I wanted to start today by saying a big thank you to all the lovely people that leave comments on my blog. Your comments have given me the confidence to continue writing my blog after I gave my four allotments up…..I was absolutely convinced at the beginning of the year that no one would want to read my blog when I started to just grow vegetables in my garden.
I have always been conscious that my blog doesn’t really fit in with other catergories of blogs, for example it’s not just a vegetable gardening blog, or just a cooking blog, etc. as I cover lots of things that I do in my normal day to day life.
We live in a three bedroom semi-detached house, in a town near a main road…..I would love a small holding in the country, but in reality this will never happen. So my blog is about making the best of what we have and through your comments I have realised that there are few blogs that do this and I am so glad you can relate to this.
Thank you for your continued support.
This week in my garden I have been picking lots of tomatoes from my outdoor plants and I have got to say that my harvest is so much better on these plants than from the plants in my greenhouse:
However, I have found a problem with one of my plants that I have in a pot. Unfortunately I have found a couple of tomatoes that have ‘blossom end rot’:
‘Blossom end rot’ is caused by a calcium deficiency and it usually seen when plants are grown in pots and growbags. There is usually enough calcium in the soil, but unfortunately if there isn’t a good flow of water to the plant then it is unable to access it, also if fertilisers are added to dry soil then this can also restrict the uptake of calcium by the plant.
My watering system that I use most days (on a timer attached to my hose on our water tap), hasn’t really been working very well this year. I have found that some plants are getting too much water and some are not getting enough, so I need to be more careful about this.
I can’t save the tomatoes that are already suffering from blossom end rot, but I can pay more attention to my watering so I can correct the problem.
My cherry tomatoes have now started producing tomatoes too and I am picking a few each day. They are lovely and sweet and usually get eaten by my daughters in seconds….but that is fine by me:
This week I have managed to make some passatta with the spare tomatoes and I have frozen this to use another time. I honestly thought I wouldn’t be able to grow enough vegetables in my small garden to be to have some left over for freezing…..I have been pleasantly surprised.
I am harvesting a lot of perpetual spinach from my garden now too (which Mr Thrift absolutely loves) and this week I made one of his favourite meals with it…..Spinach and Poached Egg Florentine:
I was also given some more produce this week…..some apples from my husband’s aunt and some courgettes, beetroot, and plums from my eldest sister. I am very grateful for these, so if you are reading this…thank you so much!
I made some courgette chutney with the courgettes my sister gave me:
And I made two ‘plum cakes’ with some of the plums (one to eat and one to freeze):
A Plum Cake Recipe:
150g caster sugar
115g margarine or butter
140g self raising flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
Approx. 10 plums, pitted and halved
Icing sugar for sprinkling on the top
Preheat your oven to 180C/ gas 4 / 350F and grease and line a cake tin:
Beat the caster sugar and margaine until fluffy:
Sieve the flour and baking powder into the butter / caster sugar and mix until combined:
Add the eggs and mix:
Pour the mixture into your cake tin and then top with the plums.
Put the cake in the oven for 35-40 minutes:
Check your cake is cooked by inserting a skewer and if it comes out clean it is cooked.
When it is cool, sprinkle with icing sugar and serve with ice cream, custard, cream or some nice homemade natural yoghurt as I do:
This week I started to think about Christmas and decided to make some brandied peaches for one of my Christmas hampers. They take three months to mature, so it’s a good thing to do now whilst peaches are fairly cheap. I found peeling them a bit fiddly, but I think they are worth it:
6 normal sized peaches
100 grams of caster sugar
Enough brandy to cover the peaches (approx. 600 ml)
1 litre sealable jar
Start by slicing a small cross in the bottom of each peach and placing them in a bowl of boiling hot water for approx. 3 to 4 minutes:
Take the peaches out of the water and place them immeadiately in a bowl of ice cold water for a couple of minutes and then start to peel the skin back. I found it difficult to remove the skin on some of the peaches so I used a peeler on the more difficult ones:
Cut the peaches in quarters and then slice each quarter in half again. I discarded the stones and cut off any hard bits on the peach slices where the stones had been attached:
I sterilised my jar (gas 4 / 180C / 350F for five minutes) and when it had cooled down I arranged the peach slices in the jar in layers, alternating with layers of caster sugar:
I then poured the brandy into the jar making sure the peaches were covered. I sealed the jar and gave it a gentle shake:
I placed the jar in a cool, dark place and from now on I will shake it gently every week until it is ready in three months time.
I think that is enough for this week, so thank you for reading my blog today.
I will be back as usual next Friday.
Have a lovely week!