A little bit of everything.

Isn’t it lovely to see the changing seasons?  I love the country I live in.  There is a definite move from one season to another and with it brings new things.  Moving into our smallholding has shown us new seasonal sights, especially harvest.  Every day I look over to the fields around us and see the farmers hard at work, the roads have the tell tale bits of straw which have escaped when being transported, lined up along their sides and every few days we see bales of hay and straw piling up at random points along the horizon. 

For us personally, moving into Autumn is the shift from summer eating to slightly more Autumnal dishes, slowly introducing the slow cooker again, eating basic staples like mashed potatoes with beef gravy (yum) and my mind turns to making things like soup again.  I know you can make soup in the summer but it’s not something I enjoy eating during the warmest months and I enjoy the process more in the Autumn and especially the Winter.  One of my favourite soups is anything with sweet potatoes, squashes and pumpkins.  Speaking of which, I’ve been growing pumpkins this year and one of them is enormous!  It probably won’t taste very nice with it being so big, but I have decided to enter it into a local show on 17th September.  It’s our first ever show, first ever pumpkin actually, so I though let’s go have some fun.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’m thrilled to say my daughter has followed in my footsteps with regards to enjoying cooking and has started making some of our meals.  She’s 9 and I am extremely proud of her.  Here she is knocking up some apricot and pumpkin seed flapjacks for our packed lunches.  They were so delicious, I didn’t get to take a photo of the end result!
The new company that we’re using for the veg box scheme are called Riverford and so far I am really pleased with them.  Their veg is so fresh and tasty and the milk has a good date one it.  Here’s the last order that came. 

 But what on earth do I do with tomatillos?!

I bought some granola to get an idea of what to include if I made my own.  It wasn’t cheap, £4 for this little tub, so I won’t be ordering it frequently, but hopefully I’ll like it and make my own as I’m struggling with what healthy breakfasts I can have.

Our girls have been producing eggs left, right and centre.  We’ve had about 120 eggs spare at any one time so if anyone has any ideas of what to make with eggs apart from frittatas, quiches, cakes, eggs on toast etc then I would appreciate them! Some of the eggs have been huge over the last couple of weeks.  The one of the left is a hen egg next to a duck egg (second from left) and 2 standard hen eggs on the right.

Whilst we were off we took our metal detector into the field as it used to be a medieval settlement so we hoped to find some exciting hints into what happened there in the past.  We were told it was a graveyard but looking at it from an aerial view you can see the outlines where the houses/rooms/foundations were.  On this photo we’re in the right hand side.  It’s all changed since the photo was taken and the big farm has been split into 3 but we an see our fields on here.  It’s really interesting and I think I will see what I can find out about its past.  We managed to dig up 2 horse shoes and some parts of a rusty old gate.

 

In the garden, I’ve cleared out the veg beds that had finished producing and that don’t come back next year.  I noticed we have some raspberries coming from the same canes that produced around 4/5 weeks ago.  Should that be happening and are they summer fruiting or autumn (I realise this is a silly question to some!)?

We really have had a lovely summer holiday, there’s nothing as fabulous as family time in a place you love.  I’ll wrap up now as I will be wittering on all night otherwise.  Back to normal now 🙂

Growing update

I must have the world’s easiest to look after pumpkin/squash.  It’s growing and I’m just watching from the sidelines.  I did put some straw underneath in an effort to stop it rotting.  If it’s as big as I think it is going to be then I might enter it into a country show as I’d love to do that. 
Here are 2 other pumpkin /quash plants that I am growing.  The pumpkin is tiny but so cute!  Can you say that about a veg?  The other squash is trying to rival my big one and is growing well.
We also have some borlotti beans growing.  I’ve never had these before but apparently they dry well ready for winter stews so I will do that.
I was given a courgette by a lovely lady that I sell eggs to.  It’s huge and will be added to a lot of meals probably in grated form as it’s not one of my favourite vegetables (yet!) but that maybe as I’ve had lots of supermarket courgettes up to now.
This weekend, we have family visiting but no other plans so I will get into the plot and turn over a few beds and get some winter seeds down.  The Grow your own magazine I signed up for (thanks to Louise’s blog Welsh Dreams Now Reality) have 2 packets of seeds with their latest issue.  Land cress and spring onion, so both are being sown this weekend.
I rarely get a picture of all 3 dogs together but as I looked out of the kitchen window the other night, here they were all mulling their thoughts over together so I managed to get a quick photo before the puppies found something else to run off and investigate.