Making the most of our summer holidays

I wanted to post daily whilst on my summer holidays (time off, not actually away anywhere) but life doesn’t always link in with what we plan.  We have had a lovely few days since I last posted.  We’ve had family days out, picnics, fun, sea, sand, dogs, friends and then at home, more weeding, fixing, cooking, baking, animals and general playing.

This bed took a lot of fixing, actually it was pretty much all replaced.  We decided to do it properly and buy new boards, then putting the yellow pipes in place which will allow me to put the mesh, fleece or net over them once we start again.  The intention is to do this for all of the beds and eventually we will get cages around the fruit too.

I weeded it and then Ste took over.

He did his thing and this is the end result.

Although some things haven’t worked this growing year, others have.  This squash has doubled in size since I started my holidays.  These photos were taken a week apart.

I spotted some courgettes that had gone unnoticed, so they will be going into a chutney maybe.  Any others ideas welcome.

This golden zucchini has been a staple of our summer – they are delicious.

I harvested the tomatoes which are ripening thick and fast now.  I’ll be doing something with these tomorrow when my son has his friend over for the afternoon.  I’ll need to be close to them but not in the same room, so a cooking afternoon it is.

The piquant peppers are a funny old shape, but are starting to turn in colour.  A slight red tinge on the top there.
We have also managed to cure and dry our bacon.  It’s tiny but it’s ours.  The pigs were so lean that we ended up with bacon medallions, but my word were they tasty.  They also didn’t shrink when we cooked them. 

We went to Whitby which is just over an hour from our place.  We took the kids and a friend of Grace’s, plus the dogs.  Buster laid in my footwell in what looked like a very awkward position but he obviously liked it.  Rodney was sat with the kids, very proudly too.
In Whitby, I treat myself to 4 new mugs, one of which has an allotment theme to it which made me smile.  Perfect.

There is a Millbry Hill, agricultural store, near Whitby so I popped in and bought the little pony a fly rug as the flies are awful here and he’s been plagued by them.  He looks a bit scary with that and a fly mask on, but it’s worth it until the season is over.
I’ve been making lots and lots of home made food and really got my mojo back there.  I’m enjoying it so much.  Bramble and apple crumble….delicious.

The onions have dried out nicely and are ready to hang.  I practiced plaiting on the ones I lifted in the Spring/early summer.

I’m pleased with how they turned out.
I also harvested a giant swede!

And plenty of other things.

We’ve had scotch pancakes for breakfast along with our own bacon and bread.  What treats!

Its our last day of the holidays for Ste and I tomorrow and the kids are back to school on Friday here.  So back to it.  I’m feeling organised though, everything is done that I wanted to be done in time to go back.  I’ve a list to get through tomorrow, including picking more brambles !

13 thoughts on “Making the most of our summer holidays

  1. Wow you have done really well. Glad you have had a good break. If you have some runner beans you could make some piccalilli, you can use courgettes in that. I tend not to use cucumber as it goes very watery but courgette is good and you can use squash in the mixture as well. You can freeze the courgettes and roast them in slices under a joint of pork if they get all juices from the meat in and they caramelise they are really tasty. courgette chutney, allow to grow to a marrow and then stuff with either sausage meat or a spiced mince mixture. Parsnip, apple and ginger chutney a mixed vegetable garden chutney, green tomatoes turn into green tomato chutney. You could also dry them and add them to home made stews and soups during the winter months. More courgette cake for the freezer. I am glad you got your bacon done as well. Its lovely home cured. As you have the pork make sure you make some crab apple jelly you can make this plain and spiced and it is lovely with a piece of roast pork in place of apple sauce. If you need help on the jelly front yell and will talk you through it. I have responded to your cookie post about the cornflake tart link.Take care.Pattypanx


  2. When I have extra tomatoes and no time to can (bottle) them I put them in a bag in the freezer, when I need some for soup or stew, take them out and put them under the tap, split the skin with a knife a little bit, and like magic they peel so easily. when thawed a bit they chop up easily. So much less work than canning them, and they taste nice and fresh. Enjoy your blog, hope your zucchini (courgettes) don't get away on you, they sure grow fast! Grate, portion and freeze for cakes, or use in soups etc.


  3. Sounds like you had a good 'holiday', accomplished so much. You can never have too many zucchini loaves in the freezer, chocolate-chocolate chip, zucchini coconut raisin, zucchini carrot, zucchini-walnut apricot. So many combinations and all so good!!


  4. Great post chic! Love the hoops for the beds. Hope my squash improve a bit, not too good just now. Your onions plaiting is fab. I managed to get mine hung up but not as tidy looking as yours! Time off work put to VERY good use in my view.x


  5. I definitely want to do picalilli as it was something I wanted to do last year but didn't. I think maybe Monday when I kick off Monday night preserving again. I'll freeze the courgettes one night this week I think. I'll have to see how crazy work is when I go back before I decide as I also work evenings. I fancy doing the stuffed marrow so will look online for how to go about it based on your comments. Thank you. Also I am soooo thankful for the cornflake cake link as I used to love that! Small spaces are appearing in the freezer so I'll start filling them xx


  6. Yes I feel like my holidays are my teaser for what life will be like one day. I do plan my time off as I like to feel like we've achieved plenty. It's funny as when ppl ask me if I got much done on hols, they don't expect me to say what I do!


  7. Ah thank you lou, I'm very pleased with the time off. As you know, I wanted to get on top of the veg plot in time to go back and I've done that so combined with all of the family time, all good! Take care xx


  8. breakfast sounds divine. your veg growing is fabulous. I pulled the courgettes out tonight. wow did they scratch me.I need one of those fly hats for when we go to Scotland, the midges love me!


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