Tag Archives: sourdough starter

Busy Autumn days.

1 Oct

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So far Autumn has been very pleasant. Mild days and nights with little rain or wind. Fuschias are still producing lots of flowers. If you like them now is a very good time to take cuttings. Just take shoots about six inches long…take off the flowers and lower leaves and insert cuttings into a gritty compost.

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On the lane the colours have started to change. Vibrant greens give way to light greens and yellow as the plants start the process of entering dormancy. Hawthorn is the first to lose it’s leaves…they are already turning the ground brown. These will be collected and left in plastic bags to rot down over the Winter. They make a great soil improver.

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In the garden Kaffir Lilies or Schizostylis add a splash of late colour.

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After observing the garden over the course of the Summer we have decided to have a major revamp of the beds. As you can see there is very little colour now. We like lots of flowers and vibrant colours in the borders. To achieve this next year we have decided to strim everything in the beds back to ground level…after removing and potting up anything useful…then mulch heavily with cardboard and newspaper followed by mushroom compost. With this job in mind we borrowed our friends Anne and Simon’s van on Monday and collected 2 loads of mushroom compost from the tunnels in Keadue.  Do check out Anne and Simon’s blog http://www.anirishalternative.blogspot.com …they are up to allsorts over there including building a small version of the straw bale house they lived in 15 years ago. Lots of veg production over there too.

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During the beautiful weather of the last days of September we got the outside of the house painted. White of course…I think that is the best colour and the traditional one for Irish cottages.  Dark blue for the windows creates a nice balance.

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In the kitchen…in between decorating…I have been preserving the produce from the Earth. Blackberries were fab this year…I’ve frozen about 10 kilos. These will be used to make jams, cordial and crumbles over the Winter. I’ve also harvested all the Basil…it tends to go mouldy from now on…and made it into pesto. I don’t use cheese in this as Parmesan is not veggie friendly so it freezes very well. I use Walnuts instead of Pine Nuts.  There’s still Elderberries and Haws to be collected so busy days ahead.

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I’ve also made a sourdough starter using some of the Grapes as they have a natural coating of yeast when ripe. My old sourdough starter died when we left our old house. I add the starter to everything I bake. It is great for pancakes and I add a good scoop to cakes too. Great for one’s digestion.

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Along with everything else to be harvested it is also Mushroom season. This giant Boletus served us both for breakfast. Delicious it was too! I really want to find some Chanterelles this year. Be careful if you are out there collecting as there are also False Chanterelles…the proper ones smell of Apricot…the fakes don’t.

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