Monday, 11 August 2014

Staycation Part 1

Home & Garden
This summer we planned to have a Staycation as we are going abroad later in the year.
I have been enjoying sitting in the garden knitting my Pebble Beach Shawlette.  It is now finished and I shall do a separate post about it.
I have also been joining together the mini squares of my Springtime Throw.  Nearly finished the joining and then I will add the double crochet edging.
There have been a few showers of rain, some heavy, but it is good for the garden so I'm not complaining!
This year the sweet peas have been the best I have grown and I continue to enjoy a posy on my kitchen window sill whilst doing the washing up.
 The zinnias are providing vibrant splashes of colour throughout the garden.
 The bees love this eryngium aka sea holly.
 The Japanese anemones are so pretty at the end of the garden.
 I grew these echinops from seed last year and this year they have produced these dramatic heads of flowers.  They are like exploding fireworks!
 This has been my favourite colour of sweet pea this summer ~ cerise and peach.
The sunflowers have been brightening up the borders too.
And we have had a visitor!  Possibly after the bird food, but he is wary of the cats; rightly so as Ella chased him away and I chased Ella as I didn't want her to catch the squirrel! :)
In the greenhouse the tomatoes have finally started to ripen.  They have been slow this year.
We have been eating them with lots of basil that is also growing in the greenhouse.
 I have also been using my Jamie Oliver Shaker to make basil and garlic sauce for pasta.
Up at the allotment all this rain has meant a lot of weeds have grown!
Whilst weeding I discovered two of these Elephant Moth caterpillars.

 I relocated them to a safe place.
 I planted some more parsnips.
 We have been harvesting beetroot and carrots,
 dwarf beans and runner beans,
courgettes (no surprise there, just the size of some of them!)
 plus lots of raspberries.
 Not all of the raspberries made it home!
We have grown Chioggia beetroot this year for the first time.  If cooked they turn pink, so this week I peeled a beet, thinly sliced it and lightly drizzled raspberry vinegar over it.  It was a lovely crunchy addition to our BBQ, I especially liked it in my chickpea and lentil burger which I had stuffed with goats cheese this time.  Delicious!
 At the older allotment my Husband has been digging up some of our potatoes.
This year we grew some Salad Blue for the first time and I boiled some last night.  They actually keep their colour once cooked.
 I harvested some of the lavender, but left most of it for the bees.
I used some of the lavender to flavour a yogurt cake.
 I also tried a new-to-me brownie recipe I found on Pinterest.  This one is lovely and moist because it has grated courgette in it.  I tweaked the recipe slightly to make it more chocolatey and will add it to My Recipes blog soon.
Also from the kitchen this week:-
Mushroom burgers, stuffed with spinach.  Recipe here.
And lots and lots of wild plum jam!  My Husband and I picked the plums Saturday afternoon before the predicted storm arrived and I said to him, "Don't pick too many as they take a lot of preparing."  I knew he would get carried away! :)
I spent most of yesterday in the kitchen making this jam!  I like to cook the plums until the skins split, then I can remove the skins before cooking the plums until the flesh separates from the stones.  Most of the time is spent prepping the fruit, as the jam making is a quick process.  Jay and I like the sweetness of the yellow jam, whilst Fay and my Husband prefer the tartness of the red jam.
 Finally last night saw me outside with my camera trying to capture the beautiful super moon.
 I am trying to use the manual settings on my new camera.  Note to self ~ M, 1/500, F8.0, ISO 80.  I'd never remember otherwise! :) 


littleRamstudio said...

The blue moon is beautiful.
Going to look up the brownie recipe, Courgettes are appearing in every guise here just at present!
Heather :)

thesnailgarden said...

Thank you Heather. The link to the original recipe is on my Pinterest page. Pj x