Saturday, 30 March 2013

Italian Celebratory Breads

 What do you do when it's too cold out to garden?
Schiacciata di Uva
Make Italian celebratory breads of course!

This first is a Tuscan Harvest loaf with raisins and fresh black grapes. It has a lot in common with a pizza.

Panettone is a traditional Christmas cake - but we're making it for Easter.  It's exquisitely light.

The Crumb Shot

I'm taken with the look of this one before it was baked:

Ready for the Oven
Good for calories, and a way of bringing a little sunshine into a cold spring.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Hot Cross Buns

Here's this year's batch of hot cross buns.

 I've followed Paul Hollywood's suggestions from the Easter Bake Off Masterclass in two respects - adding some apple and bunching them up close.  The first seems like a good idea, but don't cut down on the dried fruit like I did. The second makes piping the crosses easier when in mass production.  It looks more professional, but I think that mine are TOO close - and I don't have a problem crossing them individually and having more crust.  Home made HX buns are great!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

A Rude Awakening - 17 Inspections this Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today the temperature improved and there was a prolonged sunny spell so I ventured to the plot.

The garlic is still there and thriving...

 ...and the rhubarb is showing signs of activity
But the biggest surprise was to discover that I have already been inspected once and can expect 16 more this year.

Site Noticeboard Notice

This might be laughable if it wasn't for the adoption of a two warnings and you are out policy.

Why the need for this aggression from our landlord? The Council have raised annual rent every year by well above the rate of inflation (to £90 this year and £100 next year). Not content with squeezing a profit from one of the traditionally poorest sectors of society they now want the right to turf people off even when they are not in arrears on their rent. The world (or the part of it governed by Edinburgh Council) has gone mad!  Sadly our allotment society has not stood up for its members but instead been a guiding light in pursuing this policy of attacking its own fee paying members.

Last observation:  What is the "this" in "This will only be possible if photographs are taken when a plot holder has been issued with a second letter " in the last sentence?  Looks like a sensitive paragraph has been excised from this document.  Looks like there is rough weather ahead in 2013!

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Stealing a March

It's snowing again outdoors, but indoors something is stirring:

Broad Bean

The broad beans have not had any "extra" heat although they have appreciated indoor temperatures.  Now that they are coming through they will be turfed outdoors to get as much daylight as they can.

The other new starts are a bit more thermosensitive and need a bit of encouragement from this:

The Germinator
Lifting the lid:

Tomatoes, Celeriac, Parsley, Basil  -  Onions
Everything has come through, except for the parsley, a notorious slow germinator.

'Snow Joke

Edinburgh's been pretty cold of late.  Here's how the nursery beds looked last week

A bit of a nasty surprise for the daffs.

Since buying in my seed potato a couple of weeks ago the temperatures have plummeted. Today, Saturday, it's raining rather than snowing. Bad weekend weather means no plot visits, but I have stolen a march with some indoor sowings on the limited windowsill space we have. Will post about that next.