Saturday, 28 August 2010

I know, I know..... Wellie's prize Turks Turban Pumpkin looks a bit like 'A Smacked Arse'?

I know, I know, it's way too tempting, but I couldn't possibly................

And I'm here to tell you Children, it is indeed one Ginormous One.

There's something rather 'unctious' about it that rather 'oddly' makes me want to nurture it, but then again, I am largely in love with the stuff that I grow, and I make not one jot of an excuse for the love I put into growing it, harvesting it or cooking it - whether it's a sprig of Sweet Marjoram, or a Smacked Arse of Pumpkin.

Every single year that I grow stuff, I get more and more in love with the very brilliant Irish chef (Denis Cotter), because it gives me more time on this planet to try out each and every one of his gorgeous vegetarian recipes. This week, his Green Curry graced our table......Neither Trousers, nor I, are vegetarian, and you don't have to be as far as I'm concerned, to enjoy his brilliant combination of flavours, because you can always serve a bit of what you fancy on the side, as 'The Actress Said To The Bishop'.

I don't know about you, but we've had a shed-load of the wet stuff p-p-p-persisting it down here lately, although I did manage to get a mini-second-worth of weeding done one afternoon this week whilst the Autumn Bliss were rotting on their stalks/the Pigeons were pecking the hearts out of my Summer Cabbages/my Gardening Cat was weeing 'wherever' in my seedbeds, and...............

Don't be fooled .... I know she looks like butter wouldn't melt in her mouth, but butter does indeed melt in her mouth my friends, and she has me, and the good Lord Trousers, wound round her little finger so often, and so tightly, that it's beginning to restrict the bloodflow. And nor would we wish it any other way, because she's absolutely gorgeous, and we utterly adore her.

Now I promise you that I HAVE actually had better things to do with my life this week up until now, and I'm sure that Trousers and my mate Jim will champion the cause for 'watching paint dry', but actually, that HAS been, largely, what I've been doing with my Tomato 'Armpit Cutting Plants', because every day I've been visiting them in The Draughty Dutch Greenhouse, winding them around their support strings, shaking them to distribute the pollen, feeding and watering - and I am completely gobsmacked at how much growth they are putting on, each and every single day, because I promise you, you can actually see them growing....and since striking the cuttings, there's potentially 4 or 5 viable flower/fruit trusses to each plant now, and I've got designs of pinching out the tips of them this weekend.

So how sad am I?

Unfortunately, The Draughty Dutch Greenhouse is very draughty, with whole panes of glass or perspex missing, torrential rain oozing in every single crevice, moss growing between the overheads, but I constantly remind myself of how lucky I am to have it, because I don't know what I'd do without it.

I've moved the Aubergine plants to BC's Greenhouse now, having de-foliated them rather a lot of old and rather 'Red Spider-Mited' leaves.

My three favourite men all seem to be a bit busy, but please, trust me..... you'd be a wise bloke NOT to stick your hand up when I ask the question just now, that if anyone knows of a really willing handy-bloke at all, that I have a million and one DIY stuff to be done, because they'd only bite your head off?

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Pretty Productive My Friends.....

Now here's a funny thing..... The weather in our 'Ruth Jones' part of the country has been a little autumnal of late, (see Wellie doing roasted beetroot, green garlic and fresh marjoram in the Rayburn) and when it does that, I get all 'nesting' and start to preserve stuff like a complete looney squirrel. And actually, that's prolly what Mother Nature intends us to do, to be fair, because The Seasons, is definitely (see Wellie do an Austin Powers ):"""""The Seasons """"".
And I've got shed-loads more Golden, and Bulls Blood Beetroots planted to follow-on from this lot, which is already scaring me rather a lot (!)

You do reap and harvest according to your own gut feeling, I'm here to tell you that it is truly amazing, with a teeny-weeny bit of experience to just 'know' when something is absolutely ripe for harvesting, but kind of what you actually DO with it beyond that point, we all need the advice of the best knowledge we can source, especially when you're that busy that your own brain has preserved itself into mush. Which is just why I am still very much in love with the Grow Your Own 'Grapevine' forum, because, let's face it, they're the only friends that I have in the world?
No. That was a Joke.... but you can truly count on every single one of your personal favourites to come up trumps every time with top banana advice for what you want to know, when you want to know it, and that is no word of a lie.

When SweetieCob Corns are ready, you eat them straight away, because if you wait too long, you've completely missed the point of growing to eat. And believe me, we all can beautifully get it wrong sometimes. Last year, I grew cobs that didn't form properly, and were just 'gappy' (not my fault personally) but hardly worth the effort. This year, I grew 'Invincible' and sowed it a few weeks apart, which has given us a staggered harvest, so they don't all crop at once, which is much better (and just why did that not occur to me before now, you silly moo?!)

And kind of 'Put It There' Wellie Blog Followers, because...........

I can't apologise enough Children (once again) for the very brilliant Trousers, who seems intent on challenging me every Blob Update, to see if I can rise to 'talking backwards' about the photographs.

SO: In the photograph above, we have between 3 and 4 pounds of Walnuts In The Green.
And just HOW did those walnuts end up in the weighing scales Boys'n'Girls?

Yes...... They were indeedy picked by Himself from the roof of his van this very evening (and much to the annoyance of a neighbouring farmer who was wanting to turn left into this lane, but we quickly got out of his way, which didn't stop him 'tutting' or 'shaking his head'.... (Get a life mate, because you wouldn't have picked those walnuts yourself even if you'd had the time, the three cars that you were holding up on the main road weren't bovvered? and the walnuts were overhanging the verge anyway) or shoot me.....

Actually, considering that I call my man 'Trousers', I can now quite understand why he likes this photo rather a lot.

To be perfectly honest with you (but don't whatever you do tell Trousers this, or he'll make me pay for the dents in the top of his van roof?) we could possibly have 'missed the boat'.
One is supposed to pick Walnuts In The Green the same week as Wombledon, allegedly.
Failing that, according to the WI by 12th July.
And then I read that you should make Pickled Walnuts in the autumn.

I have a Pickled Walnut Recipe.

See Wellie lick her finger, stick it in the air, make an 'Executive Decision' and just 'Wing It Anway', hoping that Mother Nature might smile on her and turn a blind eye just this once and give her a break. Because all I want to do with the sodding things is just try pickling them for the first time because I'm adventurous, okay?!

I will only just 'touch' on this subject briefly, to give you all time to organise my suprise party (yeah right!) because I'm going to be a whole 50 this October? but I find myself talking like A Grumpy Old Woman about stuff, so, if I 'go off on one about green walnuts, or wash-in hair colour, you have my permission to shoot me.

To be perfectly honest with you, the No.73 Medium Ash Blonde hair colour wasn't a huge success today, in my eyes, but then again, Trousers never even noticed that I'd done it.
Unfortunately, the cat did, and wasn't too keen, suggesting that I might plump for a lighter colour next time..... bitch, but reliably honest, when you want an honest opinion.

Whoever said that sweet peppers had to be red or yellow? I think these Purple ones are just gorgeous!...

Trousers has done well to capture an essence of our new kitchen garden here from an upstairs window, as it's not easy to make a newly-formed productive garden 'look good', but I'm pleased, because it kind of shows you what can be done 'in your own back yard' with a little thought and planning.

Considering that it was just a boring old bit of weedy grass last April, I'm thinking that whilst Trousers is working, and the cat is sleeping, that I'm 'getting somewhere', and it is indeed, Pretty Productive, My Friends....
Thank you for being here and reading this.
If you feel inspired, don't just read this, get out there and do it!!!