Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sow your seed on the ground

Saturday was a fruit planting day according to my calendar and as it dawned bright and sunny that is what I got on with for most of the day.

I planted tomatoes in the greenhouse, I planted courgettes outside, I planted bell peppers in the greenhouse, I planted pumpkins outside, I planted chillies in the greenhouse, I planted gherkins outside.

Then I planted a few more peas and a few more beans, haricot, runner, dwarf french and my own borlotti from last year. These have kept really well in an airtight kilner jar over the winter but I hope that they germinate well too.

After the tiny amount of rain we got on Friday I found I had to weed along all the rows before planting again, our biggest problem is with nettles and buttercups - root based growth that spreads so quickly that it is hard to keep on top of it. Last year in particular we had so much buttercup and it is such a useless plant, I would much rather have a field of dandelions, at least our livestock can that eat even if we can't.

After weeding and planting, and then some transplanting of my cabbages into the garden as well, it was time for a rest and to sit back and admire the fruits of my previous plantings. 

My peas are doing really well and will soon be ready to go out in the garden, my first basil seedlings are doing well, and my re-sown thyme is also doing well.  The first seeding of cherry tomatoes are now coming along nicely,  and with the plum tomatoes I have sown today we should be about covered for eating and preserving for the winter.

While I was sitting back with a pint of squash in the sun, a lovely 27 degree celsuis - I decided that I did not want to see fluttering bits of paper with scrawled names on the ends of my canes, so this year to mark my rows I grabbed a couple of bits of broken slate tile, and some green poster paint and made some new row markers.

Being poster paint they may not last out the year but at least for now with blank looking rows they should stop me forgetting what has been planted when the fluttering bit of paper blows away.

And finally - Friday's recipe that I did not want to post until we had eaten it.

Quick and easy Chocolate mousse:

1x 200g tablet of quality cooking chocolate
25 g butter
3 eggs, separated
50 g sugar
120 double cream (not quite all of a small carton of 20cl)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. 

Melt the butter and chocolate together in a bain marie (a bowl over boiling water), leave to cool slightly then stir in the egg yolks.  In another bowl whisk together the egg white and half the sugar, fold into the chocolate mixture, then whisk together the cream, the vanilla and the rest of the sugar, and stir gently into the chocolate and egg white mixture, pour out into small serving glasses, then refridgerate. I made mine on Friday, ready to eat on Saturday. 

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