Sunday, 6 July 2014

Berry Picking in The Garden and The Best Brownies this Side of The Pond ~~~

Gentle Reader ~~~ Welcome to the Garden on a beautiful Summer's afternoon ~~~ we have had some "rain stops play" weather this week, but it gave the garden, fruit, and vegetables some much needed watering and, of course, I had a most welcomed rest from lugging heavy watering cans! {big, smiley face icon here}  Mists swirled across the Shire and, as a friend said of this picture, "it is very Brigadoon~ish" I love that film!  Remember, it is Wimbledon so we must have rain ~~~


 {apologies ~ I could not resist making this photograph very large as I wanted you to see the land rising like islands out of the mists but just scroll along sideways and you can see it all}

As the rain fell the dust of weeks was washed away and the ground turned dark once again and leaves glowed brightly and appreciatively in the golden sun when it finally broke through the heavy, thundery rain clouds ~~~ and I watched ~~~ my eyes glittering ~~~ and I found magic ~~~
And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.”  {Roald Dahl}
Glittering silver and golden raindrops ~~~ full of magic ~~~ sprinkled and strewn across the garden ~~~ I looked and and I found that which is hidden in the most unlikely places ~~~

 


I have picked a lot of raspberries in the last two days and I think this evening I might be making jam, if not today then definitely by tomorrow or Tuesday.  The picking is good but a constant battle against Mamma Blackbird who seems to think I've gone to all this effort for her dining pleasure!  I do not begrudge her some and I reckon I'm happy to allow up to a ten percent loss on my crop for the birds and mice ~~~ as long as I have enough for my Winter table then I am happy ~~~

~~~ I do wish, though, she wouldn't dive at me all the time ~~~


Right now there are bowls of freshly picked berries lined up on my kitchen counter top ~~~ raspberries ~ loganberries ~ blackcurrants ~ and gooseberries ~ oh! yummilicious things will be a jammin' and a pie~in' and a freezin' and a bakin' ~~~

Monty Don said, on BBC Two's Gardener's World programme aired last Friday that it is not too late to sow a wide variety of seeds, and he dug in and planted several courgettes that are at about the same stage as my left over plants still in their pots, so I am now in the process of digging in four more courgettes!  I reckon I will have a really good supply now ~~~ plenty for my plate, sharing, and chutney too ~~~ oh! yummy!  I will be happy if they grow for the space will be otherwise empty this summer ~~~

I have noticed that the planted into the ground earlier are much smaller but have more leaves, whereas the ones I have planted out today have fewer leaves but they are much bigger and stronger looking ~~~ so now the comparison begins!

This is the big leap of faith day too ~~~ the courgettes I planted out earlier, and my leaves are now too big for their night time 'slug and snail' protective cloches so from tonight they, and the runner beans, are on their own.  Of course I am afraid for them but they need their freedom now to grow and flourish if they are left alone ~~~ so, this morning I put the canes in and loosely tied the runner beans on using a "figure of eight" loop so as not to damage the delicate stems ~~~ oh! and the carrots have germinated ~ and a lot earlier than I thought.  It is not worth a photograph at present for they are mere specks of green on the surface of the compost but they are there!

Now, Gentle Reader ~~~ you know as well as anybody else that I love my cake and tea ~~~ and this week I have made a discovery and have decided to share it with you ~~~ I have discovered Sugar Moon Brownies that come to you by mail order ~~~ I have waxed lyrical over these delectable, home baked morsels of deliciousness on my Facebook page and now I will tell you about them here.  I ordered them on Monday and they were here on Wednesday ~~ so that is a BIG B~Z to Royal Mail {as well as to Sugar Moon for baking them on Tuesday} ~~ I did feel for the poor postie afterwards though, I think I have scarred him for life, for I confess to lying in wait for him and accosting him as he got to my door ~~~ but it was worth it {although he might not agree!}

This is the lovely brown box in which they arrived ~~ see, that is my name on the label and sweet Alice is on the sticker in the corner ~~ this is as close as you can get these days to a 'brown paper package tied up with string' {one of my favourite songs from one of my favourite films}


Open the box to a lovely card on top ~~ and a personalised Thank You from Rachel {the owner and baker} of Sugar Moon Brownies ~~


and through the layers of protective packaging to the first brown paper package tied up with a ribbon ~~


and to the second layer ~~ can you see me smiling?


oh, boy! do you see me smile now??? 


and if those weren't enough ~~~



Now, I've eaten some brownies in my time but I'm telling you these are the best I've ever had ~~~ these are perfect brownies.  Deliciously rich and decadent, perfectly moist and fudgey, slightly crumbly, and choc full of chunky chocolate pieces in milk, white, and dark that just melt in the mouth ~~ I had three sorts: Chocolate, Chocolate and Orange, and Walnut Fudge ~~~ each as delicious as the next ~~~ they are perfect {there's that word again} with coffee, or tea, or with vanilla Haagen Dazs {warming the brownie first is optional} or just on their own.  I slowly savoured each delicious mouthful, carefully picking up the crumbs on my fingers so as not to waste a single nibble ~~~ oh, there is my Emma Bridgewater mug hiding in this photograph too ~ more smiles!

All I can say is try them ~ if you love brownies you will not be disappointed.  I think they are the best brownies this side of The Pond.  Just get yourself settled in your comfy chair, make a pot of tea, grab a copy of your favourite magazine or a good book, take the phone off the hook {very important that} and curl up and enjoy yourself ~~~ next time I'm chasing the Salted Caramel ones as I have a bit of a thing going on with anything salted caramel at the moment ~~~

On that note, I am off to warm up a Chocolate Brownie and serve it in a limited edition Emma Bridgewater bowl with a scoop or two of Vanilla Haagen Dazs ice cream ~~~ after all I've worked hard in the garden today and I've earned it!  Remember ~~~



~~~A Gardener's Work Is Never Done~~~


16 comments:

  1. Debs, your photographs are stunning! I was just looking at those brownies on Rachel's website yesterday! Alas, I am on the wrong side of the pond--no delivery here. I think she should find someone over here to bake her special recipe so we Americans and Canadians can have some. I also think she should hire you to photograph her brownies!

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    1. I think many are on the wrong side of The Pond ~ I felt it my bounden duty to share {giggles} oh, it is an evil job, but someone's got to do it ~ {more giggles} I only hope I did them justice. They are just so incredibly good!

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  2. Oh, dear Deborah, I'm drooling (not literally)! what a great post and great plug for dear Rachel! Do they come across the Pond? Probably cost would be prohibitive. But so glad for all of you to have such a treat! I, too, am going gaga over salted caramel these days. Loved your gardening post, too, and will hope your new courgettes avoid slug and snail. xo

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    1. Thank you Jane ~ well, if something is really that good I believe in sharing the word. I hope I did them justice. So far so good on the courgettes but the lettuce are not faring quite so well :)

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  3. Dear Deb...thank you so much for ordering from Sugar Moon & for this wonderful review. I'm so very pleased that you loved them. It is, after all, why I make them!! Have a great week xx

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    1. I hope I did them justice. It is difficult to find enough words without repeating things like perfect, delicious, perfect, chocolatey, perfect {there's that word again!} Hope you get lots of customers to keep you busy! :)

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  4. I thought the droplet photos were wonderful...then I saw the brownie ones!!! You lucky, lucky girl!!

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    1. Ha! Darlene, I wish I could send you some my friend. The brownies, that is, not the droplets ~ Hope your July 4th went wonderfully well! Debs xoxo

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  5. Hi Debs! Wish I could pop over for tea and brownies… and a walk in your garden today! So happy that you always find the magic in the golden and silver raindrops. Your wonderful photos help us all see the magic, too! Have a happy day today!
    Dawn
    ♡♡

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    1. Wouldn't that be perfect? I have just found out {maybe you know already} which tea HRH has a preference for! Although not specifically said, a recent programme on Fortnum & Mason hinted *very* strongly that they make a special blend of smokey Earl Grey for a particular client :) Nods as good as a wink ;) Waving! Debs ATP

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    1. Hello Enfys and thank you for stopping by. Love your blog!

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  7. Such fun to hear the inside scoop! Thanks, sweet one. ♡ Waving back!

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    1. It was so funny ~ they said "Of course, we cannot answer that question, but we can say we blend . . . for a very special client" hahaha!

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  8. Dear Deb, Well, as far as I am concerned YOU scored on the handmade Sugar Moons by the famous and beloved Rachel Lucas. I've sampled a few of her baked goods and think they are THE BEST. Now, we just have to get her to start a bakery across the pond.

    Loved the garden tour, but the cookies were pure torture. I am counting calories.

    Sending a warm and gentle rain your way so you can harvest more glittering dew drops for your soul.

    Cheers to you,
    Sharon

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    1. Good Morning Sharon ~ thank you for dropping in, it is lovely to see you. Yes, I agree, I did score with those brownies. Of course, they were all completely calorie free, don't you know :)

      Rain is on it's way, in the next day or so but in the meantime I'm picking more soft fruit each day!

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Thank you for stopping by today ~ I love reading your comments