Saturday, May 30, 2015

Saturdays in the Garden - Clotted Cream and Garden Euphoria


It's that blissful time in the garden when lots of exciting things are beginning to happen and it hasn't all gone horribly wrong...yet.  This is usually how my gardening season goes:
February/March: Chomping at the bit for the ground to become workable so I can plant my cool season veggies (this year - carrots, peas, Asian greens, radishes).
April: Planting the cool season veggies and waiting very impatiently for SOMETHING to happen.
May:  Everything's green and verdant and healthy.  Sprouts, flowers and buds appear, salad greens are lush, and I'm high on dirt.  It's going to be a great gardening summer!
June:  Everything goes horribly wrong.  Flowers wilt and fall off unfertilized so no fruit, fruits that appeared to be developing don't or perhaps fall off before ripe, sprouts die inexplicably, the greens bolt suddenly and are ruined.
It's like this...every. damn. year.  In pictorial form it looks something like this...
The good news is that currently it's the season of euphoria so might as well revel in it and forget that disappointment is to come.  A tour:

Empress Green Beans

Pea Blossoms

Cucumber sprouts


Baby Blueberries


Carrots, Asian Greens, Garlic
Sugar Snap Peas

Green Onions (Fukagawa)



I seem to like to do things outside of the normal schedule.  Lately, at the immature age of 42 I've started to embark upon adventures in Home Economics.   Mostly this is related to learning how to cook from scratch and eat healthier.  On Memorial Day I decided to exercise my freedom to cook things poorly (I don't mean to make light of Memorial Day - my deep gratitude goes out to all the men and women who have sacrificed their lives for our country and my heart goes out to those who have lost someone).

The biggest adventure for the day was trying to make clotted cream and scones.  I have a fondness for most things British including a lovely cream tea featuring of course clotted cream, scones, jam and tea. It actually worked pretty well which is shocking - I always screw things like this up.  These are the directions I was following.  I'm not hugely fond of these scones - they have a slightly odd taste (I think related to the beaten egg brushed on top -probably something I did wrong) and scones in my book should just be a tad sweet. Just a hint of sweetness and these have none.  They are basically biscuits.  Very easy to make so that's a bonus.  The clotted cream has been GLORIOUS though.

I also made one of my favorite discoveries on this journey to being a more responsible eater - Focaccia Bread.  It's from this recipe on Budget Bytes.  To make a batch takes some forethought as the dough must sit overnight but it is way lower maintenance than most bread, its delicious and it freezes beautifully.  I eat half of the loaf within a few days of making it and then slice the rest and freeze it in such a way that I can pull out a couple pieces at a time.  To eat it I just put the frozen bread with a small pat of butter on top of it in a 350 degree oven for a few minutes. Yum.


My recent trend of no TV watching has continued.  *shrugs* I'm usually an addict so not sure what's up except for the fact that I've been reading some very good books lately.

Speaking of Books...

Finished this week:

- One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah Maclean:  So freaking good.  I've had to work at restraining myself from immediately diving into the next book in the series.

Currently Reading:

- Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman:  Listening to in the car so it is going somewhat slowly.  I have a bunch of driving to do this week for work so I can spend more time with this one. This book is picking up after a slow start.
- Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry: I'm almost done with this one and it is killing me.  The worst thing ever just happened and it makes me want to rail against Larry McMurtry like a 2 year old throwing a temper tantrum.  How dare he break my heart with his ruthless and wonderful writing.
- Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe: Not much to say here. Moving along.
- Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews: Why did it take me a year and half to pick up this series again? It is so so good.  I think I was so blown away by book 4 that I was afraid the rest of the books wouldn't stand up but book 5 is doing just fine, thank you.


SUNDAY: Thoughts on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.
MONDAY: Review of The Likelihood of Lucy by Jenny Holiday  - A unique Regency romance.
TUESDAY: Top Ten Tuesday: Beach Reads.  I mostly listed books I am hoping to take to the beach with me this summer.  Because I do get to go.  To the Beach.  I'm a little excited.
THURSDAY: Review of Mister Slaughter by Robert McCammon.  SO good.  This is a colonial era mystery/thriller series and it is amazingly good.


SUNDAY:  Review of Diamond Solitaire by Peter Lovesey AND The Lewis Man by Peter May
TUESDAY: Top Ten Tuesday Books that Should be Movies.  Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
WEDNESDAY: Regency Romance Reviews: Sarah MacLean Edition
THURSDAY: The Tough Traveling topic this week is disguises.  I have been woefully terribly at making these lists lately.  Hopefully I can get back in gear with this one.  Hosted by Fantasy Review Barn.



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