Tag Archives: frog

Big Moon and a Frog

24th July 2013 1.29 a.m -– just now as I turned to leave the kitchen to go upstairs to bed I realised there was a frog silently staring at one of the poodles asleep on her blanket.

I was slightly baffled – the back door was shut and the frog must have come in the house much earlier in the day.  I picked up a plastic pudding basin and popped it over the frog and found He who loves Frogs and used to rescue tropical ones from the bananas when he worked in Safeways and take them home with him and look after them when the zoo didn’t want to know.

He was asleep. I woke him. I could have maybe done it myself, I know I know, but I didn’t want to. He likes frogs a lot, I like frogs, but not so much that I want to have one jump up at me, because then I would jump and we would all scream a bit and the frog would get stressed.

So the sleepy Lord of the Frogs put on his Frog Catching Gloves and airlifted Mr Green to safety. I don’t think he really woke up, he is clever like that. He will think it was a dream in the morning.

Outside there is a big golden moon sailing high in the sky. lighting up the streaky clouds.  We saw the moon earlier in the evening and did that thing where you look at the moon upside down (easiest way is through your legs)  and it looks smaller. It worked.

Inula Hookeri

This post could do with a photo or two and I don’t have a picture of the moon, but here is a photo I took the night before of a flower in a front garden I walked past. There were lots of them and they had clearly spread through the garden in a slightly invasive way.

I asked on Twitter if anyone knew what it was and kind people made all sorts of suggestions and eventually came up with Inula Hookeri. It reminds me of something you would find stuck on a bathing cap from my childhood.  I think it is beautiful.

If I walk down to the back fence, there is this stalwart shrub covered in flowers. Every year I think it is going to die in the cold winds of winter. Its leaves turn red, and then mysteriously they turn green again in the Spring and by July it is covered in sweet white whirls of jasmine scented flowers, the shrub doesn’t grow very much but it is still here eight years after being planted in a planting pocket surrounded by concrete. It is a survivor. The Clock is telling me to Go To Bed once more.

I am becoming an insomniac blogger.

Night all x

Trachelospermum Jasmonides

Hedgerow Colours and other Bits and Pieces

Rosehip CordialMy gesture towards autumnal hunter gathering (ha!) has been limited this year to these two little projects.  Rosehip and (assorted friends) cordial and the hawthorn ketchup recipe which comes from Pam Corbin’s book Preserves but can be found fortuitously (and probably not very surprisingly) in Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s Guardian Weekend column this week along with other fashionable hedgeforagy ideas. More about haws here in Alys Fowler’s column too.

out of focus washed haws (hawthorn berries)

I managed to make one little jar from 500 g of hawthorn berries. Not sure if it was worth the effort somehow!

I barely picked any blackberries and there were very few sloes, apart from a few I found in the freezer, the damsons were almost non existent and the squirrel has stolen and buried all the nuts – so it goes. And I suspect that this is the same for many people, hence the interest this year in the hawthorn berries and rosehips which are plentiful.

I am working my way through the apples from the garden slowly. I spend a lot of time not doing very much and what I do, I do quite slowly. Here is a squishy apple cake, which I made yesterday from a recipe from Cooks Illustrated by Andrew Janjigian. It is made with oil not butter and has a clever construction whereby you mix egg yolks into part of the batter for the bottom and extra flour into the top part thus creating a layered effect in the cake. I am not sure I did it justice as I was working from cups, which as we know is not my strong point. Edit : My apples are for some reason all floating to the top in any cake with a soft batter. I think it is me as it has happened now in a couple of cakes ! I have added a link to the recipe, which I didn’t have earlier and I see there is a video too… if I had known…. ah well there is always next time !

I had better add a slice shot too

I ‘tore’ up the original bright and breezy tra la version of this post as I need to find a new voice. I am not a good housewife, I am not a good gardener, I am just a fallible and imperfect human being who for some reason strayed into the blog world and stayed for company. I like your company. Truth.

Sometimes I think I am channeling the Guardian.   Alys Fowler confirms that it is perfectly acceptable to rehome supermarket basil in this week’s magazine too. I can report that my two are still rampaging away and people come and lop stems off and cart them off. It really is much the easiest way to keep them going with minimum fuss and outlay. I am not convinced by the micro herb thing. Seeds, though not expensive when you grow full size plants from them, do become pricey for relatively small return when you eat the results so small. They don’t always come out nicely either, sometimes very small and a bit stringy and sad, if you don’t have ideal growing conditions indoors.

Outdoors the flower sprouts, which now dominate the raised bed with their dark and purply presence are…. yes they are…. growing flower sprouts – this is quite exciting for me as I have never grown sprouts in any shape or form. They are frilly and they lie in the space between stem and leaf. Ooh! The broccoli rab threw up two leaves, a yellow flower and died in the shadow of the giant flower sprouts. The winter creeping thyme drowned mysteriously having started off quite well. The half a dozen bulb fennel babies are living in their fortress where I shall protect them from the marauding pigeons if I have to sit on the veg bed with a knife between my teeth.

Brian has taken a beautiful photo of the Trail of Tears beans drying on a north facing windowsill.

And what else did I think might amuse you as you dance through the internet? I attempted to clear one tiny corner of the garden yesterday, with much moaning and wingeing and pulled out the cold frame with Brian’s help to give it a rudimentary tidy up before the winter and managed to disturb Madame Frog. She made me scream of course but then I steadied my nerve and picked her up to move her to an undisturbed spot and I swear she is is smiling here. You have heard of Puss in Boots? This is Frog in Glove.

Zeb went to look for the frog but he has some funny ideas.

No frog in here…

NB For Rosehip Cordial.  Pick as many ripe rosehips as you can manage. Put them in the freezer overnight to help soften them.  Cook them gently in water until you can mash them up. They have little hairs inside so you do need to strain them or let them drip through a fine muslin in order to get the juice out, as you would if you were making jelly which is also an option.

A mixed bag of rosehips, hawthorn (haws) berries and blackberries

I added a handful of blackberries and some other bits and pieces to use them up but you don’t need to do that. Then once you have your strained juice, add 325 grams of sugar or so to each 500 ml of juice, heat till dissolved but do not boil. Then bottle in clean bottles and heat in a water bath if you don’t have a canner. The water bath is basically a deep saucepan with a clean folded tea towel in the bottom full of water in which you stand the bottles up to their necks and then bring the water up to a set temperature for a set time, (varies depending on what you are canning). If in doubt freeze your cordials if you have space and then you won’t have to worry about this.