Even after all these years of gardening, I still get a buzz when I see something new has grown. This morning I noticed by first runner bean of the year.
Later I saw the first ‘late’strawberries that I planted just a few months ago. This was a joy as my normal summer strawberries have just finished fruiting.
Recently I also purchased and planted some ‘early’ strawberries called ‘Marshmarvel’ in the hope of extending my strawberry season.
I had a good harvest today, but it did take quite some time to pick, especially all the peas.
When I got home I put some raspberries on top of my cereal and they were delicious. Fresh raspberries on cereal is much nicer than the dried version you buy in your cereal packets.
I think it is really important to make use of everything that our garden gives to us. Therefore as the lavender is beautiful in my garden at the moment, I decided to make some Lavender Cakes:
Lavender flowers are perfectly edible provided that you are 100% sure that they haven’t been sprayed with harmful chemicals. It’s best to pick them after a few day days and in the late morning after all the morning dew has evapourated. I always give them a quick wash under a cold tap. Here is the recipe:
2 tablespoons of lavender flowers
125g Self raising flour
125g Caster sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
125g margarine or softened butter
A drop of milk
Put the lavender flowers, flour and sugar in a blender and grind the flowers for a little bit. Seive it all into another bowl discarding the left over bits of lavender.
- Add baking powder, eggs and margarine and beat until combined.
- Add a drop of milk until the right consistancy is reached (i.e. drops off the spoon easily)
- Half fill cake cakes with the mixture and then bake for approximately 15 minutes at gas mark 5 / 375F / 190C
- When the cakes have cooled, decorate with white icing and a bit of lavender.
The cakes taste really nice as they don’t have an overpowering lavender taste, just a hit of it and they are a bit of a novelty if you have friends round for afternoon tea. However, I choose to take the lavender off the top of the cake before I eat it, as I find this tastes too strong for me. You may think differently, let me know if you do.
Tonight I made a chicken, courgette and broccoli pie for dinner:
I took the pastry from the freezer this morning (as I made double the amount when I last made some), so I only needed to defrost it and roll it out.
I also took the cooked chicken out of the freezer to defrost. Cold cooked chicken is fine to reheat provided it has been stored correctly and is piping hot when you eat it from cooked.
I fried the courgette that I picked this morning in a little olive oil and cooked the frozen spring broccoli.
I mixed the courgette, chicken and broccoli with a white sauce and then put the pastry on top and glazed with an egg.
I cooked the pie for approximately 20 minutes, until piping hot, on gas mark 6 / 400 F / 204 C
I served the pie with the potatoes, carrots and swede that I dug up this morning and used the left over curly kale that I picked from my allotment three days ago (once picked, curly kale keeps really well in your fridge).
Another very cheap meal.
All in all a very productive day.
Thanks for reading my post.