Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Another Postcard drop

It is so hard to believe that August is almost upon us. Where do these long summer days go? Here we have had such busy happy times with our grandchildren - so many memories to cherish -

  • Beautiful Erin 
  • Endless beach days,
  • Swimming with seals, 
  • Flying with eagles,
  • Celebrating - as a new family birthday is added to our list.
  • Learning a new craft
  • Having my four girls together
  • And evening rainbows
Hope your season is turning out to be all you could wish for xxx

Friday, July 26, 2013

This Moment

Joining in again with Soulemama - capturing a moment that I want to remember and share.  Wishing everyone a loving weekend xx

Monday, July 22, 2013

Seven Summer Days

Enjoying these balmy Summer days here, now with daughter Karen and her family. Here are some snapshots from our week.
I have loved:

  • A perfect rose from the garden.
  • Seeing sleepy morning faces appear around the kitchen door.
  • Refreshing elderflower lemonade.
  • Circus fun at the Standing Stones
  • Girl cousins meeting for the first time
  • Sunny beach days
  • A beautiful Summer Full Moon.

Hope your week is full of blessings. xx

Friday, July 19, 2013

On my knee

Very happy to be joining in again with Soulemama - capturing a moment that I want to remember and share.  Wishing everyone a restful weekend xx

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Around the croft and kitchen

As usual, so busy up here with the crofting tasks. Moving cattle back and forward between the fields where they are strip grazing, a la Joel, waiting on a new calf to arrive sometime in August.

Oh - and dealing with an udder abscess which suddenly appeared on Celia. That was a learning experience if ever there was one - and a bruising one too! But we now know a lot more about cattle than we ever did, and Celia, who never actually seemed to be ill with this, is now happily back with the others. I'll write more about this another time.

But for now, my focus is on the garden. The flower bed is beginning to really show some colour. Those huge allium flowers are stunning, my Gertrude Jekyll rose is looking very promising - such a beautiful pink, and I love the cheery faces of those pansies. We are picking sweet peas every day now, and the dahlia's are budding.  I believe I can see my dreamt-of cottage garden beginning to emerge!

We have not had the hight temperatures of the Mainland heatwave here, and it has been quite a dull and dismal week. But, the sun is on it's way, starting today, I believe, and we may see temperatures in the high 60s! Just perfect for me, and hopefully some colour will appear on all that green fruit that is just waiting to ripen.

In the vegetable plot and polytunnel, harvesting is starting to speed up just a little bit more now - it's not exactly a glut, but we manage to eat from our land every day. I planted many things later than I normally would, as it was such a cold Spring, but things are catching up nicely now. The courgettes (zucchini) are really taking off, and I wonder why I panicked earlier on and planted so many! I guess some recipes might find their way here over the next couple of months. This week, I want to share with you, a favourite delicious, quick and nourishing food, picked straight out of the garden.

We have just begun to harvest our garlic scapes. For weeks i was watching for them, and then, suddenly there they were, twisting all over the bed. We have enjoyed them is all sorts of ways, especially loving them drizzled with oil and roasted, or barbecued in a foil parcel with oil and sea salt. But my most favourite thing to do with them is to make soup. Spanish garlic soup with bread and poached egg is a regular and welcome lunchtime meal for us, so I decided to give my usual recipe a wee Summer makeover. A quick saunter round the garden with a basket yielded some garlic scapes, a few plump pods of broad beans, and a handful of bean tops. The nest box in the hen  house provided the eggs and I had made a large pot of chicken stock the day before. I only ever make enough for the number of people who are there at the time. it is not one of those that you would keep for leftovers, like the Scotch broth - and it is a really quick dish to prepare. The amounts given here are for 3 people, so feel free to increase as required.

3 or 4 garlic scapes, chopped
A handful of broad bean tops
6 broad bean pods
3 or 4 teaspoons of smoked paprika
3 eggs ( 1 per person)
3 slices sourdough or thickly sliced bread of choice
Chicken stock (2 ladlefuls per person)

Pour a good amount of olive oil into a heavy pan.
Fry the garlic scapes until soft, but not brown
Add 3 or 4 teaspoons smoked paprika ( I used 3 dulce and 1 piccante, but use what you have or prefer)
Allow to foam in the oil for a few seconds, then add a couple of ladlefuls chicken stock for each person.
Simmer for a few minutes then add the shelled broad beans.
Put a slice of bread in each soup plate.
Crack an egg for each person into the simmering soup and poach for a few minutes until softly set.
Lift the egg out  of the liquid and place on the bread
Add the broad bean tops to the soup and stir in briefly.

Ladle the soup over the bread and egg.
Savour the moment when you break the yolk and watch it ooze into the liquor
Then tuck in.

Real Fast Food...mmm!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Summer Postcard

Hectic Summer days here. Had a wonderful week with my step-daughter and her family. Those boys just loved being on the beach so much they stayed an extra two days!
Now we are ready for our next set of visitors - daughter Karen and her family are on their way to us as I write. Looking forward to two weeks of fun, laughter and - well - more beaches!
Will write more soon.

Photograph - Garry beach, North Tolsta, Isle of Lewis

Monday, July 8, 2013

Summer weekending

A beautiful weekend when we welcomed the first of our family parties to the croft. My step-daughter, son in law and their two boys. They had never visited the island before, as they live in Switzerland . Coming from a land-locked country, it soon became obvious that they were suffering from serious beach deficiency. Well, we certainly have the cure for that! This summer weekend has been full of special moments:

  • Beaches every day
  • Rainbows
  • Getting to know new friends
  • The benefits of having a keen fisherman in the house
  • A baby being adored 
  • Smoking fresh langoustines on the beach
  • Exploring
  • Playing
  • and little sandy feet.

A few more beach days ahead of us, as the holiday continues - hope your weekend was blessed with love, joy and sunshine. xxx

Friday, July 5, 2013

This Moment

Very happy to be joining in again with Soulemama - capturing a moment that I want to remember and share.  Wishing everyone a refreshing weekend xx

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Snowing in July

The Flowers in the Snow adaptation is almost finished - just crocheting the border now, which I thought I would keep white, but am tempted to finish with the pink. Will try it and see. I enjoyed this pattern - it is so effective. I hope Breagha likes it too. I will update my Ravelry notes when it is done.

I am reading Momo to James just now, and we are so loving it - it is one of those books where you want wait for bedtime to find out what happened. Trying to savour it by only reading a chapter a night - maybe two if they are short. It is a story about a city where the sinister men in grey are imperceptibly stealing time form everyone. Not James's usual sort of thing, really, but it is so well written that it keeps his attention with out being to scary.

It is getting near to that season now, and I am determined to preserve more of the harvest this year, so I dug out this book.  Canning is not a big thing here in the UK at all, but I am inspired by so many of you American ladies, that I would like to do much more.  I have been humming and hawing for a couple of years now about shipping over a pressure canner. Googling it in, I see various debates over which is best. As they are not sold over here, I have to take a leap in the dark. I had been looking at this one - then I saw this one, but I have heard good reports about this make, but it was an old version, so I really don't know.... ho hum.

So, a new book arrived the other day which may distract me. Kith, the riddle of the Childscape, by Jay Griffiths. I have not long finished one of her other books, an exploration of the history of time - very illuminating and I like the way she writes.

And I also slipped in this lovely book about making wines, cordials and lemonades. Beautiful pictures and wonderful sounding recipes. Cant wait to get going with this - just need some sunny afternoons to sit out with my cooling drinks. It really feels cold enough for snow in July

I am joining in with Ginny's Yarn Along today - do pop over and see what's happening in the world of yarn and books.


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