Wednesday 13 September 2023

Wednesday 13th September - Morning All

Where have I been? Nowhere.

What have I been doing? Bits and pieces, this and that, something and nothing.

At least, that's how it seems.

In the garden;

I had enough confidence in the results of our intensive slug control programme to transplant the lettuces I had been nurturing in the greenhouse. They have survived the night. It's all looking hopeful at the moment; cauliflower seedlings, swiss chard, pak choi and kohl rabi, all growing on well. I have sown spinach and more pak choi. It give me so much pleasure to see the little plants in the pots. I'm rather sorry to pick and eat them, but that is the point, I suppose. There's a lot of butterfly damage going on with the pak choi leaves, so I might try cloches on the lettuce since I don't have any suitable netting. I noticed a snail or slug trail on one of the kohl rabi leaves; I shall inspect it closely by torchlight tonight! 

Planting out my cauliflower seedlings ha taught me a valuable lesson in the use of paper pots for module sowing. I didn't use them this time, and maybe I was impatient and transplanted them too soon, but they were a nightmare to handle without damaging the fragile stems, whereas popping a whole paper pot into the earth would have been simple. Luckily they seem to have survived and are managing to stand upright. The pale bobbly stuff on top of the earth is pelleted wool to dissuade slugs and snails.   

In the kitchen;

I've made a caraway seed cake - one of my favourites. I just do a 2-egg mix it all in one bowl victoria sponge and add a good shake of caraway seeds. How much? Well, how seedy do you like your cake? I was amused to read in 'Kitchen Conversations' by Agnes Jekyll (sister of gardener Gertrude) that seed cake was usually served at 'nursery tea'. I wouldn't have thought it would appeal to nursery children. The book is a collection of articles written for The Times, I think, back in the 1920s. Most of the recipes sound pretty unpalatable to today's taste and also unbelievably fussy. It also assumes kitchens with a cook and a kitchen maid, and servants to hand round dishes (previously kept warm on a hotplate behind a screen in the corner of the dining room). Evening meals seem generally to have soup, fish, meat, dessert, sweet and savoury courses, with of course, the obligatory provision of wines, cigarettes and cigars (pipe smokers apparently bring their own tobacco and need not be catered for).

I've also failed to make a slow cooker risotto. It would probably have been fine if I had switched off the cooker after 2-3 hours on high. But I didn't.

It's slowly unsticking from the pot with a good soak. 


I was recommended the D M Greenwood 'cosy mystery' series. They are set in a fictional cathedral city which I strongly suspect is Norwich, and feature the inimitable Theodore Braithwaite, a deaconess as the sleuth. As the whole 9-book series is currently on offer for 99p on Kindle I thought I may as well...

I devoured book 1 (this could be part of the reason why I forgot to blog?) and am now deep into book 2. The context is very much within the machinations of the Anglican Church, at a time (written in the 1990s) when women could not be ordained to the priesthood. There is a fair amount of spiritual thinking going on in athoughtful and compassionate way, and I think there will be quite a lot to do with horse riding along the way - not too much, but I am enjoying the setting, the horses, the machinations and the spirituality.    

Lark Rise to Candleford (Flora Thompson) is my 'lat thing at night settle down to sleep' reading at the moment.




  1. The butterflies continue to wreak havoc with the kale. Bob doesn't mind, he didn't want to eat it anyway. I don't mind if it means that the rocket and chard escape their attention. Try putting slo cooker on low, half full of boiling water from kettle and stir in 1 tbsp bicarb. Lid on, leave for a couple of hours & it should soak clean. I like the sound of the books. Have not located my kindle since retirement. I think it's in a box in the loft. (I'm not a great kindle user as you can tell)

    1. I find the kindle is brilliant for when one is waiting around; lightweight and you don't have to keep you place in the book. Handy hint for the slow cooker; most of the gubbins has come out but it still feels a bit burned on the sides. I'll give the bicarb a go. (As long as I remember to switch it off!)

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