Friday 24 April 2020

Blossom and Baking in Lock down

I realise I have taken far too many pictures of our apple blossom. We have quite a lot of trees with the blossom (and subsequent apples!) spanning a few weeks. To help with the fertilisation we have two crab apples.
John Downie. almost finished here, there will be sudden drop of petals like snow, from this in the next couple of days.

Here is Golden Hornet, the buds started opening a couple of days ago. The very many small yellow apples making a great show later in the year.
 This is the blossom of Arthur Turner. This picture doesn't do it justice. I might try again for a better ;picture. This cooker is known for it's lovely blossom.
 Here is Grenadier, another cooker, with far too many blossoms really to produce good sized fruits for processing. Hopefully there will be a good June drop to reduce the number of fruits. If you think this pic is a little out of focus it is because the sprinkler is playing on it!
 Enough apple blossom for now methinks. Onto baking...
The neighbour who left me some fresh yeast ( I left a loaf on HER doorstep) asked if I needed any more and how was I doing for flour? Well I'm getting down my stocks pretty quickly and each week my personal shopper (grandson J.) looks to see if any is available, which so far it hasn't been. " I shall ask the baker at work" she says.
 Ta da!......16kg of Bread flour! (and 8 ounces of fresh yeast)

 A bake with just two ounces of the yeast this afternoon. Three different sized loaves, Tea cakes and jam doughnuts. I divided the yeast into individual ounce packets which are now in the freezer. The tea bread isn't a yeast mix. I made a pot of tea last night and then answered the phone. After 20 minutes it was not fit to drink so true to my handle I couldn't waste it and  made a tea loaf.
 This post is a little picture heavy but can't resist this pic of our front lawn. Yes lawn ! David says we can't possibly cut it until the dandelions have finished flowering as they are so useful to the bees. I can't argue with that, but the neighbours might!! Note four of our hives against the far wall.
That is more than enough for now. Lock down is still more than manageable here. I do worry about my eldest daughter who is isolated in her apartment in Jersey. It must be a lonely way to be.
I was going to finish with a few word about Donald Trump, but for once words fail me!
All for now, Back soon from a beautiful sunny Derbyshire
PS I have a couple of new followers. but when I click on their photos I get no information whatsoever.  so cannot name them when I extend a  warm Derbyshire welcome .

Wednesday 22 April 2020

Even more random thoughts from isolation

 Hello Isolators!
Well, it is nearly five weeks since David and I went outside the homestead. If someone had told me that I would survive this amount of time with  just my husband and be perfectly happy I would have snorted in disbelief!  We have been absolutely fine! Mind you the weather has helped as we are outside most of the day, prepping the veggie plots, sawing/chopping wood, organising bee equipment and other sundry smallholdy stuff. I am almost hoping for rain so that I can attack the indoor jobs and projects. It's a good job that we can have no visitors because the house is ditched!
We are finding items left at the gate for us. So far there has been a bag of vegetables, some loo paper, a box of purple sprouting brocolli, three seperate deliveries of home made ale and yesterday some fresh yeast!! ( I can hear you getting excited )
Though we live in a village it is not the chocolate box type. with a village green, pretty church and thatched cottages. Our village is really a line of houses along a main road. That road is usually pretty busy as it is on the road to the Peak District one way and the M1 the other. It has been pretty quiet recently, which means we can shout across the road to each other. Our stretch of the road have been clapping for the NHS each Thursday and recently a guy from the other side of the road suggested we go into our front gardens at 3.00 last Sunday with a cup of tea (or beer) for a social social isolating. It was a great idea and we sat there chatting away for nearly two hours until tea. A little music was played and we sang along to a few old (cheesy) favourites.
 Anybody else playing having a nosey at the bookshelves in people's homes? While reporters, personalities etc are isolating and speaking from their homes they are usually in front of their bookshelves, which I much prefer to a bunch of flowers or a shelf full of ornaments. (Mind you I was impressed by Richard E Grant's dresser, which was full of interesting pieces of china and a couple of impressive candlesticks!) I find I am looking head to one side trying to read the titles and feeling ridiculously smug if I have the same book.
In my last post I spoke of finding parts for a couple of Edison Phonographs.  I was delighted to be contacted by someone we know to say she believes her husband could get the drive belts. He delivered said belts within a couple of days ! Thanks Rissa and Steve, We were able to play a cylinder that night... what a dreadful noise! My friend has many more cylinders and when we are able to meet up with him again we hope to listen to something a little less hurtful on the ears.
 On a similar subject, I have just realised that it is the Repair Shop followed by The Great British Sewing Bee tonight. Now that's what I call good viewing. Off to fetch some ice, back soon with some pics I have taken of the apples blossom, which is spectacular this year.
Back Soon