Sunday, 26 June 2016

gardener, cook, kitten minder and charity volunteer

I'm off to Chelmsford bright and early to do a woodland charity talk, so have spent the interval since supper reminding myself how the presentation goes, reassuring myself that the projector still works, and mugging up on woodlands near Chelmsford.  And before supper I was cooking, having volunteered to take a turn this week.  Hence it is rather late to be blogging.

We shut the kittens in the study for the night earlier than we normally do, so that we could eat supper at the dining table with candles and music like grown up, sophisticated people without flying kittens landing in the food or setting themselves alight.  I mentioned the other day that squeaking was their new thing, and as they get more vocal they no longer suffer in silence locked away while they can hear human voices on the other side of the door.  Instead they squeak, penetratingly and piteously.  The sitting room is separated from the study by the hall, corridor and laundry room, including what used to be an external wall before the house was extended in the 1970s, and I could hear them squeaking from the sofa.  In the end I had to go and check that they were all right, although the Systems Administrator said that they would be, and they came shooting out of the study door like furry jet propelled rockets, with nothing wrong with them at all except that they could hear the party continuing without them.

Supper was a Claudia Roden recipe from her book of Mediterranean cooking for chicken with tomato and honey.  I hadn't done it before, but thought I'd better try and make a change from my default position of stewing chicken with tomato and rosemary.  It turned out to be a good recipe and I'd do it again.  It needs a very light hand with the cinnamon, which is a bullying spice if not treated cautiously.  I had meant to serve it with pita bread, but on opening Dan Lepard's book I realised that I should have started the dough off so that it could prove at least half an hour before I started thinking about it, so we ended up with rice.

My fine and handsome plants of Verbascum chaixii 'Album' which I raised from seed and have potted on by degrees into two litre pots have started flowering where the mullein moths have not eaten them, and there is nothing album about them.  They are all coming out yellow.  Quite a nice shade of pale yellow, like the whisked up yolk of a free range egg, but yellow.  Not white with purple stamens giving a mauve centre to the flower.  The culprit according to my spreadsheet of 2014 seed orders was Plant World Seeds.

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