Sunday, 12 January 2014

Allotment planning for 2014 - seed sowing timetable

I need to have a plan of what needs planting and when for each type of vegetable I grow, otherwise I forget, sow late and have a poor yield.  My vegetable list is generally the same and it's only the dates that really change, so I've created a template in excel to use and reuse each year, just changing the dates.

Here it is:

It's not very sophistcated, which is perfect.  And mutliple dots on one line next to each other generally remind me to plan something during these weeks (rather than something every week). And again, this is tailored to the space I have in my allotment, the fact that there's only 2 of us to feed, what will freeze, how long things will stay in the ground for and experience of the climate up here (NE25, about a mile from the coast.

I don't include cucumber, aubergine and peppers - because I buy these plants direct from the seed company, and all I need to do is have the greenhouse ready to receive them when they're delivered.

I'll have a printed copy at the house so I know where I am, but I'll put the actual date I planted things on the sheet.

Obvioulsy it all goes to cock when I book in my summer holiday - not just for the date I need to sow seeds, but what's been sown recently - because they need babysitting (& are usually packed off to my father-in-laws), so I'll have to adapt or change things to fit in, which is pretty normal anyway.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Things I'd like to try and bake in 2014

If I don't make a list then I'll forever be saying, I might, whereas if I do a list I'm more likely to do it, and if I stick it on my blog then I'll have everyone to answer to, not just myself :)

So here's a list of things that I would like to make/bake in 2014 (in no particular order):

  1. Fish/Game Terrine
  2. Fondant Fancies
  3. Meat Smoker (I have most of the bits)
  4. Meringues (that are perfectly white)
  5. Choux pastry
  6. Coffee cake (that tastes of coffee and not just coffee-ish)
  7. Courgette Chutney (I made it last year & it was beautiful)
  8. Christmas Cake toppers (I made some at a class and want to make some for this years cake)
  9. Bakewell tart
  10. Corned beef pie
  11. Chiffon cake
  12. Treacle Tart

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

2013 - I give it a 7 out of 10

2013 has been a year that I'll never ever forget. 
A rabbit on a sledge & a snowman
  • I fell pregant straight away
  • I found a starfish in the rockpools near Burnham (on holiday)
  • I saw seals in the harbour at Eyemouth
  • I won The Gingerbread House Challenge 2013
  • I won a fancy dress prize at Panic Room, 2013 for my costume
  • At work my secondment was renewed for another year
  • I bought my first cashmere jumper (& I love it)
  • I lost weight
  • I found spinning to be quite enjoyable (& go weekly)
  • I had a really productive allotment year
  • I really loved being pregnant & feeling excited about being a new mum.
  • I baked quite a few decent cakes for family and for cake club
  • I'm proud of my mum who's lost over 3 stone this year - she's amazing!
  • I had a lovely relaxing weekend at my friends in Cirencester
  • I finally started some craft projects (embroidery) and finished them!
  • I made mask that looked like a fox (for a party) and I was pleased with my efforts
  • I have been in good health (so have my nearest & dearest)
  • My mum & dad came to visit me (my dad's not visited me for ages)
  • I had dinner in the restaurant in the Baltic
  • I ate razor clams for the first time and loved them 
  • I felt so proud of my sister, who gave up smoking (& I felt we became close this year)
  • I joined a new secret 'canapĂ© inspired' eating club
  • I learnt how to make punschrulle - thanks Lauren
  • I learnt how to temper chocolate, how to scuplt icing into a snowman and rabbit, how to do needlefelting, how to crochet, how to make a patchwork cushion
  • I saw my friend & sister in laws 1yr olds learn to walk and talk
  • I visited Edinburgh for my birthday and had a fantastic time
  • I'm so lucky to have such wonderful, kind, loving and thoughtful people in my life; my husband, my family, friends (near and far), colleagues, friends-of-friends, people on twitter I've never met and NHS staff.
And despite you know what, I still feel I enjoyed 2013.
So I'm giving 2013 a 7 out of 10