Sunday, 10 May 2015

Off With Their Heads - Brioches à tête

Our recent Sunday favourite has been Brioches à tête.  It involves a Saturday night mix up, an overnight proving in the fridge and then an early start on Sunday.  They taste fantastic straight out of the oven with a teaspoon of jam. This is how they are supposed to look:

The only problem is that the "tête" which was sitting atop the brioche before going into the oven has an unerring tendancy to slide off to the side during baking. The result is comical:

My daughter describes them as turtles... more hippopotomi I would say!

The flavour and texture are in no way compromised by my infantile herding games.

Monday, 4 May 2015

A Weed Free Year!!!

Last year I tried out Weed Suppressant Fabric (or Weed Control Membrane) where I was growing sweetcorn and squashes.  (By the way, the blue cage is for blueberries which sit on top of an ericaceous pit and cannot therefore be moved easily).  Before planting it looked like this:

.....and then once, the crops settled in this...

....and finally this riot of greenery:

Now here's the interesting part, this is how it looked yesterday:

The garlic was planted through the fabric last autumn in the same places as the sweetcorn and squash, with some extra holes added. For onions I have cut slits and then weighed the fabric down with bricks to stop the wind getting under it.

Here's another angle where you can see the onions in the forground and the garlic behind.

And do you know what,  last year's brassica patch is not looking to bad either. (This will be rolled back as I get around to sowing parsnips and carrots etc.) 

Count me in as a fabric fan!

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Reasonable Force

Prompted by other posts about rhubarb this post shows the state of play on the plot today and a year ago. I'm an advocate of blanching (as opposed to forcing where the crowns are lifted and brought into dark heated sheds.)
Lifting the lid on the dalek today for a second picking of blanched stems:

Here's how they compare to their non-blanched neighbours

And here's how this result is achieved:

And just to prove that the plants recover here is a picture from last year when the dalek was over the clump at the end:

You can see above that this clump is just as vigorous this year. Next year the bin will be going over the clump at the other end and once again we will have a crop of blanched rhubarb a good couple of weeks in advance of the rest of the crop!