My, oh my, cherry pie

This weekend we went on a family visit to Kent and whilst I was sat there on the sofa at someone’s house, I noticed a glut of berries on a tree at the end of the garden. Curious as ever, I went to go have a closer look and they turned out to be cherries – and on taste inspection, the gorgeous little tart ones that were perfectly ripe. I asked if they minded us taking a few, which they didn’t, so we brought a little pot back…

ImageI wanted to make a cordial, but didn’t really have enough so the obvious second choice was pie! I found a recipe online – mixing my sour cherries with regular store-bought cherries gave me enough fruit to get more than a smatter of filling. Adding a couple of table spoons of sugar and some cornflour made them reduce to a jammy sauce when they cooked down. Finally instead of doing a normal or lattice pie lid, the recipe suggested a crumble top with oats and almonds – I thought that sounded yum so thought I’d give it a try.

Result:

ImageNot bad for the first pie I’ve made in a while – the cherries were lovely, although I wish I’d had enough to do only sour cherries inside – I think the sweet ones detracted from the overall depth of flavour a bit. Also I blind baked the pie crust for a bit too long so by the time the whole pie came out at the end it was a little bit too brown – not burnt but definitely more brown than golden! Crumble was also a great choice for the topping – the sweetness wasn’t overpowering and the almonds were obviously a great match for the cherry filling – I think I actually prefer crumble top to a pastry one.  You can get pastry overkill! But due to limited amount of filling I think crumble to filling ratio wasn’t quite spot-on…all learnings for next time. 

And in future – I need to make more pies! I really enjoyed my slow afternoon baking with the radio on. Just got to find another free source of fruit…I remember finding Damsons and wild plums on a weekend out of the city the year before last so I think, come September, it might be time for another ramble/forage. 

 

First courgette excitement

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So this was the result of the allotment visit this evening, and I was very excited by it! The first decent size courgette we’ve found so far and a couple of days ago it was tiny like the rest. But with the overnight rain it seems to have gone into overdrive. Very much looking forward to finding a good recipe for it…

Eggs as normal…although shortly after this photo I turned my back and they rolled off the chopping board and cracked. Ooops! That’s breakfast sorted tomorrow then.

Baby leaves and happy chickens

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It was such nice weather this afternoon, not too hot but still great and sunny, I decided to thin out the brassica/beets patch so they can get nice and big. We picked some for the homegrown salad the other day but it really needed much more taken out for it to have any chance if reaching a decent size. As I was picking them, the chickens were jumping up and down with excitement! So I gave them the weeds and a few leaves. But I got so many lovely colourful baby leaves that it seemed a shame to give them all to the chooks, as much as they enjoyed it. So I washed them all off and instead of buying salad, I’ll be using them for my lunches this week.

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Just having a quick sit down before psyching myself up for watering the whole plot! (As much as I love the sun – I cant wait for a little bit of rain, if just to save my legs and arms from all that carrying!) 

More new potatoes for dinner tonight, as well as the leaves. Yum.

I spy with my little eye….more courgettes!

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So we have three thriving courgette plants (and two slightly stunted ones that got planted out too early!) But the three big’uns each have three baby plants developing – 9 courgettes! That’s if I can keep them going and prevent them from being eaten by any bugs, chickens or hungry neighbours! We already had one baby courgette in our homegrown salad the other day and it was so sweet and fresh tasting. Must start thinking of some great recipes to make the most of the fresh ones. 

That’s nasturtium flowers in the background – looking forward to having a few more of them too so I can get some more nice colourful salads on the go!

In other news, we still have no water storage/big containers over in the garden and this week it’s getting a bit unbearable – approx. 55 litres of water carried down from first floor last night and the night before! Mum reckons to get one of those camping water containers that have wheels, now I just have to find one…

First homegrown dinner

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So I came home this evening and ever sensible man had already made dinner (lucky me!). Our first dinner with homegrown produce included: baby courgette, broad beans, peas, Nasturtiums, baby beetroot, kale and chard leaves, radishes, new potatoes and finally soft boiled eggs from the chooks. The roast chicken wasn’t one of ours (or so I’ve been told – I’ll be checking later!) There’s absolutely nothing better than the excitement of having your own food on your plate. And not only that but even a humble soft boiled egg tastes like the best egg you’ve ever had. Fingers crossed the veg starts ripening thick and fast now – I’m impatient for another taste! 

Summer explosion

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I’m not usually one for flowers with no fruit or veg after, but I do like the summery colours you get for a couple of months so we bought some petunias and lobelia in late spring for the front garden and window box, and planted sweetpeas in a pot on the balcony. The last two weeks they’ve been looking stunning – I love opening the curtains to them in the morning, and they make me smile when I spot them on the way home, walking down the street. They brighten everything up!

Triffids or Potatoes?

I have a potato forest. My potatoes are now roughly 4 foot tall and most have flowers. I’ve forgotten what type they all are but whatever they are, I’m quite chuffed that they’ve flowered – the last two years we’ve planted potatoes we’ve never had flowers. They always just grew and grew, then suddenly keeled over ready to be dug up. But the more I look at them, the more I’ve been thinking how pretty vegetable flowers are. I always just thought that it was good because it meant the veg was properly on it’s way – but now, when you look closely at tomato, courgette, potato flowers you realise they’re great flowers in their own right. Don’t you think?

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