Apples and raspberries

It’s October which means apple season. The apples are in full flow – pictured here a couple of giant Howgate Wonders, with a sensibly sized Sunset for scale October is also birthday season at Reclaiming Paradise which means the apples are put to good use in a variety of cakes. My mother’s is the first birthday of the month, so I used these monsters to make a chocolate apple cake – recipe here . Since she was 85, candles seemed excessive, but I wanted to decorate it with something special. This handful of raspberries, fresh from the garden, seemed the … Continue reading Apples and raspberries

Start of the preserving season

The jam making season has started here at Reclaiming Paradise. I’ve got a glut of green tomatoes, plums, runner beans, courgettes, a couple of marrows, apples on their way and one giant cucumber Where to to start? Some of the tomatoes are ripening but a few of the others have blight so I reckoned I need to pick some and start the preserving season. Whether to make plum jam and green tomato chutney, or green tomato marmalade and plum chutney? I decided on the marmalade first – it’s simmering away as I write: See here for the recipe – green … Continue reading Start of the preserving season

Midsummer colours

Today has been hot and sunny and everything was full of colour. I stopped to admire this glorious climbing rose ‘Shropshire Lad’, which has established well along my hedge at the back of the garden. It smells of Turkish Delight and has beautiful flowers: The first nasturtium flowers of the season went in a salad, along with my red tinged lettuce At the allotment today, I planted out the last of my rainbow chard seedlings and spotted their glorious pink roots: It was almost too difficult to plant these in the soil they were so lovely. It was a good … Continue reading Midsummer colours

Six foxgloves, six peas and a lettuce glut

Once again I failed to do a #SixonSaturday post but I did submit these rather lovely foxgloves via twitter. These are all growing along the back hedge and the new fence at the side of the garden, some transplanted from the raspberry bed during a weeding session back in January – for more see here – they have come out rather well, I think. I had wondered about doing a six for my six varieties of peas, but didn’t quite get round to it. So here they are for you, rather late on Sunday instead: I’ve already forgotten which one … Continue reading Six foxgloves, six peas and a lettuce glut

Some Easter Baking

I was pleased to be able to see my Mum on Easter Day. She has difficulty remembering about lockdown rules and was expecting a big family party ‘You will bring some baking won’t you?’ Sadly most of the family are unable to travel because of the current lockdown in Scotland so it was a very small gathering. However, challenge accepted. I made a pie (vegetarian – no bunnies were harmed). And some biscuits – also no bunnies harmed etc And an ‘Allotment Cake’ which I forgot to photograph (photo is from one I made a few years ago) Allotment Cake … Continue reading Some Easter Baking

Dancing on Ice

It’s still very icy here so not much happening in the garden but this little crocus is another tiny sign of spring. Meanwhile Bella has been exploring the frozen pond. She’s a great lover of water and the pond provides fascination for her all year round. Yesterday she spent a lot of time just sitting on the ice. What was she thinking about? Why did she do this? I don’t know. You tell me. The photos are a little blurry because they were taken through the window – if I’d gone outside after her she would have coming running in. … Continue reading Dancing on Ice

Apple and walnut scones

I had a baking urge last night, just in from visiting my mother and with an hour or so to go before settling down to watch His Dark Materials* so rustled up a batch of scones. I was still using up the apples, collected from a neighbour’s box on the street a couple of weeks ago. I reckoned there was just time to make the scones. I adapted a recipe from one my trusted recipe books. Apple and Walnut Scones 250g flour (I used a mixture of wholemeal and white) 4tsp baking powder 1/2tsp salt 50 g margarine or butter … Continue reading Apple and walnut scones

Apples

I’ve not got out in the garden or the allotment much this week again. These short dark November days are eating up all my garden time so there’s not much to blog about. However, I did get out on Saturday morning to look for something for the the #SixonSaturday twitter hashtag. Everything in my garden is rather overgrown, weedy and a bit dilapidated but I found these little touches of joy. A few Benjamin Britten pink roses still flowering, nasturtiums on the shed still full of colour, the sweet peas still blooming, fuchsias all pink and purple, my lovely Howgate … Continue reading Apples

… and what to do with red tomatoes

Last week I told you about my green tomato glut and what do with it. This week some of them have ripened and I have red tomatoes. Not exactly a glut but a decent crop. In the past I’ve always thought that the best thing to do with home grown tomatoes was to eat them fresh and, preferably, warm straight from the plant, but I discovered a couple of years ago, when I really did have a red tomato glut, that the best thing to do with them was to make fresh tomato soup. So I saved up this little … Continue reading … and what to do with red tomatoes

If life gives you green tomatoes…

In this strange and yet familiar year, I have tons of tomatoes but they have blight. We had to give up on the allotment tomatoes, with only a handful of useable green San Marzanos- huge admittedly – but very few. In the garden I also have San Marzano, which seems to be resisting the blight a bit better: Tigerella and Costoluto Fiorentino These giants were new to me this year, grown from a seed packet which came free with a gardening magazine. They’ve been amazing, with huge plants and prolific fruits. Yesterday I had to harvest most of them as … Continue reading If life gives you green tomatoes…