Thursday, September 19, 2013

A little basket of greens

Just sharing a photo of some vegetables I harvested yesterday. Our very first spear of asparagus! I planted 5 asparagus plants last year but unfortunately only 1 seems to have survived the drought of last summer, must put more in when I can get them.

The bright green broccoli is the Italian Romanesco variety (also called Roman cauliflower), with its cool fractal growth pattern - worth growing for looks alone! It kept it colour after cooking which is great, unlike most of the purple coloured veg which also look great when raw and then turn green when cooked.

The snow peas are Mange Tout (Carouby pea) which came up from self sown seeds of last years' miserable crop (we had a very long and harsh drought in Summer). These snow peas are doing really well now and putting out quite a lot of pods for the picking.

What greens do you have in your garden right now?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Spring time jobs in the garden

The other day was a nice Spring day just perfect for being outside in the garden. D and I spent the morning sowing seeds together. We put in some sunflowers (Giant Russian) and also some more beetroot.

Then, while I potted on some seedlings, D set off with the camera and took some photos of various flowers.

I particularly like this one of a vibrant cerise Arctosis flower:

And this bright red nasturtium flower. We have nasturtiums coming up everywhere in the garden this year, they are a good companion plant, the flowers look pretty in summer salads, and if they're growing in the wrong spot can easily be removed! Plus, importantly, the bees like them. I'm trying to grow more flowers in the vege garden because as well as looking pretty they feed the bees who we need for pollination of course (apart from their honey that is, when I get set up with a hive!)

 The tomato seedlings are doing well - I managed to get these ones going some weeks ago indoors. They are mainly the heirloom variety 'Brandywine Pink', since we had success with these biggies previously, and also a few 'Bloody Butcher' which I have not grown/tried before. Hopefully we willl get a good crop this season.

I also have some aubergine/eggplant, peppers and chilli seedlings coming along.

How are your seedlings shaping up?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Another birthday cake

Hubby celebrated his birthday recently and so it was time to get creative with another birthday cake. I forgot to take a 'before' photo, so here it is sans candles and several slices!

This time a chocolate cake, with yummy homemade raspberry mousse filling, courtesy of a Danish recipe I found here. I used a different chocolate cake recipe though, one I've used previously and knew would be OK - it contains melted dark chocolate plus Dutch cocoa. I probably overdid it with four layers - it was very tall, ha ha!
Three layers with more of the mousse filling as per the Cakejournal recipe might have worked better, so next time I'll do this instead.
However it was a delicious cake, not too sweet at all. None of us are overly keen on very sweet frosting/icing so I also used whipped cream to decorate the top and a sprinkling of some more chocolate (actually a broken up 'Flake').