Sunday 13 April 2014


Good morning to all my readers.  Having just meandered out to the shed, I can safely say it's a jolly chilly morning too.  No frost however, thank goodness.

Surprisingly, yesterday was not that warm either.  I left the french window open for a while and the heating clicked on.  A shame after Friday's warmth and definitely a day to sit inside, not outside.

We kept warm in the morning though with a nice stroll around Hyde Hall, me, Beth and Alex.  It wasn't as interesting as I had hoped, this spring garden special, but they did have an interesting set of stalls in the barn.  We headed in there in search of ice cream and stayed to taste, chat and generally enjoy.  I ended up with a jar of chutney and a bottle of sauce and Alex, having tasted his way through several very hot chutneys, decided to buy one himself too.

Back down at the visitors reception/shop/eating place we had an early lunch and very delicious it was too.  Beth had a jacket potato, Alex had a panini and I had the soup (which was red pepper and sweet potato) and a wedge of walnut bread.  Goodness, it was filling!

Shopping there tends to be expensive but I did indulge in a healthy looking pot of thyme (I never manage to keep my thyme alive) and something called a paper potter, a gadget with which you make little plant pots from newspaper.  They are tiny, just right for sowing seeds and then planting them out as the newspaper rots down after a while.    There's information about it here.  Of course, having just looked for the aforementioned link, I have noticed that they also make a larger version so guess what!  Yup - arriving in a few days' time!

Still on the gardening theme, I had to pop into Morrisons for a few bitds and bons and bought a garden mag called 'Kitchen Garden'.  It had some packets of herb seeds, none of which I already have: basil, tarragon, dill and coriander, so I may as well give them a try and see.  They're all annuals apart from tarragon (the packets say) so no harm done if they don't 'work'.  If they do work I shall have to look up recipes!

I have so many herbs now I am starting to wonder if I ought to buy a raised bed just for herbs.  I wish I was a carpender because there are some attractive planters around but they are just so expensive.  In B&Q we saw a lovely tiered planter but, at £100, it was just too expensive to contemplate.  It was a very simple design and, with the right tools and know-how, it would be simple enough to make.

Enough waffling!  Today should be a quiet, gentle day with not a lot going on.  It would be nice if it was also warm but I doubt that very much at the moment.  Still, let's be grateful for a warm home with four good walls and a leakproof roof!

I would like today to be a Jack Monroe day!  In other words, I am having a go at a couple of her recipes - the smokey red lentil burgers and the pasta recipe that calles for fish paste and lemon, can't remember the name and can't be bothered to run upstairs for the book!  Fingers crossed!
I also need to make some more bread and that's my first task, setting the dough off.
Have a good day!

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