Growing all year round? Let’s have a go…a new weekly task.

It’s been on my mind that I’ve planned and planned for all of the bounties we are harvesting now and what is still to come through the summer, but I’ve not done quite as much for Autumn and Winter. 
So I’ve decided to put these thoughts into action and for the last couple of weeks I’ve been sowing more things.  I plan on sowing something new weekly for the next few weeks, which I’ll share with you along with their progress.
Lettuce, winter leeks, winter cabbage, basil (red and green), chamomile as I’m curious to see if you can grow them in winter (for gifts), pak choi, autumn cauliflower (not had 1 yet this year!!!), beetroots and spring onion.

 The reason I am starting everything indoors is the blinking slugs or mice, whatever it is.  Pretty much everything I’m sowing direct is not getting chance to take as strongly as I’d like so I’m going to suck it up and transplant anything that can handle it.  The peas have done well on this round interestingly.

Now for a confession, my greenhouse is a tip! 

I must get in this weekend and give it a tidy out.  I don’t have a photo of the back section, which is just as well as all the pots have fallen over and water’s dripped through from watering, there’s boxes with boxes and who knows what else!
So this weekend I promise I will tidy out my greenhouse!  I’m in there ALL the time and I work happily in there, people actually come to visit me in there like Grace is below.  So I need to give it the attention it deserves, after all, this is where it all starts!

Baking for my family – chocolate courgette cake and new machines!

I’ve decided to start doing a weekly baking session to as one thing I always used to dream of before we moved here is cooking and baking for the family. I started off well but it dwindled the busier we got. I always cook from scratch and I’m trying to fill the freezer with good, honest food but that doesn’t seem to be baking these days. Unlike me, the kids can eat sweet stuff still without it affecting them on the waistline within 0.02 seconds of eating it. So last night saw me making the seasonal cake Courgette Chocolate Cake.
Ingredients.
120g softened butter
120ml sunflower oil
100g caster sugar
200g soft brown sugar
3 eggs
130ml milk
350g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
4tbsp cocoa powder
450g courgettes, grated
1tsp vanilla extract
Method
Line a baking tin, mine is apx 20x20cm. Ovens to be heated to Gas 5/190c.
Grate your courgettes, peeling first.
Beat butter, oil and sugars until fluffy.
Beat in the pre beaten eggs and milk.
Sift the fry ingredients and fold in. Stir in the courgettes and vanilla.
Tip into tin and bake for 30/40 mins. I have a 2 oven AGA so I put it on the bottom shelf with the cold shelf above it and it took about 45 mins for mine.
It came out lovely and is very moist (I hate that word!).  The kids have eaten it and have no idea there’s courgettes in there. Ste likes it too but his work friend wasn’t too keen (not sweet enough but he’s a sweet toothed guy!).
All in all this is a lovey easy cake using ingredients I had in the house and veg plot. Perfect for a family as it produces a large amount however you’d be able to freeze too. Definitely one I will be doing again. 
We’ve also been getting in some new gadgets, the first one we’ve tried is a vac pack machine. Tonight we cooked a ham and tried out the meat slicer we bought some time ago. It worked a treat and the vac pack machine did too. I’m really pleased with them both. The only thing is the vac pack sucks all the juice out of the item and can affect a seal if there’s too much. I guess things need to be partially froze to avoid that?