I managed to spend nearly all day in the garden which is something I have been wanting to do for a very long time and is something I really needed to do.
George and Dan arrived at 6.30am (truly!) to lay a water pipe through the garden so I can have a tap nearer the greenhouse, veggie patches and huge flower bed at the back of the garden. I am really pleased with my new tap and new hose. Last night I had a lovely supper at Fee’s with Judy. I took along a bag of veggies, including the first runner beans of the year. All the beans in the garden have grown so much in the past couple of weeks. Some of the French beans have grown a bit bigger than I prefer so I tried to pick as many as I could to freeze, before they get bigger. I weeded as I picked. I half filled the trug in no time at all.I washed and cut the ends off the beans.
Ready for blanching. I cut them in to smaller pieces and blanched them in boiling water for 1 minute and then plunged them in to iced water to cool rapidly. Patted them dry. In a bag and in the freezer. I realised at lunch time I had not eaten all day but didn’t want to stop so just had a pitta bread with peanut butter. I did take a break in the afternoon and met Lisa, Suzanne and Lou at the Hartley Coffee Shop. We sat outside to enjoy the view over the apple orchards. Apparently I need to feature in my blog more often so here I am. Now I could have been really good and had a salad. But I was really bad and had tea and cake; toffee and banana and it was very good.I went home via Suzanne’s as Mina kindly gave me some seedlings from plants I had admired in her garden recently.
Back at home, I decided to tackle the broad beans next as the leaves and some of the pods are showing these brown spots. Most of the pods and all the beans inside seem to be fine though but I wanted to get them picked in case the spots spread and ruin the crop. The part of the garden with the beans in was in shade by late afternoon and it was cooler outside than inside so I set up a chair to pick and shuck the broad beans. It was very pleasant sitting outside, enjoying the scent of the sweet peas, peacefully picking and shucking. I picked about half the broad beans plus courgettes, green French beans and runner beans. I set the smallest ones aside to add to tonight’s dinner and prepared the others for freezing. I boiled the broad beans in boiling water for 2 minutes and then put them straight in to iced water. Dried them the best I could and put them in the freezer.
The sunflowers Lara planted are in full and glorious bloom and looked stunning in the evening sunshine today.
Before I picked the broad beans I prepared a marinade for the chicken I was going to stir fry for dinner; rapeseed and sesame oil, soy sauce, finely chopped garlic and ginger.
I popped the chicken in, gave it all a good stir and set aside for a couple of hours. I stir fried the chicken first and made sure it was properly cooked. I set the cooked chicken aside while I stir fried the veggies; onion, red pepper, courgette, French, runner and broad beans, mushrooms, coriander and basil. Finally I added some pre-cooked brown basmati rice and le voila, a simple and tasty supper.
I hope I can spend as much time in the garden again tomorrow – there is still so much to do and as many beans again to pick and freeze. And peas. And beetroot.