The Herb Don

Here we have a herby update! My original post and when I planted my little seeds was the 28th March. I’m not sure why my seeds are little in this instance. I think most seeds are. I’m no horticulturalist.

So first up, my tomatoes. These beauties look pretty strong and in dier need of re-potting now. A task for tomorrow morning I think. Dinah sneaking in the picture too.

Thyme. Now I’ve grown this, but I’ve never actual used fresh thyme (that I can recall) in any of the recipes I have ever made. So another task is to come up with or source a killer recipe that has thyme in it. It looks like a woody plant, the leaves are small and rounded but my seedlings are growing pretty good becauae I didn’t forget to water them. This for me is amazing!

My chives are not looking as impressive. They look all weedy and sparse. I watered these too, maybe I just didn’t put enough seeds in the cup. Again, I’m no gardener. Im just a woman trying to grow some god damn herbs.

My sweet favourite basil. Beautiful big green leaves. It’s flourishing, and I love it. I really can’t wait to use this one. Teacup basil, it’s the way forward I’m telling you.

Parsley, over used in my opinion cooks and chefs seem to throw it in just about anything to add some green. I don’t mind this one and it’s growing fairly well, but it’s probably not as full as what it should be. I have no idea, but here’s a picture because well this is a picture post!

So there you have it, an update on my herb teacups. Small and delicate. Edible? We will find out, and if there are no more posts you can assume I’ve been eaten by the dodgie looking chives.

My grandma gave me a plant today too. It’s an outdoor one thank goodness. At least that way if I kill it I don’t have to look at it so much. It is one of my favourites though.

My orchids are in bloom too. Maybe I’m better at this gardening thing than I initially thought. Just call me Don.

Love and flower power.

Xoxo, Don Lotty

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High on Thinners

I planted my seeds. This is the first thing you need to know about today. I got out my tea cups, gave them a good wash. Gathered my green fingers kit and cracked on.

Delilah happily sat in her high chair and played “feed the cats snacks they wouldn’t even sniff at”. I added my compost to my teacups, used a spray bottle with water to make sure it was damp, sprinkled my seed and covered it with a little more compost. Sprayed it again with some more water, and done.

Cute right! They’re sat on my kitchen windowsill. They will take (according to the seed planting destructions) between 7 and 21 day to sprout; and no the tiny paper packets didn’t use those specific terms. I’ve found this little project really therapeutic. It didn’t take long, but it was really calming. I did a couple of teacups with tomato seed in there too. This will need replanting once they emerge from the muck.

Man has come home tonight, and didn’t even say hello. Just opened his post then got bad funky mood after reading a letter he received. I’ve put baby to bed (record time in the lighter weather), cleared up from tea and while I’ve been doing this he’s been doing something with his Airsoft guns. Something with paint thinners.

Now I’m sat in the living room feeling all high off the thinners and about to get my serious “read some blogs” head on.

Happy reading,

L xox

Plant A Seed and It Will Grow

I was twittering on about getting more into gardening. When I say more, I mean make a start on something insignificantly small. Herbs for my kitchen small. This cracking idea brewed after tidying my small back yard of some rubbish that really needs to be taken to the local tip. I had a grand stiring of ideas after watching some Monty Don on Sunday and decided to get over the fact I’ve not ever successfully grown anything on purpose.

Monday morning roles round and I’m on a mission. I tuck Delilah in her pram. The sun is shining, like really strong shining and not pretending so it’s got me all optimistic. My horlicultural mission was calling.

Now in my head walking to wilko’s was a quick effort, I mean it only takes maybe 15 – 20 mins in the car. The way to Brighouse from Wyke is pretty straight forward and the vista is a lovely one. The journey on the way there was pretty good.

Delilah and I had a pit stop so she could have a bottle. We then ventured into wilko’s to find our seeds. I picked out chives, basil, thyme, parsley and some tomatoes (just to clarify I’m not that dense, I know tomatoes aren’t herbs). I already decided not to buy pots, I’m going to be creative- but that’s tomorrow’s blog. I even picked up 20 litres of compost. At this point I’m winning, even walked up the toy aisle when Delilah was awake. She picked out a yellow tambourine and then we wrestled at the till so the man could scan it. I’ve paid for the lot, stick the compost in the pram basket and the seeds in my bag. Bless her soul, Delilah was shaking her tambourine all the way out of the shop.

Arh the journey home. No one ever talks about the trip home. Yes, this was the more challenging part of our mission. You see, it’s all up hill and with an extra 20lts of compost in tow it’s a hard fucking slog. It was so warm. The sun, the actual sun had stayed out and it was really warm so the coat came off and water stops were a must. Delilah was all good, just sat in her little boss chair being wheeled around shaking her tambourine with all that sass.

1 litre of water and two serious hills later, we made it to my mum’s house because I’d managed to invite myself to crash mum’s mate date with one of her besties. Guess what?! They had arranged to meet for a walk! After the days mission, I felt as though I was going to fall asleep before 7pm. It felt like we’d actually been on some journey to middle earth. These seeds better grow. Tomorrow they get the planting treatment.

They better grow…

Ribes Uva-Crispa Crumble

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Ribes Uva-Crispa Crumble (gooseberry crumble to you and I)

Madly high in vitamin C, these sour suckers make a kick ass crumble.

Ingredients

Punet of gooseberries
150g of Plain Flour
75g of Butter (actual real butter)
75g Caster Sugar
2 handfuls of oats

Wash the berries and nip off the woody looking left over flower bud. Pop them in a large saucepan with a splash of water and gently brig to the boil. The fruit will begin tk pop and squelch down at this point add a generous handful of sugar. Remember, you can always add more but you can’t take it away, so taste as you are adding ans get to the right sweetness for you. I like it on the pucker side, just tart enough to make you mouthwater. In its new mushy state leave to cool and prep the crumble.

Crumble is easy, experiment with different sugars, add nuts and seeds if you will. Whatever takes your fancy. I think light soft brown sugar makes an amazing caramel tasting top for Apple crumble. For the gooseberries I stuck to the oldy but goody, tried, tasted and loved standard recipe. But like I said experiment.

In a mixing bowl with your hands,rub together the butter and flour till it reaches a breadcrumb like texture. Add the sugar in along with the oats and run your hands through as though you were playing with sand to mix it.

In an ovenproof dish pour in the cooling gooseberry slush and pile on top the golden crumbly sand. Bake for 30 mins or unill the top is dark golden and the sauce from the berries bubbles up at the side. Serve with your chosen accompaniment. Man likes hot custard with everything but I’m much more of a vanilla icecream girl. If your mouth waters as you take the first bite, you know that a small victory has been won!

Love
L xox

Farmers Market

Saturday brought a downturn in automobiles, but an upturn in weather.

Man and I tripped out to Leeds to a farmers market in Farsley. It was a small affair. The stalls provided us with lots to veiw, interesting homemade food and homegrown produce much to my enjoyment. I purged and bought something from nearly every stall. Homemade flatbreat from the first plus two pies (which man has eaten already).

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The second stall I bought a bunch of beetroot. It’s not something I have ever bought before in this very raw form, but I roasted it on Sunday, and ate with tiny bit of Wensleydale cheese melted on top. The beautiful but ever lasting pinkness still blushes my hands. Along with the bloody pink goodness, we purchased a punet full of gooseberries. For mans crumble (recipe coming soon).

Demon dog wasn’t left out. No need to say, he was spoilt as per usual. Woofins and doggie pop!  As you can see he enjoyed them thoroughly (and no he didn’t eat them all at once). Take a look at the ladies Facebook page, all the treats are handmade!

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For dinner we choose to have samosas and onion bhaji. Amazing! We bought them at the market along with everything else, warmed them up at home. The bhaji was beautiful, majorly light and not greasy. Our samosas were saag aloo (spinach and potato). Wonderfully spiced the parcel was crisp and moreish. I only wish we had bought more yum!! Syndi Duke is clearly passionate about her craft, and what a craft! Make sure to have a look at Syndi’s website. There are some amazing spice packs with the recipes so you can have a go you on your own.

Sunday saw the start of my first home brewing project.  Sparkling elderflower wine. But more of that next weekend when I know it’s worked.

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Any who, happy Monday folks. Enjoy your week 🙂

L xox