Saturday, 28 April 2012

Going loco at the local food festival

Food festival goodies
As you know, I love making things, especially when it comes to food.  This morning, however, it was time to visit the "professionals" at the Gorseinon Food Festival.

After going to "just have a look" at the different stalls, we carried home some lovely rye bread, soda bread, goats cheese, nettle cheese, honey, pork pies and honey lip balm as well as a couple of bottles of local ale and some stunning Persian food.  Now, if you have never tried Persian cuisine, I shall urge you to do so at the next opportunity!  It is quite unlike anything I have ever tasted before and utterly delicious!  The dishes we took home were Ash E Reshteh (a thick vegetarian soup with noodles) and Fesenjaan (a meat stew made with pomegranate).  The latter is in the freezer ready to brighten up another day but we had the soup for our lunch - oh wow!  And we still have all the other goodies to tuck into... :-)

A bunch of people passionate about their local produce - a truly delightful way to spend the morning!  We shall definitely look out for more local markets!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Heartwarming food on a rainy day

It's very stormy and rainy today - a proper April day!  Not ideal dog walking weather...

Bramley Lemon Curd...
I tried out a new recipe yesterday - Bramley Lemon Curd... since curd doesn't keep that long and this was a new recipe, I only made a small jar as a test but I think this could be a winner.  I might use it as a filling in a Swiss roll or in a pie...or just stirred into some plain yogurt.  It's just so nice that I have the time at the moment to try out new things, something that I didn't have when I was still working in London.  I know how lucky I am and feel very privileged!

I forgot to mention that whilst looking out of the window a couple of days I spotted a male bullfinch in the garden!  Now, we haven't seen finches here for ages, so it was really exciting!  I am sure there was a female there too, so fingers crossed they are nesting nearby and that they have a brood of chicks!

Right, the dog now wants his walk, so I better had put on my wellies and rain coat...

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Garden update

Gosh - I am not sure where the last few days have gone!  It is definitely time for an update as the plants in the veg garden and indoors have been growing so much!  Here are a few photos of what's been happening...
Peppers, tomatoes & pumpkin

On the window ledge, the seeds have germinated, even the bell pepper ones!  It is funny how different the growth rate is when you compare the different plants.  The pumpkin ones were large from the word go, the pepper ones are much more delicate and small.  The tomatoes are doing really well and I have planted some of these on into bigger pots with the others to follow as soon as I have had a chance to buy some more pots.  They do seem to be thriving and I haven't even started using the tomato fertiliser yet... If they all survive and crop, we will have a glut of epic proportions :-)  Fingers crossed!  Tomato salad, sun dried tomatoes, tomato sauce....yummy!

Tomato "tree"
Outside crops...
Outside, the raised bed and grow bags are also looking good!  This photo was taken this morning and since then I have earthed the spuds up again to make sure the tubers don't turn green (or whatever they do when you don't do the earthing up). 

You can see that the garlic, onions and broad beans are thriving too and I have just noticed that the lettuce seeds have germinated, so those should be coming through nicely as well now.

With the weather a mixture of showers and a bit of sunshine it's been ideal conditions and it is just a joy to see how everything is coming along!  Which reminds me that I need to order the veg mesh to protect the plot before other creatures find it as alluring!

Whilst our own rhubarb is not quite ready yet, I have bought some and made more jam - 8 jars of it, so that should keep us and family/friends happy for a bit.  Can't wait for the strawberry season, although I am already running out of jam jars, so might have to source some sooner rather than later.  There is always something to do which is exactly how I like it!  I am already thinking about other little projects like making elderflower cordial...and I am sure there is more baking to be done...