Tuesday 24 August 2010

Some tomato help please.

Well we are having a very good year for our tomatoes and as they are in such great abundance I wanted to make some fresh tomato soup as it's one of my favourite soups.

I am wanting to make a thin soup not a creamy one and after looking around quite a lot I have found several recipes but they all seem to be containing garlic and lots of herbs.
For myself only this isn't a problem as I love these ingredients however I wanted to make some for my Mum too as she has always grown my tomato plants from seed for me and she too loves tomato soup but doesn't like a lot of herbs and hates garlic full stop, so I was hoping I could produce a soup that she could enjoy as most of them in the stores she doesn't like due to the herbs and garlic added.

tomatoesDon't you jut love the smell of freshly picked tomatoes!!

So do any of you have a recipe for tomato soup that doesn't contain garlic and herbs?? It isn't really too much of a problem to make a recipe and play around a bit nut I thought I would check first to see if such a recipe does exist....Here's hoping you can help.

Thanks :-)

Oh...and my favourite way to eat tomatoes....skinned....quartered and then a little salt and pepper cracked over them then left in a dish about half hour at room temperature before eating...delicious!!

How do you like your tomatoes??

Sunday 22 August 2010

Fun on the plot!!!

Well today has been a good day and after yesterday's weather we really needed it!!!

Yesterday morning didn't start off too bad although it was very windy but it soon started to rain and it cam in short sharp bursts...we had friends over for a bbq last night and whilst we were sitting outside with the bbq cooking the heavens opened and rain lashed down .....I saved the bbq by dragging it under the carport and my hubby ran indoors....My friend Martin kept me company in the stream that the carport had become and my friend Kate....(you should know her she has the allotment with me!!) sat cross legged like a little gnome on the table in the garden under the parasol...oh it was all good fun!!

Anyway today it has been dry ALL day. The sun has shone and there have been a few wispy clouds...even the wind stayed away for the day.

My cousin rang me saying he was bringing some more manure up so I rushed up the plot and quickly dug him some potatoes, carrots, onions and beetroot and also picked him some kohl rabi, borlotti beans swiss chard and chili's...I also gave him a few plums so he was very happy with the return for this installment of manure.

I spent a couple of hours up the plot tonight but as usual didn't take my camera so you'll just have to take my word for it that i got plenty done and it's starting to look something like and allotment as opposed to a jungle!!

Whilst sorting out and adding some more to the manure heap I disturbed a beautiful grass snake...It was about 3ft in length and had obviously been basking in the heat of the heap...I hope it comes back again as it was a lovely looking creature and I would love to get a photo for you!

Well that's all I have to update now...not very exciting really but never mind...hopefully the weather will be kind again tomorrow and I can get a bit more work done and maybe my lawns cut too!!!

Friday 20 August 2010

At last some work done on the allotment!!!!

Well it's just gone 10pm and I'm dog tired but figured I should get this post up quick in the hopes that I can get back to the allotment again tomorrow!!

I got quite a lot of weeding done today and I also managed to come home with a wheelbarrow full of produce so I was quite pleased when I arrived home.....even if I was very wet and dirty!!

Now it's going to turn into a mostly picture post...lazy but effective and less thinking to be done!!These are only the 'Before' pictures as I was way to dirty to touch the camera but the time I was due to come home.

grapeschili peppers

Above are my grape vines that are going to be moved at the end of the season and my mammoth chili peppers which the kids are convinced even smell hot!!

melonherb patch

My melon is on the right and I held it so you could get an idea of the size. I only have two this big but I'm not bothered...I have enjoyed learning by error and hope it matures fully.My herb patch is on the left and looking very healthy!!


On the right is my way out of control pumpkin which has now been severely hacked back and my sweetcorn is on the left which I am very proud of as this is the first year I have ever manged to get some to germinate....can't wait for it to be ripe enough to pick!!

old allotmentnew allotment

And finally an overall view of the plot, on the right the plot of two years and the bare gaps you see are where I have dug the potatoes and on the left is the new plot from this year, as you can see there are plenty of weeds about and on the new plot nothing is planted in the middle but I will keep working on the land!!

Well that's about it really, I wanted some winter plants this year but have run out of time so I think I am going to bite the bullet and order some plug plants from 'Suttons' as they have an offer on and I figure it's better than having nothing at all. I have now dug all my 'Maris Peer' potatoes and will start on the 'Charlottes this weekend....(just have to remember where I planted them!!)

The allotment is now looking a lot tidier than in the photos and weather permitting tomorrow I will get a couple of picks so you can see the difference!

Oh and harvested today were, beetroot, kohl rabi, french dwarf beans, runner beans, courgettes, marrow, maris peer potatoes, carrots, chili's, raspberries oh and I pulled up and laid my onions!!

Oh and just to let you know...i have only had one taker on my 'Paw it forward post', so if you haven't read that one please take a look and say in your comment if you want to take part.

Wednesday 18 August 2010

Weather watch Wednesday...week 33 2010.

Well I know I have missed a couple of weather watches but to be perfectly honest you really haven't missed out on anything exciting.

Whilst we were in Wales and the weather although not hot was pleasantly warm and stayed dry for us my sister told me that there was A LOT of heavy rain at home so I really was pleased with our holiday weather.

Upon returning home there was sun and warmth for a few days....just long enough for me to get all the washing dry and restock the cupboards and get some other stuff done...then the minute I had some time to get to the allotment the heavens opened and we had horrific thunder storms too.

Of course this week has been pretty much the same...the wind is usually whipping around and I am pleased to say that burying my tomato tubs slightly has done the trick as I haven't had to rescue them once this year but the rain lashing as it does is quite painful at times.

I have decided though to not care about the weather this weekend...I WILL go to the plot...even if I do have to swim there!!!!!

Tuesday 17 August 2010

Paw it forward.

Well back at the end of June I commented on Ann's blog that I would like to join in this post and although I have cats and not a dog she said it was fine I could join in and then some time later (however not this much later but I have been really bad about doing posts since returning from my holiday) I received a package through the post for my cats.

I thought this was a lovely idea and it reminded very much of a movie I watched a few years ago called 'Pay it forward' which was along the same sort of system but involved people doing good deeds....if you haven't seen or heard of it I recommenced you check it out.

Anyway below you will see the goodies which were provided for my cats. They adored the treats and have played with the mice although I have to admit I have been quite bad at snapping shots of them playing with them!! But I can assure you that they have had much use.

cat treats I thank you Ann for letting me be involved with this post and now I will post the rules of the post directly from Ann's site so you know what to do to take part.

“The exchange focuses on doing an act of kindness without expecting anything in return other than that the recipient will, in their turn, pass the kindness along and ‘paw it forward’ in their own way. This is how it works…we are going to agree to send something fun, inspiring or uplifting to the first 3 bloggie friends who post a comment on this entry. In turn you will then post about this on your blog, then send something to the first three friends who sign up to play along through your blog. There are no cost restraints, but don’t go crazy! The little something you send can be something you made, bought, were given or found. No biggie, just a gift that will make the person smile. Maybe something unique from where you live? And, remember that kindness doesn’t have to involve money; there are untold ways to help others every single day, everywhere you go – just look around.” SO PAW IT FORWARD…

If you would like to take part in this game, then please indicate clearly in your comment and I will ’Paw It Forward’ to the first
3 bloggie friends who say they want to join in.

Anything with 'paws' goes!!!!

Oh and I am fully aware that this has nothing at all to do with gardening or the allotment but the weather has been so crummy lately I have got nothing done...I have big plans for this week though...even if I do have to get wet!!!!!


Tuesday 10 August 2010

The allotment does fine on it's own for a week!!

Well we are back from our holidays and I have to admit the the allotment was looking fine after keeping itself for a week.

Dave watered my greenhouse for me but apart from that it was just allowed to grow.

Maris Peer potatoes
These are the Maris Peer potatoes. They boil well, are nice cold and have a lovely white flesh and great texture. Plenty of tubers to each plant.

The sweetcorn has done really well over the last week and has grown tall and strong with three ears coming on each stalk...I was also pleasantly surprised to find the melons which weren't quite the size of golf balls are now bigger than tennis balls!!!

selection of veg and fruitThe pickings for Sunday dinner...carrots, french dwarf beans, courgette and runner beans. Also dug up the garlic and got a few salad bits for tea too!!

Not done any work on the plot since I came home as I've been playing catch up with the washing, ironing and shopping but I did go down Sunday morning for some veggies for dinner and I think this is probably one of the best things about having my allotment....knowing that I could get fresh veggies first thing in the morning without having to go to town!!

huge beetrootI am very pleased with my beetroot this year and even though this one was so huge it was still lovely and tender after being baked in the oven!!

A lot of tidying up needs doing and I still need to finish digging over a bit of land but all in all I am very pleased with how things are going this year even with a few disasters!!!