The gorgeous sunny days that we have been having lately has meant that sewing of an evening has been replaced by watering our veg patch and greenhouse. I'm not complaining, as its amazing to wake everyday to sunshine but with our water butts now completely empty, watering from buckets out of the stream bordering the allotments is quite hard work. Though we are already beginning to reap our rewards.
The kids are munching through our best crop of strawberries ever, I am happy to be left with our patch of wild strawberries which I prefer, the boys choosing size over taste! We also picked our first crop of peas yesterday. None of them made it as far as the kitchen. It brings me much delight to watch the boys sitting on the allotment amongst the veg snacking on peas. I have very clear memories of my sister and I on holiday in Wales sitting podding peas, it was a case of eat one, put one in the bowl!
Our rhubarb is still going strong. I'm hoping to get one more picking before it's time to let the plant rest. It's become a great trading item on the allotments. In return for rhubarb we have had courgette, squash and tomato plants which is great as we're been behind on our sowing. I've also stumbled across some different rhubarb recipes. Rhubarb and ginger cake was delicious, the rhubarb helping to make the cake lovely and moist. On the same site I found a rhubarb relish recipe. It made less than two jam jars and I served it at a small family barbecue we had the other week. I was concerned that I had added too much chilli but seeing as I only have a spoonful left that obviously wasn't the case. It went down very well, so I'm definitely going to be making more.
I'm also keen to try this recipe for rhubarb bread. I used to make a lot of bread before #3 came along so I'm looking forward to filling the kitchen once more with the smell of freshly baked bread. We cooked our first meal last week using our conger. We cooked it in an onion and tomato sauce with potatoes, the recipe called it a soup though it turned out more like a stew. The fish was tasty, with the flesh being very meaty. As for bones well I can't imagine eating it in a restaurant as we sat there with kitchen roll at the ready, the bones made it fiddly but it was still worth it, which is a good thing considering how much is still in the freezer!
The sunshine really has made the flowers bloom. Just when we were giving up on the clematis as it usually gets clematis wilt before it flowers it has produced the most gorgeous velvety deep purple flowers, The climbing rose has an abundance of flowers on it. It wasn't until today that I noticed it rambling happily through our neighbours trees!
The gazania's open up every morning soaking up the heat,a bit like lizards basking in the sun!
The white clematis not wanting to be out done by the purple one has produced flowers the size of your hand.
Inspired by this lovely lady Mr D and I are attempting elderflower champagne for the first time. It's busy doing it's thing in a quiet corner of the house, if their is such a thing. We're quite excited about making this drink and Mr D is busy planning more hedgerow brews, with help from his Father's Day pressie.
Our redcurrants are nearly ready for picking and if we get to the gooseberries before our chickens do it looks like a bumper crop. So I'll soon be making jam, talk about being kept busy!!