gardening with kids – new friends and allotment grown elevenses

toddler and dog playing ball at the allotment - nipitinthebud.co.ukLast week I visited the allotment for the first time with just Luca as Euan was at school and we’d not managed a weekend visit.  It was a beautiful sunny day and while we waited for Dave to arrive Luca made a new friend, a spaniel called Zac.  Zac kept picking up stones and dropping them at our feet as we talked to his owner Lesley.  She said he likes to play catch with stones but soon went off to find him a ball when we realised how good he was at intercepting every single throw and wincing at the clunking sound of stone on teeth.  Luca was in his element combining his love of balls and dogs and Mummy time.

Luca playing ball with Zac at the allotment - nipitinthebud.co.uk-1-3.jpg

boy and dog at the allotment - nipitinthebud.co.uk

toddler and dog at the allotment - nipitinthebud.co.uk

Allotment - toddler and dog playing ball

excited dog at the allotment - nipitinthebud.co.uk-1

Zac was getting so exhausted by the sun and ball play and we could see he would never voluntarily stop bringing the ball back to us.  So Luca and I said our farewell’s and headed down to Dave’s plot, not before stopping to say hello to some other allotment animals.

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We had a little explore while we waited for Dave to arrive.  I’ve always loved the ramshackled sheds at the allotment but over the years, as new plot holders have arrived, there have been more new ones cropping up.  I’ve always loved this shed which has gradually been grown over Virginia Creeper and turns an amazing red colour in the Autumn.  I encouraged L to go and knock at the door but he wasn’t at all keen!

allotment shed covered in Virginia Creeper  - nipitinthebud.co.uk

Our patch is coming along well and we picked some lettuce to take home.  We only have 2 carrots growing after our long weeks of waiting but it’s 2 more than last year!  Still no sign of our kohl rabi but I’m happy to see that the tomato plants we put in a few weeks ago are looking fab.   It’s thirsty work gardening so we always take our Oxo Tot twist top water bottle and on this occasion snacked on broad beans.

allotment thirsty toddler_oxotot twist top bottle - nipitinthebud.co.uk

thirsty toddler_oxotot twist top bottle - nipitinthebud.co.uk

It was the perfect time to pick the broad beans as there were very few black fly on them.  Dave plants his broad beans in November and I used to do this as well when I learnt that they escape the black fly by being ready to pick just that bit earlier than beans planted in February.allotment toddler in the broad beans - nipitinthebud.co.ukallotment toddler broad beans - nipitinthebud.co.ukallotment toddler eating broad beans - nipitinthebud.co.uk

We weren’t able to visit the plot at the weekend but hope to on Saturday.  So much changes when you can only visit every other Saturday.  Thank goodness we have Dave to keep an eye on things for us, especially with the upcoming heatwave next week.  If you’ve you’ve missed any of our other gardening with kids posts you can catch up with them by clicking the link.  Cheerio for now and happy gardening.

June 21, 2018 at 1:32 pm Leave a comment

foraging for elderflowers to make cordial (with a little help from my friends)

elderflower cordial making - nipitinthebud.co.ukI love foraging and I love making cordials but since having children little of either has happened. My last attempt to make elderflower cordial was with a 1.5 year old Euan and it took all of his nap time just to prepare everything. My resounding memory was how time consuming it was between the car journey to forage, de-bugging the flower heads, chopping lemons and sterilising bottles. I had over-picked last time which meant doubling up quantities and I reached a new realisation that making in bulk is not always the best option!
elderflower heads - nipitinthebud.co.uk
When my friend Sonia said she’d like to make cordial for the first time and offered the use of her kitchen if I wanted to join her I was so excited. Luca and I foraged the elderflower from our local park next to Euan’s school and we picked just the specified quantity for the recipe Sonia was going to follow. It felt like no effort at all, just a lovely outdoor pastime and we were even able to use foraging as one of our #30dayswild nature activities.
Toddler picking elderflower - nipitinthebud.co.uk
It was so simple to turn our foraging and preserving into a play date and social activity. It was a gorgeous sunny morning when Luca and I went out foraging and we played in the park for 45 minutes before picking so our flowers would be as fresh as possible when we arrived at Sonia’s. Luca was such a willing helper and the flowers were beautifully pungent. Folklore suggests picking on a dry, sunny day results in more flavourful flowers and this certainly seemed to be true for our resulting cordial. We also didn’t see a single bug on our flower heads so the timing was just right.
Toddler picking elderflower for cordial - nipitinthebud.co.uk
The preparation of the elderflower heads for infusing this time round was as simple as giving them a little shake to check for bugs before sitting them upside down on top of slices of lemons. Sonia had a beautiful glass dish and her careful layering of lemons and positioning of flower heads was like watching an artist at work. I was inspired by her diligent approach and resolved to take more care next time I prepare food as I’m rather slap dash, focusing more on the speed and convenience of getting it done than giving due care and attention to the task in hand.
elderflower cordial sliced lemons - nipitinthebud.co.uk
elderflower cordial making_flower heads - nipitinthebud.co.uk
When I’ve made cordial before I’ve followed the method from the River Cottage preserves handbook where you soak the flowers in water with lemon zest overnight and then add the sugar and lemons the next day. This suited me when I made it as I wasn’t keen on having a sticky mixture infusing on a hot day and with 3 cats in the house. Sonia’s recipe involved using her Thermomix to make a hot syrup and then pouring this over the lemon slices and flower heads. She left it on the counter top overnight and Luca and I returned the next day for bottling and tasting. The flavour was much more intense and finely balanced from all of the ingredients soaking together. Some recipes recommend leaving the infusion for up to 3 days but I think there’s a danger of the lemons going bitter when left that long.
elderflower cordial soaking - nipitinthebud.co.uk
Elderflower cordial bottled - nipitinthebud.co.uk
Our elderflower cordial was so delicious to drink. It’s going down well with the boys today who are both home with coughs and colds. Both the elderflower and the lemons with their vitamin C content will be giving their immune systems a boost. Sonia plans to use her cordial in cooking too starting with a favourite cake recipe which includes home made gooseberry curd (she’s quite the foody and a real inspiration for re-kindling my love of preserving and trying out different recipes).

Sonia’s Thermomix elderflower cordial recipe
25 elderflower heads (we had about 40)
1.5 litres water
1750g sugar
4 lemons thinly sliced
50g citric acid

  • Make a syrup with 1 litre of water and the sugar.
  • Slice the lemons and layer in the bottom of a glass or stainless steel container.
  • Place the elderflower heads stalks upwards on top of the lemons.
  • Sprinkle the citric acid over the top and pour in half the syrup.
  • Add the remaining 0.5 litre of water to the syrup and mix.  Pour over the flower heads and lemons, cover and leave at room temperature for at least 10 hours or overnight.
  • Strain the cordial through a fine sieve (we used a muslin) and pour into sterilised bottles or jars.  Once cool store in the fridge.

preserved elderflower lemons - nipitinthebud.co.uk
A happy outcome of making the cordial this way was that we ended up with beautiful preserved lemons. I always feel a bit wasteful when making cordials or jellies involves throwing away pulp I wish I could dream up a use for. My initial idea was to keep the lemons to simply add to a glass of water but I love them so much I’ve just been eating them straight from the jar. I’m never going to make elderflower cordial any other way from now on and Sonia and I have decided to instigate seasonal foraging play dates ever after. Perhaps we might even try some of these other elderflower recipes.
preserved lemons - nipitinthebud.co.uk

June 18, 2018 at 12:17 pm 3 comments

Siblings project |June 2018

Telly watching brothers - nipitinthebud.co.ukThis is my second month jumping in with the Siblings project and unlike the Me and Mine project where it’s hard to get a picture of all 4 of us, I have no shortage of pictures of the boys together. They’re so used to me grabbing my camera and Euan especially is really co-operative about being snapped. I’m still learning about how to get them both in focus at the same time but sometimes the blur or less photogenic faces are exactly what capture a moment or memory.  Birthday kisses for Daddy, shot on my phone at 7am, is a case in point!
Birthday kisses for Daddy - nipitinthebud.co.uk

I think ice lollies will continue to feature in blog posts for the next few months. Euan’s current faves are Nobbly Bobbly’s and Mystery Lollies (where the flavour is not what you’d expect from the colour ie. the orange lolly is apple flavoured, the green lolly is peach).  Luca loves these traffic light lollies.
Brothers with ice lollies - nipitinthebud.co.uk

We’re visiting the allotment as often as we can but between school and busy weekends it’s sometimes only alternate weekends (as you may already know from reading our various ‘gardening with kids’ updates).  It really warms my heart not only to see them developing a genuine enjoyment for growing and a knowledge about the plants there but also the commaradery between them when it’s time for a break or I task Euan to keep an eye on Luca while I pop to get some tool or other from the shed.  They both love Dave our allotment guardian.
brothers working at the allotment
allotment growers - nipitinthebud.co.uk

Having an allotment has been really helpful for completing some of our challenges to get out in to nature or carry out an act of random wildness as part of the Wildlife Trusts #30dayswild nature challenge. We’re halfway through and if you missed what we’ve been up to you can read about our first 15 days here.

We had a fab trip to Cornwall during half term. One of the highlights was the time we spent at the beach and simply noticing how children get absorbed by what their doing, often only looking up to connect with loved ones to share comments about what they’re making. At Perranporth beach we spent a lovely couple of hours quietly observing the boys in their separate activities – Euan digging a big hole to sit in and Luca making sand shapes or walking backwards and forwards to the water to paddle. From time to time Euan would call to Luca to come and look at his work which Luca would dutifully do, smile and nod an ”oh yeah” and then toddle off again!

My last photos really amuse me and were the result of remaining in the background when I overhead this conversation.

(Euan) ”Hey Luca would you like me to draw some tattoos on your foot?
You would. Well ok then, would you like a duck or a bird?
A duck, great. There you go then.

(Luca) ”oh yeah. Gack. Nice

The duck was actually on the top side of Ls feet. He liked them so much Euan drew another bird on the bottom of his foot. Luca then attempted a scribble of his own and this was the only photo I could get as he turned my attempts into a chasing game and was full of wriggly giggles. Some people might have prickled at Euan’s question to Luca and intervened but I didn’t feel it was necessary to set a limit at this stage. As predicted Luca was thrilled by both the experience and the result.
toddler tattoos - nipitinthebud.co.uk
Euan's tattooed feet - nipitinthebud.co.uk
Euan tattooed his own feet beautifully too and when he asked me if he could do more drawings on Luca’s arms I gently said ”I think tattooed feet is enough” to which E replied ”yes I think you’re right”.

The Siblings Project - Dear Beautiful
Debs Random Writings

June 15, 2018 at 12:39 pm 6 comments

#30dayswild with The Wildlife Trust – our activities for Days 1-15

We’ve been having so much fun with the #30dayswild nature challenge. I thought I’d log details of what we’ve been doing as I’m sure we’ll want to join in again next year. On days when we’ve not been able to venture very far the Wildlife Trusts #30dayswild app has been brilliant and provided us with suggestions for things we wouldn’t necessarily have thought of. Like cloud watching which we do sometimes anyway but hadn’t considered it a challenge option. It was perfect on a hectic Friday that included all the fun of the school fete.

Day 1 – adding our bumble bee sightings in Gloucester to the #GreatBritishBeeCount

Day 2 – playing, drawing and bee spotting in our friends garden in Stroud. Nothing extraordinary about that but when you don’t actually have a garden of your own and haven’t seen your friends since January it’s pretty special

Day 2 #30dayswild - nipitinthebud.co.uk

Day 3 – more bee spotting in Gloucester for the #GreatBritishBeeCount but our first honeybees and carder bees in a friends garden this time

Day 4 – an early start to day 4 of #30dayswild with the return of the school run. 4 snails, 1 spider, 3 black bugs (not sure what they are), some ants, 5 cats, a swath of self-seeded poppies. Not bad for a 10 minute urban walk. The bees weren’t up yet 🐝.

Day 5 – a visit to the park after school with our picnic tea and spotting honeybees in the hedgerow on the way home (having forgotten to take any pictures at the park!)

honeybee in the hedgerow - nipitinthebud.co.uk

Day 6 – inspired by Zoe’s Artworks #30dayswildlifedrawing we collected leaves and flowers on the walk home from school for our 6 year old artist Euan to sketch.

Day 7 – my favourite so far, a blissful morning digging for worms, running barefoot through the grass, mud painting rocks and sniffing leaves from the herb garden at a friends house. Life doesn’t get much better than this when you’re 2 (and what a fabulous nap this boy had after all that fun!)

Day 8 – inspiration from the #30dayswild app on school Fete Friday.

Day 9 – a busy day out with the boys as a tourist in our own City! No wildlife encounters unless you count having to say ‘Hello‘ to every dog we pass on any walk with Luca. We spent the day in town enjoying the celebrations to mark 1100 years since the death of the Warrior Queen Aethelflaed who thought off Viking invaders and re-built the City. St Oswalds Priory where Aethalflaed was buried was transformed into an Anglo-Saxon camp for the weekend and the boys were excited to hear George perform his Aethelflaed song, produced as part of his Spaces Gloucester music project, as part of the celebrations.

Re-enacting Aethelflaed’s burial at St Oswald’s Priory – https://twitter.com/Glos_Lad

Day 10 – birdwatching, albeit from our bedroom, using our National Trust binoculars to observe a nesting seagull on a chimney pot

birdwatching_nesting seagull - nipitinthebud.co.uk

Day 11 – visiting the allotment with Luca who made a new friend called Zac and spent a happy half an hour playing ball with him. Later on we spotted a squirrel and snacked on Dave’s broad beans.

Allotment - toddler and dog playing ball

Allotment - toddler podding broad beans

Day 12 – more collecting of leaves and sticks on the way home. Euan and I turned sycamore seeds into dragonflies – an idea I’d pinned years ago!

#30dayswild - day 11 sycamore dragonflies - nipitinthebud.co.uk

Day 13 – foraging elderflower heads with Luca to make into cordial

#30dayswild - day 13 elderflower picking

Day 14 – bottling our elderflower cordial with the happy accidental result of making preserved lemon slices!

Elderflower cordial making - lemon slices

Day 15 – a toddler paced wonder walk back from school simply noticing curious things along the way.

It’s been interesting to see how our focus on #30dayswild has waned a little with the busyness of school and hectic weekends so it’s been really good to have the Wildlife Trust’s app to turn to for ideas. Best of all has been following the hashtag #30dayswild on Instagram and Twitter and seeking inspiration from others taking part in the challenge. I wonder how our next 15 days will look …..

June 15, 2018 at 12:26 pm 4 comments

gardening with kids – foxgloves, fizzy pop and photos

cherryade treat after allotment work - nipitinthebud.co.uk
We’ve only been getting to the allotment every other weekend but with the warmer weather we’re beginning to see more rapid change from visit to visit. Since sowing our first seeds towards the end of April we now have carrots, beetroot, runner beans, shallots, tomatoes and lettuce coming up. Kohl Rabi and watercress are still keeping us guessing and we’ve got some plan B plants we can allocate to their seed beds if they don’t ever appear. There’s not much space for anything else but I just couldn’t say no when Dave offered some sweetcorn and potatoes so we planted one of each anyway!
6 year old weeding - nipitinthebud.co.uk

We had lots to do in a short space of time on Saturday but both boys were keen to help out. Euan was pleased that Dave had left out some rubber gloves for us – he’s not yet got used to the idea of mud under his nails! He was pleased to see how easily the weeds came out when pulled up from the roots. Luca was a bit too enthusiastic and I hadn’t thought to point out the fact that we’d finished when I turned to see him pulling up some of our precious few carrot seedlings. He’s still trying to master walking along the wooden plank that separates our growing area from Dave’s blackberry bush so a few things were trampled in his eagerness to help.toddler weeding - nipitinthebud.co.uk
Euan was concerned that a fox glove plant was growing on the edge of our plot and that Luca’s leg had brushed up against it. We had spoken to him last summer when Luca was less mobile about the risks for children and animals if they ingest any part of the foxglove plant. Euan is extremely conscientious with any information like that but I could see he was becoming agitated by the thought of Luca touching it. He was finding it harder and harder to be rational about the risk being in eating them (which Euan knew he would never do but wasn’t so sure about a curious toddler). I asked Dave if he minded us removing it for Euan’s peace of mind and he didn’t and as I managed to dig it out with it’s roots intact he re-homed it down on his plot in the area where he likes to sit on his bench and take a break. They are beautiful plants after all and the bees especially love them.

re-homing foxgloves - nipitinthebud.co.uk

We took a break after all that work and the boys were excited about having Dave’s special drink, watered down Cherryade. In all honesty I think it’s E’s favourite part of allotment visits because we don’t have fizzy drinks at home and he’s always keen to know if Dave will be there at the same time as us! I took some pictures of the boys having their drinks and invited Dave into the frame too. It was nice to also have proof that I’m at the allotment with them when Dave offered to take one of me with the boys.allotment growers - nipitinthebud.co.uk

Mum and boys on the plot - nipitinthebud.co.uk

Euan excitedly asked if he could take a picture too and as he’d had some practice using my camera while we were on holiday I was happy to let him. I think he did a really good job considering he’s much smaller than we are.6 year old photographer's photo - nipitinthebud.co.uk

”Can I take some more pictures of the allotment” he asked shyly and when I said yes he took himself off photographing flowers, plants and other interesting things. He has a lovely eye for spotting things and is really responsible about putting the strap around his neck and holding the camera carefully.
I may have to dedicate an entire post to his photo gallery if he keeps this up!As always we came away from the plot with some fresh produce from Dave. Euan thought the cabbage made a rather good hat!cabbage hat at the allotment - nipitinthebud.co.uk
We’ve also been taking part in two nature challenges this month – #30dayswild with The Wildlife Trust and the #GreatBritishBeeCount with Friends of the Earth, photographing and logging sightings of bees. They certainly love purple and pink flowers especially the foxgloves (although they were too fast to snap them as they zipped in and out of the lovely bells).

June 8, 2018 at 11:00 am 6 comments

#myhearty life May 2018 |gratitude| success| beauty|

#myheartylife – reflecting on the beauty in every day moments, reasons to be thankful and celebrating small successes.

Highnam Park - toddler spinning - nipitinthebud.co.uk-1

You may have noticed I stopped writing my weekly #myheartylife posts? I haven’t stopped feeling grateful or finding beauty in the every day moments but measuring successes as a stay at home Mum was proving a little harder. The #myheartylife linky was created by Mary at The Hearty Life and although she’s now closed it I enjoyed sharing the gratitude|success|beauty journey and the structure it gave me for writing more regularly.

I’ve started sharing #myheartylife posts as part of a weekly positive blogging community called #BestBootForward hosted by Kate on Thin Ice. There will come a point that I run out of previous posts so I thought it would be good to return to my reflections on a monthly basis as I really enjoyed the discipline of a gratitude practice. I’ve been reading a book called ”Better than before” in which Gretchen Rubin explains why some people are good at doing things for themselves and some people aren’t and need some sort of external accountability to remain motivated. Gretchen writes about four tendencies (personality profiles) which relate to your ability to meet external or internal expectations. I fall into the category of Obliger, a person who responds productively to external pressures (even though I hate the anxiety and fear that creates in me) but let myself down constantly by not following through with the things that would benefit me, even things I take pleasure in. Gretchen explains that as an Obliger I need to create a sense of external expectation in order to help me keep a commitment to myself. For example, I’m unlikely to stick to healthy eating choices simply because logic says I should or because it’s sure to benefit my own health but am highly motivated by the wish to be healthy and strong for my boys.

So I’m going to set the intention of writing each month about a few of the things that have brought me joy, some of the things I’ve struggled with and what I’ve learned along the way. I welcome your thoughts in the comments especially about what you’re feeling thankful for.

I am grateful for…
The month of May and double bank holidays. I’ve always loved May for the sudden changes you start to see in the garden and the lightness of spirit that comes with warmer weather. We had a wedding in Falmouth over the second bank holiday weekend with George’s family and extended our stay in Cornwall to spend time with one of G’s oldest friends from school. It was our first break away this year and relaxed beach days with lots of fresh air and play were just what we needed.

Helston_George and Euan

George’s birthday was in May too but juggling his various freelance jobs conspired to squeeze the time and energy he had for celebrating so I’m planning a re-run birthday lunch for him in June instead. While George’s month has been filled with work and little downtime Euan’s has been filled with wonder and excitement. He had a school trip to Cotswold Wildlife park and spent the day at Cub camp where his highlight was doing archery. My highlight was special time with my big boy at Giffords Circus where Euan was mesmorised by the difference circus acts and laughed loud and long whenever his favourite circus clown Tweedy appeared. I was so grateful to George for making space in his schedule to have Luca so I could take Euan.Giffords Circus - nipitinthebud.co.uk

Giffords Circus - nipitinthebud.co.uk

I succeeded at …
Selling more things on Ebay. I’ve been having a bit of an on-going de-clutter (not at all the method recommended by Konmari who first sparked my urge to reduce the amount of tidying we have to do by having less stuff). I’d listed several items on Ebay and was disappointed when they didn’t sell and in fact a few hadn’t even been viewed. I sought the advice of a friend who runs an Ebay shop and she gave me some pointers about how to describe items (who knew you can’t say ”velcro-fastened” shoes without Ebay hiding your listing because it breeches the use of the trade mark Velcro!). My friend also suggested listing as ‘Buy it now’ instead of as an auction. This made total sense when I realised that shoppers looking for particular items want it immediately rather than waiting for an auction to end. I’m not about to make my fortune with the £2-3 items I’m selling but I’m happy to say I’ve just packed up my 26th item. For me it’s more about re-homing good quality items and avoiding landfill than making money (unless it’s the kids toys and then I love being able to give them the money for their piggy banks). Although I could just donate to my local charity shop I think sometimes it just creates a headache for them to get rid of stock if they then find it doesn’t sell. Old technology like DVDs is a case in point and when we had our last purge we used MusicMagpie to recycle them instead.toddler with wooden ice cream - nipitinthebud.co.uk

On a mental/emotional level I succeeded at keeping a commitment to myself to attend a Mum’s group in Stroud run by Hand in Hand parenting instructor Steph Parker. I’ve had to miss the last couple of meet ups as G’s work had been falling on weekends but I made it to the May get together. George appreciates that I’m a better Mum to the boys when I have a little bit of time to myself in a space that provides support and encouragement and practical tools for creating closer connections with our children and skills to handle the challenges parenting throws up more calmly. I’ve written about Hand in Hand parenting before here and if you’re in the season of bringing up children I really recommend looking at the Hand in Hand website. There is a Hand in Hand parenting podcast which is brilliant if you’re an audible learner like me and an amazing variety of resources on their blog . Hand in Hand parenting founder Patty Wipfler has written a book called ”Listen: five simple tools to meet your everyday parenting challenges”.

I found beauty in …
Watching my 6 year old son dance his heart out at Giffords Circus. At the end of the grand finale the circus performers were reaching into the audience to help children over the barrier and into the ring. I turned to tell Euan that children could go down and join them but not before hesitating for a few breaths. It was as if I was the 6 year old child being invited down and my instinct was to hang my head and shyly refuse! For a split second I had wondered if he’d have a moment of uncertainty and want me to go down with him and I knew I didn’t want to for me but that I would for him. What was so beautiful was that the words had barely left my lips and he’d shot up and out of his back row seat and was flying down the steps two at a time. He was so topped up from a brilliant show in which he laughed and smiled and whispered ”wow look Mummy, that’s amazing” over and over that he had no hesitation or fear about joining in. He danced and twirled and this photo just makes my heart sing. I’m so happy he doesn’t have the insecurities I carried through childhood and most of my adult life and still have to activate the mute button on sometimes.Giffords Circus - happiest boy in the world

My heart sings for Luca more and more each day as well – turning two has brought with it more words, cute-isms and cheekiness. Luca’s always communicated surprisingly well with few words but it’s delightful now he’s putting two words together to such great effect and accompanying his talking with such sweet little tilts of the head or quirky actions. If he falls and gets hurt it’s a ”ba-bang’‘ and he stops to point at every ”arrar”, ”niaow” and ”gack”* on our walk to school.  He enquires ”alright?’‘ if he sees someone is hurt and if Euan cries he silently moves over to him and strokes his head (not always welcome if he’s been part of the cause of big brother’s tears!). Luca’s first three word sentence was ‘‘Mumma milk pleasch” and he’s recently discovered the word ”now” so is peppering his requests with it to great comedic effect.  Luca still can’t say Euan (Eudon has been the closest) but happily potters around the allotment calling ”Hiya Dave” or gifting every passer by a cheery ”bye bye”. It really is such a privilege to watch a little human grow and develop new skills every single day of their life. And an even greater gift to know that you have a hand in making their life experience the best it can be. There’s beauty everywhere in the ordinary moments.

What have you found beauty in this month? Are you celebrating your successes or making a regular practice of gratitude? I’d love to hear what little strategies you practice to create more contentment in your life.

* dog, cat, bird in case you didn’t guess!
Keeping it real logo - debsrandomwritings.com copy

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June 6, 2018 at 1:47 pm 7 comments

Five ways with … a ton of carrots

CANVA - 5 ways with Carrots for Pinterest

The last time I completed a ‘Five ways with .. ‘ post was a few months ago but it had actually stalled in my drafts folder for over 5 years. Five ways with … a ton of rhubarb was finally completed when a blogging friend accepted my request to include a couple of her recipes. Choclette’s gorgeous blog was one of the first I came across when I started blogging in 2009. At that time it was entirely devoted to chocolate recipes, now I don’t think there’s a fruit or vegetable that hasn’t been experimented with in Choclette’s kitchen. Choclette’s willingness to share her recipes inspired me to approach my next ‘Five ways with ..’ post as a curator of recipes from some of my favourite bloggers and a chance to highlight some interesting ways with carrots you might not have previously considered.  In researching this post I came across more than five ways of course so I’ll include five more ways with carrots at the end.  With thanks to Choclette, Shaheen, Jacqui and Camilla for the inclusion of their recipes (click Twitter links for regular inspiration and recipes).  So here are my For now here are my current favourite recipe ideas for using a ton of carrots.  Happy peeling!

Carrot, lentil and spinach souprecipe posted by Jacqui at Tinned Tomatoes

Carrot, Lentil and Spinach Soup - Tinnedtomatoes

Roasted Carrot Hummusrecipe posted by Camilla on Powerhungrycamilla

Roasted carrot hummus - Powerhungry Camilla

Vegan Smoked Carrot Salmonrecipe posted by Shaheen at Allotment2Kitchen

Smoked carrot salmon - Allotment2Kitchen

Carrot picklesrecipe posted on Choclette’s Tin and Thyme blog

Carrot pickles - TinandThyme.uk

Curried apple and carrot chutney recipe posted here on my blog

curried-apple-and-carrot-chutney_spices.jpg

5 more ways with carrots that piqued my interest on Pinterest:

4 ingredient high protein carrot star biscuits

Healthy baked carrot crisps

Carrot, sweet potato and feta fritters

Carrot cake flapjacks

Parmesan roasted carrots

If you enjoyed this carrot roundup post you might find something you like in my other posts ..

Five ways with .. a ton of apples

Five ways with .. a ton of beetroot

Five ways with .. a ton of damsons

Five ways with .. a ton of rhubarb

June 1, 2018 at 3:19 pm 5 comments

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Welcome to my blog about growing and cooking allotment veg since 2009 and growing sweet boys since 2012. Take a walk with us through our life in Gloucester with a boy, a baby and 3 cats.

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E's handiwork making "LOVE" out of rocks, filmed by @chriswatkinsmedia ,for George's #spacesgloucester music project. The perfect way to end the longest day and doubling up as a #30dayswild activity. Fab. @gloswildlife
Euan on Selsley Common with @musicalgeorgemoorey marking day 21 of #30dayswild with a bit of filming with for George's #spacesgloucester project
#gardeningwithkidsisfun - our latest allotment update is now on the blog (no Euan this time but a new playmate for L and broad beans at snack time). #nipitinthebudblog #gloucesterlife #allotmentgardening #growingwithkids #growyourownveg
It's just as well we're a cat family with no garden or this little fella would have persuaded us all to get a dog by now! #gloucesterlife #nipitinthebudblog
We've got the window cleaners in! #gloucesterlife #nipitinthebudblog #putyourkidstowork
I adore giraffes so on #worldgiraffeday here's my most prized hand made gift made by a friend when our beloved Euan was born. #gloucesterlife #nipitinthebudblog
This is so brilliant - a map of Gloucester produced for Gs #spacesgloucester music trail - see SpacesGloucester.com for more info @musicalgeorgemoorey @georgeawmoorey #gloucesterlife
Lunch served on a bed of allotment grown lettuce to make up for the distinct lack of a certain green ingredient from my Greek Salad (I can't really call it that anyway as I can't resist adding balsamic vinegar). #nipitinthebudblog #gloucesterlife
Easily the best event at Es sports day - bundle Daddy 😍 #gloucesterlife #nipitinthebudblog @musicalgeorgemoorey @georgeawmoorey
Bottled sunshine #eldefflowercordial #nipitinthebudblog #gloucesterlife
My fab little elderflower forager #nipitinthebudblog #gloucesterlife #foragersdelight #foragingisfun
It's the season - elderflower cordial making. Everything about this activity was sheer delight from picking with L to making with a friend. And the smell and taste, so yummy. Details on the blog (link in bio)

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