A cornucopia of courgettes

Day 3, Writing 101.  Today’s topic ‘one word inspiration – choose from Hope; Regret; Home; Choice; Abundance; Secret’ 

Some of last year's crop!

Just some of last year’s crop!

Growing your own veggies is wonderful.  Just to be able to nip out to the garden and dig up a bunch of carrots, or a few potatoes is a great thing.  But why oh why do we have to get huge gluts of something one year, and nothing at all the next.

For example, last year we had tons, mega-tons, of courgettes. So many that some were left where they grew and turned into marrows (see above!).  Everything we ate had the addition of courgette in one form or another.  We had fried courgettes, baked courgettes, grilled courgettes, courgette cake, courgette pickle, and courgette wine (still working our way through several gallons of that!).

Don’t get me wrong, I love courgettes, and devoted a whole bed to them this year.  But what did we get?  That’s right… zilch, nada, nowt.  Well, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration.  We did have one or two poorly looking specimens, but nothing in the same league as last year’s magnificent beasts.

What we have got though, is tomatoes.  Tomatoes everybloomin’where.  They grew in the greenhouse, on the patio, in the veggie plot, and the flower beds.  Big fat tomatoes, and little sweet ones.

And chillis..

It looked like Christmas in the greenhouse with the abundance of chillis turning bright red before I had the chance to pick them.  So everything we’re eating right now is smothered in chilli tomato sauce.

For a while we were eating nothing but broad beans.  And I won’t mention the amount of plums… plum wine anyone??

So whilst my own veggies are a treat, it would be so much better if the plants paced themselves so that I had crops in manageable amounts.  If the English weather would be reliably suitable for everything instead of one week drowning the courgettes, and the next, desiccating the peas.

Of course, I should feel very privileged that we do live in a temperate climate, where we are generally able to grow a staggering array of crops.  Maybe it’s my skills that are lacking?

Hmmph…. Situation normal then…!

Juicy Thirsty Thursday

DSC_0042 (2)For the last seven days, since I bought my juicer, I’ve been replacing at least one meal a day with veggie juice. Today though, I feel I have graduated in my juicing career by going green.  Yep, I’ve made my first green juice. Up until now its been all nice reddy, orangy ones made from carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and that sort of thing, But today I’ve faced my green = yuck fears and produced the handsome looking ‘broth from the bottom of the pond’ you see in the picture.

It actually contains three apples, a wodge of kale, a few leaves of spring greens, a couple of celery stalks and a bit of ginger root…  and, yes despite being quite disturbing to look at, it is really quite yummy!  In fact this is my second glass.  I should be fighting fit for my yoga class this evening.

Of course, the reason I bought the juicer in the first place was not quite so health conscious.  I bought it to make cider, and there’s 23 litres of it busily brewing in the kitchen.  Unfortunately that’s not ready to drink yet though, so in the meantime, here’s to a new healthy me!

Lechyd da! (that’s cheers in Welsh.  Gosh this blog is getting so educational!) (and no, I’m not Welsh) (nor am I vegetarian).

Fast but not that fast #2

So, we are on our third fast day.  Its actually ok.  If we get peckish we have a cup of fruit tea or oxo to take the edge off, and we really look forward to our light evening meal.  I think its doing us good already.

I looked in the mirror the other day and thought ‘blimey my skin is glowing nicely’.  Ok, I’d been out for a walk in the snow, which does tend to give you rosy cheeks, but my skin really did look clear and bright.  I can’t say I’d ever noticed any such thing before. I’m feeling quite energetic too – actually got the wii zumba out yesterday, something I usually think about doing but refrain from as being one of those things that may very well be the death of me.

It’s not all down to the fasting either.  The strange thing is that, although we really can eat and drink what we like the rest of the week, we have started eating healthier all the time.  We’ve eaten couscous and lentils, chickpeas, salads, great quantities of vegetables and fruit, with little or no meat.  In fact we’ve only eaten meat twice for over a week.  And no we are not vegetarians, nor are we ever likely to be.

Chris has even snubbed bread and biscuits in favour of a plate of couscous. (my world is upside down!)

Of course, there is a down side.  There is always a down side to everything.  The downside to the 5:2 fast diet is that the days seem endless.

Even when I’ve been really busy, I’ve always tried to stop and eat some lunch at some point.  At the weekends we’ve always sat down and gorged on a good lunch (though we don’t go down the traditional roast route as a rule) and then needed a rest afterwards – often in fact, a nap. Sunday lunch can take upwards of two hours – and that’s without the time spent in the kitchen cooking the thing.

This Sunday we sat and drank a cup of oxo, which took approximately five minutes. Not being over full our bodies don’t demand a shut down to digest, so no need of a nap.  I guess we ought to be pleased that the weekend seems longer. After all, we’ve always complained about them going quicker than weekdays.  But all the same, I miss that break.

Otherwise, so far, so good. I don’t know yet if its leading to any weight loss, but at least I feel better about myself.  Of course, I can’t guarantee we’ll stick with it for months, but I think maybe for a few more weeks. After all, one of the great things about it is that I can look at all the food in my kitchen, and know I can eat what I like tomorrow.

Only a few more hours left….