Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Weekend round up: planting potatoes and investigating sewage works

Four days at home. Bliss! The time seemed to be split between the allotment, making videos, trying out new wild foods recipes and visiting local places of historical interest.

So, I am now the proud owner of 4 furrows of potatoes on the allotment. In total that's 20 metres of spuds growing. Following the disaster of our crop last year, this time we meticulously planned what we were doing. So hopefully, this year we will have potatoes galore.

Local historical sites of interest visited were the Tanfield Railway, the world's oldest steam railway, which happens to be within walking distance of my house. And yesterday, we walked down to some woodland near our village where, a couple of weeks ago, I discovered a large set of foundations. A bit of research and I discovered the building was the sewage works built by Chester le Street Rural District Council in the early twentieth century. Maps suggested the site was out of use by the early 1950s. Since I had come across no references to the site in any histories of the area, David and I decided to explore the site a bit further and took cameras and video with us.

A weekend wouldn't go but without my coming up with new recipes for wild foods. I produced two. The first was a wild leaf salad consisting of dandelion, wild parsley, bramble shoots and hawthorn leaves, with a dressing made of raspberry vinegar. Very nice! The second was a wild garlic loaf. That's in my bag now, heading to London, along with two fillets of smoked salmon. I was give a food smoking kit for Christmas and we tested it out last night on a couple of piece of cheap salmon. The results are encouraging.

No weekend can go by without a Focus delivery. I did two patches.

And finally, back to food. We did a full check on the contents of the freezer. Quite why we have frozen tarragon, best before 1999, is a point we can't answer. I made a note of all the contents, though the really old stuff we decided to put out for the birds or put in the compost bin. Now I have to plot a series of meals to get the food used up. After all, we'll need the space soon for our first crops (and the ice cream we are planning to make).

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