Where did the week go??

Argh! How has Thursday been and gone already without me noticing?? How did that even happen?

I Strongly suspect that it has something to do with spending every available waking moment that I’m not in work down at the allotment.

  

“Everything that the light touches will one day be yours.”

“And what about that dark place, over there?”

“That is the neighbouring plot GG, you must never go there!”

The plot 21 has become a construction site, with anything planted being too small to properly photograph.

Exhibit A:

  

Time to play spot the fruit bushes!

Let me tell you what you cannot see – this is the Back of my plot and now fondly known as ‘fruits corner’ (if you never lived near a pets corner as a kid then you’ll have no idea what I’m on about). Along the back I plan on eventually erecting a rabbit proof fence and to grow alongside it I’ve planted 6 canes each of Polka and Autumn Bliss Raspberries. I’m a huge fan of raspberries strait off the bush, but any that make it home will most likely end up in muffins, sorbets or smoothies.

In front of the Raspberries are two Redcurrent bushes, one is Rodova and the other Jonkeer Van Tetes (I hope I spelt those correctly!). And as these will produce more berries then I’m likely to want jelly from eventually I need to find some good Redcurrent recipes!

My second bushy fruit row is made up of three Gooseberries; I’ve craftily placed the thornless ‘Pax’ next to the path, followed by Hinnonmaki Yellow and finally Invicta by the fence. Gooseberry fool was a favourite of mine as a child and I fully intend on adding to my gooseberry repertoire. 

Lastly I’ve planted two Blackcurrant bushes: Ben Sarek and Ebony for that all important Blackcurrant jam and juice which I love! 

I spent a very long time carefully choosing which varieties I wanted and I feel that I’ve chosen the best ones for me. I had hoped to add strawberries this year, but the budget has been stretched rather thin and for now I need veg more; there will however defiantly be strawberries next year! (I’ve already picked which varieties!)

Aside from planting fruit bushes, I have been going to the plot after work to turn the turf and remove weeds before adding a sprinkling of compost to plant seedlings into. It’s hard work and with only an hour of light the going is slow. The asparagus bed is last on my list and excluding that I have 8 beds to create, each just over three meters long and 1m to 1.2m wide. I’ve done one and a half so far.

Much that I’ve read suggests that beds can be up to 1.5m wide, but whilst I’m not the smallest girl I still find tending a bed that size tough, so have opted for slimmer beds as a better option.

  
Getting there.

I have done a plan of what will grow where and will share it with you shortly.

Recipe Recomentations Thursday: Banana choc chip cupcakes with chocolate and peanut butter swirled frosting

I thought I’d start off this post series which a recipe that really needs no introduction other than its title… 

Make these, love these, savour them.

And fear not all you bake-fobes the boyfriend has never made cupcakes before and he made and iced these all by himself as his first attempt!

These cupcakes are divine, the frosting is delicious and the recipe makes 18, so plenty to share. (Ha!)

On the cost front the peanut butter is rather expensive, but it’s still cheaper (and tastier) then buying from the shops!

Washing up was slightly more than for an average baking recipe due to the extra icing, but it wasn’t difficult to do as we went along.

If you fancy something sweet – but not overwhelmingly so- this weekend, make these!

Banana chocolate chip cupcakes with peanut and milk chocolate frosting from Sally’s Baking Adddiction

Recipe Recomendation Thursday

So as of tomorrow I am planning on sharing a new weekly post with you; Recipe Recomendations Thursday where I post a link to a recipe which myself and the Boyfriend have made and really enjoyed. Good food is so important to us, and I’d love to share some of what works with you guys!

What do you think?

GG xx

Homemade Tortilla Crisps

Oh ladies and gentleman, am I coming back swinging!

This is a belter of a recipe! It’s totally awesome; here’s why:

  • It’s cheep
  • It’s easy
  • It’s quick
  • It’s crazy amounts of tasty
  • it is just so so good!!

 

Yes my wonderful friends, I am talking about a recipe for homemade tortilla chips/crisps / Doritos / yummyness defined, made for smothering in the molten loveliness that is cheese. My mouth, it waters!

I cannot overstate the ridiculous ease of this recipe and if you do your kneeding / rolling on a chopping board you only have to wipe it down, no extra cleaning of flour from on top of (and under) everything.

 

With no further ado you will need:

  • Plain flour (quarter of a cup packed with flour will roughly serve two people – or one Girlfriend Gardener!)
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • Boiling water

 

The method couldn’t be simpler:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.

Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. About a tablespoon at a time add the boiling water and stir in with a knife till the dough looks like a collection of large crumbs with a small amount of unbound flour left.

Tip the mixture onto a worksurface or large chopping board and mix roughly till a smooth, soft dough forms. (I make my dough more on the slightly sticky side as I’m lazy / constantly behind schedule and like to roll it out immediately so need it to be more pliable without resting.)

Flour your worksurface and pull off a piece of dough roughly the size of a golf ball. Dust the dough lightly with flour and roll out to about 1mm thick (thinner of you can stand the constant sticking!). Repeat with remaining dough.

Heat a dry frying pan on high till you can feel the heat of you hover a hand over its surface. Toss in a tortilla. After a minute or so you should see teeny tiny bubbles forming or drying of the top of the bread, flip it now!

Wait for the other side to cook (usually it will suddenly puff up), and if there are still uncooked patches, flip one last time for a few seconds before removing to a chopping board. Repeat with remaining dough.

Slice the tortillas into whatever shapes your heart desires (I went for a rectangle and triangle combo) and lay on a baking tray.

Spray with oil and sprinkle with salt and chilli powder if desired and place into the oven.

Check the pieces regularly from about 3 minutes onwards as they can suddenly burn. Once crisp and slightly puffed, remove from the oven and serve as desired.

Enjoy!

image.jpeg

I served these babies with this delicious taco soup from Recipe Tin Eats alongside fresh coriander, homemade yoghurt and a chopped avocado. Totally, utterly YUM! If you make one thing this week, let it be Recipe Tin Eats’ pulled pork carnitas and the soup. The Boyfriend has declared it a weekly requirement!

I even ended up building  a tortilla crisp Stonehenge…

Please excuse the lack of prettiness on this one.

GG, over and out xx

Hello?

Hello?

Can you read me?

I sincerely hope you can because getting a post posted has taken a considerable amount of time!

long story short, I dropped my phone in a very inconveniently damp location and it died. But I’m now back online! Woohoo!

 

I hope you all had a great Christmas! I’d really look forward to hearing what you’re all up to and letting you all know what has been going on at the Fourth Farthing in the interim. (Clue: it’s all been very exciting!)

 

Till soon,

GG xx

Part Two Garden Concept Plans Continued…

Yesterday I shared with you part two of my garden concept plan, (yay!) and promised to examine it further, so without further ado, here is the breakdown of my thinking behind bed number 2!

Aspect:

This bed sits along the right hand wall of the garden, at a right angle to bed number 1.
This bed would have full sun, if it wern’t for the trees growing behind the fence of bed 1. As it is, this bed is in part shade, with full sun for a fair few hours of the day.
Like bed 1, this bed is 3m long x 80cm wide x 30cm deep and filled with shrubs, cardboard, compost, manure, grit and topsoil.

On To The Plants:

Again a mix of annuals and perennials, with the annuals being either self seeding or standing in for perennials which will go in later.
  

  • Dwarf Broad Beans: ‘The Sutton’ – I grew this variety this year with fairly disappointing results in terms of yield. Here I’m hoping they will perform mainly a ‘systems’ function of fixing nitrogen into the soil, with any tasty beans as an added bonus. Particularly good pan fried till slightly charred (when young and tiny) with crispy bacon and poached eggs. Mmmm!
  • Rainbow Chard: More of this yummy, pretty green for all the same reasons as I included it last time; an all round trooper of a crop.
  • Dwarf Lemon Balm: I’m expecting this mint relative to spread around this corner of the bed as it grows, providing a lemony ground cover.  Looking forward to making lemon teas and syrups from this one. One I’ve never grown or tasted before.

  

  • Green Daubentons Kale: Just like its variegated sister in last week’s post, only green all over. I’m dying to make kale crisps from its leaves!
  • Nasturtiums: Ground cover, distraction crop to caterpillars, provider of peppery leaves and flowers, and potential source of fake capers. (fapers?) this plant has everything going for it in my eyes. Never grown it before.
  • Chamomile: I am a massive fan of chamomile tea, so growing this one seemed a sensible choice. Also known as the ‘doctor plant’ for its fantastic qualities as a companion plant, I’m excited for chamomile to enrich the garden in its own frondy, flowery way. Another I’ve not grown before.
  • Babingtons Leek: It’s a leek, and it’s perennial. That in itself should be enough to warrant this plant its place! With its plumes of purple insect attracting classic umbellifier (that may be spelt wrong) flowers as an added bonus, the Babingtons leek was a dead cert! I’m hoping it will enjoy this mostly sunny spot. Never grown or eaten this before.

  

  • Sea Beet: The ancestor of our chard and beets today, this maritime perennial will add, I hope to our ‘perennial greens’ repertoire. Never grown or eaten before.
  • Potato Onion: As for bed 1, but this one will be planted in spring!
  • Kiwi Walking Onion: As for the red walking onion in bed 1 but a different variety. I’m really interested to see how this one turns out.
  • Day Lilly: ‘Stella d’oro’ – A small(ish) daylilly with yellow flowers to add a pop of colour and attract insects to the garden. Another one I’m really excited to grow and taste for the first time!
  • Pot Marigolds: Famed for being fantastic companion plants, as well as for attracting insects to the garden and for use as a herb and ornimental, these were a no-brainer!
  • Runner Beans: These will be grown as annuals and replaced in time with autumn fruiting raspberries. In the meentime these beans will be an asset to the garden, fixing nitrogen and growing yummy beans whilst adding structural lovelyness to this bed.

PHEW! So there you have it; ladies and gentlemen, bed number 2!