You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘strawberries’ tag.

We are busy picking platefuls of raspberries, loganberries and strawberries from our garden.  The first of the raspberries appeared at the end of June, which seemed really early to me – anyone else finding that their raspberries are out earlier this year?

For all the cursing I do during the year about the raspberry canes that pop up in all the wrong places (like the middle of my raised veg beds!), and all the promises I make to pull out all of them over the winter, I can’t help but leave them when we get such a bounty during the summer.

The strawberries have all but disappeared from their original location (overtaken by the raspberries) but have sprung up in unlikely places.  If you pull back their parasol shaped leaves you discover lots of very sweet fruits – a wonderful surprise.

The loganberries are prolific growing over an archway, but I find if I don’t pick them in time many of them that still look ok have yucky little white maggot/caterpillas inside them – those ones go on the bird table.

We have too many raspberries and loganberries at the moment to eat, so I bung them in the freezer until a time when we have enough to maybe make some jam.  The strawberries are fewer so those we are eating.

Advertisements

So this is the first of my Food Finds posts, the one that inspired me to start them.  I will try and post one every Monday along with a fabulous recipe from the blog of choice.

On my search for strawberry jam recipes I came across a lovely blog called Nami-Nami.  It’s written by Estonian and there are some delightful recipes that I’ve just never come across or heard of before.  I love discovering food and dishes that are particular to a specific place or town or region or country.

It was a recipe posted here for Danish buttermilk soup that inspired me to start sharing my food finds. 

To me that picture just makes me want to eat it all up, without even really knowing what’s in it.  I might try it with some of my homemade granola.  If like me, you’d like to ‘eat it all up’ and want to know how to make it, the recipe is here.

Image: Nami-Nami

That’s what I’m asking myself this morning.  And no, that’s not a typo, I really do have a kilo of clotted cream.  Why, you ask?  Well, last night the company I work for held a stakeholder meeting in a local community and as part of dinner we served them delicious mini chocolate cakes with strawberries and a dollop of clotted cream.

With open community meetings you never know how many people are going to turn up, even if you tell people they must RSVP.  So we usually end up with some leftovers which are divided up amongst the team.  I came home with two ice cream tubs full of fresh strawberries…and a kilo of clotted cream.

I’ve truly never seen so much clotted cream in one tub – it makes your heart stop just to look at it!  Sadly it’s not the deep golden yellow coloured cream of my childhood holidays in Devon, with that gorgeous crust that forms (my favourite part).  But none-the-less it’s clotted cream and I need to dream up how to use it.

Ice cream is my leading idea at the moment.  Primarily because it means Mr Rigg and I don’t have to get through a kilo of clotted cream before it goes off!  And also because I’d like a new challenge and haven’t made ice cream before.

Perhaps I might make raspberry and clotted cream ice cream – billed as a ‘sophisticated version of raspberry ripple’.  Or maybe I’ll just make a simple clotted cream ice cream to go with lemon and saffron cake which evokes childhood memories of saffron buns eaten in Devon on my granny’s terrace.

I could even save a little clotted cream to eat as it is, with strawberries and rose petals in a dainty sandwich

The choices!

pumpkinflowers

Over the weekend we finally made it down to our neglected allotment.  We went to see how it was looking and what we need to do over the coming weeks.

At the bottom of the allotment was one small, gleaming orange pumpkin!  Isn’t it cute and such a gorgeous amber colour!

orangepumpkin

I also discovered that one of my Cosmo plants has gone crazy and is covered in hundreds of dusky pink flowers. 

cosmos

I managed to pick a good bunch along with a couple of jolly yellow Calendula’s that have finally flowered.  I think this will be my last homegrown bunch of flowers for this year.

calendula

Most bizarrely our strawberry plants are fruiting again – in October!  Quite incredible.  Sadly, the rain we’ve had over the past week has reduced most strawberries to a soggy mush and the remainder have each had a nibble taken out of them by some hungry mouse or other creature.

pumpkinflowers2

So on the way home from work, N and I met up at our allotment to dig up what seems like ten tons of potatoes.  They are happily stored away in an assortment of saved paper bags.  I took a wander round the allotments and took some snaps of the lovely plots that other people have – none of mine this time, it’s looking more like I’m cultivated weeds…

The nice man who owns the plot next to us is growing these beauties…

yellow squash

And another plot that is stunning and designed like a garden complete with lawn and benches has a fence that is partly covered in a vine.  In amongst that vine are these dark, glossy green squash…

green squash

There are purple beans…

purple beans

Giant cabbages…

cabbages

Yellow courgettes and their delicate flowers…

yellow courgette

Greenhouses overflowing with ripening tomatoes…

greenhouse tomatoes

…fattening cucumbers…

cucumbers

…and onions drying…

drying onions

There is corn as tall as me…

sweetcorn

Blackberries are turning in the brambles surrounding the allotments…

blackberries

Apple trees are groaning beneath the weight of their laden bows…

apple tree

There are pears plumping up…

pear tree

pears

And fat marrows discarded by the path…

marrows

One lucky plot owner has in one small space two types of apple and a plum tree at the back, all of which are sagging, heavy with fruit…

fruit trees

The final burst of sweetpeas are overshadowed by their neighbours…

sweetpeas

Mallows, hollyhocks and scrambling nasturtiums are taking over where the poppies were…

cottage flowers

And jolly sunflowers bob in the breeze…

sunflowers

My allotment offers up one final surprise of early summer – another crop of ruby red strawberries, sweet and juicy…

late summer strawberries

A quick hello at the end of long day.  N and I have had a lovely week of cooking and eating – we’ve made fairy cakes with butter icing and raspberry jam…pink gooseberry and nettle fool…pasta with homemade fresh tomato sauce and basil dressing…and pea, mint and taleggio risotto. 

I’ve spent hours stood in my vegetable patch munching on so many peas that I couldn’t eat anymore….picked juicy strawberries that have never reached the kitchen…tidied the allotment and watched ladybird larvee turn into ladybirds…and been to a lovely garden party in Walton Lea’s walled garden.

ladybirds

P1130265

At the bottom of my garden, nestling in amongst a forest of leaves beautiful fruits are starting to blush.  This evening there were just enough for a small bowlful of strawberries.  More and more alpine strawberries appear as you rustle through the leaves, and some are as big as N’s thumbnail.  Their flavour is so intense I just love them.

P1130275

P1130278

P1130262

So the Mexican party last night was lovely, lots of sombreros and homemade ponchos, Maria brought maracas, and we ate a lot of chilli, baked potatoes, tortilla chips and wraps.  Ours friends Katie and Kate, who’s party it was, have just finished doing their back yard and it looked stunning – they’ve painted the walls a cream colour and trellis in a mossy green, they’ve put some decking down and built raised beds that are full of interesting plants.  It was just a really lovely place to sit out with friends.

Here are some pretty flowers and herbs from my garden that I made into a posy for our friends as a gift.  This little bunch was so fragrant – with lavender, sweetpeas, marjoram and mint – I would definitely recommend using popping a couple of sprigs of herbs into a bunch of flowers.

P1130098

Today has been another warm day in Cheshire, so N and I headed straight down to the allotment to trim the long grass, water and put in a few more plants I’ve been growing from seedlings.

The strawberries we inherited on the allotment are plumping up nicely, we are just waiting for then to start blushing and turning red…and hope the rabbits don’t get to them first!

P1130107

The purple sprouting broccoli (the green plant towards the back of the pic) has shot up since we last went down, and Maria’s brussel sprout plants (the purple plant in the foreground) are looking equally healthy.  Even the three smaller plants that aren’t enclosed by my snazzy wire fence are doing well and haven’t (yet! touchwood!) been decimated by the rabbits.

P1130109

I also discovered a number of small cabbage white caterpillars on one of the broccoli plants, so I have carefully pinched the leaves off, brought the caterpillars home and have lovingly encouraged them onto some of my nasturtium plants.  Mad you may say, why didn’t I “dispose” of them you ask, well I like butterflies and I’m happy to sacrifice some of my nasturtiums for them.

Some of the sweetcorn (like this one) are doing well, others look a bit piddly, but rumour has it we’ve got rain this week, so hopefully that might pick the smaller ones up a little.

P1130112

N cleared a patch of ground where pumpkins had previously been grown, and I planted four Uchi Kuri pumpkin plants that I have tended from seed.  In between them I also dug in a couple of nasturtiums because I just love the way they trail and ramble over everything and their jolly flowers.

P1130114

So overall the allotment is looking pretty good, taking into consideration that this year we just haven’t had the time to clear and tidy it properly.  Rather things are just growing between the tall grasses and weeds, but growing they are.  Next year we will work on making it look pretty and neat.

P1130106

p1120068

I must admit that although I did have time to post last night after the stinky boyfriend went to bed, I instead curled up on the sofa with a very cuddly bunny to watch recorded episodes of the Great British Menu.  Borage was unusually friendly last night, and even relaxed enough to rest his chin on my arm – he even had a little snooze and did lot of eye fluttering and paw twitching…I can only guess he was running through lush green meadows in his dreams.  Funny bunny.

Borage watching tv

Borage watching tv

It was only two weeks ago when I posted my April garden update and yet the garden has changed so much since then – the photos were in fact taken at the beginning of the month, but still the changes are notable.  The incredibly warm sunny weather we have experienced recently has probably has something to do with the growth spurt.  I realise my last garden update was pretty dull, so I have taken lots of photos this time – I do enjoy documenting the changes that the garden goes through as things sprout, grow, fruit and eventually die back.

Those delicate little lettuce seedlings that I bought and carefully protected under improvised cloches are doing really well, with gorgeous glossy leaves.  You might notice I’ve suffered two losses of the green batavia (one rotted early on, and the other snapped off, but left a couple of tiny leaves which seems to be recovering well if a little behind the others):

p1120058

It is becoming very difficult to resist picking these luscious frilly leaves:

p1120055

The first set of radishes are starting to plump up nicely into small rubies:

p1120066

These are small cos lettuces that I have sown from seed:

p1120081

And beautiful burgundy coloured red oakleaf lettuce:

p1120083

This is one of my raised beds.  I have planted to rows of peas, and in between them rows of different salads – some baby leaf, some whole lettuces. 

p1120054

The peas are doing so well and I can’t wait to shell my first pod and pop the first pea into my mouth:

p1120053

I adore the way they curl their tendrils around the pea sticks and twine.  You can almost watch them stretching out their delicate tendrils, and wrapping their fingers around whatever they can find.

p1120084

I have sown two types of spring onion – ‘Guardsman’ for salads and ‘Paris Silverskin’ for pickling.  Both rows are looking healthy:

p1120060

The tiny carrot’s have unfurled their frothy green foliage :

p1120064

The rows of oriental saladini and baby leaf salad are starting to form their individual leaves – some round, some spiky, some lush green, others deep purple:

p1120080

p1120072

Enough of salads and onto fruit.  My strawberry and raspberry ‘jungle’ has transformed from just a month ago:

strawberrybed

The wild strawberries are flowering and the raspberry’s have sent up lots of new suckers:  

p1120093

I will certainly be netting my blackcurrant bush this summer – last year the birds got most of the fruits:

p1120097

In the ‘greenhouse’ the seeds that I have sown are coming along.  There are sweetcorn seedlings:

p1120116

Uchi Kuri squash:

 p1120118

Jack-Be-Little pumpkins:

p1120120

And my first cucmber seedling has sprouted:

p1120122

I will leave you with this lovely shot of Mr Blackbird sitting on ‘his’ spot as he does every evening as the sun sinks, singing his beautiful tune to us.

p1120103

Bookmark and Share

Eat the Earth

I love food, especially locally grown and seasonal food. This is my place to share my food finds and the food I like to eat.

My Pictures

All pictures are my own unless stated. I would kindly ask that you don't use them elsewhere unless you ask permission first. Many thanks x

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Recent recipes

Food memories: Greece

Food Memories: Dordogne

Food Memories: Amalfi Coast

Food Memories: Naples

Food Memories: Loire Valley

Food Memories: Sweden

Food Memories: Barcelona