Thursday, 26 May 2011

~To Cath or not to Cath~

When planning to spruce up my bedroom, I read Miss Thrifty's blog about the Albany Millie wallpaper that's a good lookey-likey of Cath Kidston's Antique Rose wallpaper. About £6 per roll cheaper, granted, but after much deliberation  I decided some things are too important and gorgeous to pinch the pennies over; so I succumbed!  When I got to York's Cath Kidston it was out of stock- aaaagh!, but the ladies there were lovely and helpful and ordered me 3 rolls from a London branch. Husband says it gives him headache; but I absolutely love it and think it was worth the extra pounds.
Excuse the unironed rumpled bedlinen...
Time to get ready and pack for a half-term break now. Have got my patchwork hexagons made from vintage fabric scraps all ready for a bit of beach al fresco sewing...

....and will try not to worry too much about my plants - I've sunk some upside-down drinks bottles and watered them well, so we shall see if they survive.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

~Garden Salad~

I've grown veg for about 6 years now; despite loving gardening from my late twenties I was hesitant to get growing veg, for fear of failure I think - of doing it wrong somehow. Once you've started it dawns on you that that's the joy of it; that each year crops grow differently and results are dependent on nature as well as you.This year I gave up my allotment (sob) as it was unrealistic for me, so now I'm being more creative with my little garden - spinach, salad leaves, kohl rabi, tomatoes, squash, strawberries, runner beans, courgettes, garlic, leeks, herbs, chillis - amazing what you can squeeze in! And have room for flowers and perennials too. So tonight, it was in from work, out the back door with scissors and colander, and 5 minutes later you have a garden salad all cobbled together from what you find outside. Cheaper and tastier than something out of a plastic bag methinks.
If you're about to have a go I would definitely advise a John Seymour book (an old one from a Car Boot Sale if poss) which is sound basic stuff to learn. Try not to get too carried away, like super-enthusiastic me two weeks ago, who was seduced by the sun and planted everything out. I normally wait until after Chelsea, which reminds me -can't wait for Chelsea coverage tonight with Sarah Raven.  Most of my veg plants look a bit wind-whipped and forlorn at the moment, will it have taught me a lesson? Probably not. 

Sunday, 22 May 2011

~Lovely weekend~

The village has looked great with the Royal Wedding Union Jacks blowing in the wind, most of the shops and houses on the main street have joined in, and lovely that the flags are still there to celebrate the village Gala this weekend.

A great time was had by all on Saturday afternoon and better still it stayed fine and sunny.  It's not so nice today so, what better to do on this wild and windy Sunday, than to get baking; radio on, pinny on, oven on...I made gorgeous lemon curd earlier in the week with eggs from my friend's hens and thought I'd use the duck eggs today to make the blueberry muffins, each containing a hidden blob of lemon curd in the centre.  The lemon curd is made from an old Marguerite Patten recipe and always tastes gorgeous, but this batch was a lovely custard yellow, thanks to the happy eggs...
The muffin concoction is a tried and tested one, which like many others is handwritten in my polka dot book of favourite recipes that sits atop the other favourite cookbooks in the kitchen.

My copy of 'What to Eat Now' is always kept on the left as Valentine Warner's face makes me smile. Sad but true. Time to get ready for the working week now; but at least my lovely colleagues and I can have a blueberry and lemon curd muffin as a Monday morning treat; if there's any left by then...