I have finally had a week off, I have enjoyed the sunshine, sitting in the garden, swimming in the sea and the odd cycle.
I had a few things I wanted to have a go at and even managed to do about 1/3 of them. I started a new crochet project and I did a huge baking afternoon.
I also had a go using up some of the mass of lemon balm as pesto – it was all quite alternative – the recipe suggested parsley and cashew nuts I had to replace with oregano and walnuts. Taste is lovely but the texture is a bit bitty – I will definitely have another go and try blanching the lemon balm first to soft slightly (thanks for the suggestion Jonathan:-)).
I also managed to put some of the excess outside to contribute to the amazing GIVE group – Green Island Veg Economy – which just aims to give away excess seeds, plants and produce. My station was much more modest than the ones pictures in the Metro article .
We managed to pick elder flowers on a cycle ride into Newport, but again as we are trying to reduce our shopping trips (aiming for once every 3-4 weeks at a supermarket with farmhouse fayre, Island foods, and Wight and Wessex Wines deliveries between) I was working on replacements in my recipes. My elderflower champagne used up the last actual lemon plus I added a bit of bottled lemon juice – but it hasn’t started bubbling yet so my replacements might not be working . I have added a bit of yeast today so I am waiting to see if that starts of the fermentation. The cordial however had lime and satsuma zest and all bottled lemon juice plus the addition of some lemon balm (well when you have so much you need to do something with it) – it actually tastes pretty good but not like elder flower cordial more like a sort of herbal drink. So that means another bike trip out to get elder flowers so i can make the cordial that everyone will expect me to produce from the freezer at Christmas.
My final rural pastimes have been trying to grow some rosemary and lavender from cuttings – they are sitting in a pot full or water just now we’ll see how they go. I am even having a go at drying some lavender.
I have had a great week off, feeling relaxed and accomplished which is a great combo. Next week I am back to Zoom maths lessons and the final taught module of my behaviour change masters.