Sunday, 24 October 2021

A last lunch in the garden?

 With Autumn well and truly here it looks as though eating in the garden might be a thing of the past or a few months, though remembering last year when we ate outside in the depths of winter due to lockdown, perhaps not? As it might be, as I set the table for a little lunch today I thought I'd take a few photos to remember it. I am never sure when people post things like this if it all set up for the 'gram, but we have truly loved a beautifully set table for a long time, and honestly, often they don't seem to photograph too well so I get frustrated and don't bother. Today, however, they seemed to come out nicely, and I managed to avoid the trampoline in the background! 

It's autumn and the dahlias are still flowering so I set the table using the small white pumpkins and dahlias as a little theme and then used my new placemats and napkins from Zara home, alongside vintage Burleigh tableware and cut glass wine glasses and this lovely Provence rose wine which honestly I started buying for the bottle but keep buying for the flavour. 

There's not too much else to say so I'll pop the photos here, too often I am discouraged from posting as I don't have much to say alongside, but more often I think people are just here for the pictures in any case!

Please do ask if you'd like to know where anything is from, otherwise I might come back to the post and try and add some links for the bitts that are still available.

Monday, 21 June 2021

Some things flowering in the garden in mid June

 This has been a very late year for the garden thanks to the washout that was May this year, as  a result, some things are only just blooming now, that we would have usually seen much earlier in the year. Despite being disappointed about this, now it's finally starting to burst I wanted to capture a little of it so I can look back in later months and maybe later years as I always tend to forget when each thing started once it all gets going. 

I'll start with the fruit and vegetables as there's the least to say about these. Aside from the radishes and lettuce, there's very little ready to eat from the spring/ summer vegetables, though my early strawberries, some of which I planted in hanging baskets are doing so well now. 

The courgettes have just started and I'm able to harvest flowers here and there and some very small courgettes (I actually prefer them very small). The tomatoes are now coming but all very green and the peas and beans are just flowering, with a few broad beans emerging, though still very small. I love this time though, when there's developments and growth every day and the promise of what is to come is so visible. 

In terms of flowers, all of a sudden over the past few weeks it has really started, with the roses, peonies and sweet peas out in full force. There's also the first stocks as well as geraniums, pelargoniums and the bedding petunias. It's a funny year for me as I still can't smell but I remember so well the scents of each of them and am really hoping it will be back by the end of summer - working on my smell training each day right now. 

Lastly the herbs, I've planted some new, interesting ones this year, alongside the perennials we've had for a long time here. I let lots go to seed as I love using the edible flowers as garnishes


Thursday, 29 April 2021

Wild garlic season, plus a few recipe ideas

Wild garlic season is well and truly underway right now and I have been getting through it like nobodys business. We do grow a little in the garden which I planted underneath some trees at the bottom of the garden in the hope that it would spread and spread over time, but as there's still not that much I have mostly been collecting it from the woods nearby where there's an abundance at this time of year. Related to wild garlic also are three cornered leeks but I'll perhaps talk on these more another time. 


Monday, 15 March 2021

Three (quite) new in sustainable beauty buys from The White Company

Making more sustainable beauty choices is not particularly new, making more responsible choices seems to have been gaining popularity for a while but it feels as though tools to apply/ remove make up and skin care haven't been quite as accessible until recently. 

1. Cotton buds with a paper stick rather than a plastic one are thankfully now becoming more of the norm, I remember buying paper ones years ago when you could only get them from Amazon and they cost a fortune I love these for touching up eye make up and also for my ears! These extra thin ones from Muji are my very favourite and you can buy refills for slightly less too if you don't need the plastic tub to keep them in. 

2. I get through lots of cotton pads so these felt like another obvious choice to try and swap in something more sustainable. The White Company have just dropped quite a few new more sustainable beauty tools and I love them. I am obsessed especially with their reusable skincare pads I have ordered a few packs so I have some for while they're being washed but so far I love them. 

3. Another White Company buy is their new Konjac sponge it's super soft and lasts for about 3 months with the material breaking down over time. It feels lovely on the skin. It's all natural, biodegradable and non toxic. 

And that's it for now, I'd love to hear what you've been trying or whether any of these have convinced you to swap in something more sustainable into your routine. 


Thursday, 25 February 2021

Eating after covid

 So if you follow me on Instagram you'll know I've been harping on about the fact that we're currently recovering from Covid-19 and the recovery hasn't felt particularly like it's been in a straight line annoyingly. I might  write about it in more detail a some point, in fact, I hope I will as for some reason, I really want to remember this strange, strange time. But for now I just thought I'd pop on and write about the recovery from a taste and smell perspective. 

So, as many do, we completely lost our taste and smell, and while my taste has now returned, albeit, in a quite distorted way, my smell is completely gone, I can smell literally nothing whatsoever. A little worrying and dangerous when you have a gas Aga that's been playing up but mostly annoying, though not too bad. It's a funny one actually, when you can't smell (she says, from her extremely limited experience of it), you hardly notice it for the most part, unless you are intentionally trying to smell something. As in, I have often checked whether I can smell again or not, because generally, I find, you just don't notice smell unless you are trying to smell something. I haven't said that in a way that really makes sense, but maybe if you're also experiencing it, it might make sense to you!

Alongside all this, I also have what is apparently called Phantosmia, where you get distorted smells, as in you smell things, generally not nice things, that aren't there. I have this, which is weird as generally I can't smell anything at all, but sometimes, when I'm just sitting down, I'll get a smell, or more often a taste that isn't there. For the last few days I've been tasting paracetemol really strongly at the back of my throat, and it's horrible and won't go away!

Anyway, that's quite a bit of context, but I thought I'd share my experience of eating and drinking post Covid as it's been a bit of a funny one. Mainly as my tastes have changes so much, so even though I can't taste, what I do fancy has all been along the citrus lines and even though I don't usually like sour tastes, I have been craving lots of sourer flavours, I guess because they seem more refreshing or something, so I've been eating lots of oranges, lemons and even grapefruit. I'm not completely mad about that as it's blood orange season here in the UK and they're one of my favourite fruits and only available for a few months a year, also, I managed to find some leafy lemons in Waitrose on my first shop after isolating so bought loads of these and have been using them on everything. To be fair, I'm not sure they offer much more  in terms of flavour, in fact, given their size you probably get a bit less out of them, relatively speaking, but they feel a bit more special and there's a lot more zest given their larger size. 

So, with all that in mind, you might be seeing a few more citrus recipes, perhaps not here, but definitely on my Instagram. Also, a few people have told me that burnt orange (?) helps bring back taste, so I might try a few things with those in! If you have any ideas I'd love to hear them.

© The Vegetarian Atkins Diary

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