Saturday, February 25, 2012

Productive times...

I have been feeling like I am being lazy and not making the most of things but when I take stock of what has been happening over the last couple of months I haven't been doing as badly as I thought I had. there has been foraging and growing and cooking and all sorts...
I have been picking blackberries and made jam and apple and blackberry crumble topped pie.
Foraged some elderberries and made elderberry cordial. I would post a recipe but it is a bit from here and a bit from there and no firm recipe. I did use honey and cloves as I wanted it to be a wee bit medicinal and hopefully ward off winter coughs and sniffles

I have started ordering seasonal local veg boxes again and due to having two large cauliflowers I have now tried my hand at making piccalilli. I am supposed to wait 5 weeks before eating ...5 weeks? Oh dear, patience is not my strong point at all. My recipe is based a bit on the hairy bikers and a bit on the River Cottage recipe, if it is good I shall claim it is my own and if it is terrible I shall blame Hugh Fearnley-Whittingsall! Having the boxes is a great fun challenge, finding ways to use such lovely produce and have as little as possible go to waste. there are lots of leafy greens as well in this one.
The garden (being a courtyard really) has courgettes, chillis, volunteer pumpkins (seemingly ubiquitous and follow me around to every house I move too!) little tomatoes and we found some baby carrots today (gobbled very fast by two small boys!) as well as all our usual herbs. 
Today we planted purple sprouting broccoli (hopefully not too late) radishes (I think it is too hot but master 5 reaaaally wanted some) and some beetroot having rejuvenated the soil with some blood and bone, chicken manure and cow manure.
I am now attempting to rest a while as it is over 30 degrees C again. Oh and I must go check on the solar dehydrator  I have made from a silver lined insulated bag and see how the pears and apples are doing now.
OK, so writing it all down makes me feel better, throw in making a few loaves of bread, several kilos of yoghurt, some blogging on a major parenting site, eldest starting school (now that has mucked up my schedules!) and expecting baby number three in September ( I think the nausea is subsiding now) whilst still running the business things have been reasonably productive (and reproductive!) in their modest pootling along sort of way, sometimes taking stock of your life can be very beneficial!


  1. Great post given me an idea what to do with my elderberries. snif snif

  2. Oh apparently they are chock full of antioxidants and more effective than most cough medicines (which don't actually work at all!).

  3. Oh my word - lazy? No way I am tired just reading what you've been doing. Go rest girl!
    I'm just remembering a few days after my littlest monkey was born I went to the park and a woman said that I ought to be home in bed. In her culture the mother and mother-in-law move in and the woman gets to stay in bed for two weeks (or was it a month?) while they do everything. Which sounded good until I thought about having a mother and mother-in-law bossing my house about for more than one day. rambling story I think had a point. I admire your productiveness. Especially when you're expecting.

  4. Thank you! Very validating especially from one as crazily productive as yourself!


  5. My recipe is based a bit on the hairy bikers and a bit on the River Cottage recipe, if it is good I shall claim it is my own

    You could call it the Hairy Cottage picallilli recipe. (sp.?)

  6. Pootling along - I haven't heard anyone say that for ages! How wonderful! I'm going to re-insert that into my vocabulary immediately. Love your work, Jess. :)