Resurrection! Although perhaps a few days later than Christian tradition. A tiny green crop has sprouted from the centred of the wilted leaves of the tomato plant. I am uncertain of the reasons why. Perhaps it is because of a shift in weather; it was previously often undecided, but now it either rains properly or is nice and sunny. With regular intervals too. I have kept my makeshift crop protector made out of clingfilm on the pot just in case.
I am quite amazed, and will do my best to help it grow further.
That is all I have time for for now. Picture of the adventure will be uploaded shortly.
Devastation. Despite the attempts to protect the little plants from unpredicatble weather, the rapid changes outdid my precautions. The plants are no more.
However, I am now more determined than ever to succeed in harvesting at least one little vegetable this season. Most people in the Northern Hemisphere will probably have felt a wave of heat in the past weekend and decided that summer has come; I celebrated with a little jig and by slurping my first Calippo of the year. However, global warming has apparently decided that it will be eight degrees Celsius on Tuesday. EIGHT. On the gardening front, that puts me back to square one with “when do I sow the seeds”?
Well! The current idea is to sow seedlings in the conservatory – acting greenhouse, so that I will not have to wander outside first thing in the morning – as it receives copious amounts of morning sun to be sufficiently hot, regardless of outside temperature. Then prepare some more pots with Tomorite.
I admit that the bread-front has been pretty lacking lately, but I feel like making flatbreads to embrace the somewhat warmer airs, and recipe recommendations?
The plants look a little bit wilted. Yesterday they were still growing nicely. Is this what the new British government will bring us? Okay, I shall not take it out completely on politics; I planted the crops outside during a nice warm spell around a week ago, and last night we had sudden chill. It may be time to buy seeds and clear out the greenhouse to provide a certain, warm climate for the vegetables.
Rather devastated, but determined to try a rescue mission. The cucumber, which is planted in the ground, I will put an upside-down de-topped 2 litre bottle on top; and I shall cling film the top of the pot holding the tomato. At least it is lovely and sunny today. Hopefully there will be some progress later!
A chill-pill was lined up for bank holiday weekend, and work-in-the-garden was top on the to-do list.
Other family members have previously successfully grown leafy greens in the garden. This year is the year of the salad.
Due to slight impatience, tiny 9 cm crops were purchased (seedlings to be planted when the next chill-pill moment arrives), and digging started.
The little crops! Cool cucumber to the left; livelier tomato on the right.
Then it hailed. Fortunately there was a lack of compost, and the crops had not been planted into the ground yet.
It was decided that the cucumber and tomato crops would be planted in pots, placed amongst other vegetation, like a thorny bush, in attempt to throw off living creatures who may come foraging for a snack.
This is my first first-hand experience of gardening, and I would like to share it with you here on the blog. That means regular updates (hint hint).
Inspired by the manual-labour-is-good-for-the-soul high that all the gardening gave me (we spring cleaned our whole back yard before starting digging), I decided to bake some bread.
The slight issue that arised was that the recipe was conceived as a loaf; the actual finished products were rolls, so they became rather substantial (and gave me hiccups the first two times I ate some). In that sense, they make perfect sandwich rolls, in particular because I used stoneground wholemeal flour, which fills you up nicely. Here is a skimmed over version of my adapted version of the recipe:
- 1 sachet of instant, freeze dried, powdered yeast (most supermarkets make their own brand)
- 750g flour (strong breadflour or some variation of it WITHOUT leavening)
- 2 tsp salt (table)
- 1 tsp sugar (granulated is fine)
- 450 ml lukewarm water
- Mix all dry ingredients, but the yeast, in a large bowl.
- Empty the sachet of yeast on the bottom of another bowl (this is to avoid it coming into contact with the water too soon, and becoming active), add the mixed dry ingrdients, and pour the water on top.
- Mix into a dough. Add a little bit of flour if it feels too sticky.
- Turn onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes (by hand), or 5 minutes (with a food processor or other appliance)
- Return to bowl and leave to rise (or “proof”…”prove”?). Alternatively, shape your dough into desired breadform (either rolls on a greased baking tray or into a greased loaf tin), and leave that to rise. It takes about 30 mins in a warm dry place, like an airing cupboard, or longer in a cooler place.
- Halfway through rising, preheat oven to 200 C for a fan oven, 220 C for a conventional oven.
- The dough should double in size. To check if it is done, press two fingers horizontally, firmly into the dough; it should return to its rounded surface fairly quickly. If not, leave for a little longer.
- If the dough proofed in its final shape, pop it straight into the oven. Otherwise, shape it now, but try to agitate it as little as possible to retain the internal air-bubbles (for nice, soft bread).
- 20-30 minutes should do the trick. Of course, this is a large margin, but every oven is different.
- The bread should sound hollow when you tap it on the bottom if it is baked through.
Dough. Pre-rising. I ended up with 6 fairly large rolls.
My wholemeal rolls! The only question is... cheese or ham?