Friday, 3 July 2015

Preserving

So the other day I went to the supermarket and look at what I got reduced;

That's write punnets of plums for 4p each!

I chopped up 5 punnets and popped them in a pan with some water and let them cook down. Once they were nice a cooked I strained them.

The 'lumpy bits' were mashed and frozen as they will make a tasty crumble later on.


The liquid had sugar added and made some lovely looking jars of jam.
I now have five of these in the cupboard ready for when the current lot run out. 
So I still have a few plums left. So this is what I do;

prick the plums and place in a jar. 

add a little sugar

Pour in the magic ingredient to cover the fruit.

Lid on and shake, shake, SHAKE!!!
Shake regularly throughout the next couple of days. Then place somewhere cool and dark for as many months as you can handle!


Wonder who can guess what I am making now?!




Sunday, 21 June 2015

Growing in the garden

I popped up the garden today to collect some food for my lunch tomorrow. This is what I have found;

The first of the peas and the radishes, along with the prolific salad leaves and the strawberries (I got there before the birds now that they are covered with netting!)

I was so impressed that I am going to get the first of the peas- usually Stephanie snaffles all of the peas whilst playing, As she is at her dad's I thought I was safe to enjoy these in my salad tomorrow, I was so impressed with my little haul I posted a photograph on Facebook. Next thing I knew Stephanie was letting herself in the back door and snaffling them! She had been at her swimming lesson down the road and her dad showed her the photograph, she has daddy wrapped around her finger and convinced him that she needed to come and see me!


End of the month endings..

This si the last week of the payday month. I have £10 left in my purse and £10 in the bank. I am going to survive the rets of the week just with the £10 in my purse. I need a few little bits: bananas, yoghurt, tomatoes. The rest of what we use si in the fridge/ freezer. They are all little odds and ends but they will be used up.
Stephanie has gone to her dad's for the week as he is off of work. So just Dylan and myself to feed. Today he is at his aunt's.
Yesterday I had yoghurt and fruit for breakfast. Salad and fish fingers for lunch. For dinner a bit of a concoction, beef steak with mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach (from garden) and garlic bread.

I have had yoghurt with a banana chopped in it for breakfast.
Lunch I am going to have salad (from the garden) with two eggs I have.
Dinner I have a pie from the freezer which will be making it's way on to my dinner plate, with some of the potatoes which need using and the brocolli and carrots that need eating from the fridge.

I will have a peek through the freezer for the rest of the week. I know in there I have some sausages, park chops, kievs, chicken breasts and fish portions. So that should be those used up. Lunches I will take salads to work. Breakfast is generally fruit and yoghurt, quick and easy for me to organise.

I am taking a short break from report writing. I am going to go and make lunch and come back to it with fresh eyes. They take so long to write but I will be gld if I manage to get all done today.



Sunday, 14 June 2015

Feeling better

Stephanie is definitely feeling better today. Look what she has had me doing;

baking

making gloop, and other science experiments.

another science experiment

This one fizzed

Playing games.

We have also had the paint out and she even managed her Sunday swimming lesson. We ahve had a busy day at home. I am so glad that she is feeling better. Back to school for all tomorrow!

Saturday, 13 June 2015

feed the birds...

Tuppence a bag!



The birds love our garden! We quite like the birds as well. We have our selection of bird feeders out and refill regularly, admittedly not as regularly as the birds would like. It is amazing the speed at which they can empty a large seed feeder!

We have peanut feeds, tiny seed feeders, mixed seed feeders, fat ball holders, and fat ball slab holders. They eat the lot!

Stephanie and I have spent time making different bird food recently. I realised I would spend a fortune on the fat food balls/slabs so we tried to make our own.

We made a small one to test, the birds loved it so we will be making more of these. It started as a hanging fat ball, but fell off the string in the tree, so I placed it in there.

We threaded popcorn on string and hung these in the tree. They were demolished in a few hours.
 
Stephanie wanted a bird table, so we used some bricks from the top of the garden and a clean flat plant tray. She filled it with some more of the popcorn. The birds loved that!


Is there anything the birds don't like??!!

Do you feed the birds, what do you feed them with, do you make your own?


Friday, 12 June 2015

Outdoor play

Regular readers of this blog may have noticed that I really enjoy being outdoors and I try to encourage my children outside with me as much as possible.
Stephanie has been complaining of a sore throat this week, I thought it's just a bit of a cold told her to get on with it (evil mother!). On Wednesday night she cried a little as it was sore, so I gave her calpol and put her to bed thinking that she would be ok by morning. Then about 3 in the morning she came in and woke me, she had a sore throat and it was hurting her to drink and stopping her sleeping. In she climbs with me for a cuddle which miraculously made it all better and she slept until morning. I resolved to having Thrusday off of work to get her a doc's appointment. One quick peek in her mouth by a doctor and she has puss-y tonsils aka contagious tonsillitis. So pop to the chemist for antibiotics and phoned work- I needed Friday off as well as she isn't allowed to return to school until 24 hours after antibiotics are started.

I have resolved to doing some work which I am able to do from home (it's report season don'tcha know!) I have also interspersed this with some gardening. My garden shed roof leaked last time we had a thunder storm so yesterday I started to cut back the plant which is growing across it so that I can see what is going on. It's a tough job- the plant grows from my neighbours side and is v. large,
This is almost half the shed roof cleared. We are do flash flooding tonight so ideally I wanted to get the plant down and see an easy fix. no such luck! I cannot reach to clear half the plant. I will need to get a ladder and see what I can do tomorrow and hope the rain isn't as bad as forecast. Although, it has already started and is so far showing no sign of letting up!

Whilst I was clearng the plant Stephanie was eyeing up a set of bamboo canes I had, mum do you think we could make me a camp? The plant I was clearing looked perfect, it was long, thin and bendy. So we set up the canes and began weaving.

You can see at the bottom where the plant is weaved in and out. We ran out of long suitable bits to finish weaving. That didn't stop them, soon there were blankets finishing the job, blankets on the ground and cushions galore in there with a book and some teddies too. 
Watching this got me thinking, we had wanted to buy a hammock on payday, but i've had to put two new tyres on the car, and have had some other news which means my tiny income is slashed some more. So we are saving money even more importantly now. I remembered some fabric the children's nan gave me to make curtains for the house. I have to confess it's not to my taste for this so it has been sat in the cupboard while I think of a use. Today I found that use;
The poorly girl loves it! It is even strong enough to take my weight. All I used was a couple of metres of fabric and two skipping ropes.
Stephanie was feeling much better by this afternoon, in case you haven't guessed. She has kept me very busy so I haven't had a chance to do much more work so I will be having a few late nights to catch up, But what a lovely afternoon we have had. I'm just glad that she is feeling better.



Monday, 1 June 2015

Come on a garden tour with me

I have spent a fair bit of each day out in the garden over the half term break. I am so pleased with how it is coming along. The view down the growing patch, it's looking very green;

Carrots, potatoes and green beans all growing near to each other.

The onion bed

cabbages and the smaller brussel plants

peas and radishes thriving together

spinach, lettuce, beetroot and the beginnings of kale



 The greenhouse replanted with the next lot of seeds.

 One of the tomato plants in my new planter
The outdoor strawberries are coming along nicely.
The green house strawberries are nearly ready.
herb baskets are growing nicely







The indoor garden.