Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Too much everything

I haven`t written my blog for a while as it has been so hot ( 31 ) on Monday and I have spent my time at water aerobics or sitting in front of the fan trying to think of other ways to use courgettes. Mark and I think we are going to write a book of a thousand ways to use them.
The garden is growing very well and needs quite a lot of water every night.
We are getting lots of tomatoes and we have had peppers and the chilli peppers are growing so well I will have to pot them on.
As I am writing this I have courgette and tomato chutney simmering away and I have just picked a kilo and a half of apricots from a tree that I didn`t know was there until today. More jam.

the spreading garden

big greek tomatoes
The squash and pumpkins are spreading everywhere and I have to keep directing the vines so they don`t swamp things.

butternut squash and pumpkins
 There are an enormous amount of crickets and grasshoppers around at the moment, they range from minute to huge and some find their way indoors. I have no idea what this is exactly but it likes the sitting room.

Merkel and babies exhausted in the heat

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Start of the harvest

I have been busy this week making apricot jam, not as much as last year as the crop was not nearly as good. I have put away 8 pots which will please one of my daughters, she loves it.

Tonight I also bottled 4 jars of apricots for the winter and will get some peaches in the next few days to bottle. Tinned fruit is scarce here, very large tins of pineapple and  fruit salad and that is about it. I do miss raspberries, good english strawberries and rhubarb but figs and lemons and oranges are very good.

We also have a bit of a glut with cucumbers and courgettes and are having to be quite creative. I pickled some cucumber slices and I tried Jamie Olivers recipe for cucumber ribbons in a soy sauce, ginger, lime and chilli dressing.
We have had stuffed courgettes, courgette cake, a very nice penne, courgette and blue cheese bake and tomorrow I am making a soup.

The tomatoes are just starting now, the cherry tomatoes on the terrace are nice and slightly acidic and the tigerella are lovely, sweet and very pretty with the stripes.
The huge greek tomatoes are doing well but sadly not nearly as well as Filios`s. Must be the copious amounts of manure he puts in the very deep holes. Next year my preparation must be better.
It is getting very hot now and the only comfortable time to work in the garden is in the evening when there is lots of watering to do.

tigerella tomato
 We still have cabbage, swedes, rocket and spinach and the butternut squash and pumpkins are spreading all over one side of the garden.
The aubergines are flowering well and we have had the first pepper, loads coming soon.

Friday, 14 June 2013

After the storm

I haven`t blogged for a couple of days as we had storms and heavy rain and had to switch router off. It also gave me a chance to sit and finish the down under blanket. It is huge, it took ages to go round and round the border but I am very pleased with it and hope Richard and Nikki love it when it eventually reaches them.

over the bench

 I am disappointed with pictures of it, sun too bright and too big to put on washing line. Anyway, here are the pics I took of finished blanket.

over the picnic table

The storm has been great for the garden and everything is growing so fast, I will be making the first of the apricot jam tomorrow and I think we should have enough for quite a few pots.

The cherry tomatoes are growing really well, the first one is starting to turn red.

Big greek tomatoes

The butternut squash are spreading out across the garden as are the greek pumpkins and you can see the baby squash forming. The first green peppers are growing well and the chilli peppers on the terrace are flowering and making baby peppers. It will be quite exciting trying them as they were mixed seed so we don`t know how hot they will be.

I seem to have got stuck on caption size writing and it doesn`t want to change back, will try to remedy this next time.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Everything is growing

Every morning when I look at the vegetable garden I can see a change. We are beginning to get a glut of courgettes and although they are lovely thinly sliced in a salad there is only so much you can eat in a day.

 Mark made some lovely stuffed courgettes the other night and I made courgette fritters with tzadsiki. Today I am making a courgette cake, we will see.....

tomatoes, cucumbers,aubergines and peppers

The pots on the terrace are covered in tomatoes but we had to lift them down as we had a very strong easterly wind yesterday but they will go back up today. The tigerella tomatoes are getting very stripy and I can`t wait to see them when they are ripe.
The kittens are growing very fast and eat a ton of food, we bought them posh new bowls and then today Merkel has decided to move them back to the log pile. I am sure they will turn up when they get hungry although Merkel seems to think they should be eating rat judging by the number she has left out by the store. Doesn`t stop her showing up constantly looking for more food though.

kittens with one of the new bowls
The apricots are coming on nicely and I should be making more jam in a couple of weeks although there won`t be as many as last year because Filios pruned it quite hard. It is my favourite jam so I will have to hide it if the family make it over this year. 

Thursday, 6 June 2013

The Down Under blanket

I haven`t had time this last week ,with the Music Festival and having Mick the Van here , to take pictures of the garden so today I am going to do a blog on a blanket.
I have to finish it in the next three weeks so that Mick can take it to the UK on his next run as it is so expensive to post it from Greece.
My son, Richard, has commissioned this kingsize blanket and I thought I would tell you how it is made up.
There are 30 balls of wool, 208 squares, 2566 threads to be sewn in. Then 8-10 rows of border and an edging.
It has taken quite a while to get this far and I have finished the squares and am putting it together.

Just a few of the bundles , 13 in each
I am about a third of the way through crocheting them together and then I can start the border.

Part of blanket
I really hope Richard likes it as it is a bit of a worry when someone can`t choose all the colours. I don`t like to work with less than 9 colours, sometimes 6 ,but it is very much a matter of personal taste.
Hopefully I can get in finished and back to the UK and send it on its way where I hope it will give years of pleasure.