Sunday, 29 January 2012

Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines?....

Trust me... this is A Bridget Jones Moment..., and I'd hate to lose it at the expense of you thinking that I look ridiculous?  and I hate it now that you've laughed out loud  and don't trust that I could make it big in movies??
Wot?  You don't think I look attractive?........And to be perfectly honest Kids, I don't think it's a laughing matter.  However, Trousers does wet himself laughing when I put these Allium Glasses on, because he can't remotely take me seriously.  Nor can I?  Reminds me of that fabulous Welsh actor, Rees Efan (?) in 'Notting Hill', the tall one in the wet suit, reading the paper with a snorkel mask on, or indeed.....Hugh Grant in the cinema.  (In danger of going off on a tangent here, the assistant in the travel bookshop in The Cardi will never be comedically topped for me).
But when you do grow your own garlic, shallots, onions and leeks, the garden variety of allium tears, seem to be a hundred-fold in strength compared to shop-bought allium tears.  And I needed these homegrown leeks to be very finely chopped, to experiment with a recipe for The Itton Village Show at the end of August - only because it's a variation on a recipe, and in my experience, if you haven't cocked it up on your own doorstep first, you'll find it very difficult to control the Village Riot on your hands at a later date if the recipe ain't right when it's too late to placate!  Ordinarily, these would be Welsh Cakes - for which The Welsh are famous.  Wellie then found a variation on that recipe for last years' show with grated Apple in, which brought some annoyance in the village, and huge amusement to me.  Medina, being a girl after my own heart, thought it would be dead funny to 'drop me in it' even further on The Welsh Cake front, and leant me a booklet with a recipe for Leek & Cheese Welsh Cakes. And having tasted them, we're unable to ween ourselves off them now!  I'm refining the recipe a little, but they are a fabulous brekkie accompaniment to Ultan Walsh's Missus's Chestnut Sausages, chucked onto the griddle with a rasher of bacon.

 Medina usually bringing 'sustenance' to our Village Show meetings, and it being 'my turn', I thought I'd surprise her with some Almond Danish Pastries.  Everything went well, until I was ready to add the Quick Action Dried Yeast, and discovered that I didn't have any.  Always, always measure out all of your ingredients before you start Children!
 And, as the saying goes: if you can't stand the heat - get out of the kitchen!  So I did, to individually pot up a few of my First Early Potato tubers. Whilst you've got 5 of each variety still 'Chitting', you can have 5 beginning to make roots, and grow into small pots to give you an even earlier harvest of New Potatoes.  Once they've outgrown these small pots, you plant them into bigger individual pots, or say 5 to a much larger 'Patio Container', keep cool in a frost-free environment, and you'll be harvesting by the end of May or very early June.  The Cutting Edge, eh?

 Then as the remaining 5 'Chitting' of each variety get ready to be planted out in your veg patch, they will give you a successional crop of New Potatoes, ready for harvest when you've used up the Patio Potted ones.... Get my drift?
These little Fairy Buns are another experiment for The Village Show, and contain grated raw Parsnip & Lime Zest, topped with a zesty-lime cream cheese frosting. Well, one of them is! And I can just see you now, convinced that I've turned into dotty old Letitia in The Vicar Of Dibley.  I've only decorated one 'to try', as the rest will be frozen and then thawed, for M and I to test their 'freezability', then another batch will be made with Beetroot, another with Carrot, another with Courgette - some iced, and some not.  All, hopefully, to enable us to procure a multitude of edible or saleable cakes at the same time as Growing, Picking, Arranging, Photographing, Crafting, Painting, Cooking, Preserving & Brewing our own Entries for The Show to try and keep numbers and finances up in the face of adversity.
When you take over the reigns after 20 years of an established Show, it's a dangerous game to play when you're faced with trying to please all of the people all of the time in an established Village community, because there are so very many Chiefs, and not enough Indians!... Whilst I was hit by a few superficial 'Low Flying Teddies' last year, I've learned a thing or two, and Medina and I have had less KinderGarden Fingers burned so far this year on the strength of that, with moving the date, total new produce, new judges, new schedule.....
and I just absolutely know that all of you are wishing us the very best that we hope for our own success.

Now I have an apology to make to you:  I purposely abandoned you for a whole week, making no blog updates whatsoever.  Largely, because I've recently just told my Mother that I have A Blog, and whilst I'm sure her hearing aid is in perfect working order, she has 3 years of blog-updates to read, and I wanted to give her a fighting chance of catching up?!

And, as you can appreciate by what I've wittered on about above, I've had my heart'n'soul where it was needed more for now.  But TODAY, I threw the covers off my bed, scared the living daylights out of my cat, and raced down The Funny Farm stairs, flinging the conservatory door open in my Jarmies, and filled up the Bird Table, Nut Feeders and scattered seeded breadcrumbs over the entire Allium raised bed.... Birdbaths to overflowing, because today was my last chance to RSPB Garden Birdwatch.
Immediately, a flock of 16 Housesparrows, 3 Dunnocks, 1 fat and 1 thin Robin, who still can't make up their minds Who's Boss! male & female Blackbirds, 8 Bluetits, 2 Greattits, 2 lonesome, for a change (!) Starlings, normally thousands of the Bu@@ers, 1 Magpie, my little darling Jenny Wren, who clearly is feeding for more than just herself lately/hopefully! 2 Chaffinches, male & female Spotted Woodpeckers, 1 Thrush, very fat - and absolutely gorgeously for the first time seen in 3 years here, a pair of Coaltits.
(EDIT: Monday midday.  It's a pity I'm not doing the RSPB Watch today.  It's trying to snow here, and, if I told you there were nearing 75 Redwings, or are they Fieldfares? in the Orchard and surrounding trees, I would be underestimating.  There's 22 just in one tree!  Probably the most amazing personal wildlife moment of my life, apart from when I went Badger-watching in the dark as a small girl....)

In case I haven't thanked any of you latest joiners of The Funny Farm blog from around the world, recently, with a total of 51 countries now, we've been joined by Denmark, Indonesia, New Zealand, Nepal, Serbia, Taiwan, Mexico - and just why I'm wanting to run out into the garden and hang out The Funny Farm Bunting I'm not entirely sure, but I'm very excited to be joined by Brunei.
Respectfully, I hope that it IS your Royal Highness, and that you are more 'amused' by what you read here than maybe Queen Victoria might have been in her day.

And to finish my latest tardy Blog update, (through the amazingly comfy earphones that Paulie's mate Pip gave him today for his Birthday, as Trousers says they won't fall off my head when I'm upside-down Gardening My Sox Off in the next couple of months!) I shall MOSTLY be (dribbling) listening to: 'Some Kind Of Wonderful' by Micky Bubbles from his Crazy Love Album on my P-Pod this week.   If any of you know him, tweet him regularly, love this space, 'Some Kind Of Wonderful' is what I've chosen to share with the rest of my world this week, and if he himself would like to leave me a message here on the strength of that, I'd be eternally grateful.
Bless you all for listening.
Until next time, Stay Safe and Keep Warm.
Wellie. X

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