Tuesday, 24 August 2010

tipping it down Tuesday

Pouring with rain today, just been out to bring horses in to their stables to dry off with some hay.  I'll put their rain sheets on before I put them back out in a couple of hours.  So, I'm sitting here with a coffee, perfect for catching up with what's happened in the last week or so.

Last Tuesday we visited D.A.W.G.S (link to their website below) rescue centre in Aberdeen.  We were interested in rehoming a wee dog from them.  After various questionaires and a home visit, I took our kids and our two other dogs into the D.A.W.G.S. Kennels to meet up with the dog (my husband met us there too, as he works in Aberdeen).   It was a huge success, we loved her and she seemed very happy with us too.  So we brought her home and she has settled in really well.  She is learning to respect our other animals, is a bit wary of visitors but she is a lovely addition to our brood! 


fruit in here somewhere
On Saturday I braved our completely overgrown fruit patch to pick blackcurrants for jam and some gooseberries for pudding that night.  Whoever decided that gooseberries were good to eat deserves a medal, in my opinion!  They are the scariest looking fruit and the thorns and spikes on the plants make picking them downright dangerous (I have the scars to prove it).   My hens were very pleased with my efforts though and decided to help themselves to the gooseberries I had picked too.

Happily I've now got 7 pots of blackcurrant jam and made delicious Gooseberry Snow pudding (from Valentine Werner on Saturday Kitchen).

Monday, 16 August 2010

beetroots (and hornets)

Been really busy these last few weeks, spent a fortnight at home catching up with friends, then had 10 days in Norfolk/London visiting family which was lovely.  I've got a few photos to upload but have taken the huge (for me) step of getting an iPhone so I'm hoping that my blogging will be easier, and perhaps a bit more frequent.

We've had our first harvest of beetroot from the polytunnel - did my favourite roasted beetroot with balsamic vinegar, garlic and fresh herbs.

Absolutely delicious, really sweet and tender.  Roast the scrubbed (not peeled) beetroot in a foil parcel with some garlic, olive oil, a couple of good splashes of balsamic vinegar, scatter some herbs on top (I used thyme and marjoram), add salt and pepper and roast for 35/40 minutes in a moderate oven.  If the beetroots aren't so fresh I sometimes sprinkle some sugar on too.  This is nice served with quiche or maybe some a salad with some baked goats cheese.

The polytunnel is blooming, in fact quite a lot of things are bolting, so we need to work out what to do about that.  One thing that hasn't worked very well is that a lot of our broad beans are empty, which could be to lack of pollination? 

Therefore, we decided to leave the doors open on the polytunnel since we got back from London last Monday.  Unfortunately, we have ended up with some rather unpleasant insect visitors - I have no idea they are, hornets perhaps, but there was one buzzing about (quite scary!) and my husband found this one (see below) floating in his watering can! 

scary beastie! 

Finally a photo of the polytunnel with everything growing like mad!  Kids are back to school this week (yipee!) and I'm hoping that Brea (my quarter horse) will have recovered from her recent hoof abscess for me to get back in the saddle.  It's been a brilliant summer but I have to say it will be very nice to try and get back into a routine again, well sort of.