Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Allotment casserole and crocheted cacti

It was Chris's 35th birthday on Thursday.  We were both at work during the day, but had a present opening session and a curry and some wine when we got home,  I bought him lots of pressies, including a posh set of chisels, a Leatherman tool, Andy Goldsworthy's Wood book, the new Bill Hicks documentary on Bluray, some liquid latex, a Stringbean CD from America and some wool socks.

Our friend Emma crocheted Chris 3 cacti which are fantastic and so lifelike.  She has an amazing talent of being able to crochet anything that comes into her head.  She's very modest about it too.  You've either got it or you haven't, and Emma's got it!  I'm getting a bit better at patterns and understanding how knitting works, and I'm beginning to feel more confident about making my own designs.

I volunteered at the shop on Friday afternoon - I had to reweigh the bird seed as there are strict rules about labelling.  It also looks like we have a mouse in the back because some of the sunflower heads had been eaten!  One lesson I've learnt - be careful what bright ideas you come up with.  You never know how the simplest thing can suddenly become complex.

My sister and one of my nieces came to visit for the weekend.  It was lovely to see them both.  We went to Duckworth Hall on Sunday afternoon for some food.  But I didn't really feel that well at weekend - I think I might have had a bug or something. 

I'd booked Monday off work, so I had a lie in, then went to have my car tyre looked at because I thought I had a puncture.  It was a bit upsetting going to the garage where my Dad used to work.  Apparently I don't have a puncture just cracked tyres, and 3 of them need replacing.  I'll have to wait until after Christmas now to replace them cos I'm skint.

I nipped to the allotment in the afternoon.  I refilled the bird feeders and watered the fig, peach, passion flowers and strawberries in the greenhouse.  I also picked 3 leeks, 2 cabbages (one for my Mum) and some curly kale. 

When I got home I put all of the allotment veg into a casserole.  I gently cooked the sliced leeks in butter, before adding some veg stock, butter beans, kale, cabbage, allotment potatoes, rosemary from the back garden and a bay leaf.  I cooked this in the pan for a while before transferring it to a casserole dish and placing it in the oven on a low heat.  Half an hour before serving I added some vegetable suet dumplings (4oz self raising flour, 2oz vegetable suet and 5 tablespoons of water and a pinch of salt, shaped into 8 balls).  The dumplings almost double in size once cooked and they help to make the casserole more filling.  Because the butter beans were a beige/pink colour they almost looked like chicken.  The casserole was very tasty, perhaps a bit too much rosemary for me, but Chris liked it.  And even better there's more left for tea tonight.  Because I've felt ill, I thought I needed some real food with real energy in it, and I'd grown most of the food in the casserole from seed.  Hopefully it will perk me up a bit and help recharge my batteries.

After the casserole I started writing all my Christmas cards, which took a while, but I was relieved once it was done.  I've bought most of my Christmas presents now, I've just a few more to get.  I'll be glad once everything is finished and I can put my feet up.  I've got lots of films lined up ready to watch over Christmas, including Leaves of Grass, Catfish and A Prophet, all of which have come highly recommended.  We still need to put the tree and the decorations up, then there's the wrapping and the big supermarket shop.  It's a good job I've got next week off!

I finally sewed up the hats I'd made for my nieces, and I wrapped them up and posted them off to the as part of their Christmas presents.

Chris took a cool pic of Steve.  He loves playing with string.

The weather has improved, and the snow and ice has gone, although when I tried to dig up the leeks at the alloment the soil was frozen deeper than 1 inch around the edge of the bed.  Heaven knows how we'll get the parsnips out for Christmas dinner!  There's more snow forecast as of Thursday this week.  Maybe we'll get a white Christmas.  No doubt it will cause travel and shopping chaos if we do.

No comments:

Post a Comment