Sunday, 15 January 2012


Trust me... Just ignore the pastry for now?
Down On The Funny Farm this week Children, Wellie has been working very very hard on the 2012 Village Produce Show.  She's importantly booked the Village Hall, written to invite all her Judges, and emailed (I know, don't faint...) the Parish Magazine, giving the date of the show along with Art & Photographic Titles.
However..... I nearly had heart failure this morning, because one of my new Judges telephoned me saying that she wouldn't be able to judge for me on that date, because it was the same day as The Llandogo Show, and she (as well as my other six new Judges) would be judging there?  Well see the blood drain from Wellie's face why don't you...  Luckily, she checked with her friend, phoned me back, and confirmed that she'd got her dates muddled - by which time, I'd called for an Ambwlance, (Welsh for Ambulance), received a bit of Vinny Jones on my Sovereign to the tune of  'Staying Alive', and located my calender. Joking about the Ambulance, but wish I wasn't about Mr. Jones?!...The blood eventually returned to my face as I poured my first glass of Pinot Grigio later in the afternoon.  And Eileen, if you're listening love, you'll be getting one less square of homemade fudge than the others on August 26th?..Nothing personal Sweetheart......

Just because it's no threat to national security, I'm going to tell you the Subject Titles I've chosen for Art in this year's Show.  What I personally know about Painting & Drawing, would quite comfortably fit onto the back of a British Postal Stamp.  However, I do know from previous Show Schedules that Artists are guided by things called Portrait, Still Life, Nature, Landscapes, Seascapes, and the like.  So I chose: 'Portraying The Likeness', And this one, I am so dead proud of : 'It's Still There!' - it honestly makes me cry laughing? (oh do grow up Wellie!), 'Drawing from Mother Nature's Bounty', 'Distance Lends Enchantment to The View', 'From The Water's Edge', and a thought-provoking extra entitled 'In My Mind's Eye', which could also cover any unforseen Abstract eventuality.

Then in the Photographic Section, I've tried to cover the following for 2012: Special Events, People, Old, Emotion, Activity, Animal, Weather, Colour, Shape and Water.  In that order: 'That Was A Day I Will Never Forget', 'Face to Face', 'Garden Tools', which I've stolen from last year's Llandogo Show because it was so beautifully portrayed by their own entries, 'My Magical Moment', 'Every Picture Tells A Story...', 'Country Companions', 'To Everything There Is A Season', 'The Sky's The Limit', 'Enchanting Circles' (London Olympics -see what I did there?!), and lastly 'Still Waters Run Deep'.

Now thankfully, all of that will make the February edition of The Parish Magazine, so people can begin pulling Artistic and Photographic Rabbits out of their Hats.

I've emailed Medina (no, don't faint again...) and asked her to suggest a date for our next 'Pecan & Maple Syrup Danish Pastry Meeting', when, if we get time, we'll be able to knuckle down and discuss The Fruit & Veg, Floral, Cookery, Crafts and Ankle-Biters' Sections of The Schedule.

Okay, you can look at The Pastry now.  As you can see, My Gardening Cat helped me make this this afternoon....for what I'm calling A Pauper's Pie (I'm saving my pennies for Bird Nuts to feed the, not one, but now two whole Spotted Woodpeckers in my garden eating me out of house and home)   Just because Trousers and I aren't sick of the sight of Turkey anymore, I defrosted some of the leftover Christmas bird, which Trousers put together with leftover Christmas Ham and the meat off last week's brace of Peasants.  Wellie pulled a 'bolted' Leek from the kitchen garden, and with some roasted Pink Fir Apple Potatoes, that was our magnificently tasty Sunday Lunch - BC just had Peasant.

To explain what I mean in that 'Every Picture Tells A Story', I'll give you an example: Not only does this picture tell you that it's a sunny day, that Spring is on it's way, that my little garden friend has not yet woken in the 9 years of living with us, but that there's a broken pane of greenhouse glass on the grass.  The Jackanory here, is that it's a 10'x8' greenhouse, falling apart, the Nectarine tree isn't a posh one on a dwarfing rootstock, it has grown through the roof for the third time in three years, and because the greenhouse glass wasn't replaced earlier to keep the rain off, it's now going to suffer from Peach Leaf Curl, meaning that Trousers is in a lot of trouble.......

Now don't you dare laugh at my Savoy Cabbages!  We had a very respectable one on New Years' Eve, and I have witnesses!  These babies will hopefully be ready in what us Kitchen Garden Cheffy-Peeps call 'The Hungry Gap', when most other homegrown veg have all been harvested, and there's nothing new ready yet.  I'm getting dead 'cited about The Purple Sprouting Broccoli though.... one of my absolute favourite vegetables - but aren't they all! And Denis Cotter's Paradiso Seasons Cookbook (ISBN 0-9535353-4-7) is well worth getting, just for his 'Purple Sprouting Broccoli with Dried Tomatoes and Garlic on a Corn Pancake of Leeks and Puy Lentils', with A Rosemary Cream, if you beg my culinary pardon!

Just ONE of the reasons, as a gardener, that I love Kitchen Gardening so much,  is that even if you tried, you couldn't come close to being as professional as Mother Nature at grouping together such magical combinatioins of colours, shapes, sizes, and textures.  The sheer beauty of the purple Kale and Purple Sprouting Broccoli in the picture below, with the similarity of hue in leaves and florets of two very different-tasting crops.......was a complete and utter accident on my part, but magic to look at.

But just because something's pretty to the eye, it doesn't mean it has to stay there and be admired until it's useless for the table, whether it be Vegetable, Animal, or Mineral.

Now then, my i-pod nano choice for this week, (Wellie's "p-pod"), is Tony Christie's 'Is This The Way To Amarillo'.  It makes me Smile Out Loud to think of Ronnie Corbet in that brilliant video of  Peter Kay's Charity 'Amarillo' Spoof a few years ago.
Keep Safe, Stay Warm, and Thank You For Listening.

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