Monday, 27 July 2009

About food and wine, with the usual mix of crafts, flowers and books too!

OK, so these carrots and beetroot wouldn't win prizes, but I grew them myself, it is the first time I have grown them and they were delicious. These aren't the sum total of my crops I hasten to add... I had picked beets before and never thought to take a photo of them, but yesterday was so pleased with the little carrots that I put the two that were left from the previous day's baking in the oven alongside my carrots - all of which tasted so fresh and delicious, as the growers amongst you will know. We had them simply cooked and served with tiny new potatoes, fresh garden peas with mint, and thick slices of roast gammon glazed with honey and soy sauce. For pudding, our own gooseberries in a crumble with custard.
And no, this isn't a HUGE glass of wine, just a normal sized one.. it's the bottle that's very small. For reasons I won't bore you with, I can no longer drink alcohol as much as I used to. Not that I was ever a tope, well, not in the last twenty years anyway, and in the last three, that has gone down dramatically to less than half a dozen glasses a year probably. Which is why I buy these little bottles, since Himself prefers red and I prefer rose - and I don't appear to have an 'e' with a thingy above it for the accent, but I know the drinkers amongst you will know what I am talking about. Now it's not very often I drink red, in fact I had a mouthful a couple of weeks ago and that's been it since the last time I drank it, many years ago, and had too much and was, shall we say, a little poorly in the night? Since then, I haven't touched a drop of the red stuff. But we bought a small bottle of red the other week, a British wine called Silver Bay Point, and this red was the first one I have smelt, where I could actually smell red berries, raspberries and redcurrants predominantly. Usually wine to me smells... well, wine-y with no distinctive smells at all. So I bought the above rose and it has such a pretty colour and the smell... well, it's like those scented sachet boiled sweets that were around in the 50s and 60s, still are I believe in some places. It even tasted slightly of them as well, and I loved it, to the point I felt it deserved a plug and a pic.

Vanessa, over at the 'doyoumindifiknit' blog had suggested I put up some photos of my old crocheted afghans. I had commented on being surprised that they were actually considered vintage and saleable. Well, things are only saleable if you can find someone to buy them of course, and I wouldn't sell this one. It is HUGE. Covers a double bed with overhang, and was even made so that three of the sides overhung but the fourth sat at the top of the bed... do you follow me?

Anyway, it is made of four ply wool, slightly mohair-ish but incredibly soft, and I made it probably almost thirty years ago now. The wool, which was on cones, was given to me by an old friend who no longer had a need for it, and although I hadn't done much crochet back then, in fact don't think I had done any for years, I could see that the colours would make fab granny squares. So I began to make multi-coloured granny squares, and when I had an awful lot, I sewed them together, took some very dark grey wool, and crocheted the edging, four inches deep on one edge, twelve almost on the other three. I am thinking of taking this off and redoing it... but over winter, when the idea of a wool afghan on your knees is more welcome than in summer. Although having said that, it is pouring down with rain here today, so not very summery.
It is incredibly warm, quite heavy and so, so snuggly and soft.

This one is smaller, more colourful, still soft and snuggly though, and again, made with the wool on cones, but this time, just going around and around, not separate squares. It is being modelled by my lovely husband, and I'd have perhaps done better to have photographed it on a day when there wasn't a strong wind blowing as he was in danger of being lifted off the ground.

But it's colourful don't you think?

Isn't this lovely? Actually I don't like the plant at all, eryngium is it called, bluey purple thistley thing. We had lots of it down the bottom of the garden, but got rid of it, and then this smaller plant arrived, about 25 metres away from where the original plant was, and whilst I don't much like it, I do like the look, the colour, the texture of the flowers.


And knowing I love daisy type flowers, some of you won't be surprised to see these!
Anyway, enough of the horticulture, time for books I think.

Prue Leith is a name most people know, but usually associate with cookery. However, she is a good storyteller as well. I have all four of her books, and two of them have been connected with gardens and gardeners. this one, 'A LOVESOME THING' is about Lotte, who gives up her job as a successful architect to study horticulture and garden history, and having gained her degree takes herself and her children off to the beautiful Maddon Park estate where she gets the job of restoring the gardens and estate. There is much history attached to it, over the years left to its own devices, much of this has been lost or overgrown, and now it has been brought by a millionaire who aims to restore it all. He has more passion and money than knowledge... she provides the latter and together they set about restoring the estate.
THE LONGSHOREMAN is a non-fiction book, a mix of autobiography and natural history by Richard Shelton, taking the reader from streams to rivers and ponds and beyond, from his childhood to adulthood, with some eccentric characters met along the way. The cover attracted me, then the drawings inside, and it was one of those impulse buys not regretted.
THE HOUSE BY THE SEA is the second book I have read by May Sarton, an autobiographical work set out as diary entries, as was the first. In this book she moves to a house on the sea coast in Maine, from inland New Hampshire, and at first finds it hard to adjust to the solitude, her creative side seems to lie dormant for a while. But gradually it returns. I love the black and white photographs, especially of the views she has from her house, of the sea in all its moods. She is a lady who is the perfect hostess when friends come to stay, is happy with people, but equally happy in solitude.
So this is me for this time. I hope the weather is as you want it to be... I'd prefer a bit of dryness as I want to sow some more seeds in my raised bed, but after non-stop rain since dawn, which followed on from heavy rain last evening, I doubt I will get around to doing much in the garden this week, which is set to be sunshiney and showery. Enjoy yours, whatever you are doing, and as ever, thanks for dropping by and leaving your comments.

41 comments:

Mark said...

I like the blanket with the square pattern - reminds me of the traditional welsh balnkets; cost a fortune now, very 'Designers Guild'.

The rain and wind has been blowing hard, here on the other side of the country, the spray from the sea reaching my house quite some way inland - but wonderful in its way.

Calico Kate said...

Wow PFG that bed cover is something else! I am everso very impressed, love the colours too far and away my favorite of the two though I wouldn't turn the second one away! Didn't know Prue Leith wrote novels too will look out for those I rather like the sound of the one you've described.
Bottle of Rose (no accent either) in the fridge chilling for a wee tipple this eve - I need it. Have you ever tried wine (white or rose) with elderflower fizz in it? Uttlery delicious and rather moreish - think I should start buying small bottles!
CKx

Calico Kate said...

Oh and i forgot to say - dead impressed with carrots and beets - the slugs have had mine though I did have some lettuce for lunch and am planning a very similar dinner to yours for us this eve!
CKx

Celtic Heart said...

Ah, but growing them yourself is worth far more than gold! They taste so much better too! Love, love, love the afghans. You didn't say how 'old' they are. They look so 'now' colours and patterns. They rival anything I've seen at Melin Tregwynt and are very up~market. Lucky, clever you!

TIGGYWINKLE said...

Easy to do the accent, as It's part of my name - It's Alt and e at the same time. Nothing like home grown vegs. I only do salads, spinach and courgettes now, but I really enjoy them. I love Prue Leith as a writer, and loved this novel. I don't glug wine anymore, but love Lambrusco chilled.I get in Lidl and they do a rosé. Only €2.49 a bottle.Never get tipsy and no head. Try it. I'd hate to think how many squares you did to make the beautiful blankets.

pinkfairygran said...

Thank you CH for your comments... I did the larger, darker one about thirty years ago as I said in the post I think, and the other was twenty years ago probably.

ChrisH said...

Ah, that was all very enjoyable, Pfg, like sitting down and having a chat with you!

Melanie said...

Love your crafts xxx

seashell cosmos said...

I love black and white photographs too. I found some, well, maybe they are more sepia? Anyway, they belonged to my grandfather and oh can they tell 'stories' if you follow me. ;)

Just adore the afgan!!! Hope your able to sew your seeds soon. Here we are in a major heat wave. Miserable and not normal for this area. Have a wonderful day. :) xxx seashell

Melanie said...

Hiya Maggie, I've tagged you with a book tag, take a look on my blog to find out more xxxx

vanessa said...

Oh wonderful! Thank you for sharing these with us, I love them. especially the second one. There is nothing like a crochet blanket to make you feel cosy, is there?
very impressed with your beautiful carrots!
Love Vanessa xxxx (do you mind if i knit)

Jackie said...

What a lovely mixed pot. Its nice to see your 'vintage ' afghans.

Melanie said...

Hi Maggie, I too love Beatrix Potter. My grandad bought me her little books when I was very young, and that is when I first fell in love with them, then when I got a little older, my grandad bought me the Beatrix Potter Complete Collection, I still have all the books, plus her biography and other books about her. I have Miss Potter on dvd, and have a real fancy to watch it again, I love that film.
Afew years ago, John, my dad and myself all holidayed in Cockermouth. We had a daytrip while there to Dove Cottage (william wordsworth's home), which was lovely, then we jumped back in the car and went looking for Hilltop Farm, but unfortuneately we could not find it. I would love to visit there, perhaps next summer.
You will probably like The Cottage Tales Of Beatrix Potter by Susan Wittig Albert, they are cosy mysteries, but are so wonderful to read. The books include alot of info on Beatrix Potter, talking animals, adn recipes, a delight to read.
Im really enjoying reading Watership Down, infact I am engrossed! xxxxxx

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Admin said...

I like the blanket with the square pattern - reminds me of the traditional welsh balnkets; cost a fortune now, very 'Designers Guild'.
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unknown said...
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Admin said...

OK, so these carrots and beetroot wouldn't win prizes, but I grew them myself, it is the first time I have grown them and they were delicious. These aren't the sum total of my crops I hasten to add... I had picked beets before and never thought to take a photo of them, but yesterday was so pleased with the little carrots that I put the two that were left from the previous day's baking in the oven alongside my carrots - all of which tasted so fresh and delicious, as the growers amongst you will know. We had them simply cooked and served with tiny new potatoes, fresh garden peas with mint, and thick slices of roast gammon glazed with honey and soy sauce. For pudding, our own gooseberries in a crumble with custard.
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blogcar said...

I like the blanket with the square pattern - reminds me of the traditional welsh balnkets; cost a fortune now, very 'Designers Guild'.

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mrblack said...

OK, so these carrots and beetroot wouldn't win prizes, but I grew them myself, it is the first time I have grown them and they were delicious. These aren't the sum total of my crops I hasten to add... I had picked beets before and never thought to take a photo of them, but yesterday was so pleased with the little carrots that I put the two that were left from the previous day's baking in the oven alongside my carrots - all of which tasted so fresh and delicious, as the growers amongst you will know. We had them simply cooked and served with tiny new potatoes, fresh garden peas with mint, and thick slices of roast gammon glazed with honey and soy sauce. For pudding, our own gooseberries in a crumble with custard.
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GameforYou said...

Wow PFG that bed cover is something else! I am everso very impressed, love the colours too far and away my favorite of the two though I wouldn't turn the second one away! Didn't know Prue Leith wrote novels too will look out for those I rather like the sound of the one you've described.
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