samedi 27 août 2011

Tomato Tally

Here's our first tomato, which appeared in late July.  The crop has been really disappointing this year, no where near last year's bumper crop.  I still pick every day, but instead of a good bowl full, I'm lucky to get more than 10 tomatoes a day.  I was even considering buying some today so I can make a tomato salad for dinner tonight.  I planted mine at the usual time and my neigbour who planted early (May), his crop is over  now.  I'm hoping mine will go on well into September, we'll see.

Here's a lovely tomato salad recipe:

2kg tomatoes (mixed types, some large, some small, different colours work well)
1 'gousse' of garlic
4 fresh spring onions
flat parsley leaves
5 dessert spoonfulls of olive oil
3 ds of red wine vinegar

Wash toms, dry, cut into rounds, put in seive and add some salt, leave to drain 30 mins.  Peel garlic and onions, press garlic and chop onions small, put in a salad bowl with olive oil, vinegar, pepper and parsley.  Add tomatoes, mix, serve freshly made.

Good with fish or meat

Apologies if I've infringed someone's copyright.  I cut this receipe out of a French Sunday supplement a few years ago and have been using the recipe ever since.  Enjoy!

jeudi 25 août 2011

Marvellous Munich!

I was lucky enough to visit Munich this week for my work.  I enjoyed myself a great deal and the city looked all the better in the bright sunshine.  Munich is Germany's third city and is the capital of Bavaria.  It has around 1 326 806 inhabitants.

Its largest park is the Englischer Garten (English Garden) which is well worth visiting, especially the beer garden where you can consume freshly grilled whole chickens.  In fact, there are a lot of very attractive beer gardens (keller) dotted liberally around the city, some where you can bring your own food and you just have to purchase an extremely large tankard of refreshing beer in order to enjoy a meal in the open air underneath the chestnut trees (which were planted to keep the earth cool whilst the beer fermented underground).

It's a suprisingly green city and I managed to catch a few photos of the open air market Viktualienmarkt (Victuals Market) and its impressive flower displays plus the freshest fruit and vegetables in the city, an enormous selection of Bavarian foods, restaurants, seafood, herbs, spices and artisanal decorations using lavender and hops.

samedi 20 août 2011

Serious window boxes

Walking in 10th arr, I was amazed to see these bamboo filled boxes hanging on for dear life on a first floor window.  Note the sturdy cord holding them in place.  Only hoping it holds on - wouldn't like to be under them if they fell.  These are really serous window boxes for someone who's seeking a whole lot of privacy (or just likes looking at bamboo instead of out of their window).

mercredi 17 août 2011

La Belle Epoque

So, holiday time is nearly over and it's time for me to get back to you.  I have so much to say and it will take ages to sift through all the photos I've taken of the beautiful things and places I've been lucky enough to see in the last two months.  Let's start at the most recent green place I've appreciated - this one was in UK.  I visited a small, charming town called Knutsford in Cheshire and shared a bottle of wine on the rooftop terrace of this lovely restaurant -

After climbing the beautiful staircase, passing the sumptous dining rooms, the journey finishes on the rooftop terrace and the very unexpected, beautifully kept, small but perfect garden.  Perfect examples of shade loving plants create an intimate, sheltered green space.  Take a look: