I’m always on the lookout for new bits and pieces for the garden, not necessarily always plants though. I recently picked up an old patio chair that someone no longer had any use for and had thrown away. I think that Gary thought that I had lost the plot!!! The old chair had plastic straps across the seat which weren’t really strong enough for what I wanted, so Gary replaced them with metal strips. Then armed with a spray can of metal undercoat and a pot of very pretty blue paint, I got to work transforming the dull old grey chair into a piece for the garden. I love the final result and can’t wait for the ivy geranium to get growing and mingle in and out of the pretty blue structure. On the same outing I also managed to get a small broken base of a metal table that has been turned upside down and secured in the raspberry patch – it is holding a little pot ready to be planted up – and then there was the rack from an old golf buggy that I have pushed into the ground and placed an old baking dish filled with stones on, and then topped it with a pot of strawberries – What a wonderful treasure hunt…
While 2017 had it’s dreadful lows, as we moved through the year, things seemed to improve and get better and better. In fact, by the end of the year, we were looking forward, with great excitement, to 2018.
Gary and I deliberately chose to stay at home on our own for New Year’s Eve this year, and with that in mind, I decided to plan a special meal. Using only what I had in the garden and the fridge, freezer and larder, the menu was set, and preparation began the day before. Meat was taken from the freezer, jellies were made and set, and a terrine prepared. The star of the show was to be a beautiful piece of venison that we had purchased, from the farm gate, while in Bright earlier in the year. It was a knuckle, so had to be cooked long and slow… This meant messaging a great friend, Fabien, in Paris, as he had prepared a shoulder of venison in a similar manner during one of our visits to his mother’s (my very dear friend, Véronique’s) home a few years ago. While the method for the cooking of the venison was quite simple, it would need seven hours in the oven! This gave me the idea of eating our way into 2018.
During the afternoon, leading to New Year’s Eve, I wandered around the garden picking a small basket of flowers. Carefully arranged in a bowl with a large candle in the centre, they became the centrepiece of a small table set with crystal stem-ware and serviettes.
And then another trip to the garden, this time the vegie patch, and I had the edible flowers to adorn the plates…
This week I held a one-on-one cooking class for a wonderful new friend, and fellow volunteer from the Garden for the Community at Stratford, Maggie. She wanted to learn how to make my gluten free Weed Pies – I continue to be fascinated how popular these pies are. I did a blog on them last year and whenever I serve them up they are a hit – they have been served at lunches, morning teas, even the opening of the local Stratford Shakespeare Festival a couple of months ago! Continue reading