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Tuesday 11th August, 2015
Category: 2015/08
Tags: garden veggies vet

Alfie got to try out his brand new car seatbelt harness yesterday when we had a little trip to the vet for his first set of vaccinations. The poor thing shivered and shook in the vet's room (possibly recalling his last visit there when he returned home sans balls).  He has to go back once more for the second set of jabs and then he's all clear for another year.

Getting this done is just one of an ever increasing list of jobs I seem to be facing and not tackling. I need to get the car MOT'd (cue the dreaded drive across the pit of doom), renew the car and house insurances, order firewood for next year and arrange to have it chopped up, source and buy straw bales for the next phase of operation 'never weed the veggie patch again', see about getting someone to make a firedoor for my open fireplace to make it a bit cleaner and more efficient, organise someone to come and feed the animals whilst I'm away in a couple of weeks time, give the car a well overdue service, investigate buying or pinching the big stack of pallet boards which have been loitering outside the closed dairy building down the road...

Maybe my list is too big, though I suspect the real reason behind my current inaction is that many of them involve the daunting task of phoning/walking up to unknown Bulgarians, attempting conversation and risking looking like a complete wally. Instead I fritter the time away in the much less stressful surroundings of my garden, picking veggies and trying to find new and exciting ways of stashing them for winter.

The tomatoes are doing great so far this year thanks to the hot weather and lack of torrential rain which last year caused so many of the plants to just wither away and rot. There are already several bags in the freezer and I'm now experimenting with drying the cherry tomatoes using the little greenhouse:

 Before...

 ... after

 

So far one rack has been done and the second lot are currently out there shrivelling nicely.

The onions are all hanging in bunches in the shed though I need to investigate ways of preventing them from sprouting in early spring. This year many of them became unusable from around March time as they sprouted green shoots and the onions themselves became soft. I've got some thick paper bags which I might tape around the bunches to keep the light out though no doubt a bit of Googling will give me more ideas.

The shed became a bit of a blood bath the other day when I processed some of the remaining beetroots out there. The other week I put an experimental bag of raw grated beetroot in the freezer to see what it would be like when defrosted, and happily it didn't turn to complete mush but retained it's texture and flavour. So yesterday I peeled and chopped another half dozen beets and put them through the food processor to grate them before squeezing out as much fluid as possible and then bagging them up in single portions.

The courgettes seem to go from being cute little four inch veggies to giant marrows in the blink of an eye if you're not careful.

 

I've used some of the bigger ones to make tagliatelli type ribbons which are quite tasty with a pasta sauce, and have several batches of a kind of frying pan sized courgette fritter made by adding eggs, flour, oil, onions, cheese and ham to the grated courgette and baking in the oven.

Ah well, enough blogging. Time to go and tackle the wretched list of jobs. Wait a minute though... is that a ripe tomato I spy in the garden?

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