Sunday, 29 June 2014

Diggin my Potatoes.

The stems had all died back, so I concluded that it was time to dig my potatoes up. Not a bad crop for 6 sacks of compost and £5 of seed potato from the pound shop. Of course I have already had one bag as you know and they were very tasty. These should keep us going for a little while, with some given to Peter next door in thanks for his help recently.

Now they just need to dry off a bit and I can store them.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Lamb Burger with Trimmings.

We went to Totnes yesterday, for the market, and to try to get a day out as the weather was breaking. (Glastonbury weekend so it was bound to rain)

We had a couple of showers in the day and a rumble or two, but  we dodged them, and it was beautiful when I took the dogs to Sharkham mid afternoon. The clouds shadows on the sea was striking, so I took a few shots.

along with crepuscular rays, cloud shadow is one of my favourite sights.

I also found the following sign in a Health Food Shop in Totnes, very apt;

Totnes was looking good between the thunderstorms yesterday, I love the views of surrounding hills poking between the buildings.

Now to food, and I really fancied a Lamb Burger for lunch, but the menu had changed in the cafe we normally use, so I was denied. And then I thought, why not get the bits and do it yourself!

Of course, once you do, you can make it personal, and this now wasn't going to be any old Lamb Burger, this would be a Lamb Burger with Goats Cheese and Mint.

I picked some mint from the garden,

chopped it and mixed it into the Lamb Mince.

Then I moulded the mince into cups and filed with Goats Cheese,

Finally covering the cheese to make a burger.

I had made some rolls earlier, with leftover dough from the Millie order,

Now its time to cook the burgers and marry the two, with a little salad, sprayed with Balsamic.

That's supper sorted, andwe've had a few good days out, so it can rain for a while if it wants. At least we don't have to water the Tomatoes.

Something New Part 2

Saturday morning, and I'm out of my comfort zone.

Now I can do a Sundried Tomato Focaccia, and even a Herb Ciabatta, but a Pesto Twist?
I made it up on the spur of the moment when asked for a third dipping bread, I didn't want a loaf like the least one,

so decided to go for a plait, but with a twist.

I separated my dough into three portions and stretched them a little,

then spread pesto,

 and rolled them up,

and then plaited it and left it to prove.

After 25 minutes in the oven it looked like I had hoped.

I'm desperate to cut it and see what the inside looks like.

Meanwhile the Focaccia was turning out as dependable as ever,

and the Herb Ciabatta, well overnight the dough had risen and bubbled quite a bit,

I made the loaf,

 and baked it,

So after all the excitement, I think that they turned out well. I will deliver them soon and wait for the reaction, but already on twitter the anticipation is building.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Trying Something new

Millie and Me are having a pop-up bar with all sorts of food this weekend,

and I have been tasked with providing the breads. But not any old breads, Oh No; Sundried Tomato and Olive Focaccia, Herb Ciabatta and a Pesto Twist no less.

I do love a challenge, good job really.

So for Saturday delivery, I'm starting on Friday morning with the ferments for the Ciabatta and the Pesto bread.

The Pesto Bread mix is a straightforward dough, with a slow rise to develop the flavour, and looks pretty normal in its bowl.

The herb Ciabatta meanwhile is a much wetter dough,

hard to see here but its almost half and half flour and water. So quite difficult to handle. After a rest in the bowl, I put it on my trusty board, where it ran all over the place.

I folded it for a while and returned it to rest, then repeated at intervals over 40 minutes, by the end it was getting a structure, now it can snooze till tomorrow.

Half way

After 4 folds.

The Focacia will be done from scratch in the morning.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

A new Shed rises

My garden shed suffered in last winters storms. One of the panels had a structural failure, and was repaired with old bits of wood and plastic bin liners, oh and a lot of finger crossing that it would last till summer.

Apart from a bit of water getting in, it did, but when I ordered a replacement, I was told there was a months wait, well hat was OK but then the day before delivery, I was called to say that there would be another 6 weeks before it arrived. By then the weather had improved a lot, and I didn't want to start the whole process again so I agreed.

It arrived last week and was stored in the garage, whilst we emptied and dismantled the old one. Well I say dismantled because it practically fell down as soon as I started to take the roof off.

Its all ready for the man to some and take it to the tip for me, I could do it myself but it would mean cutting it all up into smaller bits, and a day of driving (its a 10 mile round trip) so its easier for him to do it in one load. And cheaper. Plus I can spend the time putting the new one up.

He was prompt and he was brilliant, all the debris was loaded in about 10 minutes and the site was clear.

After a cup of coffee, Yvonne and I got going, the time was 12 noon.

And at 2.30 pm, this was how it looked.

Fantastic, now I can fill it with junk. There's a few things still to do but nothing major, I need some shelves inside and a couple of storage boxes, and a post to hang the gate on, time for a trip to the builders merchant.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

No Pressure

I thought that I'd copy this from facebook, all I have to do now is bake the bread. And you need to turn up and enjoy it. Check them out on Facebook.

Looking forward to a great night on Saturday! As well as our usual menu we have some delicious sharing platters for you including:
Nachos, salsa, guacamole and melted cheese, Mezze with bruschetta, olives, hummus and Sun Blushed tomatoes and a special bread basket served with olive oil, balsamic and Pesto Oil.
Our fabulous baker Richard is preparing herbed ciabatta, olive and sundried tomato focaccia and a pesto twist! We're looking forward to that especially! Mmmm

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Saturday, 21 June 2014

Solstice Blessings to you All.

I can't quite cope with the idea that it's the longest day already, it hardly seems yesterday it was Yule, but that's probably a sign of getting old. (That and the police looking young!)

I drove back from Gravesend this morning, after a good photo of sunrise over Tilbury Power Station.

I decided against taking the A303 past Stonehenge, as I thought it would be busy, so instead took the M4 and M5 route via Bristol. A bit further, but delay free.

After a snooze, I took the dog for a walk along the cliffs, there was an intrepid hang-glider floating around,

and it was one of those perfect afternoons, warm but with enough breeze to make it pleasant, and a joy to be out.

I have been resisting digging up my potatoes, but the stems are wilting now so I took the plunge and tried one of the bags.

Not a bad crop, certainly enough for lunch tomorrow, and another 6 bags left to dig later.

I have just put a preview of my latest work of fiction up on Createspace for comments. This one is a crime thriller set in the future, (there's a thread running through all my work!) so if you're interested have a look, all comments appreciated. (Except the abusive or downright rude) Here's the link.
Hope you had a great solstice, and that you've got over the football.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Round Up

I finally finished off Yvonne's birthday pressie, with a bit of bunting and a few decorations. There are some lights coming next week, but they will be on the inside. It looks pretty good, just have to do the rest of the garden now.

While we were at it, I put up a new arch over the front gate, last winters winds and the weight of the Passion Flower on it meant it was about to fall on someones head. We did keep a few bits of the Passion Flower though, so it can start again.

Here's a few random pictures from the garden, its looking very "Cottage" at the moment, with lots of Bees and Hover flies in residence, maybe I should consider Honey production?

Talking of Bees, the Blackberries down on my personal patch are developing, and should give a huge crop this year, there are plenty to go round, if you're quick!!!

and I picked my first strawberries from the garden.
soon to be joined by a pepper.

Off to work today, got a big project next week, dismantle my old shed (easy as its falling down) and build a new one, lots of potential there. So if you need dry weather for a job, get it finished before I start as its bound to rain while I have the roof off.