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Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Bay Leaf Salt





Whilst cooking up a joint of pork the other day and managing to get a good lovely crackling on the joint I mused to myself that it was about time that I made a batch of bay leaf salt and kept it just for the pork dishes. I am intending to do more meat preserves this year if I can and pennies allowing. I made a very small amount of this a few years ago and as I have a few bay leaves to hand and no doubt will have some more later in the year, I thought it was about time some more was on the shelf.

In the quieter months of the year before all the new fruits and vegetables and abundance of herbs arrives what a better opportunity to do something useful for the pantry shelf that can be used on a regular basis the base ingredient which is already standing dried on my pantry shelf.

Bay salt was traditionally used by Butchers (so I understand) for curing pork joints.  It will give a little more flavour to a lovely cut of meat in any event. Although predominantly I cook without salt every so often I add a little in -I do not use much in any event but sometimes you just want or need a bit more flavour.  I am forever messing around as I cook in any event adding a bit of this and a bit of that.  My cooker resembles a witches cauldron when I get going.

In America however bay salt is a mixture of herbs and salt which comes from the Chesapeake Bay area.  I found this out by chance and have come across a recipe so this will be on the to do list in the next few weeks as well.  I use home dried bay leaves to flavour my gravies, stews, stocks etc. together with lots of white pepper and other flavourings like carrot, celery and onion.  Gives a lot more flavour.  However I digress here is the link to the Bay Salt recipe which sounds interesting. I found this on Pinterest and it gave a link but instead of a direct link to an individual it came up with link not available and there was some sort of weblink instead.  So apologies for not being able to give credit to the necessary individual.


So each time I research something, it leads me on to something different but I guess that is how we all learn at the end of the day and extend our repertoire.

Talking of salt, I have been experimenting a little with the Pink Himalayan finely ground salt.  For the past couple of times I have cooked roast pork I have used this.  You do not need much salt to give a lovely crisp skin it also seasons the pan well and as I used the meat juices to make the gravy gives a lovely seasoned flavour.  Have been very impressed.  I am going to try a Pink Bay Leaf Salt as a result of this and will come back and let you know how I get on.

Back to the garden.

Catch you soon.

Pattypan

x

Monday, 15 July 2019

What a difference a day and a half has made to my seeds

Peas







Pumpkins X 2


Cucumber and Sunflowers


Red Scarlet Runner Bean

Nasturtiums


Courgettes


Purple Podded Beans


Melon


Despite sorting my seeds out I did not manage to set any.  Maybe that will happen tomorrow.  However I have done loads more cutting down brambles and sorting rubbish found underneath the vegetation.  Had OH outside looking over stuff to see if he wanted to keep anything, but he says not.  Bagged no end of other rubbish which will need putting out tomorrow.  Still no end more to deal with.  Back to the grindstone tomorrow. It is going to be another long day tomorrow.  Hopefully will be able to get more cleared and more brambles etc. cut down and hopefully once that is tidied I can get the growing houses in situ. 

Also in the garden I have a Fuschia that belonged to my mum.  It has a fantastic display of flowers on at the moment.  I am going to try and take some cuttings in the next few days or so.




They are a beautiful colour.

Right must get ready for tomorrow.

Catch you soon.

Pattypan

x

Sorting more seeds

It is a bit grey and overcast here this morning  I said it would be an early start as I have a lot to do in the garden.  However it is chillier this morning than it has been.  I am going to make myself a pancake shortly for breakfast but in the interim before I go down I am sorting out some more seeds to sow.  I am all out of sync on the growing front and am just really pushing my luck and trying things.  However we shall see how things go.  Next year is going to be different as I hope to have recovered the greenhouse by then and be able to get an earlier start on things.  This garden overhaul is causing a lot of work but it will be worth it in the longer term.

As part of sorting out the garden I have some planters which are ideal for sowing a few crops into them direct.  I am specifically at this moment talking about spinach, mixed salad leaves, wild rocket, some lambs lettuce, carrots just to get me started off before I can get the garden cleared and separately grown plants in.  It will be a way of adding useful food items to the kitchen budget for next to nothing as well as adding freshness and goodness to our diet.

I have been very pleased with how the seeds I have sown so far are coming on in leaps and bounds.  At present I can only locate some of my seeds so will have to make do with those for the present.  It will be something or nothing.

I am very pleased with my grape vine this year.  There are several clusters of grapes forming and they seem to be filling out.  I have never had fruit so I am not sure what variety it is or whether it is a white or black grape.  I am grateful nonetheless fingers crossed for the first crop this year.

Before I start in the garden I have a lot of hauling rubbish bags into the front garden to do.

Our roast dinner last night was very tasty and thoroughly enjoyed.  The majority of the meat that is left will be going to OH's pack up this week.  However there was a near enough disaster this morning.  He had gone off to walk Missy.  When he leaves the house he takes with him what he needs for the day and leaves it in the van.  Then on his return he drops Missy off at the back door and I take her upstairs with me.  This morning I received a frantic phone call just after he had left the house.  After going to the trouble of making his sarnies for him last night he had then gone off without them and could I possibly retrieve them and hand them over to him when I collected Missy.

Sometimes they have too much to think about!

Needless to say he has gone off one happy bunny with his sarnies to work and left me with Missy who is hibernating under a throw.

Catch you soon.

Pattypan

x

P.S.  Hope it warms up a bit later on.

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Sunday

Has been hectic to say the least.  

My Sunday started rather un-glamourously dressed in old clothes.  We had a trip to the Recycling Centre lined up and so the first part of the day was engaged in packing all the rubbish that was ready into OHs Citroen van.  It was packed from top to bottom.  We duly went off, arrived and then had to repeat the performance in reverse - but at least that load of rubbish has been removed.

Since then I have been armed with a pair of secateurs doing battle royal with brambles, holly, honeysuckle and buddleia plants which had been self set. I am nearly down to the part of the garden that I have allocated for my growing houses but not quite there yet. It has been peaceful and I have been able to be mindful and just be in the moment most of the afternoon as well as methodically working my way through the jungle.  I have been in the fresh air, been doing a useful job although I have felt a tad guilty from removing wild territory for the local birds.  They still have the bottom of the garden at the moment though.

I have been checking my seeds as well.  All of them have come up and I am pretty pleased at that.  What a difference a day makes on the way the little seeds have grown.  Even my cherry tomatoes have come up.  Whether I get any from them will be another matter but I am intending to put them into hanging baskets and hopefully we will get a little reward along the line.  

So it will be an early start tomorrow as I will be getting up with OH.  Will probably make  myself a pancake for breakfast before going out into the garden for a full day.  I have a lot to do and so little time to do it in.

I have a piece of loin pork cooking for dinner and we are to have carrots, cauliflower and broccoli, runner beans, kale and mashed and roast potatoes with loads of gravy.  I am hungry and I think OH is too.  

My evening will be finished off by watching the first episode in the new series of Poldark although I understand this is likely to be the last series at present.

Right upwards and onwards my tummy is doing a grumbly.

Catch you soon.

Pattypan

x

Saturday, 13 July 2019

I have been waiting very patiently

for my seeds to come through and today I have gone to water them with a water spray and most of the seeds are up.  I think I am a little late with sowing seeds but I wanted something in the garden to grow especially as I want a potager style garden.

I have sown cucumbers, melon, nasturtiums, courgettes, pumpkin (2 different varieties) sunflowers, pattypan squash, purple long beans, Scarlet Emperor, marrows.  This is just the first batch of seeds to be sown.  I think I sowed them four days ago so a very quick return.  

The little seedlings and the bigger monsters have come through very well and appear to be hungry.  Nature is a wonderful thing.  A wonderful return for a few minutes time and nurturing.

The purple podded long beans.


Melons.  I have never done these before so this really is an experiment.


Courgettes and cucumbers.
 Nasturtiums.




Tomatoes


Scarlet Emperor



Will see how things go with these and when they are up a bit more will move on to sow some more seeds for the potager beds.  Hopefully I will be able to do a few more of those later on.

Right back to the kitchen.  I am in the house today out of practical need rather than being in the garden.   However I need to be in the garden tomorrow.

Catch you soon.

Pattypan

x

Friday, 12 July 2019

Friday potterings

I have had a lovely day today.  I started off this  morning by not getting up very early - my body hugged my bed.  When I did get up however I managed to haul about 20 bags of rubbish (garden rubbish) into the front garden. It as a bit of a hefty job but managed to get it all there.  Also managed to get a load of brambles that I had cut down into the gardening bin.  There should be a load more to do. I am hopeful to cut back a lot more tomorrow depending on the weather. Hopefully that will be going to the tip tomorrow.  There will be more after that but that can go on Sunday.

Then I met up with one of my old work colleagues for a quick cuppa over lunch.  It was lovely to meet up with her.

I then met up with another friend and we had a late lunch scampi and chips and it went down very nicely.  We then shared a rhubarb sundae which was delicious.  I had been with her from 2:30pm until 9:00pm. We have put the world to rights and I really have had a lovely time with her.  We aim to do it again in a few weeks.  We both have a  love of traditional cooking and in a few weeks we are to have a jam making and crocheting session which I am very much looking forward to.

It has come over all rainy here in Peterborough and indeed a little earlier than usual I suspect down to the rain clouds that had gathered overhead.  We quickly walked Missy but the rain held off for us.  So we were lucky.

As I say back to the garden tomorrow and hoping that it is good weather so that I can get stuck in again and do a bit more sorting.  I just have to keep at it.

Catch you soon.

Pattypan

x

Thursday update (on Friday)

Well I got stuck in, in the back garden and sorted out a load more pots that need to be washed; found a load of plastic red hanging baskets they will come in useful also need to be washed.  Loads of trays ditto, and I have started tackling the brambles.  They tried to bite back.  Have sorted out loads more bags of rubbish and mentioned to OH that we need a trip to the tip over the weekend; maybe two trips will be required.  Being out in the sun all day has done me good in myself I feel calmer.  I always do after some form of gardening and reconnecting with the earth.  Has done my vitamin D levels a lot of good.

Need to take some cuttings of the brambles as I need brambles for my fruit patch in the garden (just not where they are at the moment).  Also have a lilac and a dark purple buddleia that have set themselves just not in the right place.  Need to do the same with those as well.

It is slow work but it will be  job well done by the time I have finished.

Once this narrow stretch of the garden is cleared I would like OH to put me up a washing line.  It is very much needed.  I have a retractable one just need some posts putting up and it then needs setting up.  I think I may need to have to buy some clothes posts though and I need a new peg bag and some new pegs.  These will be projects in the next few weeks or so and I need some new ironing board covers.  So that will in effect be the laundry sorted.

Have caught sight of the other patio chairs and the table - not seen them for a little while so slow progress is being made.   Hope OH can fix the table a fitting has stopped working underneath.  Fingers crossed.  Then we will need to source a brolly and that should once the patio is down be the patio done.  I intend to have my potager just off of this. Whatever I do on the garden front will be a step closer than I had been even if I do not get much sown and growing food wise.

At the moment I am concentrating on the clearing of the garden.  I have other jobs like painting the fence and the shed to do as well but at the moment those sort of things are the finishing touches.  We also have the paving slabs for the patio to deal with.  Currently they are outside the back door so they need to be shifted once there is room to put them behind the shed.

It is the same with the plants I have to set.  I will do them once the ground is all cleared and I can see what I am doing.  I have a grape vine to tame and also take some cuttings of to get further plants on the go as well.  I have found one bag of seeds trouble is I have lost the rest again which I do really need.  I am hopeful that some of the seeds that I set a couple of days or so ago will come through shortly.  I love growing things from seed it is where my interest really lays.  

We also need some trellis to put up between us and the neighbour.  There is another reason for this my grape vine grows on this fence and it will with the aid of the trellis provide some privacy from prying eyes.

I also need some trellis panels for further down the garden as I have four Loganberry plants that need some support as well.  I can have hanging baskets off of the fence and planters underneath as well.  The other side will have my fruit trees and some cottage garden planting in due course and of course the potager beds inbetween the two relevant sets of fencing.

So progress is slow but the job is being done thoroughly in the greater scheme of things.

Hope you all have a lovely day today.

Kind regards.

Pattypan

x

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Being grateful

I have been out in the sunshine cutting down brambles and have been in a quiet pensive mood.  I have come over all philosophical in the process but I have enjoyed being as one with nature.  I have not laid down on mother earth and stared up into the sky but have been working methodically that is until I came in for a cup of coffee.

Whilst out in the back garden, I have been appreciating my surroundings even though it is a mess at the moment and the wildlife around me and the peace the stillness of an English Summer day.  There is something very peaceful and calming about such days even though I have been tackling the brambles.  The insects and birds, have been going about their business feeding themselves enjoying the relative safety of the garden making me feel quite guilty for cutting down this natural vegetation in order to eventually put down a potager garden for myself.  

I am a country girl and one of my dreams is to live back in the countryside again living with the seasons.  I have always dreamt of a small wildflower summer meadow to be kept as such to attract the wildlife and to give something back amongst other things.  That is the dream however the reality is that I live in a City (and am somewhat a fish out of water here) but I get by and try and help those around me.  
The house we live in is not in good repair.  Poor management over the years by the Landlord or his agents; but on the positive side it is a roof over our heads.  So many these days do not have that security and therefore I am blessed.  If you flip the coin you always find someone else who is not as blessed as yourself in one way or another.

Sometimes we focus on achieving something too much rather than being "mindful" and living in the moment and appreciating what we actually have.  Since not working I have learned to be more grateful and more mindful.  Just because something does not pan out how we expect it to or does not happen as we have planned it does not mean it is not going to happen.  The timing has to be right for everything to slot into place and happen at the right time for you.  Timing is always relevant and if something is right for you what normally happens is that a sequence of events happens to take you to your chosen goal.  Synchronicity the pulling together of several elements to create a whole.  A little universal influence.  However sometimes the way things happen to you  (when you look backwards and with hindsight) are actually more sympathetic to your nature in the way that they happen - i.e. kinder than the original way and less drastic.

Being human beings, we do tend to focus on the negativity of a situation rather than actually focusing on the good elements that have already happened.  Sometimes we do not see further than the end of our nose in this respect.  There are sub structures and systems that help us all do things on an everyday basis and people who we end up taking very much for granted.  Because they do things, wholeheartedly but that sometimes leads to them being rag rugs.  They have things to learn as well and often that is learning to say the word "No". Sometimes people assume that we will keep on doing things but that is not always possible and somewhere along the line they have to dip their toe in the water and learn how to actually do something.  They then as a person are growing and learning a skill or knowledge which when the timing is right they can pass on to others.

So next time things do not go quite to plan, be grateful for the fact that this morning you woke up to enjoy the sunshine and the rain and to breathe in the summer scents.  So many of our dear ones do not have that option having walked over the rainbow bridge.

Be grateful it is better for you than being negative remember your glass is half full and never empty.

Catch you soon.

Pattypan

x

Overslept

This morning - just conked out.  Must be all the physical work I am doing for a change.

Just about to get a nice mug of coffee and then depart into the garden to start lopping down brambles and weeds whilst the weather is good.  I have an old sweatshirt which is a bit ragged round the edges.  It is kept purely for jobs where I need to get rid of bramble etc.  It is a sweatshirt have had about 15+ years but saving old practical clothing like this saves my other clothes from getting damaged.  I do the same with old jogging bottoms.  They might not be ideal for going out in but for grotty jobs they are ideal.

I found more pots yesterday.  They are now stacked up ready for washing later on.  I may have to rehome some of them when I get them all sorted.  Will see how things go.  I have so far found ten of the large propogator/greenhouse trays so that is good as well.

One of my hopes for the garden is that if I can get the garden cleared to the greenhouse I will then be able to get the greenhouse back up and running for next year.  That part of the garden at the moment is a wilderness and needs all sorting out too.  Involves clearing some trees though lilacs which are invasive.  I would like to get a fruit patch up and running down there again together with a proper compost heap.

I think OH at the weekend is going to have to make a couple of trips to the tip to get rid of all the rubbish that I am finding including all the weeds and brambles.  I have large bin bags for this at the moment.

I have also saved up quite a bit of used compost that also needs riddling and can then be reused in some of the larger planters at the bottom.  Waste not want not.  The rest can then go to the composter.

I keep watching my seeds I am hopeful some will come through soon especially with all this warmer muggy weather we have been experiencing.  More to set later on.

Right had better get a wriggle on.  Hopefully catch up a little later on.

Hope you have a good day.

Pattypan

x

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

At last



I have found some little spray bottles for doing my own thing with cleaning liquids like my home made orange or lemon vinegar for degreasing.  Very useful but now I have the sprayers much easier to dispense.  I also needed one for water for misting my seeds and also my cress seeds.  The other one for white vinegar.  So very chuffed about that.  They are cheerful looking and I will pop labels on them for safety's sake. They came from Tiger and were not expensive but my friend treated me to them along with some fabric circles for popping over my home made preserves. Very useful little present.  Thank you L.


It has been a lovely day catching up.  I am just going to get something to eat before going out to do a bit more in the garden for a little while at least.  I will then start again in earnest tomorrow as I am at home all day so should be able to get stuck in weather permitting.

I did have a bit of excitement this morning before I went out though.  I had been out of the back door and had closed it before coming upstairs.  However by the time I got back down again the door had come open and it had not latched properly.  On a quick head count I established that of the five cats only one was missing namely Molly.  Molly is a house cat along with her three kittens as they have no road sense whatsoever and as I live on a main road things are a little dicey and after some close calls it was decided to keep them in.

Molly was quite pleased with herself - I was panicking and running out of time before my friend collected me.  Eventually heard the local blackbirds kicking off and realised that Molly may well have something to do with it.  It turned out that she was in next door's garden feeling pretty pleased with herself.  As soon as she saw me she scarpered further up the garden.  Rather than follow her I bobbed down on my legs to ground level and then rubbed my fingers and called her.  She dutifully obliged and came running back to me whereupon I scooped her up and popped her back into the house.  Lucky there I think.

Right am off to get somethin to eat.  Might have a couple of boiled eggs.  Something nice and simples.

Catch you soon.

Pattypan

x

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Plans afoot

Only in the planning stage at the moment but in order to tidy the house up a bit,  I need to be able to store items sensibly and be able to move around the house.  We have a project in mind for the loft.  

As I have said before a lot of the items I have are well packed in boxes and lots of packaging and so valuable space has been taken up with extra packaging.  Part of those boxes are full of Christmas decorations - my extensive collection.  Wherever I have lived before and even with my parents we used to store the Christmas decorations up in the loft.  So that they were stored safely when not in use but could easily be accessed when needed.  That is what I intend to do here.  I have talked it over with OH and he has agreed in principal that this is a good idea.

We intend to put down loft boarding so that we can store said items plus a few other bits including my mum's knitting machines and associated equipment. Stuff that is not used but which will get round to in due course.   It already has some of her knitting machine wool up there in heavy duty polythene bags.  
So fingers crossed, I am hopeful in the next few weeks that we can get this sorted and then I can start sorting the Christmas bits out and get them stored in the loft out of the way.  It would help immensely if we can get this achieved relatively quickly as quite a lot of valuable space is being taken up in the back room by said Christmas decorations that could be utilised elsewhere.

I have done some gardening today but not what I had intended.  Well its a little more along the way to being completed.  Am going to have another washing plant pot session shortly.

The watering up for the evening has also been completed.  Once I get the garden a little more organised I will plant up the herb border.  I have some wild strawberries in situ which I am feeding up a bit before I pot them and transfer them on.  The herb plants can then go into the ground.

Tomorrow during the day no gardening will be completed as I am out for the day.  Maybe I will get something done in the evening failing which I can always do something in the house and there is always lots to do in that respect.

Right plant pots to wash. Had better get a wriggle on.

Catch you soon.

Pattypan
x


Shanghaid!

Despite me planning to be in the garden first thing -things have not happened like they should have and I am just about to go out and start again.

OH has gone fishing for a few days which will give me a little peace and quiet and being able to focus on the garden a bit at a time.  There is a lot to do but being able to focus exclusively is also part of the problem in that I only ever get to do things in dribs and drabs rather than drive straight through with something and always but always get called to deal with something else first.

Sadly as a result of doing the gardening I will not be able to do any crafting this time round.  Might have a session of an evening over the weekend to break things up a bit and to give me some sanity but the garden it is at the moment.

I also got lots of pots washed yesterday and found some covers for my seed trays which have also similarly been dealt with.  I intend to set some more seeds today however main priority is to clear a bit more of the pavement and head towards part way down the garden so that I can get the mini greenhouses in situ.   There are loads of blackberries (self set) to deal with inbetween and a self-set buddleia.  

I have more pot washing to do later on but am concentrating on the practical side of clearing.  I have found my little table and chairs which will be going into a corner near the shed for private early morning breakfasts (once all tidied out) where him next door cannot see what is going on (unless he can see round corners).

Right upwards and onwards.

Catch you later.

Pattypan

x

Monday, 8 July 2019

Gardening in Progress

I have been in the garden all day long.  It has been nice to be in the fresh air.  I have spent most of the day emptying pots and washing them and re-stacking them ready for re-use.  There is so much to do but I am starting to make progress.  There has been lots of rubbish as well. Although I have worked hard you cannot really see where I have been at the moment however there is a method in my madness and by the time I am done it will start to clear all at once and later on down the line. 

I am aiming for the bottom of the garden near the greenhouse to re-site the small greenhouses so that I can sow some more seeds and then put them out of the way and then clear the long stretch between there and the bottom of the herb garden .  I will then be able to put some planters there which are currently in the herb garden part and which need  more space.  I can then start working across the width of the garden. 

I have quite a few plants to pot up as well including four Tayberry plants. I have  large terracotta pot that belonged to my mum and once the mini greenhouses have been moved this pot is going to go in the corner with a rambling rose I have already. There will then be some trellis behind it.

I still have the watering up and lots of washing of pots etc.to do this evening.  That will be later though. It looks as though it is going to be a long week in the garden.  I have Wednesday off in any event as I am out for the day.  

We are having the roast brisket for tea tonight.  Earlier on I chopped, carrot, shallot, celery, onion and courgette finely and then placed the brisket on to the veggies which will form the basis of a good gravy.  There is also a few cloves of garlic in there as well.

Last night I also started off a tray of cress off.  With OH taking home made pack up for lunch I thought that it would perk up egg mayonnaise for his sarnies once grown.  I always used to grow this on a regular basis and more recently have got out of the habit.  The strawberries that we had for pudding last night came in a nice little tray and so I have re-used it to grow my cress in.  I shall also start another tray off in a couple of days or so in order to keep a supply on the go.


Over the next few days I hope to get some containers of salad leaves on the go as well.  

Right tea beckons and I need to prep the veggies and also the Yorkshire puddings and make the gravy.

Hope you have a lovely evening.

Catch you soon.

Pattypan

x

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Sunday Round up

Has been busy but more "bitting" about than anything else.  I got some more seeds sown and into the mini greenhouses.  I still have a lot to do in the herb garden but before I can finish that I need to do a foray into the jungle to clear that a bit so that I can get the mini greenhouses out of the way as I need to get some of the stuff still in the garden into the house.  To get that into the house I need to clear the mini greenhouses from where they currently are so that I can carry stuff through the available gap.

Yesterday I managed to get all of my crystal glassware washed, repacked and then into a new box (there is an 8 place setting of small beer tankards, champagne flutes, brandy glasses, whisky glasses, tall tumblers, white wine glasses red wine glasses, water glasses a couple of crystal lidded pots for sugared almonds or Turkish delight, a couple of jugs and a decanter to the set).  

I also sorted out a smaller box of fragile cut glass ware.  Odds and sods that I have bought for general use.  They are so delicate and although a mixed bag they certainly blend in with each other even though they are not the same design.

So I am pleased in a way that I have been able to tackle a bit of the stored items and made sure that they are packed more tightly to save on space.

I have a lot of Christmas decorations that need the same attention as well.  So for the time being until I get a clear stretch at stuff I am "bitting and bobbing" around to clear the immediate stuff before me.  It is the only way I can do it at the moment.

On top of that I have started in the kitchen again. I have stripped and washed out two cupboards today as well and washed everything in it and then popped it back in a tidier order.  I have loads of stuff to get into a smaller space and so am organising as I go.  However I am planning to get a couple of boxes to pop on top of the units for stuff that I use on a regular basis but for which I have no practical storage space for at the moment.

I had planned on cooking a piece of brisket for tea this evening, but because I have been busy I took a rain check on that and we had quite a hefty salad, with cucumber, celery, fennel fronds, cherry plum tomatoes, tomato, red pepper, mixed lettuce, sweet lettuce leaves mixture, shallot, provolone cheese, and a variety of deli meats that needed using up.  It went down extremely nicely. I also used some of my home made pickled beetroot too. We have had strawberry and cream for pudding as well.  Both items have gone down extremely well.   Will probably do the roast beef tomorrow instead as the brisket will need slow and careful cooking.  I think I cook perhaps more for flavour than anything else.  Going to cook the beef over a carrot, onion and celery base perhaps with some garlic in as well so that we get a yummy gravy.

Much later than planned I have also watered up the plants outside in the herb garden. I have also cut some plant rings from an old lemonade bottle to pop around some of the plants I have to plant out as well to try and give some protection against being eaten by slugs and the like.  My garden appears to be better than it has been in the past but I am not taking any chances.  I still have some more rings to cut.

When I really get into the garden as well I am going to have to treat the fences with preservative, the shed needs covering again and I also have some planters to paint/stain as well.

One job that does need doing is that I need OH to put up some posts for a washing line for me so that I can get the washing dried outside.  It always smells fresher when it has been air dried.

I am also considering purchasing one of these from Lakeland.  


My friend has one and it reminds me of the old fashioned airing cabinet that my mum had when my brother was a baby to get his nappies dried and our clothes aired.  Mum was always very particular about getting clothes aired properly.  My friend rates this very highly. I wondered whether any of you owned such an item and whether or not you rated it or not.  Would be lovely to hear your thoughts on this.  It is supposedly cheaper to run than a tumble drier.

Right had better get on.  Another early start tomorrow and hopefully will be in the garden first thing.

Catch you soon.

Pattypan

x


Saturday, 6 July 2019

An Italian style interlude

and for tea tonight is Italian sausage with cooked roasted veggies.  I have fennel bulb, fresh basil, shallots, sweet red Italian peppers, cherry tomatoes, courgettes, potato, carrots, onion and garlic, leek.  I love fennel but OH does not like so I shall prepare that in a smaller tin for myself so that he does not complain.  I have been brewing for this meal for a week and am ever so much looking forward to it.  If I get a chance I might also make some rosemary and garlic and pepper focaccia - if I get time.

I think I have a nice bottle of wine hiding somewhere as well.  

For tomorrow evening we have roast brisket with all the trimmings.  Also very much looking forward to that.

P.S. tea was delicious and we ate the lot between us.  No focaccia as I ended up starting to clean the kitchen out.

Catch you soon.

Pattypan

x

Nature is a wonderful thing

Where I live is not perhaps one of the most salubrious areas of Peterborough - it does back on to better areas but we are not too far away from nature and wildlife.  Even in our long gardens we get a mixture of different birds all vying for food and taking it in turns at the bird feeders in the next door neighbour's garden.

Where walk Missy of an evening is down by the river and there are a selection of trees edging the river and where a couple of cheeky residents have made their home.  Every so often if you are in the right place at the right time you are given a wonderful display of nature in action.  The other evening as we walking down by the river path something willowy caught my eye.  A little grey squirrel loping from one side of the pavement to the other and then quickly disappearing up one of the trees where we believe it has its dray.  We stood watching its antics for a little while and it appeared to be oblivious to us watching it and just got on with what it wanted to do.  Here are the photos  that OH took of this cheeky chappie.






There is also a Heron who has a particular stretch of the river that he tends to hang out in.  They always remind me of oversized formal gentlemen in full formal dress and yet when they move they are so graceful.  We regularly see this one although I was someway off where he was when I took the photos.





We have found that an evening walk helps destress us so that we can enjoy our evening relatively stress free.  Being outside with nature is a wonderful thing even though we are only observers.  Its just good to be outside in the fresh air.

Catch you soon.

Pattypan

x


Thursday, 4 July 2019

One of the things I miss

Is Squeak my lovely darling tabby who passed two years ago in December.  For some unknown reason she liked to sit astride the top of any open door so that she could survey everything that was going on but keep well out of the way.  In turn my cat Tyson had taught her to do this so a whole lot of teaching going on down the line.




Last night I went into the bathroom and had the distinct impression that I was being watched.  When I looked up I was surprised to find Mischief looking down on me.  It would seem that Aunty Squeak has taught Mischief well (well she was next in line for babysitting duties when Molly wanted/needed a break.  Quite an ungainly pose but an honest one.  Mischief is named well but is also known in this household as "crazy cat".  She looks as if butter would not melt in her mouth.  Be warned if there is nosiness to be had then Mischief will be in it up to her neck.  Of all the kittens Mischief always gravitated to  me.  Whether that is because she was the smallest/runt of the litter and the others always crowded her when eating and used to take her food off of her if I did not make sure she had a bowl to herself I am not sure. She is 100% my cat and is always game for a cuddle.  She does make me chuckle though.  All the cats bring much pleasure but I wish they would learn to tidy up after themselves.

Catch you soon.

Pattypan

x

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)