Monday, December 5, 2011

Getting ready for Christmas - and salad days

I've had a busy weekend getting ready for Christmas & starting my first veggie garden. I've had a small pine tree growing in a pot for the last couple of years & I brought it in on Saturday to decorate for Christmas. My decorations aren't fancy, as you can see, my little gold putti has lost his wings, but I've collected them over the years & I enjoy seeing them again every year.

My sister brought this home from Harrods last year on her trip to Europe.

The china ball was bought on my own trip to Ireland over 10 years ago now. The angel is one of many I've bought over the years from a local handicrafts group. I buy two every year & my friend's daughter, E, chooses her favourite for their tree & I have the other one. We started when E was about five & she'll be 18 next month so it's a long tradition.

I have several of these little Father Christmases with very blue eyes. So far, Lucky & Phoebe haven't showed much interest in the tree. Lucky was more interested in the plastic bag the decorations are kept in! They've had a bit of a sniff but they haven't tried to climb the tree or eat anything so fingers crossed it's all still standing on Christmas Day.

I've also started my first veggie garden. I've grown herbs before but I've never tried vegetables until now. I bought a stand-alone garden bed, had some soil delivered on Friday morning & my friend P & I set everything up. Yesterday morning I went to the nursery, bought my plants & did the rest.

I planted two varieties of tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, basil, parsley & chives. Of course, I bought too many plants so some of the herbs are in the other garden bed against the fence. I've started a compost bin as well. I'm slowly becoming more interested in gardening & I've always wanted to grow veggies but never had the space. I'll keep you up to date with progress & hopefully some pictures of my first home grown salad!

Then, I baked a cake for Monday morning tea at work. I have a lovely new cookbook, Favourite Cakes by Julie Le Clerc. I bought copies for the library but I knew this was a book I would have to own.

There were so many recipes I wanted to try but I chose this one because it was easy & didn't need icing. It also sounded delicious. Apple Crumble Teacake. It certainly smells gorgeous. It was slightly too long for my square cake carrier so I've cut off the end which also gave me a chance to show you what it looks like. It's an oaty, apple & raisin cake with a crumble topping. It would also be good warm as a pudding with cream or ice cream.


  1. I am intending to make some raised vegetable gardens soon. I am not sure about buying one of those standalone ones or getting some railway sleepers and making it.

  2. I went for the standalone one as I'm not very clever about making things but I'd have struggled even with this without a friend to help me. Good luck with yours.

  3. Would love to have that receipe!

  4. The cake was well received, Mystica. It didn't last long.