April Snow

One week ago it was 21°(70°F).  We had a BBQ, David got sun burnt on a bike ride and I fell asleep in the garden.

Yesterday it snowed.

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Ne’er Cast a Clout…

There’s a Scottish saying: Ne’er cast a clout till May is oot.  It means don’t pack away your winter clothing until the end of May.  The following pictures show why this is sound advice in these parts…

Last Tuesday.  22 oC.  Sunny.  Still.

This Tuesday. 0 oC.  Snowy.  Windy.

Marco’s happy, at least.  He loves the snow.  🙂


027 a video by wjharrison on Flickr.

Smokey Tomato & Rice Soup

The days are starting to stretch and we have snowdrops under our birch tree.  I bought a bunch of daffodils at the supermarket last weekend and there’s a cherry tree down our road that has a few blossoms on it.  I’m not saying Spring is here or even that it’s on its way, but I am  slowly starting to remember what spring is like and that’s really rather nice indeed.

All this said, it was -5 oC this morning and my fingers almost dropped off scraping frost off the car.   Soup season is most definitely still here.  This one’s a cracker.  🙂

Smokey Tomato & Rice Soup

Olive oil

2 sticks of celery, finely chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

4 plump garlic cloves, finely chopped

25g rice

25g red lentils

1 tspn smoked paprika (you may need to increase this if your smoked paprika isn’t really smokey)

1 tspn paprika

1 tpsn cumin

½ tspn cayenne pepper or chilli powder (if your smoked paprika is hot you won’t need this  – taste the spices)

500g passata (sieved tomatoes – you could use normal tinned tomatoes but the consistency will be less velvety)

1.5 ltr chicken or vegetable stock (made from a cube is fine)

150g frozen sweetcorn

  • Heat a good splash of olive oil in a large pan.  Add the onion and celery and fry gently until softened (about 10 mins).  Add the garlic and spices to the pan and stir well.
  • Cook for another minute before adding the rice, lentils, passata and stock.  Simmer gently for 20 mins.  Add the sweetcorn and cook for a futher 10 mins until the rice and lentils are soft.
  • Season and serve.

The Veggie Plots

There were a few months there where I wasn’t at home very often.  It’s our first year in our new home and my intention had been to build some raised beds to start growing my veggies once again. Assumed it was going to have to wait for another year until my lovely partner, D, took it upon himself to do all the hard work for me.

So now I have two raised beds…

Things are beginning to happen in these beds…

And inside, every available sunny surface has been claimed by seedlings that have yet to be moved out side…

And those that will never see the great (but rather chilly) Scottish outdoors…

It’s all rather exciting. 🙂