Monday, 12 September 2011

Apples


The heart warming scent of lemons , cinnamon , mixed spices , sugar and ever so slightly , caramalised apples softening in the pan .
A good basket of sweet apples and a large bucket of cooking apples ..enough to keep us going for a while .
Five crumbles , four bags of open frozen slices for pies and apple cake , two jars of herby tomato relish for me and some hot,n, spicey chutney is next on the list for him . I am turning into an apple peeling machine !
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Friday, 29 July 2011

Lavender everything lavender


This month I am craving everything lavender . I am busy picking as much as I can before it rains again . I think it is best to pick it just after it has come out ... for use as lavender bags that is . The sweet heady scented bunches that you see here ,are just drying off before I strip the tiny flowers onto a large platter . This will then be placed onto my dresser ,where it will perfume my lounge ...until I find time to sew Lavender bags and Sleep Pillows .
The blue rag rug hanging over my old kitchen chair , by the way , was so easy to make , and a lovely project to do . Keeping me warm ,over my lap , through the cold winter months . Just strips of any old fabric , plaited and stitched from the centre ,coiling round and round as you go .
Classic FM and Lavender linen water makes ironing piles of shirts more relaxing and my bed linen more enjoyable ! Past Times stopped selling my absolute favourite , devastated......until discovering a delightful and friendly company - The Laundry . All is well again ...I cant do the ironing without the fragrance of lavender ...... I have a bottle of violet water waiting in the wings ,but Lavender will always be my favourite .
I would like to have a recipe , if anyone has one , that I could make my own ?
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Make hay while the sun shines !


The meadow was cut yesterday . It smells Heavenly ..... mmmmm ..... I want more wild herbs to grow in it , but , they must be safe for cattle and other animals to eat . So I am taking my time on this subject , I want to get it right .
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Monday, 25 July 2011

Woodpeckers


Another through the kitchen window shot of my other favourite visiters . This is a juvenile on the left ,with it,s dad on the right . The younster still requests feeding from dad , even though he can now feed himself !
The female comes too but if she sees the slightest movement at the window , she's off !
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Tuesday, 31 May 2011

More Woodpeckers


I was delighted to watch this male Great spotted woodpecker , feeding his chick on the lawn this evening .
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Saturday, 28 May 2011

Rosa canina

 

Moving swiftly on from cats .... my favourite rose flowering in the hedgerow .
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Friday, 27 May 2011

This is what they really like !





I had been lazily topping up the bird bath dishes with a watering can....... the precious water sprinkled on the grass around......wasteful...I thought to myself .... I must be more careful !
I came indoors and stood at my kitchen window just thinking about things and what I must do next , up in the vegetable garden .. Why have I had to resow parsnips and leek seeds ....why do I keep finding my newly emerging sweet peas and tiny onion sets up rooted ?
Then this beautiful female woodpecker flew down in front of the kitchen window and began pulling up grubs out of the grass around the bird bath dishes ! So ..... I realised ! We haven,t had a proper heavy rainfall for ages , the ground is dry and hard . No wonder the birds are having such a difficult time finding food and are only able to peck and forage for food in the vegetable garden seed beds , that I keep watered .
All the more reason to put out water for the birds ! I have heard that House Martins and Swifts are also finding it hard to find moist earth and mud for their nest building and on a recent Springwatch tv show ....it was recommended that folk put out trays of wet earth / mud for them . well I dont get those birds here ...we do get swallows ...not sure if they use mud ? hmm ...maybe I,ll do this and see what comes .
Anyhow up in the veg garden I will have to cover the beds with some plastic mesh . The potato hawk is doing a great job keeping the pigeons off the young cabbage plants . The chicken wire is keeping the rabbits out .The bluetits are keeping the greenfly down . The crushed eggshells , sand and toads are keeping the slugs off ,the thrush enjoys a snail ot two . The visiting cat ? ........dont get me started !
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Thursday, 26 May 2011

Back in the garden today .



If I didn,t put peanuts out..... then I probably wouldn,t see my friends the Woodpeckers .... but I do wrestle with the thought that it isn,t really their natural food .
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Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Music on the Mount 2011


Seef Saffah Dance Group . Performing at Music on the Mount 2011 . African and Middle Eastern Dance .
Elegant , classy , flawless .
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Monday, 9 May 2011

Siamese Twins








Everything is looking so lush after the rain during the night . My Cornish hedge at the front gate is buzzing with bees and dancing butterflies . Wall flowers , roses , centranthus rubra valerian and shasta daisies ....but what really caught my eye today , was this delightful and beautiful Siamese-twin bloomed daisy !
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Great spotted woodpecker



O.K. So I knew you wouldn,t believe me ! Here is my friend the Woodpecker. I haven,t been putting peanuts out so often ,due to the price now . ...but he is such a splendid character of a bird ....and I do love to see him .
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Friday, 6 May 2011

Grandmother's Secrets


So , after all these chores in the garden ,not to mention two fun , but tough belly dance classes this week , I am going to take it easy this afternoon , put my feet up and read my book . " GRANDMOTHER'S SECRETS " " The Ancient Rituals and Healing Power of Belly Dancing " by ROSINA-FAWZIA AL-RAWI every student of the authentic art of belly dance should read this truely delightful book .
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Thursday, 5 May 2011

Preparing for French Beans






Time to stop buying bamboo canes and make my own plant supports and climbing structures . I have two Hazel bushes from which I lop out enough straight branches of a suitable size for this ...tidy them up a little bit ,not too much as the young bean shoots appreciate something to grab on to . One of the problems with bamboo is the stems are silky smooth , I will have to put on net to get my sweetpeas going .
These are old bamboo canes and very brittle .They can be very dangerous and sharp if they snap . I find all manner of objects to cover the tops of these , it could be so easy ,on bending down to pull up a weed and poke your eye .
So here is this years bean frame ,all ready to go .I had a very generous bag of seeds ,so have taken a chance and sown two at each station along the frame . I,ve sown some Blue Lake Climbing French Beans in the greenhouse and they are just beginning to hatch and by the time they are big enough ,we shall be well clear of any frosty weather .
I will still use the bamboo to hold the chickenwire to the ground around my veg beds ...I tried with sticks ,but couldn,t push them through the wire ,to keep the bunnies out . I think that the Hazel rods look far more attractive than the bamboo canes though .
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Sunday, 24 April 2011

Potato hawk





O.K. So back up in the vegetable garden . . . . my tiny spring greens need protecting from pigeons and pheasants . I have found this works .
You will need -
1 potato
1 piece of string
1 tall stick
1 seagull
1 large bead or tie a dangley thing to stop the knot slipping through the potato .
one of those giant fat tapestry needles .

Thread needle with very long piece of string . Thread on the bead , I used the dangley thing (that I found in the treasure box at the Sancreed Beacon ,thankyou to whoever put this in the box , It is being put to good use here in my garden ! )
Thread on the potato .
Next the seagull . These can easily be lured in , to a toddler in a push-chair , holding a Cornish Pasty or ice cream ....the best locations for this I,m afraid are top secret ! Only kidding ! I love seagulls ! ) I found my feathers on the beach .
So you,ll need about eight feathers , push into your potato ....some for wings.....and some for tail feathers .
Tie to the stick and plant to hang over your cabbages and purple sprouting broccoli .
The pigeons think it is a bird of prey and dont go near . It works for me !
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Friday, 22 April 2011

Happy Earth Day !

 
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Bees

 

 

 

 

 

 

....I want to keep bees ! I have plenty of space and plenty of flowers ..... two or three bee hives would be great ....both for me and the planet . So why dont I ? I cant afford it ! Why is everything to do with keeping bees SO expensive ? Bees should be free !(sorry ,that was my inner child speaking ) Bees should be free ! Bees should be free !
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Friday, 25 March 2011

My Date Walnut and Chocolate Polka Dot Cake .


Put on my fav music of the day .... Josh Groban .Put on fresh clean apron ...smash open Ingrids delicious home grown Walnuts and make Date Walnut and Dark Chocolate Polka Dot Cake .
12 oz self raising flour.
1 teaspoon baking powder.
2oz unsalted butter.
12 oz or so of dates.
4 oz walnuts.
2 oz soft brown sugar.
quarter of a pint of water.
2 Eggs.
3 tablespoons of milk.
About half a packet Dark Chocolate polkadots or smash up a small bar of plain chocolate into small pieces....do not indulge !
Sieve flour and baking powder and rub in the butter with your finger tips .
Chop the dates small making sure all stones are removed .
Bash up the walnuts . Sometimes I grind them up in the blender for a delicious much softer texture.... especially good if you are expecting people with no teeth for tea .
Add nuts and sugar into the flour.
Soften the dates with the water in a saucepan..let cool..then add to the mixture with the milk and beaten eggs .
Tip into your 2lb loaf tin , I always line with buttered parchment paper and use enough to cover loosely over the top . Stops it from over browning on top .
Bake for about 45 mins at oven temp 180 degrees 345 degrees F Gas mark 4-5 Uncover the top of the parchment lid for last 5 mins or so . test by gently pushing in a knife ..if it comes out clean then the cake is ready to take out . It might need a few more mins . I usualy turn it out, straight away , to cool on a cooling rack . Brush with runny honey ..... or sprinkle with demerara sugar .....decorate with walnut halves ....or maybe not !
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Monday, 14 March 2011

The Magic Dolphin Quilt

 

I haven,t been on for quite a while ...sorry about that . First grandchild on the way! Since we live near the sea I thought the little one really should have a " Magic Dolphin Quilt " to snuggle in For this quilt I used all new strips of finest and softest Liberty Prints in all the beautiful colours of the ocean .
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