Sunday, 25 June 2017

Glam Rock Rules the Garden

Hello Friends!

There’s been a proper mixed bag of weather in the Shire of late!  After the bad weather I spoke about in my last entry {two weeks ago ~ where does the time go?} we had our summer! Parts of the UK had heatwave conditions, but here in the west it was not unbearable, as it was tempered by the now nearly constant sea mists that lightly swirl around the high cliffs, feeding from a deeper sea fog that sits further out to sea and helps keep us cool most of the time. So thankful!  I know that 70 degrees is not hot, but I can no longer take the high 90’s that I could in my youth!  The last few days have been quite overcast with outbreaks of rain, and just generally dreich. We get what we get, we can’t do much about it, but we still love to chat about the weather, don’t we?

Since we last chatted, we’ve had the Summer Solstice. Each year, I long for, and dread, this day in equal measures, for I love the long days that stretch into the late, balmy evenings of early summer, but I also do not look forward to the darker, longer evenings as night draws slowly in as we lose daylight in our journey towards autumn and winter. Once we get there it is not quite as bad as it seems looking at it from a distance, for there is something quite comforting about closing out the night as we draw the heavy drapes across the windows, snuggle by the cosy fire, and sip on hot chocolate while reading our favourite books and magazines. Then, in January, as the days are once again lengthening, the seed catalogues start to drop through the letter boxes, excitement mounts, and we start to plan our gardens once again as the wheel of the year continues to turn.

Here are a few of the blooms that survived the nasty weather of two weeks ago and have recovered in the few days of summer since {details under each one} ~~~ I'm always amazed at how nature recovers ~~~

Field Poppies ~ I'm honoured they picked my garden!

Glam Rock Hydrangea ~ new bloom which has a very green tint to the centre

Glam Rock blooms at different stages, I'm wondering what the final colour will be!

Glam Rock is supposed to transition in colour and end up a vivid blue ~ still waiting to see some blue!

Pink Petunia

A beautiful, unusual striped Verbena

Mixed pot of annuals ~ seeds to be harvested!

I think this is called an Echeveria. It looks as if there are blooms getting ready! 

Finally, I found a few straggling succulents in a pot, so I put this terracotta plant pot tower together. The found succulents are in the bottom two tiers, and I bought a new one at the local, small independent garden centre that specialises in perennials, herbs, succulents and more unusual plants. I went back and bought three more the following day as I have a plan for them too ~~~



It does come as quite a shock to the system, though, to be eating my favourite comfort food of a bowl of hot tomato soup with a summer twist of fresh picked basil and a meltingly delicious grilled Cheddar cheese sandwich made with Caerfai Organic Cheddar cheese in July. This is normally my winter comfort food, so it is strange to be cold enough in summer for this delight, but I’m all for it.


Speaking of comfort food, a favourite breakfast of mine is “Eggy Bread” or French Toast.  I love taking two organic, free range eggs and whisking them really well, then soaking two slices of Sourdough bread until all the egg is absorbed, and dropping them into my sizzling cast iron pan, with just a smidge of melted butter for flavour. I adore my cast iron pans, and properly seasoned they are the healthy alternative to non stick cooking.  You can cook pretty much anything in them, and I love that they go from the stove top to the oven as needed. I’ve baked and cooked pretty much everything in them, and I find food tastes amazing when cooked in cast iron pans. Even high sugar foods, such as sweet onions or carrots don't stick, and Halloumi cooks to caramelised perfection without leaving any behind in the pan. Well cared for pans can be handed down for generations, so even though they can be a bit expensive at first, in the long run they are an investment to cherish.  

A quick and simple healthy, low fat stir fry with tofu and vegetables

breakfast sizzling in the pan

home made cinnamon and brown sugar

perfectly cooked without sticking one scrap

sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, gently melting in the heat

ready to eat!

So, Dear Friends ~~~
Until next time ~~~
~~~Deborah xo


18 comments:

  1. I love the long days too. I am rather fed up of windy weather this simmer. As for heat, I have never been comfortable when it is too hot. Like Goldilocks I like it just right.

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    1. You wouldn't like it in west Wales then ~ 20 mph winds have become a normal summer, and up to 40 mph in the winter on far too regular a basis. Ten years ago, 20 mph had me running for cover, now 40 mph doesn't even phase me.

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  2. You have some gorgeous plants, we have had poppies appear I think they were there before we moved in a redone the garden, but I have left them now as I like them. I have two cast iron pots and I love them, your bread is making me hungry.

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    1. Sorry I made you hungry, but revenge is sweet! lol! I'm still hankering after a seed cake!

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  3. I had some cast iron pans once.....couldn't lift them!Just the smallest saucepan left.
    Delicious looking breakfast and lovely flowers - we need some rain here desperately, so dry, watering where possible but the fruit trees are suffering.A little forecast for next week
    That terracotta tower is a very clever idea.

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    1. Admit they are not light! I worked out a way to lift them so I can continue to use them as long as I can with arthritis. Funny how we cried for rain, then we got too much, now we need it again! Got the tower idea off an online article.

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  4. Deb, you would have to stay inside in the air conditioning in our summer. We've had quite a humid and hot stretch. We are now having a respite for a few days of less heat and humidity, thank goodness! But our flowers do love the weather and really begin to bolt.
    Your flowers are lovely. I've never seen verbena in a circle of blooms! So pretty. Your tower of succulents is nice with hens and chicks on top.
    I couldn't agree more about cast iron pans. I have my Mama's and adore it for many reasons. Your french toast looks delicious with the cinnamon sugar. What a great way to start the day. Enjoy. xoxo ♥

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    1. Yes, I remember living in Florida and Virgina well ~ and the need for air conditioning at home and in the car. The verbena is a different type again to my tall ones, the plant is quite small, the blooms are actually rather large in comparison, but it is pretty.
      I think it is wonderful that you have your Mama's cast iron to use ~ long may it be handed down through your family!
      Deb xo

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  5. Heat waves don't suit me either - much happier when it is in the low 70's!! Your garden flowers are beautiful especially the hydrangea and I love your succulents in pots - they always look great. I lost mine sadly and really must plant another one. Eggy bread looks delicious :)

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    1. Yes, I lost a lot of my succulents so am starting to replace them. I don't have much time these days, so things that thrive well on neglect are a must! Eggy Bread was yummy!

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  6. Hi Deb,
    I won't go on about the heat here, you know my opinion on that. lol Today was delicious in the low 70's with a nice breeze. Perfect weeding weather.

    Your photos are beautiful. They are such a nice way to spend some time...looking at your gorgeous flowers.

    Tom's mom gave me a cast iron skillet when we got married. It has seen a lot of food over the years. :-)

    I love french toast. I may have to have some soon. Like tomorrow!

    Love and hugs,
    Darlene

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    1. Oh, my friend, make the most of those perfect weather days in your garden. Any kitchen pot, pan or tool that has belonged to a forebear is a treasure indeed and I know you cook up some real good food in that skillet!
      Hugs and love right back at ya! xoxo

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  7. We've had some hot days and a lot of rain--which has made the Japanese beetles even more a pest! Your garden is just lovely and I have that color Verbena as well as some blues, purple and pinks. The French Toast looks scrumptious and makes me think when I bake my "Milk" Bread tomorrow, I'll have to make sure I make some for breakfast this weekend, XOXO

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    1. Thank you Susan. Yes, French Toast is delicious, and so easy I think we often forget to make it! I love to beat the eggs really well then it puffs up like a souffle! xoxo

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  8. I loved reading your narrative on the summer solstice. When does it get dark there now? And in the winter what time does it get dark? I see you don't add milk to your french toast. I will have to try that--and use brown sugar with the cinnamon. Sounds much more yummier. There were poppies in our yard when we moved here but the rabbits got to them that first year and I haven't seen any since!

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    1. Thank you Cathy. Sunset is around 9:45 p.m. so it is dark about 10:15, thereabouts. Of course, with such inclement weather again it seems darker earlier than that with the cloud cover. Unfortunate.
      Sometimes I add milk, but not very often as I don't like milk. I only ever use brown sugar, unless I'm baking and need white sugar for the colour of the cake.

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  9. I'm going to make cinnamon sugar puff pastry twists for pud. Made me smile to see you using similar on eggy bread! Raining here today- the garden is drooping. Loved all your colourful flowers :o).

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    1. Thank you! Oh, sugar puff pastry twists sound good! I feel a bake coming on again! Raining here too, in the west, and more to follow in the coming days. :( Where is summer?

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