Saturday, 14 April 2012

Of pumpkins and perfectly horrible cakes

Grow, grow, grow!
Almost overnight two of my pumpkin seeds have germinated - I can't believe that I checked in the afternoon and couldn't see anything and suddenly, there they were.  Here is a photo of one of them...if all goes well, they should eventually carry small one-portion sized pumpkins which can be hollowed out and used as soup bowls.  I quite like that idea :-)

It has turned much colder today with even a risk of frost tonight, so I have covered the little broad bean plants and the area where I have sown the Valmaine lettuce seeds with fleece and have made sure that the potatoes are earthed up properly.  Fingers crossed all will survive the cold!  The pumpkins and tomatoes are still indoors, so no problem there.  

No news from the pepper seeds - they are yet to germinate but hopefully that'll happen over the next couple of weeks - I believe they take a little longer to develop.  I fear I might be slightly obsessed with growing stuff as I am already contemplating what to sow next. I have to remember that all these little plants need to be looked after properly as well, so I don't want to overdo it but I keep thinking that there might be something else useful and tasty I could try growing.

Less successful was my latest attempt at baking :-(  I had found a recipe for a straightforward lemon drizzle cake which I thought I'd do in little muffin shapes.  Well, big mistake!  They came out absolutely horrible with all the fat having separated and sitting at the bottom of the tin, slowly frying the cakes from underneath whilst leaving the cakes themselves dry and stuck to the paper cases.  I hate wasting food but there was no way I was going to serve these to anyone.  Very annoying!  Needless to say, there is no photo of the disaster!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

More on foraging...

Well, as is often the case, I have been thinking more about my last post on foraging and again, I have noticed just how much I have written this from a Western European viewpoint.  Having the luxury of foraging edible things as a little hobby is nothing in comparison to having to live daily on what you find.  It is very easy to talk about how lovely it is to find food in the wild when you have supermarkets etc on your doorstep.  Who knows how we'd fare if we had to go out and find our dinner...not very well, I reckon.  So, I just wanted to add this to my previous post - not to take away from the fun it is to get a few little edible things outside but to appreciate that life could be very different indeed if foraging was a necessity.

Monday, 9 April 2012


Foraged food...
It's raining heavily this morning, so I am very glad I went out yesterday to collect wild garlic leaves to make pesto.  I have always wanted to try this and found a good recipe online on the River Cottage forum that involved said leaves, walnuts, olive oil, hard cheese and a bit of seasoning.  Whizzed up and put into a sterilised jar it should keep in the fridge for up to 3 weeks if it's lucky :-)

There is something quite magical about foraging for food - I haven't done much of it apart from the odd occasion when I have picked "wild" food such as blackberries but I'd like to learn more about it.  It feels basic and natural to go out there and finding something to eat.  The lives most of us lead here in Western Europe are much removed from the original sources of food but when you do go and collect something edible, it seems to resonate with something deep inside.  Since I am no expert, I would definitely not recommend just picking anything that looks tasty - that would be a recipe for disaster - but with the right knowledge, it must be very rewarding indeed.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Bunnies and beans...

Bunny invasion...
Whether or not you celebrate Easter, here is to a happy Sunday!

I have just been outside to check on the crops and have found that the potatoes are already beginning to poke through the soil again, so more earthing up will be needed soon!  Other exciting news is that two of the broad bean seeds have germinated already!  I am hoping the other ones will make it as well but this is definitely a very good start!  Onions and garlic are also doing well, so I am - well - a happy bunny, I suppose ;-)

I think sometime over the next couple of weeks will be a good time to get the lettuce seeds into the ground as well.