I have not been very active lately on this website as lot has been happening in my life. Peter had a MSc project to do to complete his MSc so that meant that I was busy with other things. He passed with flying colours, thank goodness. Then he had to get a Phd position. After a lot of applications and discussions he accepted a placement in Trondheim, Norway. So a few months of getting a place to live packing and shipping our stuff ensued.
We have been here for 3 weeks now and are gradually adjusting to our new home and country. As neither of us speak Norwegian it has been a steep learning curve. I lived in Norway for a year when I was eight but have forgotten everything I knew of the language apart from a few phrases. Luckily most people speak English and are patient with us, but forms and instructions are in Norwegian and google translate can lead to some bemusing head scratching.
Looking forward to devising recipes from Norway and other Nordic countries. One of the reasons I give for moving here is Brontost(Brown cheese) and waffles although there are many others.
Fish will feature quite a lot in our diet and as we both love it no bad thing.
Midsummer Day has just past and now we can start saying the nights are fair drawing in again. Unfortunately so far this year they have failed to draw out as much as usual. We seem to subject to erratic jet stream activity giving us lower than average temperatures and a lot of cloud, rain and even snow at the beginning of the month.
I might seem to be griping about the weather in true British fashion, but this year I decided to really try and grow some veg, fruit and flowers. The first tenderly nurtured seedlings planted out after the fear of frosts died en masse either drowning or being dug up by neighbours cat.
The second batch raised outside in propagator and now planted seem to be surviving if not thriving. The seed tape of flowers seems to be completely dormant or dead.
Strawberry plants and Rhubarb crown are doing well and the Violas that Peter bought for my birthday are blooming like no ones business.
I need to lop back the Elder trees threatening to over shade the herb garden again but 5 varieties of Mint, Lemon Balm, Sage, Chives and Garlic Chives, Italian Parsley, Ladies Mantle, Marjoram and Rosemary are all fine. The Lovage which all but died last year is 5 ft tall and looks to be getting taller. I might even try and plant some lavender again I seem to kill it off on a regular basis but that might be down to too acidic soil and garden turning into a rice paddy when it rains.
We do however produce a great crop of buttercups, sticky willy, ground elder and enough nettles to sting a small county.
Now that it is Mid April I decided to risk planting up some Herbs in the Window box our neighbour kindly made for us. I painted it with blackboard paint first as I like that effect. A quick trip up the road garnered a pack of six small herb plants Parsley, Rosemary, Oregano, Tarragon, Chives and Coriander. Peter planted them for me last night apart from the Coriander which is too tender to withstand low temperatures and will stay indoors to Mid May or thereabouts. I am passionate about having fresh herbs which make all the difference to many dishes. Our main herb patch is just beginning to stir and put forth growth and I’m happy to see the Wild Garlic(Ransoms) coming along well. Will be making Wild Garlic Wrapped Chicken and Mushroom and Wild Garlic Risotto later in the Month.
Took a quick photo of the box this morning, The Sticks are to hopefully discourage a neighbours Cat from lying in it.
Spring is sprung, the grass is riz. I wonder where the birdies is.
They say the birdies on the wing, but that’s absurd.
I always thought the wing was on the bird.
With the brighter morning’s and better(for the moment) weather. I’ve been starting to set seed in trays and even bought a couple of small Calendula plants.
There is a Scottish saying “Neer cast a clout til May is out” meaning don’t take off your coat until the end of May.
I didn’t follow the advise and wandered up to the local once a month Farmers Market in a T-shirt and cardigan on Saturday. I seemed to have survived but the saying is apt with regards to Scottish Weather and garden planting.
We are due frosts over the next few days so planting or sowing seeds outside would not be a good idea, however much I’m champing at the bit to sew herbs and vegetables. Until the end of April- Mid May frosts can kill anything off. Lavender never seems to survive here. Hopefully we will have decent spring weather to encourage growth.
I’ve got Lavender to sow, mixed edible flowers such as Calendula and Nasturtiums, Moroccan mint, Greek Basil, Radishs, Mooli, Beetroot, Swiss Chard, Round Courgettes, Dill, French Beans, Garlic chives, Bunching Onions, and Mustard Greens plus a few others Indian seeds.
I will just have to enjoy the daffodils from garden instead and concoct springtime recipes.
The sun may well be shining over Leith, but it’s decided to disappear from Morningside just as my gluten free gingerbread biscuits are about to come out of the oven and be photographed. Ah well will have to photo-shoot them in the morning if the models survive that it. Will just have to taste test them with almond milk and cardamom hot chocolate instead. It’s a hard life.
The Power of the Suggestion.
Picture the scene. Unable to sleep due the wind I snuggled down on the couch under my quilt with only small reading lamp on and a book about a medieval exorcist monk. Tired but totally engrossed I’m starting to drift off to sleep when there is a determined scratching at the close curtained window. I almost hit the ceiling in fright and it took me about 5 minutes to open the curtains to investigate. It was our neighbours cat who had been left out overnight. If it had meowed I would have been fine.
After recovering I decided to make some comfort food. Ice cream does count as comfort food. So made some Dairy Free Banana Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream. There might just be enough left for Peter when he gets home.
Just as I was getting ready to make my first recipe last night. A crisis happened . I went to get the gluten free flour from the Bookcase I use as a storage unit and cookery bookcase. As I reached for it all the shelves collapsed at once. Catastrophe: 13 glass storage jars, 3 shelves of cookbooks and 2 shelves of kitchen equipment started to fall forward.
I managed to save the glass storage jars by shielding and propping them up with my body, but my large Tagine was a casualty of the disaster. Peter saved the day with his drill and some long screws he managed to fix the shelves back in place and I reloaded it.
I think I need some more shelves though as I look at Kilner Jars and cookbooks the way some other women look at shoes.