Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Sunny days!

No photos today, just a quick update. We have had a couple of really beautiful sunny and warm (for the time of year) days this week. This has allowed me to get outside, yay!

Yesterday Tom and I spent the afternoon at the allotment, clearing the last of the crops that I didn't manage to harvest before the snow hit. We came home with 2 big plastic trug buckets full of veg. There were leeks, parsnips and some huge potatoes, which amazingly survived the snow and rain pretty well.

Tonight we had a vegetable bake for dinner which was yummy, the parsnips are really sweet after all that frosty weather, I will make some spicy parsnip soup tomorrow, which is one of my favourites and I will save some to roast with some belly pork at the weekend.

We brought all the tools home as well, I think I mentioned before that we are not going to continue with it next year, I am going to concentrate my efforts on making new areas to grow veg in the garden, I hate mowing the lawn so am happy to dig some of it up for veg.

I have been reading the seed catalogues, that I always get through the post at this time of year, and am writing a list of what I would like to grow this year. I will probably have to half the number of varieties before I order, I always get a bit carried away at first. I have loads of plans for the garden this year, giving up the allotment will give me the time to

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Tuesday, 1 February 2011

New soap 'flavours'

At Christmas I decided to give some of my homemade soaps. I had fun playing around with different 'flavours'. I ended up giving chocolate mint swirl and honey oatmeal scrub soap.

They seemed to go down rather well. My sisters children loved them, although my 3 year old niece had to be reminded that it wasn't to eat. I have now had some requests for some more, so today I have been in the kitchen playing with 'flavours' again.

I collected and dried some calendula petals from the garden in the summer so I decided to add these with some orange essential oil.

It has given the soap lovely orange speckly appearance.

It is now sitting on my worktop, wrapped in an old sleeping bag, setting. Tomorrow I will chop it up into bars and them it will need 6 weeks to cure. Luckily I have some of the Christmas bars to hand out until then.

Unfortunately I can't sell my soap, there are too many rules and regulations, but I enjoy making it and am happy to make it for my family. My mum had given me a bag full of lavender from her garden so I may use some of that in my next batch.