Monday, 7 September 2009

August is Behind Us

One minute it seemed like we had the whole of August ahead of us and now it has come and gone. I still have lots more photos to post of our visit to Wiltshire in July, not to mention day visits we have made since then, and the list already on the 'back burner'. My pending posts to blog are mounting but I do not want my blog to become purely a 'tavelogue',hence a little about life inbetween ocasionally.

Of course while Janie is still on maternity leave we are seeing much more of her and Oliver and Rebekah (either here or there)and apart from the usual days out and the hurly burly of life in general, we have been looking after the gardens of 2 friends while they were on holiday for 2 weeks.

While they were in the Lake District getting drowned most days, we were having some warm and sunny and windy days. Weather that is guaranteed to dry out the soil so as we were watering home grown produce we needed to keep a constant watch. One of the gardens was more like a small market garden it contained so much produce. The owner was keen for me to pick and use whatever needed to be picked. So with, beans, beans and more beans, courgettes and tomatoes (some I gave away to others)I was able to make a vegetable casserole dish that is good used as a past sauce, or an accompanying vegetable dish. Before you ask, courgettes, French or runner beans, tomatoes,onions, garlic, crushed corriander seeds and basil. Sauteed and slow cooked in the oven for an hour on low heat.

Added to this I was given rhubarb, plums, apples,cucumber, beetroots from various folk so a fair bit of the month was spent preparing and freezing produce. Now we are into September and schools are back so hopefully we will get some more days out before the winter sets in.

At the beginning of August we had a day out to Dedham (lots more photos under 'Essex') with house church and while the young people spent time 'messing about on the river' others went walking or visiting craft centres. I chose to walk to a part of the village that I had not visited before where I understood there to be some old Flemish cottages. I was not disappointed as you can see here. Alan and I and another couple ended our day (after everyone else went home) walking across the fields to Flatford Mill where we had a nice afternoon tea together before walking back again.

Mid August brought out the berries on the Pyracanthas (far too early as the birds are already demolishing them) and our own tomatoe crop is doing well. Six bushes with about 2 dozen large tomatoes on each.

Here we have a number of gifts kindly given to us as a thank you for our garden watering. Some beautiful roses. The upside to these for me is that being commercially grown they do not have perfume so I could really enjoy them at close quarters. My own garden roses are heavily perfumed and I find I can no longer bring them indoors without having an allergic reaction to them.

Some chocolate liquers

Pretty tins and Gooseberry and Elderflower jam

Particularly liking the side of this tin
Back to the 'travelogues' for the next post


Susan said...

Nice to hear a little of what is going on in your life on the day to day. Hard for me to believe one week of September is almost gone. We are celebrating Labor Day here in the U.S. That has never been a big holiday for our family.

Willow said...

You have had a very busy month in August. It's nice to know that you will be able to enjoy much of that produce through the winter months.

Anonymous said...

Nice things you did for nice folks and nice gifts in return. I loved the tour of the Flemish architecture. The photo of the berries was my favorite. We have been painting berries in art class and it love it. For sure time is marching on. Blessings

Anonymous said...

Seems like a win/ win/ win August
garden produce
and presents too

Rather a treat to raid someone else's garden with impunity.
In the US it is a public service NOT to grow tomatoes.
Then you can be grateful to be given some of your friends' over-bountiful crops.
We were always looking for people to give stuff to!

Lorrie said...

This summer has passed by so quickly! It's nice to hear about your daily activities as well as your travels.


Needled Mom said...

Oh dear but I am having a hard time imagining that August is behind us already. The produce looks like it was bountiful for you. Don't you just love having all the fresh things.

"Courgettes" was one of the difficult words for us when we first moved to England. Here we call them "zucchini" and a waiter at a restaurant asked us if we wanted any "courgettes" with our dinner. Hmmmm. It was the beginning of realizing how many English words we use with you that mean someting completely different.

Tracy Golightly-Garcia said...

There is nothing like a fresh tomatoe sandwich with Duke mayonnaise and some good pepper! Here in the Upstate of South Carolina we love our Duke's mayo.
Thanks for the beautiful pictures!!
Tarcy :)

Anonymous said...

I've enjoyed reading your travelogue, Barbara, and you've made the blog such a wonderful resource for a future visit to England. Nice to hear how well your garden's done this year with an abundance of produce. Sorry to hear that you are allergic to roses. There are a few I grow that have almost no scent that's suitable for my co-workers who're also allergic.

Pomona said...

I can never bring roses indoors because my husband gets hay fever - so I have to enjoy then outside too.

Pomona x

Patsy said...

I guess Sept will past just as fast. Fall is the best time of the year.

Charm and Grace said...

Barbara, I enjoyed this post very much. How sweet of you and Alan to tend your friends' garden while they were away. And your own tomatoes look lovely. Sounds like your freezer is stocked for winter!
And, how wonderful that you are getting more time with your grans.


Adrienne said...

Yes, August has come and gone. And it was fast, wasn't it? I love the Flemish cottages and the sight of your tomatoes makes me wish the sun would hurry and wake up this early morning so I can pick fresh ones for the day ahead. Thank you for sharing a bit of your life with us again today. It's always such a delight be go along with you. ~Adrienne~

Vee said...

What a cute tin with its wise advice! I should try taking it more often.

Barbara, you could post every single day and never run out of things to say and share. It's always fun to read what you and Alan are doing and how busy you are! My goodness. That's what keeps you young, I'm told.

Susan Skitt said...

Oh fun, how I love to see your homes over there! In fact, my seven-year-old son, (almost 8), says, "I'm going to live in England one day, play soccer (your football) and not get married. I'll just live with my two German Shepherd dogs."

Really now, he is a character! Hopefully he will change his mind about girls, he thinks they have "cooties" right now. Of course I thought boys had "cooties" back when I was little - lol! That changed quickly by the time I was in junior high school... (smile)

I would love to visit your country one day, you have so many beautiful pictures of it!

Anonymous said...

I love the message on the tin Barbara.

After weeks of Autumn drizzle and clouds here we are enjoying a lot of sunny days. Isn't it beautiful outside? I'm enjoying what I can of it by sewing outside.

Kate said...

mmmm that veggie casserole sounds gorgeous - I may have to give it a try!!
Your tomatoes look lovely I love them fresh from the plant but really don't like them when they are straight from a fridge - they really don't taste of anything then.