Monday, 29 June 2009

Pizza in the Garden

This is our pizza oven! Actually it officially belongs to hubby as the family gave it to him for his birthday a few years ago. As you can imagine we did not use it a great deal last year, however we appear to be living off pizzas, each weekend, at the moment. It is always a great opportunity to invite friends in and this weekend was no different. As salad leaves are growing in abundance in the garden at the moment, pizza and salad is the dish of the day on most Saturdays and Sundays.

I also took this picture of our church yesterday morning. It looked so lovely and picturesque in the sunshine. Many of our good friends also attend and so it is like meeting family each Sunday. We even have a website:
Also I have said that I will send a special message to my young friend Ryan who has broken his leg, rather badly. To have the whole of your leg in a plaster cast is bad enough, but in this weather! He is being very brave and hopefully he will soon be able to start getting around in a wheelchair. So, get well soon Ryan and keep watching the blog!

Monday, 15 June 2009

It's never too late to learn

Last week, a very dear friend of mine, Sheila came for a day's visit. We go back quite a long time, having met through teaching. She is probably the most talented teacher that I know. Having recently retired she is now on quest to learn new skills that she never had time for whilst stuck in the classroom. First lesson was how to make Elderflower Cordial. (Last year I made gallons of the stuff for our daughter's wedding). Sheila got hooked on it! Off we both went to the Common and here is the result.
Recipe. (A Sophie Grigson special)
Makes about 1-2 litres
20 large heads of elderflower
1.8kg granulated sugar
75g citric acid (from chemists)
2 lemons
Preparation: Put elderflowers in large bowl. Place sugar in a pan a generous litre of water. Slowly bring to boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Pour over elderflowers and stir in citric acid. Add grated zest of lemons, then slice lemons and add to the bowl. Cover and leave for 24 hours. Strain through double muslin, pour into sterilised bottles and store in a cool dark place.
I sometimes serve it with fizzy water. Very refreshing!
The veg are now really beginning to grow. The carrots in this deep plant pot have really enjoyed themselves. Our soil is very heavy clay and so crops like carrots and parsnips need to be in much lighter soil to get any decent results. The pot next to the carrots has marigolds and peas growing in it.

Hubby has also made a number of these raised beds for the patio. They are made from decking, bought from the DIY place when greatly reduced. We always line them so that any chemicals from the tanalised timber does not infaltrate into the soil. In this bed we are growing French beans, tomatoes, marigolds and the odd chilli plant. Tikka (the chicken) will try to have a scratch among the plants if not stopped.

Hubby has also been very busy indoors. I sent him to the recylcing tip recently to get rid of some bottles and cans. He came back very excited and proceeded to tell me that he had met someone who was throwing away this pine chest of drawers. He asked if he may have it and duly brought it home. After a rub down with a piece of sandpaper, I was able to use some paint, found lurking in the workshop and managed to produce a reasonable looking piece of furniture. A great deal of sewing equipment is now residing in those drawers.
He also made the cotton reel stand as I was so fed with trying to find the correct coloured thread for corresponding sewing. A very colourful addition to my workroom!