pattypan squash Sunburst

Broadbean Bunyards Exhibition

That's just for starters there's still more to go.

I am hoping to get a few more seeds sown tomorrow evening when I come back from work and am going to aim to do a bit each night. Its actually lovely to be in the open air after being cooped up in an office all day. I can breathe.

I am hoping to start the transformation this weekend - mind you I have a lot to do and not many pennies to do it with.

Now where did I put those Pot Marigold seeds.

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Meet the Moggies

  • Merlin (approx 18 months)
  • Squeak (approx 2 years)
  • Poppy (approx 16 years)
  • Tyson (approx 17 years)
  • Tinky (official name Clover approx 18 years)