Sunday 13 July 2014


Good morning and welcome to a very wet, rainy Chelmsford.  Nothing sunny about today, I'm afraid!  Yesterday's weather was odd - it started off very dull, the sun came out in the afternoon and for a short time it was lovely.  The humidity hit and by the evening we had heavy rain and a storm - just after I finished watering, wouldn't you know?  I don't know if it has rained all night but it wouldn't surprise me in the least because everything is so very wet.  I think it has put the clappers on Beth's plans to work on her allotment for a while this morning.

Yesterday was good.  I found a useful recipe site (based on potatoes), made a potato gratin for lunch, some gingernuts to keep Alex going in the ten minutes or so between coming home from karate and lunch being served and spent the day on and off making a most unauthentic chilli!

The recipe site is Love Potatoes so, obviously, the recipes are all based around potatoes, one way or another.  The potato gratin I made was simple, few ingredients and absolutely delicious.  I can see myself motoring my way through the site as there were lots of recipes/ideas that caught my eye.

I made the vegetable chilli because my chilli plant has produced its first fruit.  A very little fruit so I wasn't sure of the heat and a chilli dish is useful that way because you can always add more if needed.  I rootled through the veg drawer and dug out onion, potato, yellow pepper, mushroom and carrot and I also added some frozen mixed veg and some of last year's frozen passata from the garden tomatoes.  Through the day I soaked and then boiled some red kidney beans (being careful to give them some hard boiling to neutralise those toxins).  It has actually come out very well and you can definitely taste the chilli, just as a bit of a bite.  I will think about adding more once I am reheating it.

I've posted a link to the gingernut recipe on my recipe blog.  They are very nice so please do go and take a look.

Some sad news though.  My tomatoes have got caterpillars.  Well, a couple of them have anyway which means that from now on I will have to check twice a day and pick them off as I see them - yuck.  I've lost some fruit that has been nibbled.  I have sprayed and removed the two most affected plants from the shelter of the growhouse in hopes that it won't spread to the others in there and I have been advised to look out for pupae and remove them.  I've never been bothered with caterpillars on tomato plants before so it's all a bit of a pain.  What with the warmth and the rain and the threat of blight too, I feel I'm fighting a bit of a battle.  I guess gardening is like that a lot of the time.

Better news is that I have picked my first runner bean.  Just the one so I've sliced it and popped it in with the chilli!  So what with garlic from Beth and chilli, runner bean and tomato from my garden, it's quite a home grown dish!

That's about it really.  Beth and Alex are here for lunch and I have to think of a dessert, probably something with the frozen cherries as I really am trying to use up what's in the freezer.  I might just heat them in a syrup and make some custard.  Goodness knows, it is damp enough for comfort food!

However - the garden has been thoroughly soaked which is great!

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