Today, we finally made some progress on the garden!
The raised bed now has soil and some plants (peas, odourless onions and pickling onions, beetroot, and cauliflower… Half are seeds, and the rest are seedlings).
We also began the Citrus Grove. Around the pool, the plan is to have a mass of citrus, and a few frangipani (that and roses are currently the only non-food plants we’re planning).
So today we put in Puggle’s Blood Orange (a sixth birthday present), a Eureka Lemon (because it’s not an Australian backyard without a lemon:-) ), and an Okasii Mandarin… Early fruiting, seedless, and easy to peel.
We also picked up some Marjoram and Thyme seedlings to stick in the herb garden across the back fence.
Cygnet planted out some watermelon seeds in what will be one of the rose gardens. Not sure that they’ll do much, as it’s currently unreticulated, and the seeds were kind of old… But it’s worth a try:-)
Previously, I used freecycle to get rid of a stack of non-food plants, and we’ve moved a bushy Rosemary (from what will be the asparagus bed) to beside the front gate.
At this point, the only part of the garden we haven’t begun is the orchard.
And the best bit is that everything we bought, we planted!
Puggle’s first attempt at pastry was used for tonight’s dinner. The Crème Patissière was reasonably straightforward, but the piping was a bit of a challenge, mostly from an equipment perspective. We think we have it sorted now, though.
The chocolate on the top wasn’t particularly nice and glossy, but the kids aren’t fans of dark chocolate, so we cut it with a bit of milk, and spread it very sparingly. They were delicious—and there’s some left for my supper (and yet-to-be-filled spares for our visitors tomorrow night:-) )
Bilby’s dinner contribution. I did help with cutting the onion—and with carrying the hot/heavy things. But she did the challenging bits herself, and don’t have any lumps in the white sauce.
This wasn’t her only cooking today. She also made Doughnut Muffins for afternoon tea, after our bookclub discussion of “Charlotte’s Web” (because doughnuts are often mentioned:-) ). I was busy preparing for the discussion, so she did them completely independently (including reading the recipe!) Pretty good for six and a half…
No photos of them because the kids demolished them:-) the adults only just managed to get one:-)
(And it turns out they weren’t the Doughnut Muffin recipe I thought we were making, so we’ll have to make that one soon. I think that the Jam Doughnut Muffins were a little better than these.)
This is Puggle’s first attempt at pastry. He was more nervous about attempting it than I can recall him everhaving been about anything to do with cooking! But they appear to have turned out ok… Tomorrow he’ll make the Crème Patissière, and we’ll see how they actually are:-)
I recently acquired a Madeleine tin (petit four sized—because who can resist tiny bite-sized treats?). Finally, I got around to making some:-) not quite the delight I remember, but I have a couple of other recipes to try. I must remember to do smaller quantities though—120 is a little excessive for everyday:-)
Bilby’s dessert (although with more help than usual, because she was sick. Weird recipe though… I was quite glad to do it, so I could see how it worked. The last cake we made using this method barely even succeeded as a biscuit!)