Showing posts from November, 2020

Seasonal Recipe: Tomato and squash au gratin

This recipe has come quite a long way since I first made it in August when my brother-in-law and wife came to stay. It's derived from a Delia recipe  which involves courgettes and I've adapted it to make it more heart friendly. It was well received and I've continued to make it to hoover up our plentiful courgette crop, until last month when I only had a small one left. However, I also had a teeny tiny winter squash which combined with the courgette was a complete revelation. The squash added lots of flavour and I resolved to continue with today's recipe to use up all the smaller ones from this year's crop. This week's variation was by accident when I sliced some of the squash so thinly, they were more like crisps when they came out of the oven. This got a huge thumbs up from NAH and the request for more like this in future. This has become a weekend favourite of ours for supper, served with a jacket potato, a large salad and a tasty dressing. Those wishing to k

Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day: Anemone 'Frilly Knickers'

I'm delighted one of my latest plant purchases has managed to flower in time for this month's Blooms Day . May I introduce you to Anemone 'Frilly Knickers' ? She may be looking a bit ruffled around the edges, but she's not bad for a small plant bought in September at Malvern's Plant and Garden Fair and planted into her new home last month ready for next year. This is a completely new, award winning introduction for 2020 and one of the plants on my shopping list when I saw Hardy's Cottage Garden Plants were exhibiting at the Fair. This is a mutation of Anemone 'Dreaming Swan' , spotted on the nursery as a potential good 'un and named by Rosy Hardy herself. I had a lot of fun tweeting to Rob Hardy prior to the show, to tell him I was looking forward to seeing his 'Frilly Knickers'. It was a good way of introducing myself on the day and we had a long, good humoured chat, especially when we found we had Marylyn Abbott of West Green House

Weekend Wandering: The priority postbox

A sunny day earlier in the week, a new walk to explore courtesy of the Bremhill Parish History Group , and a good friend* to explore it with, what could be better? A new-to-me discovery in the shape of the pictured postbox was the icing on the cake.  Not only is it a particularly attractive one, it also bears the intriguing sticker " Priority Postbox ". A little light googling when I returned home tells me this is one of 35,000 in the country which are standing by to accept completed home coronavirus test kits. Apparently special arrangements are needed to ensure kits are collected promptly (from postboxes and homes) to maximise the chance of a correct result for the test taken. Unsurprisingly the one closest to me is at Chippenham's main sorting office, a short walk away, though the two actually on our estate aren't included in the scheme. This one is at Charlcutt , a tiny hamlet of 20 properties in the heart of Wiltshire's countryside. It's a reassuring find

How advertising works in Chippenham #40

Realise you need to say something about social distancing on your High Street Find distinctive places for it to go Get the new signage printed and installed Wait for a blogger with a camera to notice it says the magic word  Welcome Et voilĂ  ! There are so many reminders out there these days on what we must do in public places in our new normal. I applaud Chippenham for being that little bit different by also taking the opportunity to welcome everyone. It was heartening to walk into town yesterday during our first weekend of Lockdown 2.0 to find it was quieter but still relatively bustling. Fingers crossed it remains that way after this annus horribilis .

Garden Bloggers' Muse Day: A good fragrance

The author may have been referring to perfume in his novel , but I've been musing on the very same thing lately whenever I walk past the pictured oleaster hedge (aka Eleagnus x ebbingei ) on my daily walk. Most of the time it barely merits a second glance as it looks pretty dowdy (in my view) which serves its purpose perfectly as a tough plant bordering a public footpath and requires little in the way of maintenance. All that has changed over the past few weeks due to its knockout scent which I can smell at least 50 yards away; from even further if the wind blows towards me. It brings back such a powerful memory as it's just like the smell of the suntan lotion mum used to rub into me on our summer holidays. It was a tropical scent which came out of a white bottle with an orange cap, I forget the brand, but ohhhhh the smell. One waft from that hedge and I'm back in Cornwall or The Gower , itching to wrest myself from mum's grasp and explore every pebble and rock pool t