Monday 27 July 2015

Harvest Monday - where'd the summer go?

So it seems autumn has decided to pay us a visit in the middle of summer, cold and wet. I'm pleased with the rain though, the allotment was so dry....but it's a tad strange having to wear a scarf, warm jumper and hoody!

The wet weather has brought out all the slugs n snails, so I've been sweeping through each time I've been down, and dealing with them before they do too much damage. I just cannot believe the size of some of these slugs though, absolutely massive. I shall not put you off your dinner with photos.

And on to the harvests...

The toms are still coming along but have slowed down since the gloomy weather started. This was earlier in the week before summer decided to go away
A day or so later these ripened together, he hee I thought they were cute
And a couple of stubby cukes from the allotment. Ah, I can feel funny faces coming along again soon
The courgettes went into scrambled egg. I think I added a couple of toms too (plus onion / garlic etc)
I like taking cukes as lunchtime snacks, here with the infamous squashage roll from the Norwich Providore market stall, mmmm. The lettuce wasn't mine unfortunately (I have absolutely no lettuce!) but there's a sneaky tomato or two in there as well.
I've picked a load more basil and rocket
Which Jan made into a Walnut pesto,
It's great in sarnies (She puts more cheese in than me!)
Friday was when the weather really started to get autumny so we needed comfort food. Queue fried egg with potato, courgette and chard. A home grown meal except the egg (no chickens yet, but one day...) There was enough to go with tea the next day too, an added bonus
There's been more berries to pick - here gooseberries and raspberries
This is one way I like to have them, on my breakfast, Mmm (it doesn't look quite so nice once you've added the yogurt and milk, especially as I leave them all to soak up for 10 or 20 mins into a big mush!)
Sunday was my best pick in one day. It wasn't raining when I first went down but then it started drizzling and settled in, but I thought, sod it and just stayed out. It's always easier to stay out once it's started rather than go out into the rain for some reason. I should've changed into my wellies though, as I ended up with soggy two-tone jeans from the ground upwards. Very fashionable I gather.
Some more comfort food yesterday - grated courgette soup with potato, Garlic, chard, basil and blue cheese. We both demolished two bowlfuls! You cook the potato then add into the same pan the grated courgette and any other vegetables to cook for a bit longer. I loosely based it on a recipe from The Readers Digest Allotment Gardeners Cookbook. It's nice and easy and uses one pan.Ooh, apart from the cheese this was all homegrown too. I'm a bit of a way off making my own cheese but another thing to aspire to.
And tonight, some more warming food was needed
I made a not-to-spicy curry with quinoa, using my usual onion, garlic, curry powder, tinned toms, coconut block plus veggies. And yes, leftovers for tomorrow's lunch, hurrah.
After tea, it was a bit drizzly but we fancied a little walk so wandered down to the plot (jan's been feeling a bit better the last few days and managing to walk more). And, lo! After dealing with a hoard of slugs and snails intent on eating my veggies, I spied another courgette that needed picking and a cucumber that I'm sure was nowhere to be seen must've been hiding.
I wanted to end on something nice but I've run out of photos, so instead here's a slightly damp shot of the back garden from the weekend, I've tidied it up a little bit. Looking forward to the red flowers turning into beans, that's if there's any left on after all the winds! Facebook showed me a photo from this time last year when I'd picked two big tubs of blackberries plus loads of dwarf beans from the allotment. No chance this year, it'll be a while longer yet.

Oh hey if anyone's on Instagram, let me know - jan's set me up on it though not sure how much I'll use it yet.


Saturday 25 July 2015

Norwich Go Go Dragons Trail with riverside walk

Well, it's been raining almost non-stop for 24hours. Boy did we need it but it feels a bit gloomy and here's looking back to last Saturday.

I usually quickly pop into the city centre to pick up our shopping on a Saturday morning (using local independent Shops and market stalls) but as the weather was fine, it was a nice day to take Jan in too, using the wheelchair. With her thyroid problem she can walk short distances but couldn't manage a big walk.

Norwich has an ace Dragon sculpture trail all over the city this summer (over 80 dragons!) in aid of the Break children's charity. They've all been painted by different aritists with different themes. So over the last few weeks when we've been out and about we've been trying to 'get' as many of the dragons as possible!
Our copy of the leaflet is well-thumbed
Each dragon has a letter that goes into a phrase (get all the letters to enter a competition)
So, Last Saturday we headed down to the Norwich riverside walk to get the dragons there (I'd actually seen some of them already but Jan hadn't)
Crossing the River Wensum that meanders through the city
Norwich Cathedral (Peregrines have recently fledged from here)

We both particularly like the naturey-themed dragons. This one's on Bishops Bridge (a medieval bridge...we gotta lot of history in Norfolk!

It's painted with lots of our typical Norfolk birdie species
Just along the riverside walk is Cow Tower, part of our medieval city wall
Further on the riverside walk, you can hire canoes now. Might have to give that a go sometime
Our newest footbridge, the Jarrold Bridge
GoGoMosaic dragon at Tombland near the Cathedral....sparkly! the Cathedral Close
Beautifully painted long-tailed tits

Quayside, I love this row of houses.

So there's a taste of our dragon trail and lovely riverside walk! Photos were by Jan on her phone, I have a million more but they're trapped on my camera.'s still raining, that's over 24 hours now!



Monday 20 July 2015

Harvest Monday - berry bonanza featuring raw raspberry tart

Woah, I didn't realise how much I'd picked this week until looking back at the photos, here's a quick run down:
The first tomatoes! Earlier in the week my two pots of tumblers started ripening, they turned out to be yellow, cool.
And just today the first red 'uns too (I got all my varieties mixed up, can't remember this one)
Sarnies with my own purple basil
And some more (I'm not very original with the sandwich fillings!)
There were enough yellows to also take some as a snack for lunch on a day out at the weekend too. Although Jan thought they were all for her and I had to rescue some for myself! Hehe. She must have been distracted by the SPOONBILLS (yes!), avocets and marsh harriers we were watching from the hide at NWT Cley Marshes, we'd got the bus there with the wheelchair.
Also the first cucumbers this week (marketmore) from the plot
The courgettes have started to gain apace plus this first patty pan style squash (And another cuke, it will be a little while before there's more cukes though, only just getting more flowers, it's been very dry again and any rain just dries up in the sun or wind)
I love the shape of the patty pans when they're cut up
I went through and picked all of my spring-sown broad beans (Eleanora express), they'd done ok-ish despite the blackfly attack
Yes, I made broad bean and egg stew again...twice! And a pasta thing too. The skins were a little tough, I should really have popped the green innards out but it was too much to faff with at the moment.
With quinoa
I had a big bag of pumpkin in the freezer that needed using up. It was from a huge pumpkin that jan's work had carved for an event. The pumpkin itself was a bit flavourless but I made a sort of curry soup with it.
More courgettes, including a round one, first time I've grown these. I've lifted all my onions and have them in the shed on the allotment, but am just bringing a few home every now and then that need using up first.
And yes, the berries through the week have been rather abundant!
Raspberries and saskatoons. The raspberries take ages to pick
And some more. I think I spent an hour and a half just on the raspberries
And some more
And some more (gooseberries) - excuse the bad pic!
And some more
And some more
And for a bit of variety, here's tonight's tea, with courgettes, more pumpkin and my own onions and garlic - we had friends over to pick fruit from the plot beforehand
Quite the haul between us, it's much quicker picking with three people for sure (hi Jen and Phil). I dug up some early potatoes too.
So I thought I'd make Shaheen's raw raspberry mousse tart (I made it last year too) for our pudding. I did make a bit of a boo boo, I wasn't thinking and put the bananas in the freezer with their skins still on. So when I got them out the freezer, of course the skins were frozen on. But I broke them in half (weird experience breaking a frozen banana in half ) and after a little thawing they just popped out the skins, phew.
The finished product! Decorated with redcurrants and blackberries picked tonight, as my raspberries don't look nice enough for a posh topping. Although I think this looks a bit like a spiders face?

And on that note (imagining eating a tasty giant red spider face), I'll link in with Harvest Monday on Daphne's Dandelions. Or alternatively you can imagine me spiking myself in the bottom and ripping my trousers whilst accidentally crouching down on a cane this evening. Ow! Luckily I had a shirt to tie around my waist to hide my modesty!