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Aaaah, still loving our life!

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Know Your Onions!

I don't normally write two posts so close together but what the heck.

Yesterday I had to leave home at 12.30 as it was the boys' swimming gala and I was to take them plus one of Harry's classmates to the pool at Tregaron. Out of the three schools we came third but they all tried their best and will get certificates at the next assembly.

As I had to leave at lunchtime and eat early I thought I'd better get something done outside. Here is what is going on in the Poly House just now; first my salad leaves coming along well



and the beans are close to flowering.


Oh a couple of odd photos. I had been requested to make a cheesecake for the men in the house so here is one I made at the weekend, with foraged blackberries, but the base asked for 400g of biscuits which made it too thick so will change that next time.


and this is Alfie all dressed up to help Jon start work on the cellar store room last Sunday.



They began working on this first stage with all the walls having the flaky paint scraped off. They were both down there again last night and one wall has been rendered. (Can't actually see that in this photo as that wall is behind the door.) Can't wait to get the floor clean and see the colours properly as it won't get all dusty as it is at the moment.


Very exciting as Jon still says it should be finished by next week! I have a vision of red gingham curtains covering the things that will be underneath the stone tops, it will have white walls definitely then I plan on storing spare crockery and my preserving jars until I need them along with jars of things which I have made. We will look for large storage containers for bulk keeping of flour, pasta and rice, too.

Anyhow, in the morning I took a few photos of the veg patch. Here are the leeks which still have some way to go with growing; maybe the cold will help them a little. 



The beetroots are looking a bit better than last week; these are a bit bigger than a golf ball so I'm going to hold out for a bit longer in the hope that they improve before lifting them.



You can actually see the swedes here! I literally only have a couple of these but they are about the size of a small turnip I think.



So the far end is starting to look a bit bare as there are just half a dozen turnips left along with the swede and a few carrots.



It is looking a little bare because.....



I lifted the onions. Eeek! Here they are laid on hessian sacks to dry in Jon's tool shed...



and here is a close up. I think they need a couple of weeks and in the mean time I'm looking for some of those old fashioned but fab string shopping bags to hang up in the cellar room. 



I haven't managed to grow lbs and lbs of them, but I have learned about spacing for the next planting. Our own onions, and next year we will have red, brown and white ones!

This morning, Thursday - how did that happen? - I got the boys looking smart for school photos and then had an email at 9.15am to say they had been postponed until after half-term. Ho hum.

I cracked on and got the yeast started for bread, lit the Rayburn and then I sat and looked through my recipe file seeking some inspiration.


I think I found a few new or different things to throw into the mix. 

After I'd collected the eggs; still getting four or five a day, I started some baking to make use of the oven. I made what should have turned out as Maids of Honour for the school harvest festival but I like to call them lemon curd and almond pop-overs! These will NOT be seen in public!


I also made some biscuits which didn't go as planned either, hey ho! They are about one and a half times to size of my palm but smell really nice and I would make them again but not quite as big!


In between taking the bread out to cool and the baking of the biscuits I went and cleaned out the chickens and managed to fork over the part of the main veg patch so I could put in one row of garlic, and the row was straight, very exciting. Did I mention we are planning on adding another veg bed in the garden when we get some more railway sleepers? That will make a real difference to planting for 2017/18.

It started to spit a little and so came in to do said biscuits and I also made myself a little chicken and lentil curry for lunch. Mmmm.


Then I  have some dusting to do in the kitchen caused by the Rayburn but such is life and I really don't mind. Pork Belly is defrosting then that will go in the Rayburn so it is ready for tea to go with wraps, corn on the cob, salad and some noodles. Not sure what I will be having... may treat myself as I have been so good these last couple of weeks.

Ok I'd better get on with stuff and at least the boys won't mind that the biscuits are a bit wonky!

By for now.

Lou.xx




18 comments:

  1. Things look great. I got my string bags from https://www.organic-ally.co.uk/string-bags/ or you can make your own there are plenty of patterns on the web

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  2. my you have been busy, I have cellar envy, having been in yours its a wonderful space :-)

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    1. Had to push myself to get out there when it was a bit cold and looking like rain but pleased with my efforts so far.

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  3. You hit house jackpot with a cellar like that! WOW it will look AMAZING!!! Are those stone shelves? Would they have been for cheese? How exciting!

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    1. Thank you Sol. Yes, we are extremely lucky and I am eternally grateful for the space. In fact we have threee cellar rooms, this one and yes the table tops are stone, not sure what they would have been used for but we will surely make the best of them; one had a huge slab of slate on it which we didn't realise we had until a few months ago and it is now outside being used as a table top near the Airbnb room. The second room has the washer, drier, shoe racking and coat hanging in and the third is my craft room and has the piano in. Hope I don't sound too smug, we are just making the best of what we have and really couldn't believe the house when we found it - it truly was meant for us but we really couldn't make the use of it that we are doing if it were not for Jon being so handy and doing all the work. More photos to follow soon.

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    2. Not smug, you looked hard for the house that you found and are making the best you possibly can of it. Thats clever not smug. :) I love looking at pictures of other peoples houses. Some people dont like it, but I also like to see peoples holiday pictures as well... Those slabs of stone and slate are fab. at my Grans old farm they have stone shelves, they were from the old dairy. They used to make cheese on the farm before elf and safety!

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    3. I LOVE looking at pictures of pantrys and store rooms, quite sad but there you go. I really hope to make the best of the room and when the slabs and floor are clean it will be great. Shall stop now!

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  4. Oh where do I start. I love to see photos like this. The cellar is out of this world and to have 3! Wow. Never worry about sounding smug as you don't and you should be hugely proud of what you have. I wonder if the cold slabs were for meat too?
    Those biscuits are right up my street size wise 😂😃. Also you've given me an idea for Jack for christmas with Alfie in those overalls! Bet he had loads of fun helping his Dad. Xx

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    1. The overalls ar just great. They weat them over their school uniform and even that is good enough to keep them clean and they can just get on with stuff. They have had overalls since they were about 5 I think, maybe younger.x

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    2. Perfect jacks just turned 6. I wonder if they do girls ones! X

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    3. I think as long as you like the design they are good for boys and girls. My two love theirs.

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  5. Like some of other comments here - cellar envy! What fun to be able to fill that space with preserves and other good stuff.

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    1. Thanks Greta. I am SOOOOO excited. I do think I'm a little sad letting my head spin at the thought of it but I have looked at photos of pantrys and store rooms for years wishing I had something simialr. As I write this I can hear Jon downstairs finishing the rendering and Father in Law is arriving today with the plaster board so the ceiling can be done, too. I AM a very lucky but tremendously grateful girl, too!

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  6. Oh wow, you have been busy! How great to have a store room, I am making do with a room in the garage, not half as glamorous :) Lovely to see all your home grown veg. I have just been out picking the last few blackberries in our field, I hadn't thought of putting them on a cheese cake, looks delicious.

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    1. Thanks Chickpea. Lucky you with the blackberries, ours came to an end a couple of weeks ago but we had a good amount, will make an even bigger effort next year as just loved being able to take a handfull from the freezer for my porridge!

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  7. Wow. You fit a lot in. I used to use our outhouse as a store room, before we renovated it. Miss seeing the strings of onions in there. Quite envious of your store room. I think gingham curtains would look good.

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    1. Thanks Cheryl. We do keep busy but frequently sit down to watch a film, like the last two nights, and fall asleep either in the middle of or miss the end, due to always getting up between 6.30 and 7am depending on the time of the year but we wouldn't have it any other way. Can't wait to get the curtains made!

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Thank you so much for finding the time to comment. I really appreciate it and will always try to reply.xx