Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Flapjacks and Home Grown Veg


Good afternoon, how are you today? Well, I hope? Enjoying the warm, autumnal sunshine? It's glorious here today, I would have taken myself for a walk down the lane to enjoy the last of the year's good weather, but Dom accidentally took both sets of keys to work, so I couldn't lock the house! Never mind, an uneventful but pleasant day passed, with some surfing, baking and plenty of knitting. And a measure of Murder, She Wrote.

I wanted to share with you some of the pictures of our garden. We have quite a small vegetable garden and an 8ft x 6ft greenhouse, but we like to put every inch to good use. For example, here are the runner beans scambling up the fence by the children's swing and slide


We've not seemed to do so well with any sort of beans or peas this year - last year we harvested 22lb of runner beans! I'm not sure whether the new location is too dry, the weather was unfavourable this year, or whether some other force is at play. I intend to research over winter to inform our planning next year.

The courgettes, pumpkins, squashes and marrows have been brilliant. I just love their rotund confidence, their bright, brassy yellow flowers and the fact that scramble over one another in such a disorganised way. They went in a new bed at the back of the garden; our cat TC was often seen curled sleepily around a pumpkin dozing in the warm sunshine.


We have made every effort to enjoy the fruit we've grown - including the six blackcurrants and two raspberries! Again, this was not an area of success, although we had wild blackberries growing in the hedgerow and these have done very well indeed.


I haven't got any pictures, but carrots, onions and beetroot seem to have done well again. Our perpetual spinach looks like it's starting to grow; that kept us going most of last winter. Fingers crossed it makes a reappearance. All our herbs and salad leaves were disappointing this year, though.

Finally I wanted to show you our tomatoes, a hybrid called 'hundreds and thousands.' Like the name suggests, you should be able to harvest hundreds and tiny, grape sized tomatoes from each plant. At the moment we have about dozen from six plants, but I haven't given up hope yet!


Pottering about in the garden is one of my favourite ever things to do; our whole family gets a great deal of pleasure. It makes me very excited to be able to share the fruits of our labour with you! 

Finally, yesterday I promised to share my made-up-on-the-spot recipe for lemon and honey flapjacks. A whole tray lasted two days in this house, which is testament to how they tasted, I believe. I love cooking 'off piste' but rarely is something made-up as good as these.

Lemon and Honey Flapjacks


250g porridge oats

150g butter

75g honey

75g sugar

75g sultanas

2 lemons, zested and squeezed


  1. Heat the oven to gas mark 4 and grease a baking tin approx 20cm.

  2. Melt the butter, sugar and honey in the microwave, or in a pan

  3. Mix the oats into the liquid and stir well.

  4. Add the sultanas, lemon zest and juice ensuring it is evenly combined

  5. Put the mixture into the tin, and press down firmly with the back of a spoon to ensure the flapjack sticks together.

  6. Bake in the middle of a pre-heated oven for 25-30 mins. It should be golden and brown around the edges when it is done. It may still appear quite liquid, but will solidify as it cools. Cut into pieces whilst still hot, but leave to cool in the pan.



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