Beetroot Cake Slices
Sea sand backdrop of design
Our ever giving allotment neighbour Ade, allowed me to take these photos of his vibrant, healthy looking and huge tomatoes to show to you. We have to strive to achieve this standard next year. Thanks Ade. I must admit, I cannot recall ever seeing this purple coloured tomato before!
Welcome to my beetroot party!
I have delivered my promise of showing you what I have made with the other beetroot. The intention was to make a cake, however as you can see I have made way more than I thought I could.
The beetroot cake was easy to make with ingredients such as oil, dark chocolate, cocoa powder, plain flour, caster sugar, eggs and last but not least a splash of Caribbean spices.
The delicious beetroot punch was made by adding milk and of course more Caribbean spices. Let's not forget the lollies.
The beetroot and cucumber for this separate salad was reaped yesterday and hence was from a different beetroot.
Cocoa Powder & Flour
Finally we have our first proper produce. Yes, three cucumbers, chard and some baby tomatoes. Apparently, the cucumbers should have been reaped before yesterday. They essentially grew too large. Nevertheless, they are very tasty.
Chopped Sweet Peppers
Green tomato jam
The squash leaves are huge and spreading well.
Chard, which I never heard of before, was given by an allotment neighbour, is also doing well.
So I thought after all the colour I have bombarded you with above, I would give your eyes a rest and tone things down a bit. Blue is always a relaxing colour.
When we went to the allotment for the first time, we saw these leek seed flower heads there (leek as you know is a vegetable). We had never seen them before. They represented a beautiful piece of art to me. I simply could not miss the opportunity to put these two together. The beauty and elegance of the stalks and contrast in shapes.
Sweet Peppers and Cucumber
Corn on the cob
Leek seed flower head
Cucumber and tomato slices. Both from the allotment.
I visited a friends house a few months ago and she made this simple and refreshing drink with cucumber. I thought to try it myself. Water, lemon and of course slices of cucumber. Then simply place in the fridge to chill.
Beetroot and Carrot Salad
I am always amazed as to where inspiration comes from at times. It is one of those areas of design that continues to surprise me. Whilst casually walking on a stony beach recently, I decided to collect a few small stones from the sand. Immediately I was inspired to create a keepsake.
I decided to build a theme around the sea sand. The idea was to design a keepsake using elements from my home and garden. I eventually used breadcrumbs, twigs from the garden and brown chalk pastel to create the backdrop around the stones. I hope you like the end result.
Both beetroot and corn are doing well. I have never seen the growth of beetroot before. Somehow I thought they grew underground. Or maybe we are doing something wrong? The learning process continues.
Here comes the beetroot in all its regal glory. Glen was simply too anxious to wait any longer to see what was happening with this vegetable. We were surprised to see the size of the large one.
The smaller beetroot was juiced with pineapple and mango. The taste of course was awesome. The depth and purity of the colour, simply could not be ignored.
I am unsure what to do with the larger beetroot, but I shall show you soon.
I haven't been to the allotment for five days and having been there today, WOW! Everything seems to have grown so much bigger.
Glen reaped our first sweet peppers as seen above, he also reaped three more cucumbers. So far we have reaped nine cucumbers from only two plants, amazing! There are other baby cucumbers as well. I am very surprised at how fast the cucumbers seem to be growing.
In celebration of the first harvesting of the sweet peppers, I decided to make spicy sweet pepper rice. Simply made by sauteing the sweet pepper in oil, then adding a spicy barbecue sauce and finally, topping with cheese.
One of my favourite things about the allotment are the surprises each time I go there. Who knows what surprises await when I visit next.
Did I mention the corn plants are now about six feet tall?
Beetroot and Cucumber Salad
The sun has been extremely hot lately, with no signs of rain. This means Glen has to carry out watering everyday. I think he enjoys the job anyway. His dedication has paid off with the healthy looking plants.
Finally, now able to eat corn on the cob. We have been eagerly awaiting its growth. This felt like a long, long time. The taste of this corn was truly amazing! Incredibly sweet and truly succulent. As a child growing up in the Caribbean, eating what we called 'boiled corn' was a tremendous treat. Funny enough, the taste of this corn reminded me of that time. Truly delicious!
Corn in the husk
The bright and bold colour of the Marigold creates such a strong and beautiful contrast to the overall planting.
The cabbage plant is struggling as you can see. Something is eating the leaves. Some suggestions are slugs or possibly flies.
This appears to be a lost crop this year.
The tomatoes are endless, but apparently we should have been pruning them more intensely. Pruning as I have learnt will improve air flow, encourage bigger tomatoes,keeps the plant looking tidy and reduces the risk of disease.We have had disease attacking some of them. I must also say, I have seen some tidy looking tomato plants from some of our allotment neighbours. Next year we will have to adopt this into the process.
The cabbage plant is still under attack from something, still not sure what it is. Anyway, as you can see there is a cabbage that is fighting to come through.
Have you seen how large my squash has grown to? I know I have mentioned about twice that we planted from seed. How impressed am I? Very, very proud. They are all of varying sizes but, the one shown immediately above is the largest. We are thinking, when would be the correct time to reap. Apparently, it is suppose to turn a tan colour before harvesting, then harvested before the first frost. So it looks like they still have a little way to go.
Spicy Sweet Pepper Rice
I have surprised myself by making jam today, green tomato jam. As a child I disliked jam. If there was one thing in our fridge, it was always guava jam, made by my mother. It was delicious, but ......
We have a large amount of tomatoes in the allotment, so I thought to have a go at making tomato jam. It takes lovely. The recipe is a mixture of what I saw on the internet and what I remembered mum doing. What other jam could I attempt? Butternut squash? If I do , will of course show it to you.
All merging together
Marigold between Squash leaves