Welcome to our blog.

….. Making pretty things
….. Simple living
….. Growing a family

Three children (17, 15, 13)*** Two parents *** one dog *** Country loving *** Cottage dwelling in the South-West of the UK. That’s us!

We’ve been blogging since January 2010, about everyday happenings that bring us joy.

Just a thought….

“A moment spent in wonder is worth a lifetime spent in awe.”

 

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Pondering about Peas

peas and a podToday is the first time, since the start of the holidays, that I have been alone.

As I write, it’s quiet. Really quiet. Almost forgotten how quiet feels. I can hear an insistent woodpigeon calling but that is the nearest to the usual fanfare of children. I have the house all to myself for a few hours. Although I am missing them, I do need this time to myself.

closed pocket on kitchen garden apron(Note to self: I must make a few more harvest aprons as presents. Pick peas and pop in the expanding pocket, leaving both hands free.)

It is probably the lack of interruptions that allowed me to ponder.  You see, earlier, as I sat outside our kitchen door, wearing my handmade, kitchen garden apron, in the shade of our old cottage, I couldn’t help thinking how podding peas is a leveller. Not just peas, but the preparation to store any edible goodies from the garden.

podding peas(Heritage Pea variety: Ne Plus Ultra)

If any of my ancesters had walked round the corner, or even former inhabitants of the cottage, they would have instantly known what I was doing. A far cry from many of the activities that fill our days. Can you imagine how difficult it might be to explain mobile phones or computers to your Great, Great Great Grandmother? Microwaves, dishwashers, washing machines. The list goes on.

No, podding peas would be something that they understood instantly. Something they could relate to. In fact they may have pulled up a chair and helped me pod my basket full of pea pods. They would have known what to do, and more than likely, shared their wisdom by telling me what I was doing wrong. I’m sure I would learn a lot.peas readyIt’s not just a leveller with ghosts from the past. I have sat in kitchens in foreign lands and helped prepare food for storing. I can’t remember podding peas, but certainly bottling tomatoes and de-stalking blackcurrants. I have not necessarily shared a common language with some sat round the table, but we have communicated. We have got on with the task, and bonded in the way people do around a kitchen table. We all knew what to do.

One kitchen I remember was in France. It was the neighbour of a friend. Although they understood my shaky french, I was finding the neighbour’s accent difficult to navigate. The seven year old grandson stepped in. A mixture of his few words of english and lots of gestures seemed to bridge the gap. We parted as good friends and the garden offerings were ready for preserving.

podded peas and saved peas(some pods set aside for next year)

Today, I had the company of just the dogs, and a mob of sparrows using our drive as a dust bath. I think they must be youngsters, judging by their noise and jostling.

Maybe the lack of (helpful) companions conjured memories of former times. Either way I now have a bag of homegrown peas in the freezer. A happy feeling. Especially as my children have probably eaten twice as many peas straight from the plants over the summer months.

They call them garden sweets, as they are super sweet when snuck from the stalk young. I’m going to miss looking out of the kitchen and seeing the children working their ways up and down the lines, checking for rattling pods.

Ah well. Until next year, then.

ox eye daisy in the garden

 

It must be summer

blackcurrant and custard tartMaybe its the abundance of fruit in the garden. Added to the extra eggs from the hens but somehow the first fruit-custard pie of the year just yells “Summer”.

blackcurrant and custard tart from sideToday I sent the children out into the garden to pick blackcurrants, enough to cover the base of the pan, while I made a sweet pastry.

blackcurrant and custard tart2

Next the pastry was rolled out and arranged to line the greased pan. While it baked blind, I prepared the blackcurrants and put together the custard. Continue reading

Kitchen Garden Update : HDYGG

kitchen garden and flower troughs(Children’s troughs)

This year, I’ve had to cut my Kitchen Garden back to just the small garden. This is the one area of the garden that is fenced off. The dogs are barred from entering, as they tend to use it for digging practise. They are attempting to win the World Record for the deepest hole dug in five minutes. Believe me, they stand a good chance.

It’s also away from the deer and rabbits that just like to munch on the young shoots. I have put up deer defences to avoid last sumer’s teeth grinding (mine, not theirs), where they devoured all the young apples from one tree.

sweetcorn and pumpkins in raised bed

The down side is that the small garden is smaller. There is less space. I’ve had to get crafty. The two raised beds have been planted to maximise the space. Pumpkins and squash grow among the sweetcorn. Their leaves minimizing the moisture loss. They are all thriving. Continue reading

Photos

There have been cases when people lifted my photos and words, and used them without credit to me or asking permission first. Using them for their own commercial gain. I have now added a level of security to deter people from doing this. Apologies to people who do play nicely. If you would like to use any of my photos, please contact me.

Copyright notice:

All my words and photos are copyrighted to me. They cannot be used for commercial benefit by anyone else. If you would like to use any of them, then please ask me first and don’t just take. Written permission only. Don’t pass my words, photos or ideas off as your own. It’s not nice.

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