29 May 2010

pottering in petersham, take two

A wet start to the Bank Holiday weekend, but what else is new? Luckily, Petersham is equally divine rain or shine.

The tables outside were flooded,

but the greenhouse seating was warm and dry. And with no crowds, there were plenty of cakes to choose from

and time to linger, discussing what we would be doing in the garden, if only it weren't raining...

while really feeling just-that-bit relieved by the reprieve!

But after a quick look round outside

and inside the shop, it was time to fly home for some nesting

(i.e. washing and tidying) because I'm on allotment cafe duty tomorrow, no matter what the weather!

28 May 2010

stitch cushions

The Cabled Throw having found a new home, we were much in need of something to hide our very well-worn couch. So we now have two Stitch Cushions, knit using the pattern in Erika Knight's Classic at Home, one in the rib version...

and one in the cable version,

and finished with handmade ceramic buttons from Mrs Moon.

Mrs Moon, my favorite knitting shop, is run by two lovely sisters (Susan and Karen), stocks the most gorgeous yarns (like Blue Sky Alpacas and MillaMia), and is just down the road from Petersham. Bliss! Now if only they sold couches...

26 May 2010

foodie favorites, part two

I love Peter's Yard Crispbreads. But while we were at La Fromagerie this weekend, I spied a new Swedish crispbread, and I couldn't resist:

Containing wholegrain rye and wheat flours along with linseeds and sunflower seeds, Malmo Nordic Dining Crispbreads are baked by Joakim Yngdén according to his great-grandmother’s recipe.

They're completely different from Peter's Yard Crispbreads. More substantial like a cracker, but still incredibly thin, and with a terrifically toasty taste. The perfect complement to a slice of Jarlsberg...or two, as they're quite big!

And searching the Malmo Nordic Dining website, I discovered our local cheesemonger, Teddington Cheese, also stocks the Rosehip Preserves. So it seems I now have my breakfast and snacktime completely covered, Scandi-style!

24 May 2010

rhubarb refreshment

I must admit I'm not as keen on rhubarb crumble as I should be, considering we have four very prolific plants. But all is not lost, as I've finally found a rhubarb recipe I love, Rhubarb Ice Cream:

Based on a Delia recipe, this ice cream is nothing short of amazing: the perfect balance of sweet and tart and so easy to make. And unlike most ice creams made without eggs, which set terribly hard in a home freezer, this one stays super smooth and creamy.

The ideal way to serve up a seemingly limitless supply of rhubarb, particularly on such an unseasonably hot and steamy weekend.

23 May 2010

brunch with bill, take two

While I may have been too tired to run the allotments cafe this weekend (see seedling sale) I'm never too tired to visit a cafe! So bright and early Saturday morning, G and I caught the train into London and made our way to La Fromagerie

for Spring Brunch with the fabby Australian (now London-based) chef, Bill Granger.

He made his signature Scrambled Eggs on Sourdough Toast; Ricotta Hotcakes with Strawberries, Honey, and Vardon Yogurt; and Zucchini and Feta Fritters with Spring Salad. Here he is tipping the peas into the salad, with Patricia Michelson (who owns La Fromagerie) in the background:

All the dishes were from Sydney Food and Bill's Food, both of which have super breakfast chapters.

Bill's Scrambled Eggs has been our go-to recipe ever since we first tried it: the eggs are gently folded rather than scrambled, resulting in a wonderfully light and creamy texture. And now I think his Ricotta Hotcakes could become a real weekend favorite, too. Already looking forward to next Saturday morning!

21 May 2010

seedling sale

More time on the plot has meant no time for blogging. With loads of help from Jo (and her heated propagator and greenhouse) we've been raising and planting out rows and rows of seedlings.

Sunday was also our annual Seedling Sale:

And despite an iffy weather forecast, it turned out to be our most successful sale ever. We sold a terrific number of tiny plants,

as well as seemingly endless mugs of coffee and tea and over 120 slices of cake. But I'm so glad I'm not on the cafe rota this weekend, because as brilliant as it was, I don't think I've quite recovered!