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Everything posted by Saronne

  1. I highly recommend Glacier tomatoes for outdoor crops. I've tried for years to grow tomatoes outside, but never had a decent crop until I tried Glacier. I gave plants to friends who also commented how well they did. I've also sown Black Russian tomatoes - a beautiful and tasty variety which did well in my greenhouse last year.
  2. Yes, brilliant idea! Wish I had some marmalade-making enthusiasts living nearby. Have to say, though, I've made 22 jars and hope this will last me a couple of years! First batch was a rich orange colour and the second batch (made with dark muscovado sugar and a splash of brandy) came out a warm auburn colour.
  3. Marmalade! I'd forgotten what a faffy, sticky ordeal it was making the stuff, but the finished product came out surprisingly well. Jam is soooo much easier.
  4. Snow in east Leicestershire. Woke up to a couple of inches, some of which has melted. Still looks pretty!
  5. My son bought me a crowbar (sp?) for Christmas to dismantle pallets. He wrapped it very nicely (I guessed what it was straight away). He tried to make me believe it was a walking stick! I keep a small stump and hand axe by the woodburner and chop up timber offcuts for kindling as and when I need it. Though I got a little over-enthusiastic one evening and had a knock on the door from my neighbours asking me if everything was 'alright.'
  6. I've had snowdrops blossoming in the front garden for the past two weeks - normally this variety blossoms in mid to late January. So one month early.
  7. I'm trying Delia's 'Last Minute Brandied Christmas Cake' this year..because I've left it rather late.. http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/type-of-dish/sweet/last-minute-brandied-christmas-cake.html
  8. We got subsidized cavity wall insulation (cost about £150 instead of £500 - some deal with Eon about 4 years ago). Also bought additional loft insulation from Wickes DIY, the cost of which was subsidized (about £30 - or £5 per roll - instead of £20 per roll). Didn't have to do anything special, just went to Wickes and bought it. It definitely has made a difference; the house feels more cosy and retains the heat much better. My heating bills did go down afterwards as I didn't need to have the heat on as much to feel the benefit. In the past 4 years I also had a woodburner installed and more recently, another one in the kitchen/diner. Rarely have the central heating on at all.
  9. I always struggle to put pictures on here, but have tried to post a link to the type of stove I bought. click
  10. Sounds great! I sometimes get 'anonymous' gifts of wood. I have put the word out so people have contacted me. I never say no - as I don't know whether the source will dry up! I also found a bed factory who advertised free offcuts to the public. The problem is storing it all. I also haven't had to buy any wood in a couple of years. I recently got another stove fitted in my kitchen - it's got a built in oven - which is great! I've been baking bread and roasting veggies, etc. so hopefully I'll be using less electricity (i.e. my cooker). My antennae is always on the lookout for pallets and skips!
  11. Just wondered how this year's wood womblers have got on. Have you found plentiful sources - or are you finding it more difficult to source your free wood? I scour Gumtree for leads and still 'skip dive' I think more people are doing the same, though.
  12. Yes, I read that article, too, and thought it was nonsense. I have 'broken' all the rules - as have my parents- who both grew old with few health problems. I think it's been put out by some greedy supermarket who is trying to generate sales. With regards to rice; my family has always reheated rice (thoroughly, of course) some of it 3 days old. We have never suffered ill effects.
  13. Did anyone watch Huw Fearnley- Whittingstall's programme the other evening? I would've been pleased to have grown parsnips as 'ugly' as the ones rejected by Morrisons! Hopefully this will prompt supermarkets to change policy. I often buy reduced items and save a bundle. What does everyone else do?
  14. You can plant certain types of onion sets (Japanese I think) and in a couple of weeks, you can plant lots of garlic! I've just planted some young leek plants. Do you go to Saddington car boot sale? There's a good dealer there who sells all sorts of brassicas and winter hardy veg plants.
  15. I've got a aluminium 8x6 with safety glass. Costs a bit more, but I feel safe knowing that the there won't be any large dangerous shards of glass lurking if those strong winds do take a panel out. So far in 8 years, nothing has happened. I use mine to start off young plants and later to grow the usual Mediterranean stuff. I've plant in tubs on slabs. If you do have slabs, put a layer of course grit down on top as it helps to keep slugs/snails away.
  16. I have a 6 year old Black Rock who still lays about 4 eggs a week. She's a big lovely girl.
  17. I've planted up some broad beans and spinach at the allotment today. Still have last years Swiss chard, kale and flat leaf parsley growing. Also picked first rhubarb of the season! It's an early variety but finishes before others.
  18. BBC Radio Leicester was interviewing some school children last week who were asked to sew little linen bags to hold Richard III's finger bones in the casket. Hope they didn't have nightmares! I spent weeks debating on whether to go into town to watch today's procession go past, but decided in the end to stay warm and watch the very good coverage on telly. All in all, It was a very moving ceremony and I think the decision to inter him at Leicester Cathedral was the right one.
  19. Here's an alternative response; I have a Greek rescue dog and she is absolutely wonderful. She is sweet and gentle and very, very loving and gets on well with my cats and timid children. I never planned on getting a Greek rescue dog and would have preferred one from the U.K. but at the end of the day, she needed a home and has found one and is absolutely the right dog for me. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152154298067364&set=pb.670947363.-2207520000.1425936492.&type=3&theater
  20. Definitely yes. I live in an end terrace house in a built up part of a village. My garden isn't that big and I can hear my neighbours' conversations, etc. too. I've had hens for 7 years now and have actually made more local friends through having hens than when I didn't. My next door neighbours have told me they enjoy hearing the hens (I've got more than 3 by the way) and I keep my neighbours sweet by giving them the occasional half dozen eggs. Don't worry!
  21. ...and another 'recipe' Saute some lightly cooked chopped kale or broccoli with garlic and chilli flakes and a little bit of anchovy with oil (optional) mix in cooked pasta (I love linguine) and served with grated parmesan. Yum...
  22. It's got 'ingredients', you've given us a 'method' therefore it's a recipe - albeit, a simple one!
  23. Been looking through my cupboard and found lots of tins of fish Think I'll try your pasta recipe!
  24. I felt it here in Leicestershire. Definite rumbly-roar and vibration at around 10.30 last night. Lasted about 10 seconds. My cats slept through it, but the dog cocked her head and looked alert.
  25. Sounds a good exchange! I love bartering. I often swap eggs and chicken poo for other things. Once I swapped for freshly caught trout - then had to go on Youtube to find out how to gut them. Still, I am developing all kinds of life skills

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