Sunday, 30 September 2012

Good tomato, bad tomato

Good tomato:

Still getting red tomatoes, about 4 a day, but only the smaller ones (cherry and gardener's delight)

Bad tomato:

Not had a single san marzano go red, some haven't grown properly - I think because of underwatering this one in particular:

Here's a moneymaker, and below a cherry tomato going brown on the vine, I think because the temperature's dropping and the stems are going brown before the tomatoes get chance to ripen. 

So the hunt is on for green tomato recipes! Like the Nigel Slater chicken recipe I tried last week.

Nigel Slater's Baked chicken with tomatoes and olives

This recipe from Nigel Slater's new Kitchen Diaries book uses green tomatoes. Good news, I've got plenty of them in the garden! The recipe's here if you'd like to try it too. It made enough for 4 people, so  Steve & I ate it two nights in a row, it was even better the next day as the sauce went lovely and thick. 

green Moneymaker toms

Grainy's garden garlic

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Drying lavender

On the weekend we had a lovely sunny afternoon, and I decided to dead head and trim back my lavender plants. I picked off the dried heads and separated them from their stems. 

I plan to make some little lavender pillows with them for Christmas. In the meantime I've put the pot of lavender flowers in my bedroom, such a beautiful smell that helps me to relax and sleep well. 

Here's a little tutorial on how to make lavender pillows from pretty fabrics. 

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Patiently waiting for the tomatoes to turn red

The temperature's dropping and autumn's around the corner. I have plenty of green tomatoes on the vine, so it's a race against time to see if they turn red, otherwise they're destined to be turned into green tomato chutney like Monty Dons did this year. 

But some are turning red, and I'm enjoying every single one. Here's my biggest harvest so far:

moneymaker tomatoes 
gardeners delight tomatoes 
san marzano 
red cherry

To let the sun get to the tomatoes, I've cut back lots of the big leaves. 

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Sag aloo with potatoes, garlic & cayenne chilly from the garden

Today I made sag aloo - from the recipe in Rick Stein's book Far Eastern Odyssey - Potatoes and spinach with cumin and mustard seeds. Here are the ingredients I used from the garden: 

And here's the result. Very tasty. 

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Jalapeño Frittata

I didn't have any success with my jalapeno chillies this year, but my dad did. He gave me 12 lovely peppers (thanks Dad!), and I've been looking for a recipe to use them. Here they are:


I decided to try the Jalapeno Frittata recipe from Lisa's Kitchen blog. It uses 12 chillies. This seemed an awful lot, especially as when I tried a bit raw it was super spicy. So I only used 8 chillies. 

I needn't have worried though, as Lisa says in the recipe, once they're baked with cheese and eggs they're not hot at all. 

The frittata was really tasty, very satisfying, and really quick and simple to make. We ate it with some green beans, and lettuce and onion salad from the garden.

I harvested the rest of my potatoes yesterday, the Pentland Javelins. Not a massive crop, but they grew well, there's lots of big potatoes. Might use the rest of the jalapenos and make a sag aloo (potato and spinach curry) with these potatoes.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Miskin Manor and gardens

Today I went with Mum and Dad and Steve to Miskin Manor for afternoon tea. It's only round the corner from our house, but I've never been before. 

We enjoyed the tea and sandwiches and cakes, and then went for a stroll in the lovely gardens. Here are  some pictures, and the many types of dalias. 


More harvesting

I harvested all the Estima potatoes a couple of days ago. Here they are. Not a massive crop, but they were nice to eat and there were some big ones in there. 

We also ate a couple more cobs of corn. So sweet!

This cuce got eaten for dinner:

And we made a lovely salad from Dad's tommys:

...some basil and onions from my garden. Lovely.

St Fagans Food Festival and Cardiff Craftivism

On Saturday Steve & I went along to St Fagans Food Festival, and met up with my friend Marie.  It was a glorious day, sun shining, we had some nice food from one of the stalls and enjoyed the atmosphere, it was so busy!

many types of apples

a trip to St Fagans is never complete without a cheesy bun from Popty’r Dderwen

At the festival I went along to an event organised by the lovely Sian. It was part of the new Cardiff Craftivists movement, you should join us! Here's the Facebook page so you can 'like' it.  It's craft and activism at the same time, the idea is that by using the gentle comforting art of craft you can still get important political messages out to people. We sewed messages onto jam jar lids. Here are some photos.

my message 'If we don't change, we don't grow'

Sian's amazing tomato jam

Burt's lid

More info about Craftivism and jam jar lids here

Oh and the lovely French onion seller was at St Fagans again this year, but I didn't need to buy any, cos I've grown my own!