Thursday, 30 August 2012

Happy Anniversary Seren cat

Seren has been living with us for a year today. We love her. 

Lately she likes to sleep on top of the wardrobe, on lots of quilts and blankets. Here she is this morning, sleepy-head.

We got her from Bridgend Cats Protection. They are wonderful. 

Hello Sunshine

Sunflower in the greenhouse! A lovely afternoon of glorious sunshine, hopefully enough to ripen all my tomatoes. Hard to think this afternoon that this summer's been the wettest in 100 years

I picked my first cucumber today, it tastes so different from the ones in cellophane wrappers at the supermarket. It was very spiky, and the skin was quite tough, but the flesh tastes so fresh. 

The foliage on my potatoes has all died off now, so it's probably time to get them all out of the ground, especially as it's so wet at the moment. I harvested some Pentland Javelin, there are some really big ones!

The Estima potatoes have done less well, I can't find many in the ground, and the ones I did find are pretty small. 

I ran out of garlic today for a recipe, then I remembered I'd still got some in the ground! So I picked it and cooked it straight away, it was very tasty.

Tomatoes harvested & eaten so far: 
3 x Gardener's Delight

Here's the first, it tasted so sweet!

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Red tommy! And some lovely birds

Exciting times, look what I spotted today in the greenhouse! 

I think I might eat it tomorrow. 

Today we went to the Welsh Hawking Centre, near to Barry, so just up the road from our house. It is a great place, and has some amazing birds. Massive owls!

And lots of geese and chickens and rabbits running about:

But best of all are the flying displays, at 12 and 2.30pm every day. We met two kites and my favourite, a 7 week old merlin. They flew effortlessly over our heads, and sat right by us. Amazing creatures! 

A top secret magical dal recipe

Our favourite restaurant is Vegetarian Food Studio. We go probably far too much, but they serve the bestest south Indian food, in a relaxed cafe type restaurant, with friendly unstuffy service. 

The best thing they serve, in my opinion, is the dal. It's the dal they serve with their thali and dosas, a thin, orange fiery lentil broth. It's not on their main menu, but just ask for it, and they'll provide. There's a picture in this post I did earlier this year. I think it has magical properties, my lovely husband has brought some home for me when I've been ill, and it's made me feel so much better. 

My friend Rob managed to get a list of all the ingredients in this magical dal, and last night we had a go at making it. I won't put up the recipe, because it's top secret, and we didn't manage to make it quite like in VFS, but here are some pictures of our attempt, and it included the first of my cayenne peppers that I've grown in the greenhouse (nearly as long as a pencil! And very hot!). It was very tasty, but just not quite THE magical dal. 

Sunday, 19 August 2012

The perfect day

Beautiful day yesterday. Rain in the morning, with a trip to Cowbridge and the Physic Garden as the rain eased off. Lots of lovely flowers there at the moment, and some really cool seed heads. 

A bee enjoying the Echinacea flowers

A Fuller's Teasel head. Very spiky, they used to be used to card wool

Then we drove to Dunraven Bay in Southerndown, a really beautiful beach only 25 mins from our house. The clouds lifted, the blue skies and sun came out, and we dipped our toes in the sand and ate cakes bought earlier in the day from Pontyclun deli. All finished off with a meal in VFS, and a drink in the Boar. Glorious. 

Today's sweet peas

Today's sweet peas have been dedicated to Sian and Roberto on the occasion of their marriage.

Congratulations! Even Seren sez so. 

Sian's lovely blog is here

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Hey, check out these beauties

Apart from some quick watering, I haven't paid much attention to what's growing in the greenhouse for the past few days. Imagine my surprise when I spotted these beauties!

Cucumbers galore! I counted 6 of them. 

And at last, a pepper! This one's a cayenne pepper. Exciting!

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Knitting for the Olympics

I said a few months ago I'd post up some of my crafty stuff, on my blog but I never did. Well I'll start now, inspired by another new crafty blog Sew What? 

On Thursday I finished knitting Mark Spitz, Olympic Swimmer. From the Knitlympics book by Carol Meldrum. Just in time for the end of the Olympics, phew!

I entered him as part of the Ravellenics 2012. 

Oh and here's the rather fantastic pin up photo of Mark Spitz that it's based on!

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Things that are exciting me about the garden

Sweetcorn are growing!

Picking sweet peas everyday

Picking mange tout for dinner

Tomatoes growing well in the greenhouse

Cucumbers climbing up their strings

Chilli flowers!

Lots of things to be very happy about.