Monday 27 September 2021

Veggie pie


Today on the plot I harvested some more Cara potatoes, my first sweetcorn of the season and yet more chillies!  Luckily the weather was better this morning than it's been the rest of today.  It was a short visit as there was a rugby match due to start and I just managed to get out before the crowd arrived.  A few of my fellow plot holders later said the road into the allotment site was completely blocked and they couldn't get out!

I boiled the potatoes and made a huge pot of mash.  I blanched the sweetcorn and had it in the freezer within an hour of picking.  It was so sweet and delicious!

I sautΓ©ed a mixture of home grown veg lurking in the fridge and some frozen stuff to create a sort of pie filling.  I added some soya cream and nutritional yeast to create a creamy sauce.

I topped it with some of the mashed potatoes and made a veggie pie.  Very simple but very delicious!!  That's lunch and dinners for the next few days sorted! πŸ˜‹

Sunday 26 September 2021

Is it worth it?


When I think of the time and effort that I put into growing 'stuff' I find myself asking at the end of the season 'Is it worth it?'

I planted my tomato and chilli seeds on the 23rd of March, that's 6 months ago!  I nurtured them in my new heated propagator and then potted them on when they grew big enough.

I gave some to friends and planted the strongest ones in my polytunnel.  Then I fractured my ankle and needed my son to check them regularly so they didn't die in my absence.

Luckily they survived and I spent my whole summer holiday nurturing them as they were the only things that survived the neglect and the wet months of May and June.

There are still a few tomatoes ripening on the windowsill but so far I've processed enough in various ways to fill 11 of these containers and freeze them.  Each one is equivalent to a can of tomatoes currently costing 28p in my supermarket.  But surely they taste better for being home grown and organic?  Honestly, there's no difference in taste once it's made into a sauce!

But those 6 months gave me a reason for going to my favourite place even when the weather was awful.  Even when I didn't feel like leaving the house.  Maybe when I pull out a frozen tub of tomato sauce in the middle of Winter it will make me smile and start my plans for next year. πŸ…

So true!! πŸ’–

Wednesday 22 September 2021



It was inevitable.  Despite our best effects in school I've got 4 positive cases in my class and at least 2 in the other P1 class.  Poor wee souls!

I've not been tracked and traced/pinged as a close contact as teachers aren't counted (don't get me started!) but I've had a letter saying I'm a 'short low key' risk.  Whatever that means!!!!  I also got a letter from the National Clinical Director for the Scottish government informing me how low risk schools are and that "IT" can't be transmitted by children. 

It's all nonsense to avoid those working in schools self isolating if they've been in close contact.  I mean you can't get much closer contact than 4 and 5 year olds hugging you, holding your hand, needing first aid etc etc for 6 hours a day.

I wear a mask. I sanitise my hands a million times a day. I clean everything in my class many times a day.  I test myself daily.  I'm fully vaccinated for "IT" plus I got my annual flu jab recently.  I'm keeping myself as healthy as I can.

I hope it's enough πŸ™

Tuesday 21 September 2021

Preserving the harvest


The cherry tomatoes took 16 hours in my dehydrator.  I'm in a dehydrating group on FB and was worried about over doing them.  Apparently that's pretty impossible!! They are very crispy!  I had 4 trays like this.

On a completely different note, did you know that you can dehydrate muffins to make biscotti?? Totally trying that!!!

That's a large pasta bowl pretty full!

They filled a 1lb jar with olive oil.  I had some left over so put some in a wee jar with herbs and dried minced garlic.  If they're horrible at least I won't have spoiled the whole batch.  Jars are in fridge now.  I'll report back on the taste in a few weeks.

 I also pickled the nasturtium seeds.  That wide mouthed jar holds about 1 and 1/2 cups of the seeds.  They're brilliant scattered over veg or salad for a salty/vinegary tang! πŸ˜‹

I'm currently researching what to do with all my green chillies.  Some may turn red but looks like I've got a glut of green de Cayennes.  Any ideas?

Monday 20 September 2021

Tomatoes and chillies


Thanks for all the lovely comments on my last post.  I feel better knowing that I'm not just being picky! Polite complaining emails have been sent! πŸ˜‰  I took myself off to the allotment knowing that whatever I found (overgrown with weeds!!!) I had to get the tomatoes in.  I think a few were looking a bit 'blight-y' and some had blossom end rot so I picked them all.  Red ones, green ones and some in between ones!  I pulled out all the tomato plants and sorted the rotten ones. They're piled up in my wheelbarrow for now.  Just chillies, calendula and nasturtiums left in the polytunnel now.

I picked some more nasturtium seeds for pickling (the wee box.)  My third batch!! I love them πŸ˜‹  I'm saving some seeds to dry and use next year.  The above riot of plants is from just 10 seeds!

I picked off all the chillies from 4 of my plants.  I got 122 chillies (only 4 of them were red) but they're now on my south facing bedroom windowsill.  I hope a few more will turn red!  The ones beside the teaspoon (for size reference!) are from my garden.  The polytunnel ones have an outstanding yield!! I'm hoping to make my own hot sauce πŸ˜‹

I roasted the ripe Roma tomatoes in my new oven.  I'm just going to freeze them for convenience but I also had a load of the wee cherry type ones, Black Russian.  Too many to just eat.

So they're dehydrating nicely to make sun dried tomatoes. I'll put them in a jar with olive oil when they're done πŸ˜‹

I feel better for going to the plot and also getting some produce put away for Winter use.  My sweetcorn is nearly ready so hopefully the next visit will yield some cobs for the freezer.  I still have potatoes and onions in the ground, they'll need to be sorted out soon.

When I was leaving I noticed that the thornless bramble (blackberry) I planted earlier this year has produced some berries!  I do love an edible hedge.  It will be more prolific next year and I should be able to make some bramble jelly! πŸ˜‹  As a kid my Gran dragged us everywhere with bags to go brambling in Autumn.  She made the best jams, jellies and chutney!  Happy memories πŸ’–

Sunday 19 September 2021

Is it me?


Is it me?  Are my standards too high?  They've missed a bit!

Shouldn't plasterwork be smooth?

Should the edges of shelves be free from chips?

I've got 4 damaged doors that are being replaced (apparently damaged in transit and already logged by my installer) but I have dodgy plaster work, screws not flush with walls and some inside shelves with dents and marks.

Surely the corners of the upstand should be mitred and not just stuck together?

Am I being too picky?  I've paid a lot of money to a well known national company for a kitchen that I want to last for a very long time and I'm not happy with the finish.

I know I've still got to do a few things myself to finish it but I confess to being a wee disappointed with the quality of a so called professional finish.

Monday 13 September 2021

Work begins!


I spent all flipping weekend removing these tiles from my kitchen floor.

It was a horrible job.

All to save some money instead of getting the kitchen installers to do it.  Never again!! I'll just pay the £60 per square metre fee.

The kitchen was delivered on Saturday into my garage and the installers began work today.  The old kitchen above is gone!  I'm very excited even though we're living in utter chaos! 

Saturday 4 September 2021

You say tomato...


Finally the tomatoes are ripening!  I was beginning to think I'd have pounds and pounds of green tomatoes to pick!  Our days are shortening and the temperatures are dropping so keeping all the tomatoes on the vine to ripen is looking less likely.  I added a few over ripe bananas to the base of the plants and finally they're going red!  These ones are Roma VF for making sauce.  They're very firm and heavy.  Apparently they have a low water content so making it perfect to process into sauces.

These are Moneymaker (bit bland) and Black Russian (lovely).  I'm just eating these in salads as they ripen.

I picked the last of the blueberries this week and a few figs from the back garden.  They're very yummy!  I've still got lettuce growing too.  Now we're into September it feels like the growing season is nearing an end.  I've still to harvest my Arran Victory and Cara potatoes from the plot.  I have 10 sweetcorn husks almost ready.  There are 8 pots of de Cayenne chillies in the polytunnel, all still very green.  I might need to pick them and try to redden them at home.  My onions are small but need to be lifted soon.

It's not been the most productive year for edibles I've ever had but then it's not been a normal year for me.  My home garden has more flowers than ever so I'm taking that as a positive. 🌸🌺