Picked fresh today

IMG_5173

IMG_5168Borlotti beans, luscious sweet figs, yellow and green courgettes, fresh mint, yellow tomatoes

A tub of  hedgerow picked blackberries, swapped for some courgettes.

Have loads of chillies coming along, and my sweetpeas are in bud at last !!

PS , just realised the figs have ripened  almost 4 weeks earlier than last year !!

 

 

 

Rich Pickings

IMG_5133 IMG_5134The tomatoes and courgettes and really growing strong now, ripening quickly !!  and taste so delicious.

This hot weather is sending my chilli plants wild too, there plants huge and bushy with many chillies, still green but again abundant.

New watering can coming today, much larger than my diddy one I have been using these past weeks

 

home grown!

IMG_5057IMG_5062Courgettes doing really well, have three plants, two yellow and one green.  Yellow varieties seem more abundant  with huge lush green leaves.

Tomatoes growing strong, although some flowers are not setting.  I have trailing tomatoes too, at first not much happened but now they have perked up and sending out long racemes of tiny toms !

Green Bean which grew really well last year, this year rubbish, slugs keep eating them.  Barlotti beans not eaten, but they seemed to have stopped growing ?  very strange

Chillies, they are doing fine, although again, not every flower seems to set?  any ideas why?

Watch this, inspiring

 

Yikes

this morning awoke at 4.45am.  not unusual for me on these long summer days, I then had the urge to create something, not the usual paper, paint, pencils kind of stuff but some flapjacks !!  Then It suddenly dawned on me I have been in the creative doldrums! Yikes !.  So much of my energy has been consumed by the interior design side of my creativity which has been very much to the forefront these past couple of years, but  that when it comes to my time, the output has almost come to a standstill.

peanut butter and almond flapjacks

Design doldrums, kind of design constipation, but if I am honest the interior design is like a fast flowing river and maybe separating this from my personal work is actually diminishing my talents?.  Maybe it’s not Yikes I am in the doldrums, it’s that I am creating  so much that I need me time to rest . replenish and find inspiration to keep the river flowing

 

The nuts and seeds here, not only look delicious and nutritious, but they are an abundant mass of ideas that inspired me to make an entry on my blog. Nuts and seeds are kernels of ideas, this is where the magic happens and design ideas get triggered.  However this morning “little meeces” came to mind,   I have been invaded by mice, dear sweet faces looking up at me whilst stuffing their faces in my cupboards !!.  I have caught three in a humane trap, but still they come.  They are now bypassing the trap and  gnawing their way through hard plastic containers,plastic lids and having a feast !!  3/4 jar of peanut butter and a whole untouched jar of Nutella whilst away this week !!  I love mice, had them a pets when a child, but having them cheerily peeking at me from my food cupboards is getting a bit much.  Going to bait up my trap with some of my flapjacks, all the things they love here, so keeping fingers crossed I can catch the blighter’s.

 

Have to save some for me !  especially as they contain wonderful golden  honey from my daughters bees !!

1 1/2  cups of toasted whole rolled oats

1 cup of whole toasted almonds

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1  1/2 cups dates, sour cherries and barberries (combined)  dates only whizzed to a paste in blender

1/4 cup of whole Earth crunchy peanut butter ( heated until runny with the honey)

1/4 cup of Honey

Combine all, flatten in an oiled tin and refrigerate. When cold slice

Be warned, put in a small tin so they are at least 1.5-2cm thick, too thin they fall apart.

also they are very morish so cut and put in a tin out of site, and bring out one with a coffee.  If you don’t it will disappear in a flash

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shaved beets

tonight’s dinner was a real feast to the eye, so much so that I just had to take a photo !!  It tasted just as good as it looked, with shaved beetroot, apple, carrot, cucumber and courgette with mustard and lemon vinaigrette and after the photo I added toasted cashews. For me to enjoy my food it has to look nice too, I eat with my eyes………….    I have been growing courgettes and french bean in huge pots outside my office,  pleasantly surprised at how prolific these have been.

 

my favourite vegetable

I am always trying to find different ways to cook one of my favourite vegetables.  Recently I served this as a starter, it was a hot day and decided to serve it cold, but it tastes yummy when hot too

Baby aubergines stuffed with whole roasted spices, coriander, cumin, fennel and cardomom seeds, ground to a powder. Then add to raw cashew nuts and grind in a pestle mortar. Cut a cross in bottom of aubergine and pack in mixture. Saute both sides and then add any left over spices, finely choped onions, tomaoto an stock and simmer until reduced down to almost nothing, leaving a thick sticky coating.

 

Stuffed auberinges

 

first of the season

Who would believe, such an awful summer and only a couple of weeks ago, although fig tree laden, they were as hard as rock

Then today, as I passed by I saw ONE that had started to turn purple, this variety does not turn fully dark and purple, but it green and violet.  Anyhow,squeezed it gently and to my amazement its plump flesh was lusciously soft to the touch.  Plucked from the tree I savoured it to have after my dinner, as I drew  the fig in near to my mouth its sweet heady perfume filled my nostrils, and as my teeth sunk deep into the flesh, an explosion of succulent sweetness touched my taste buds, its deep pinky purple flesh flashing scarlet in my hand, what a delight, and to think I have loads more to follow.  Mr Sun please keep shining !!

I just had a look to see if I recorded anything about my figs last year.  Low and behold I posted on the exact same day !!  only at that time there was a whole bowl full !

https://carolgearing.com/2011/08/17/solitude/

 

 

 

 

Solitude

“I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers.” ~Henry David Thoreau

 

What would I be without it…………  These days I cannot find my way through the day if I dont find time for space to be alone, to potter around, meditate, walk in the park, write my journal and have that feeling of total silence.  My early morning sojourns over the common across the road from me are bliss, sitting on my favourite bench, feeling the growing warmth on my back as the sun rises behind me, the birdsong, the breeze on my skin.

Pottering about before my work day started I picked a bowl of figs from the most abundant tree I have seen in long while, lucky for me its long branches have made there way over to my side of the fence !  Its lusccious fruits hung down swollen with the ripe sweetness, and as I bit into the soft moistness its honeyed flesh I felt real gratitude for this tree going about its business in complete solitude.

 


The Benefits of Solitude

The best art is created in solitude, for good reason: it’s only when we are alone that we can reach into ourselves and find truth, beauty, soul. Some of the most famous philosophers took daily walks, and it was on these walks that they found their deepest thoughts.

 

Just a few of the benefits

  • time for thought
  • in being alone, we get to know ourselves
  • we face our demons, and deal with them
  • space to create
  • space to unwind, and find peace
  • time to reflect on what we’ve done, and learn from it
  • isolation from the influences of other helps us to find our own voice
  • quiet helps us to appreciate the smaller things that get lost in the roar

There are many more benefits, but that’s to get you started. The real benefits of solitude cannot be expressed through words, but must be found in doing.

 


portobello n’peach burger

Now I know a mushroom burger is nothing new, but this one with the chargrilled peaches just takes it to another level.  Served with sweet potato chips roasted in the even, sprinkle of sea salt, seventh heaven !!  Read this on Design Sponge and just had to share

Ingredients

  • 6 portobello mushrooms
  • 6 peaches
  • 6 sweet potatoes
  • 6 burger buns of your choice
  • 100 g fresh pea sprouts
  • 5 small roman tomatoes, sliced
  • 5 small spring onions, sliced
  • fresh thyme
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Marinade Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 lemon
  • salt & pepper

Guacamole Ingredients

  • 4 avocados
  • 5 small Roma tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

in the kitchen with: green kitchen stories’ portobello burger | Design*Sponge.