Dancing in the Street

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This is mainly going to be a quick introduction to Tumbling Tom, my new tomato prodigy, and my unalloyed joy at finding out that most of the solar lights that may or may not have been left out through some gnarly weather, still seem to work.

So here is Tom. He is supposed to droop tomatoes. I look forward to seeing his work.
And lastly, my dinner of homemade bread, homemade butter, cheese, hummus and chicken mayo, with a healthy selection of working lights as the sun went down this evening.

Nothing but Nature

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After a hospital appointment, I had half an hour left on my electric car rental, so decided to go for a quick jaunt in the countryside. Apart from accidentally getting thirty miles out of my way, and returning the car late, I did get this photo when I just had to stop at the side of the road to enjoy the misty countryside.

There is nothing insightful in this post, I just wanted to share this regal looking flapper being admired by the cow in the background.

New Additions to the Family

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Now before I introduce you, it is worth mentioning what a tricky time it was finalising a name. Everything needs a name, and I wanted these two to have names that would stand the test of time.

After trying Penny and Roni, they didn’t seem to fit, especially as I have also been joined by Ronny and Reggie, the blackcurrant trees. So filibustering aside, please say hello to Princess Plum:

Princess Plum in her new pot.

And, of course, Rhuby:

Rhuby enjoying the sun.

Now all we need is some summer type stuff going on, and maybe some more room around the place. It does seem that all the strawbs survived the winter outside, and we have a lot of them; I can see eight pots full from where I am sitting. Just sadly that so far haven’t been lucky with fruit, but here’s hoping this year will be different.

Also worth mentioning, although probably not necessary as the only person reading this is well aware of where Rhuby and Princess Plum have come from, but obviously a big shoutout to MBZ for my fantastic birthday prezzies, and lets hope I can find a recipe for rhubarb and plum crumble by the time they have done their thing.

Incidentally, and don’t worry, this post is drawing to a close eventually, but the cover photo here is Princess Plum as she is today, budding all over the place.

Problems with my Spuds

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I will start this with a quick preamble regarding what is probably one of the greatest gifts I have received in recent years. After a conversation with a lass in the pub, I was informed that there was a company that would send people potatoes in a gift box. I did not believe her, and for some reason gave my address to a near total stranger, with her promise of a spud in return.

Many weeks, even months later a box arrived, and lo and behold, a spud in a box, accompanied by the smallest bottle of whisky money can buy.

Well obviously I did not have the heart to eat this pinnacle of potato-hood, but could not think of a fitting plan for him. eventually, my own innate laziness came to the rescue, along with time’s slow progression, and the spud of spuds gave me the answer, by sprouting some shoots.

So I had no choice but to do the honourable thing, and ensure he became spud and sire of spuds.

So there he is, taking his rightful place, so all we can do is wait and see how well he performs. Obviously I will let you know, and you are welcome to mash if they turn out ok.

First Bread of the Year

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Nothing that exciting to report I am sorry to say. Weather has prevented any time in the garden, and the wind is destroying the greenhouse. I have spent the day with a craving I have just not been able to satisfy, so decided to make some goats cheese, and accompany it with the first fresh bread of the year.

Honestly, each time it has been a while since I have made bread, I always think I am facing an impossible task, and that it is bound for failure. In many ways I am glad that I have this nagging doubt, as I am so happy when it turns out to be delicious.

The cheese, to be honest, wasn’t as goaty as I had hoped, but complimented the bread amazingly. Also had some Serrano style ham from Lidl, so a few freshly sliced slivers went the way of the bread and cheese.

Only thing missing was the home-made butter, which I had put off making until tomorrow, as I want to experiment with some new buttery ideas.

Obviously I will keep you informed how they get on.

Is Spring Springing?

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Ok, it’s Valentine’s day, so I have taken the time to get out into the garden and start thinking about getting my ducks in a row this year, rather than deciding halfway through the year that I was going to grow stuff.

To this end, I found the collection of seeds from Silvester and planted them out in a propagator tray. I then found a pack of garlic chives seeds, so who wouldn’t wanna have that in their lives? So they have their own little soil homes until they decide to poke their heads through.

I was surprised how well the strawbs seem to have coped with the winter and rain, so it shouldn’t be long until porridge and strawberries for breakfast. Hardy little buggers, but I assume the slugs are just as hardcore, so will have to find a way to deal with those homeless snaily bastards as soon as the weather improves.

Also on the bright side, literally, although the sun hasn’t managed to shed enough light to light my shed, it managed to give a little life to my string of completely rubbish pineapple lights.

Sorry about the poor pic, but was dark and bonfire smoke was abundant

More About Crypto Cards

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A couple of people have asked me to go into a little more detail about the crypto.com link I posted yesterday. I realise everyone gets suspicious about links to places that promise free stuff, so I will try and clear it up as much as I can. Bearing in mind I have no great insight into the world of cryptocurrencies and blockchain, I just see what looks like a good idea and I am going with it. Crypto.com were originally called Monaco, hence their main coin being MCO. The sale of the MCO coin has provided the funding for the cards that have been released in Singapore, and are about to be released in USA. Their goal, as far as I can see, is to make trading in cryptocurrency easier, and getting access to those funds via a Visa card on the high street a more viable option. 

The free 20USD referral link I posted is designed to make the spread of the cards and app more widespread, so although it seems like you’re getting something for free, you are playing a part in making cryptocurrency more available to everyone. It is worth mentioning as well,that so far I have found the charges for using the crypto.com app way lower than any of the other apps I have used. 

As I said earlier, this is by no means an in-depth look into their plans or company, I just like the idea and it seems like a good step forward in bringing Crypto to the high streets. The link again is https://platinum.crypto.com/r/vurvacwxsm and use the referral code VURVACWXSM to claim the free $20, and if you aren’t one of the first five, apologies, but you will still be part of a revolution in cryptocurrency on the high street.

First Time Since The Sun Left

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As productivity has completely slumped as we draw ourselves even closer into winter, I have not completed anything of any value, blog-wise. 

To break up this inactivity, I felt it was worth posting a couple of links for a couple of cool, yet free artistic endeavours. 

It is worth noting at this point that the cover photo for this post has relatively little to do with the contents, but it is a photo of a friend’s neighbour’s contribution to chrimble spirit down in the southern hemisphere. Now that’s sorted out, I will continue.

The guy who puts together the playlists on the side bar has dropped something new that’s worth listening to and sharing worth everyone you know. Soundcloud link here:

https://m.soundcloud.com/ramupgrade/sets/interstellar-trash

Also worth mentioning is the fact that I have five referral codes for Crypto.com worth $20 each if you sign up and get an account. It is worth doing fairly quickly as they are about to launch Visa cards in the USA, and last time they launched cards, the coin price quadrupled. https://platinum.crypto.com/r/vurvacwxsm

They are first come first served so don’t be too upset if they’ve already gone; either way, it is a thoroughly recommended way to enter the world of cryptocurrency. 

That’s it i think, i hope this turns out ok, as the latest update to WordPress has made it hard to edit on the move, so if it looks dreadful, I apologise and will endeavour to fix it when i get in front of a desktop. 

Nature’s Bounty

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As Autumn wraps us in her chilly embrace, and the prospect of Winter’s icy fingers soon to be running down our spines, it was time to clear the garden of what remaining foods it would give up.

The first to give up their hidden gifts was the two potato plants that had survived. Although we have proved that it is possible to grow spuds in pots or other utensils, i would recommend you simply don’t.

Technically there were eight potatoes, but that seems a generous description of the tiny ones. It will not dissuade me from trying again next year, but was disappointing as I hoped for at least two meals out of them. Next up were the carrots, and they were the opposite as far as numbers were concerned, even if they were a little bit little.

At this point I decided to test a carrot and a spudlet. Boiled them both quickly for a few minutes, and gave them a munch. The spudlet was amazing. So tasty. The carrot was a little disappointing at this stage, but i do like my veg sweet while this fella was determined not to follow this simple guideline. The rest of the afternoon was spent disposing of the poor souls that hadn’t made it. This cull produced a couple of ‘cucumbers’, although nothing like you would see in the supermarket. And the last batch of tomatoes of the year. Also three garlic nearly-bulbs were kicking about in the soil.

All in all, not a bad haul, especially as there are still some salad plants not quite ready to give up for the year. Celebrated this bounty with fish and boiled garden spuds with garden mint and shored up with shop peas and a spud or two. You could tell the difference between the store bought and the fresh ones; they were worlds apart. Can’t wait to do it better next year.

Go-ville to Scoville

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After all the horrible weather, it was finally a good day to get out in the garden. I am worried to admit that the whole garden and self-sufficiency malarkey is way less fun when summer is being viewed from her glorious backside. The solar panels are hardly dragging any power from the few hours of sunshine we are currently getting, and it will only get worse. I am going to save up for some new panels; I originally had four, but they have slowly walked out on me leaving just the one. A lot of the tomatoes have not survived the winds, and Sylvester is not looking as happy as he once did.I am hoping to keep some of his seeds so he can once again prevail through his offspring.
On the bright side, I decided it was high time to make some chilli oil, as the chilli plants seem to be bearing up to the wind and rain with surprising fortitude. So picked a few chillis from the two plants that have borne fruit, and heated up the oil for them to bathe in.

I actually have no idea what either of these chillis are one of these plants is called, although I feel they will be needing names of their own soon. The larger ones were very mild, as I dabbed one on my tongue to test the heat. When it came to the smaller one, however, I touched it with my fingertip and then dabbed that onto my tongue. A moment of contemplation while the capsaicin paused for effect, then my tongue and lips went numb with a burning I haven’t experienced since living in Asia. I will admit I have never been a huge fan of ridiculously spicy foods, as eventually you cannot taste the food over the heat, but I am sure there should be international laws regarding this kind of chilli.

The sad thing is that having taken a research break to see if I still had the label for the plant and some research on Scoville scale websites, it turns out that the chilli in question, Paper Lantern, is only about 350,000 scovilles, which is about 233 times as hot as a jalepeño pepper, but this is still considered only moderately hot.

Anyway, I have put all of these into my chilli oil, so hopefully this will make some great toppings for salad and pizza.

 

Mainly pizza