Did you know you can leave pizza dough in your fridge for up to TWO weeks? I didn't and it's quite a revelation!

I used Rick Stein's recipe for flatbread/pizza dough recipe (hidden away on page 307) from this book to make a batch of flatbread. It made quite a large amount of dough and I only used half, putting the other half in the fridge in a sealed container and sort of forgot about it. On day 11, I remembered it, took a sniff and found that it smelt rather pleasant, a lot like sourdough.  I decided to double check by looking on the internet, where I discovered that storing your dough this way was the practice of some pizza makers.

It did look a little sad, flat and rather wet in it's container, but once on a well floured board, it was much easier to work than freshly made dough.

No meat, but a little bit of red onion, red pepper, jarred artichokes, sun dried and sun blush tomatoes, olives, fresh basil leaves, cheddar cheese, mozarella and a sprink…

I've been busy painting boxes and yes, they're a bit tacky, made of ply and held together with staples. But they're sturdy, we have quite a few and they needed to be made useful!

The boxes looked like this back in February.

I was a little stumped on how to decorate them as I haven't painted anything other than skirting boards and the like for as long as I can remember. On the advice of my girl, I bought a box of acrylic paints, as they're inexpensive and easy to use.  She bought me this book a few Christmases ago, when I said I was feeling crafty.

I knew I want to have a go at painting flowers, so chose this template as a starter.

Well, it sort of looks something like it....mmmm.

There was no stopping me after that.  I chose flowers I love, well, there aren't many I don't love.  You can see this project was started in February, snowdrops were still about...this is how long it's taken me. I do go off projects sometimes, d…
We paid a visit to this little lady at the weekend.

Tilly ....isn't she gorgeous.

We always take a treat of some apples or carrots for her, well it would be rude not to as she provides the black gold that grows our lovely veggies.

She's a little devil though, into everything.  I had to coax her into her stall with a juicy apple, so that  Mr could get to work loading up the muck.  She always has another one at the gate when we say goodbye. 
I love spreading I strange?  I think I'll leave it there.
Spent a lot of time on the allotment this weekend, getting it ready for all the plants that are growing in the greenhouse. 

Courgettes, butternut squashes and marrows all coming along nicely.

After our epic fail with carrots last year, when we sowed directly into the soil, we went back to planting in drainpipes.  You just slide the seedlings out of the pipe and into a trench.  We'll be doing more of these in the next month or so.

Mutant rhubarb!  That isn't a c…

I've lapsed with my reading lately, so decided to make up for it by reading this for half an hour (in bed) this morning.

I found this novel via Mary of Mrs. Miniver's Daughter.   I like her taste in literature and as she  enjoyed the first novel and provided a link to an article by Ian Parker of the New Yorker, which also piqued my interest, I thought I'd give it a go.  The characters are, in the main, grotesquely unlikeable, but it's compulsive reading.  It's one of a set of five novels featuring Patrick Melrose, the second being a particularly difficult read apparently....we shall see.  Benedict Cumberbatch plays Patrick  in the upcoming TV series on Sky Atlantic.
It was a gloriously sunny morning and in the garden, I noticed that the petals had fallen off the pear tree and these pretty stamens remained, looking like little sea anemones. I'd never noticed this before.

The Aquilegia are coming out in force, all purple, despite us sowing v…
All the pots in the garden have been planted, but not much to look at yet, except these little fuchsias, which have flowered.

We planted Dianthus  'Little Kisses'  underneath the roses that are near the house and they give off a lovely scent as you walk by.  Hopefully, they will not go over until the roses bloom and do their scenty thing.

This is a little meerkat garden ornament my girl bought me when she was about eight...he looks just like me at the moment ....I'm  wilting in the heat.

Someone had her first bath, well shower actually, it's easier.  She has so many fear based issues still, bless her, we've put off bathing until now. She's been in plenty of water since we've had her, but not with shampoo and surprisingly, she was good as gold.

They both had a good brushing and I found a use for  the seed cake basket on my bird table. 

Not very focused and do excuse the neglected, rusting milk churn.  Whenever I brush the dogs, I will deposit their fur into…
I am so loving all the blossom that's about at the moment even if it's the one thing that keeps me sneezing. I'm also loving the fact that we are set for a warm, dry Bank Holiday weekend, a rare thing in the UK.  We'll be putting all our bedding plants in this weekend, something I love to do, as it transforms the garden into a visually uplifting place that I want to spend time in.  We have some serious tree pruning still to do, well,  not me, I'm the clearer upper.

The flip flops came out for an airing and  I was a little aghast at the state of  my post winter trotters...dear gawd, when did I get 90 year old feet?  Those pasty, wrinkly digits!  Time to break out the coco butter and nail polish.  I was looking at my hands recently too and thought 'when did I get granny hands'.  Ho hum, the joys of ageing.

So, swiftly moving on..

Mr. putting together a late Christmas present (or early, depending on how you look at it).

When growing veggies, the one thing we s…
Can you tell what it is yet?  

Of course you can. 

Yet another picture, I can't help myself.

The asparagus farm is only three miles away - you can watch them cutting it as you choose your bunch from the shop.  You can choose the size you want too, thin, medium or large.  We chose medium - you get about 24 spears, which I feel is pretty good for £2.50 a bunch.
I've reached an age where I have most of the things I want. I don't want presents for Christmas and Birthdays......this is what I want, asparagus or any other precious seasonal treat to taste and treasure.  Sadly, my birthday falls on Christmas Eve, so not  many fresh seasonal treasures to be had.  Asparagus, however, is the one food I look forward most to eating after a long winter. Strawberries would be next on my list, but I'll have to wait a while on that one.  I know you can buy both all year round, but they're just not as tasty as something harvested and eaten on the same day.