madelinekelly: freaky bug-eyed alien fractal (Default)
posted by [personal profile] madelinekelly at 11:30am on 14/06/2008 under , ,
I was teaching a girl on Wednesday whose parents keep sheep as a kind of hobby. At the end of the lesson her mum handed me a plastic bag dripping with blood, and said, "You're not still vegetarian, are you?" And thus I became the proud owner of some free meat -- shoulder of lamb, to be exact.

I panicked about it a bit. I may not be vegetarian any more but I'm still not totally comfortable with the rules of hygiene when it comes to meat. It was much easier being vegan. Anyway, long and boring story short, I stole mum's Jamie Oliver At Home cookbook, and some rosemary and mint out of her garden, and followed Jamie Oliver's instructions for slow roasting the lamb shoulder (four hours in the oven! I'm trying not to feel guilty about electricity consumption) on a bed of rosemary and garlic, with mashed potatoes and carrots, boiled cabbage, and a gravy made of the roasting juices, mint, stock and wine vinegar. Oh, it was tasty. With the extra thrill of being cheap (free meat, free (stolen) herbs, free (allotment) cabbage). And there's still plenty of meat left over for another couple of meals this weekend.

The cheeky postman has just delivered my new bra. He was not cheeky about this, although he could've been. Instead he tapped repeatedly on our living-room window, and made suggestions that the lettuce seedlings growing on the windowsill were actually cannabis. Cheeky bugger.

My new bra fits. It's the same size as the new bra I ordered last month, which didn't fit (too small), which was the same size as the bra I ordered months and months ago that did fit. I don't know what to make of this -- maybe I should just be pleased that I now have two bras that fit properly.

Gordon Brown makes me sad. I've seen and read fictional tragedies, and always thought that they could never happen in real life because no-one would be that stupid. And there he is, being that stupid. He thinks he's won the government, but he's actually lost the country. Idiot.

And yesterday I went to the allotment.

I didn't do much, because of laziness. The pumpkin seedlings under the upturned jam-jars looked a little cramped, so I let them out. The poor little things were all twisted and hunched and looked afraid of the light and the fresh air -- like the kids running out of the mines into the sunlight in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Remembering that last time I released a pumpkin plant from the jam-jar it mysteriously vanished overnight, I scattered slug pellets everywhere (organic principles be damned), then covered the bed with fleecy stuff to protect them from the cold night air. Hopefully they're still there right now. We'll have to go and check later. I really want the pumpkin patch to work this year: we've had a run of bad luck in the last three or four years, with plants dying or vanishing or simply not growing. I just want some pumpkins! *wails*

The greenhouse got a good watering, during which I noticed that some of the tomato plants have started fruiting.

Tomatoes! Wheeee!

I harvested the fattest cabbage (for eating with the lamb). It's the first home-grown cabbage we've ever eaten. I can confirm that it tasted exactly like cabbage. And I harvested the fattest lettuce, which we haven't eaten yet but previous experience suggests it will taste slightly better than shop-bought lettuce.

Last year's leeks have bolted. When vegetables bolt it means they give up growing more leaves or getting fatter etc and instead put all their energy into producing stems then flowers then seeds. They don't taste as good once they've bolted. Good varieties are often described as "slow to bolt". Lettuce is terrible for bolting if you let the soil dry out for too long. Anyway, the leeks have bolted, which means there's a hard stem shooting up through the centre of each one, and promising bulbous lumps have appeared at the top. Eventually these will burst open to reveal globes made of lots of tiny purple flowers. I deliberately left the leeks in the ground for too long so that they would bolt -- they'll add height and colour to the allotment, provide food for bees, and make me smile whenever I look at them.

The redcurrants and gooseberries are almost ready to harvest. I wish we had a freezer. There's only so much jam you can eat in a year.


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