Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Allotment Doggy Antics at number 8

I want to thank my friend Bev's mum and dad (Dave and Janet) for giving me a chance to help out on their new allotment at feniscowles, as you can see it's a cracking little plot. Full of potential as they say. The only downside is that we all have dogs with quirky mischievious tendancies. Meg the little Patterdale terrier belonging to Janet and Dave is a none stop apple hustler, she just has to round them all up fresh or rotten for you to throw. My dog Harry on the other hand is a well seasoned potato rustler he can't stop nicking them from my potato bag at home. Bev also has a terrier called Archie, whose a bit of a carrot muncher, he'll definately give those carrot flies a run for their money and he loves..... digging. Bev's other dog Kenny (a rescue) is the dark horse in the pack, we don't yet know what he's likely to get up to down on the plot. The good news is that only one dog is allowed down at one time. (Phew) you could imagine the carnage...

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Runswick Bay

It doesn't take much to put a smile on Harrys face, sticks and beaches seem to do the trick each time. It was our first trip to Runswick bay and like most bays in this area tricky to get down to because of the steep gradient. There was a small public carpark at the bottom, a bit pricey at three quid for three hours, alright if you were staying the full 3 hours of course but we were a bit limited because of Harry's dodgy elbow joint. It turned out to be more of a whistlestop tour really. I'd like to have stayed longer because it was lovely and secluded, the beach renowned for fossils, not that we found any.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Sloe Gin All Done

Just before I went away for a short break in North Yorkshire I managed to bottle up the sloe berries that were in my freezer. Just half fill a litre Kilner jar with the sloes, quarter fill with sugar, then fill to the top with gin. If you don't get enough sloes just use a smaller jar using the same method. You can use brandy or vodka too, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall prefers using vodka to gin because he says its the best way to enjoy the pure flavour of the sloe berries. Gin of course will mask the flavour to some extent because of the juniper content. Don't forget to prick the sloes with a pin to make sure you get as much of the juice and colour into the gin. Store in a dark place for a minimum of 2 or 3 months. Its probably a good idea to strain the juice through a muslin cloth to get rid of any bits of berry flesh that are floating in the gin.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

One Day

One day all of this will be mine....well a small plot on this allotment site to be precise. Phil and I decided to walk back home along the canal having dropped the car at the garage for its annual mot. We passed by what remained of the old Albion mill on the left and the bowling green on the right. Im sure my grandad Cyril must have played a match or two here at one time. Sadly the bowling greens he played on at Queens park have long since gone, the pavillion having been burned down by vandals. As I passed by Feniscowles allotment I had a quick peek over the fence wondering which plot would eventually be mine. It's probably still a distant dream as the waiting lists are very long... Still, there's always the foraging to fall back on, the sloes are already in the freezer waiting to be soaked in a litre of gin.