Tag Archives: kitchen garden

Veg in the Bed!

We had a go at some raised beds this spring and they are turning out really well! I have to admit the success is almost entirely down to my husband who has the real green fingers out of us all. But me and Ayla have had a hand in planting, shoveling and watering so that we can still have a claim to the harvest ๐Ÿ™‚

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My husband put them together using some used scaffold planks that we picked up at an agriculture auction, these are great as they are relatively cheap and are already treated, they have metal tapes on the ends which should also help them withstand the wet. He simply screwed them together, no need to measure or saw.

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And here are a few shots of how the beds are doing now… Potatos, onions and carrots.

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Me and Ayla also planted some daffodil bulbs at the start of the year which have long gone now but were a real delight to watch growing day by day and then bloom just in time for Easter.

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We have been having a very quiet 2015 so far and I have been really enjoying the one on one times with Ayla, especially as it will be time for her to start Pre-school later this year.

However I have to say the stay-at-home-and-play-days are getting more challenging as I think of new inventive ways to keep her occupied ๐Ÿ™‚

Today we decorated loo rolls…as you do!

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Put a Tipi up in the sitting room… of course!

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And made mud castles in the garden.

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Before a spot of ‘tea partying’ in the Wendy house and then inside to bake some fairy cakes before dinner.

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We only had three tantrums… 1 over brushing our teeth, 2nd over washing our hands and the 3rd because I said we weren’t watching any more Cbeebies. These three things are clearly worth crying about when you are 2 and 1/2 …

I on the other hand, had a tantrum because the box of wipes wouldn’t open and I only had one hand free!… Honestly why do they have to make packaging so infuriating.

All in all a lovely day at home, although I stayed at home to get ‘stuff done’ … I didn’t get much done … but we did have a lot of fun and I managed to wash two loads of washing into the machine, feed everybody, bath Ayla, change the beds and finally write a blog which I have been meaning to for months!

So I will leave you with some photos from a visit to a friends farm at the start of Spring and look forward to getting back into my blog.

Good night all! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Homemade Elderflower Cordial

Well with the weather as it is I figured there was nothing for it than to make some elderflower cordial in hope that it brings the sunshine out… come back summer!

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I love the taste of elderflower and I have always wanted to make my own cordial, with our very own elder tree sitting in the corner of the garden I didn’t need much persuading. It is not a very old tree andย this is the first year it has flowered so well.

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Caleb puss watched intently, as I snipped away and gathered the flower heads.

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For this recipe I used:

1kg Sugar ~ 1.5 litres of boiling water ~ 3 lemons washed ~ 30 large elderflower heads (shake to remove insects) ~ 50g of citric acid (available from the chemist)

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1. Put the sugar in a large bowl and add the boiling water, stir until completely dissolved, then leave to cool.

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2. Grate the lemons with a fine grater and slice them into thick slices, before adding to the solution.

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3. Stir in the citric acid and then the flower heads.

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Ayla woke up from her afternoon nap just in time to help add the elderflowers, (a toddler isn’t necessary for this stage… but it does add to the excitement!)

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4. Cover the mixture with a clean cloth and leave to steep, I left my solution for about 24 hours but you can leave it up to 48 hours if you like.

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5. Using a muslin cloth (baby muslin) I strained the mixture into a clean pan. (A large elastic band can help to hold the cloth in place)

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6. Finally using either a funnel or a jug, decant into your bottles which should be sterilised (you can do this in the oven or using a sterilising solution)

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This recipe made up nearly two bottles which is perfect as I wanted to give a bottle to my mum and there are still plenty of flowers on the tree for a second batch.

Then all that was left to do was add water to a jug with a good helping of elderflower cordial, mix and wait for the Sun to come out for a truly refreshing drink and a taste of British summer!

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