Close Encounters with the Cook

Midsummer Murders(of the Plant Kind)

Midsummer Murders(of the Plant Kind)

herb garden

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.


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Sunshine over Leith

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.castlgn100004


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Bump or Scratch in the Night

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.


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Catastrophic Start

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.


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