Breakfast was a new one today. I blended 1/3 can of pumpkin, some strawberries and linseeds. Just those, nothing else. There was some strawberry and banana smoothie left in the blender jug from the one I made Harvey but a minimal amount. I wanted a thick paste consistency rather than a liquid drink.
Once blended, I added it to 1/3 cup of oats and left to sit for a couple of hours.
Today I did two things for the first time this year:
1. Got out my gardening bag 🙂
2. Ate breakfast outside :-). Yes, I really did. I ate while I wrote on the labels for the seed trays. The brick red mush in the bowl is my breakfast which was actually rather good.
The vegetable beds are prepared and ready. This is my original plot, which has some healthy looking broad beans growing well. I planted these in October.
This is my new plot, which has 2 wig wams waiting for the bean seedlings and there are 2 rows of potatoes in the ground. This year I am also using potato sacks which will be on the patio, so I can eat potatoes without picking gross slugs out of them first.
These are the raised beds, with plenty of Swiss Chard, and various onions, garlic and shallots growing which I planted in October. Technically, Adrian, the gardening genius who helps me on Fridays planted them but I regularly admire them.
This is my potting shed. As you can see there, there is not actually a shed. I am paralysed by a fear of spiders and can not go in small spidery places like sheds so I have a potting bench outside which is next to the little greenhouse I use.
My tomato strategy this year is to try 4 varieties, 3 of which I am planting in large terracotta pots on the patio in a sheltered corner which receives a lot of sun and has a partial glass roof. It’s a bit like a greenhouse with an open side. I put compost I make or cheap compost from a garden centre in the large pots with a shallow layer of seed compost on top.
I water the compost thoroughly and then press the seeds gently in to the top. If you put the seeds in to dry compost and then water them, they run all over the place. So a little tip is to press the seeds in to compost which is already wet. So I now have 6 large pots full of tomato seeds plus one with peppers and one with okra.
I have never grown okra before. I don’t actually like it so I thought if I grew my own I may like it. I am always intrigued to see what the seeds will be like.
Over by the potting bench, I put lots of seeds in to smaller pots which I filled completely with seed compost. I use a mixture of pots that disintegrate and pots which I keep to re-use again. These are 2 types of French beans I am sowing.
That empty greenhouse needs filling up!
I sowed and sowed and sowed. It was so peaceful outside under the flowering magnolia tree. Just me and the birdsong and occasionally Harvey. By lunch time the greenhouse was filling up. All that promise in those little seeds.
I had started lunch before breakfast! Yes, really I did. I was on fire today.
Mushroom Crusted Chicken
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- Small handful of fresh thyme, chopped finely
- 4 chicken breasts
- 2 slices bread, made in to breadcrumbs
- 1 jumbo oyster mushroom (or use alternative mushrooms)
- 1 egg
- Mix the olive oil with the lemon, garlic and thyme.
- Marinade the chicken all morning or overnight.
- Finely chop the mushroom.
- Mix the mushroom with the breadcrumbs.
- Place the chicken breasts, one at a time, between 2 sheets of cling film and bash with a rolling pin to flatten them.
- Leave on a plate while you prepare the others.
- Coat in egg and then breadcrumb/mushrooms.
- Place frying pan on heat and use oil marinade which I brushed over the base of a ridged pan.
- Fry over a medium high heat for about 5 minutes, turning once.
I served this with skinny green beans which I steamed.
And mashed potato. It was delicious and we all loved it.
I spent the afternoon in Maidstone shopping with Harvey and when I got home I had a snack of cheese, oatcakes and red wine.
In a minute I am off to the cinema with Lucy to see the Exotic Marigold Hotel – excited!!!! Have a good evening 🙂