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Sunday, 26 June 2016

Fairy Visitors on a Sunny Sunday.

Thank you for your lovely comments about my tear and share bread, it's a bit of a family favourite here.

After some warm, but muggy days, we have some lovely sunshine. It's been a busy week here so it was nice to go and sit in the garden with the dogs and a book, soaking up the sunshine, a gentle breeze and birds chatting away in the background.

  I bribed my companions to come and sit with me, a couple of gravy bones each.

They know the drill well, 'sit' then come when your name's called.

Everything in the garden's grown so much since I took photos a couple of weeks ago. I bought these handy little dead heading snippers, a bargain at 49p (excuse how dirty my gardening gloves are, I suppose it shows I'm using them).

They even have a handy little pocket to keep them in, which is good as they are rather sharp.

The garden is starting to bloom more, colours getting bigger and brighter

The flowers are growing in the old bird bath. I'm pleased as there isn't much room, not much depth for their roots.

 Here are some of our fairy visitors, they've set up home in the mini wheelbarrow

A cute little tree stump and a couple of hedgehogs...

Just need a little greenery in their garden.

What a lovely signpost, this way to happiness...

I plan to have some more fairy visitors, just need the right places for them to move into.

Courgettes are growing well, I think we'll be picking a couple soon

I wonder if any of you knowledgeable green fingered people can help me? We have a couple plants that we can't identify? The first is this long, thin one.I picked it up from the 'dying' shelf in a garden centre and it appears to be thriving... whatever it is!

It also seems to be getting ready to bloom?

We have no idea what this is either. I love the deep reddish, mahogany colour of the leaves, and again, it appears be thriving...

Thank you for taking the time to read andI'd love any information about the 2 unidentified plants, and if you don't know what they are either then just pop by and say hello.

Take care

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Tear and Share Pepperoni and Cheese Bread

Thought I'd do a spot of baking this afternoon. I'd seen a garlic and cheese tear and share in shop the other day and thought a pepperoni one would be nice with some pasta and tomato sauce.

Firstly I had to check I had enough strong (bread) flour in stock!

This is my favourite measuring bowl, it measures in grams, ounces, cups and fluid measurements. I used 450g of strong flour.

I popped the flour in my Kmix, added a teaspoon of salt, teaspoon of sugar and a sachet of yeast (7grams), I also added about 30ml of olive oil, the equivalent of about 2 tablespoons.

As it mixed, I gradually added some tepid water. I started with 300ml, but ended up increasing it to 320ml. Once I finished adding the water, I left it to keep kneading (dough hook on my Kmix) until it looked lovely and smooth and felt elastic and bouncy!

Into a dish to be left to proof

Covered with a clean tea towel

An hour later, it doubled in size. When I lifted it out of the bowl, it felt so light and full of air, just as it should.

On the work surface with some more flour sprinkled under it.

Hubby passing through the kitchen, so commandeered to do some rolling...

Couple of blobs of tomato puree smoothed on with the back of a spoon.

Before placing on the bread, I put the pepperoni and cheese in a bowl so I could add a couple of pinches of oregano, then spread it evenly over the rolled out dough.

Rolled the whole thing like a swiss roll and cut into pieces.

I placed them next to each other in a greased dish

Left for another half hour to proof a little more. Then used a brush to spread a little oil over the top. You can just see in this second picture how it's spread a little more.

In the oven for half an hour

Really turned out nice, light and tasty, enjoyed by all (the second tray was sent to my son)

Take care

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Growing a Garden

Thank you for your lovely and helpful comments on my last post, it's nice to know I'm going in the right direction.

As today is such a beautiful sunny day (after quite a few wet and chilly ones) I thought I should venture into the garden and see how the rain has helped things grow.

I planted some Alium bulbs last autumn (amongst others), they're past their best now, but are still eye-catching.

We have quite a few tubs filled with flowers, gradually starting to get more colour.

Good to see the Dahlias thriving, isn't the yellow magnificent...

These Pinks have been with us a few years now. Still giving us beautiful blooms though getting a bit straggly.

The plant at the bottom of the picture below is Basil given to us by our American friend when she was here... it gives lovely Basil...

We have a few vegetables growing in our raised beds. After losing most of our carrots to the horrible slugs and snails, we seem to be OK now.

The peas have pods!

As they can be rather unwieldy and our space is limited, we planted the Courgette and Cucumber seeds in pots. They both appear to be thriving

Tomato too

This was our bird bath. I'm afraid the birds just weren't brave enough to use it with our 3 little Chihuahuas and 2 cats. As the garden isn't very big, I don't like to waste space, so holes were drilled and seeds were planted.

The dog kennel has been brightened up with a new friend (fortunately this one doesn't need walking or feeding). The dogs gave it a sniff, then promptly proceeded to ignore it.

I think it's rather cute.

That was little tour of our small space. Im hoping in another month so, the colours will be spilling out everywhere.

I think Mitzi approves, Im sure she's trying to smile for the camera.

Take care