A little more sun has been brightening our days this week, a lovely change to the very damp and rainy start to the year we have had so far. I keep hearing how low the water table is and how all this rain is a good thing, so I keep reminding myself how wonderfully wet everything is - the most rain for a hundred years!
With the vegetable patch dug and ready to be attacked, I’m sure I will appreciate this beautifully nourished soil to grow lots of delightful things in - this will be a learning curve. We have succeeded in growing some things in the past and I am really looking forward to getting out in the garden and enjoying the sunshine; after all, this is one of the main reasons we are here! The dates for the cookery courses are confirmed and our ambition is to grow as many vegetables as possible to provide for these courses. It is a very satisfying feeling to actually eat vegetables that you have yourself grown from seed, watered every day and tended to for months, and wow, do they taste amazing!
In our local village, we have some friends who are superb gardeners and they have taken us under their wing - project potager commence! This week, to break us in gently, our task is to buy some black bins, put about a third of compost in and plant some new potatoes. Every time we see the shoots coming through, we need to cover them with compost again, until you get near the top of the bin. At this point, you let the shoots grow until they flower; with any luck, there will be lots of beautiful new potatoes multiplying away beneath the dirty depths of terroir. I will keep you updated!
Rosie has been baking crazy this week. She is now designing her own recipes! Such a great little talent, her confidence and skill for that age is wonderful to see! So on a quiet Wednesday afternoon, no school on Wednesdays here, she rummaged through the cupboards to see what she could concoct. The high protein, tasty nibbles that are great for a snack are super easy to make. Her take on this was to combine some sugar-free muesli with golden syrup and fresh vanilla, mix well, form into bite-size squares and bake. I made the mistake of buying 99% dark chocolate recently, which was very unpleasant! Ruined my coffee break! But if you mix the chocolate with some crème fraîche and sugar, it becomes a decadent, glossy, silky drizzle of indulgence that topped off these little delights. The home-made peanut butter also finished off these cereal bites, a sticky mouthful indeed!
Sprinkled with chopped pistachios, ready for the taste test! They were really lovely, although probably not that healthy after all with the scrummy glazing!
Chocolate cupcakes were also on the agenda, just so she could practise using some of her icing utensils she got for Christmas. These were the perfect bar snack after returning home from the rugby on Saturday (well done Ireland!).