home again

IMG_1465Whoops – it seems I sneaked off without saying goodbye…. Well, things were rather rushed before we left, and, well, I was too busy thinking about holidays.

Yep, we’ve been up to Orkney again. I feel rested and revived, and will sort out and show you photographs very soon.

We got back late last night, and this morning I woke up missing the sea view.

Still, we brought back a couple of souvenirs…

IMG_1455ENORMOUS cabbages, courtesy of a lovely friend. I adore cabbage, but even I can’t eat that much in one go. I’ve not made sauerkraut before but I figured today was a good day for a new project (and it would take my mind off the sea).

I did have a quick look for some instructions (see Rhonda’s blog, and Wild Fermentation for a start) but, well, I’m not that good at following instructions. The basic idea is

(1) chop cabbage

(2) rub in salt

(3) store in jar, pressing cabbage into its own briny juice and keeping the air off

(4) check it every few days, scoop off mould if necessary

(5) store in the fridge when you like the taste

IMG_1456IMG_1459My cabbage mountain quickly diminished, as one ENORMOUS cabbage only made one jar of sauerkraut. Slightly alarmed, I started to chop the other to store in the freezer for frying a handful at a time. Well, given what the slugs did to y own cabbage while I was away, I need all the help I can get.

IMG_1484Sadly, I got distracted by the frosty mountains inside the freezer, and unwisely decided to defrost it. I can’t even describe the mess of peas, rhubarb, breadcrumbs, and unidentifiable green sludge that was frozen into the ice. That’ll teach me to only defrost once every ten years (actually, knowing me, it won’t teach me anything of the sort).

Anyway, while I was in harvesting-and-preserving mode, I picked some of the unruly rosemary that is rampaging outside the back door (carefully averting my gaze from the appalling state of the bench).

IMG_1471Some I tied with wool and hung in the stairwell to dry, and the rest I poured boiling water over. I’ll leave this infusing until tomorrow, and then use it as a final rinse when washing my hair. I have no idea where I read that was a good thing to do, but since there’s so much of it, I might as well try.

IMG_1475IMG_1482When I popped to the other end of the garden to see what other damage the pesky slugs had done in my absence, look what I found!

IMG_1468My utterly gorgeous friend had sneaked in while we were away and hung some fabulously jolly red dotty strawberry bunting! What a loving coming home present!

IMG_1483The ginger mint outside the front door has exploded, which I’m quite pleased about as this pot was looking rather bare.

Not sure what happened to my tomatoes though.

IMG_1488I’m pretty sure there were five tomato plants in there when I left… Ah well, the nasturtiums are looking pretty jolly, and I think that corner is a little shady for tomatoes anyway.

I did lots of thinking and plotting and scheming while we were away, and have hatched all kinds of plans for Exciting Things To Do in the future. In the meantime, holiday photos arriving in the next day or two…

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This entry was posted in cheerful living, home, in the garden, in the kitchen. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to home again

  1. Robyn says:

    I think I can still see one, maybe two tomato plants there…? Looking forward to holiday photos! xx

  2. Your garden photos are glorious! I’ve just been prattling about drying rosemary myself, as my huge bush just outside the kitchen window died last winter. Love the basic sauerkraut recipe too. And the mint – I have chocolate mint growing well, but I thought chocolate referred to the flavour (sort of) and it doesn’t, just the colour. Turns out the flavour is as intense as chili!

    • Just seen your rosemary-drying adventures 🙂 I use so much more when I dry it – silly really as it’s just outside the kitchen door. I thought chocolate mint was chocolatey too! We have ginger mint – it doesn’t *look* gingery so maybe that’s the flavour?? Must try some (although I’m not a big mint fan really)

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