Here we are suddenly in December and it is certainly feeling like summer.
I have been away from this space for a while, my days seem to have slipped by in the whirlwind of life. And the words just haven’t been flowing. Now that I have remembered my password, it feels good to be back. It feels especially good to check in on my blogging friends, the few that are left!
The tomatoes are already ripening, I think these will be my earliest tomatoes yet. The first variety to ripen in my patch is Periforme Abruzzese from the Diggers Club. These will be followed closely by the Purple Russian variety. Their journey started in the cold depths of August as tiny, papery seeds and now the plants are as tall as I am. Amazing really.
The leeks are flowering in all their glory and are also attracting a lot of black wasps. I love their sculptural shapes and height and I have already decided to plant more next year.
Tiny, furry cucumbers are on the way. I cannot wait to stop buying plastic wrapped cucumbers at the supermarket. They are a favourite in our house and we munch through lots of them. The ever reliable Long Florence zucchinis are producing steadily. Zucchini slice anyone?
I have been collecting seeds and pods and other bits leftover from the spring growing season. I think seeds and pods are my favourite part of gardening, for their shapes, textures and fragrance.
Some days have already been too hot for any cooking or baking so I have literally been planning our food around the weather forecast. These chocolate and oat biscuits came from the Aran Bakery book and I made them in three different sizes by weighing each piece of dough, 50g, 30g, and 20g. The 20g is the most sensible size, the 50g looked quite impressive but are more café size.
We are in the middle of sheep work that has collided perfectly with soaring temperatures. The only way to tackle it is to start work as soon as there is enough light to see. Otherwise, both humans and animals are at risk of blowing up, literally.
There is no avoiding the fact that Christmas is around the corner. You might like to browse the online Graziher Christmas magazine that features a few of my festive recipes, right at the end as you scroll through.
My own shopping approach to Christmas is quality over quantity, sourced locally as much as possible with some online buys when necessary. This year I am giving children’s books, champagne, Fossey’s gin, a fresh flower delivery, chocolates, Galah magazine, dried fruit, homemade biscuits and possibly homemade jam. The young people are tricky but this clay kit caught my eye to keep hands busy and away from screens.
I keep reminding myself that it is the thought that counts and I refuse to get caught up in unnecessary buying just for the sake of it.
That’s a little of what has been happening in my world. How about you? Keeping cool? Swimming in dams? Baking? Finding balance with Christmas? x