Friday, 25 June 2010

Fragrant summer morning

Scents and fragrances are always intensified by heat, and natural heat from the sun is the best of all; the garden smells lovley, everywhere there is a new perfume to smell, a new scent wafting over. In the kitchen too, using nature's bounty at this time of year results in a very fragrant home.
This morning's scents:
Elderflowers - I've made five gallons of elderflower champagne for a fundraising function. The smell of these harvested at mid-day is unbelievable, a true summer perfume and very evocative.
Philadelphus - one of my favourites; I'm fairly sure my mother grew this in our garden in London, so I'd have been very small, but it's certainly a nostalgic one for me, very delicate and feminine.
Blackcurrants - just brushing past the leaves releases their unique and distinctive scent; take me right back to our house in Scotland, picking blackcurrants for my granny, sticky, purple stained fingers and the smell staying with you for hours.
Sweet peas - can't have too many, and their fragrance, from two bunches, pervades the whole house
Roses - all over the place at the moment, love them :) The white one is Madame Hardy, and extraordinary rose - such a pure white, and William Lobb who has stolen my heart now he is flowering, a perfect rose in every sense,the first moss rose I've grown, and fallen in love with him.:)
Honeysuckle - just coming into full blow, and there will be plenty of flowers for wine later too - a true taste of summer in a bottle.....
In the kitchen,the smell of spices in a simmering curry for tonight mingle with the elderflowers in the champagne, and the scent of the sweet peas now inv ases follows me about the house.
Just wonderful. :)

Thursday, 24 June 2010


If you grow poppies at all,the garden really needs to be seen every day at the moment; the beauty of the poppies is so fleeting, they seem to appear from nowhere, flower, then disappear again in the space of a day or two. The seedheads remain ofcourse, and I leave mine to seed around where they will. I'm delighted that the purple opium poppies are now getting established here - it's taken a number of years, though, but they're here and happy at last. The little Shirly poppies are too exquisite to even try to describe, so I'll leave you with the photos. :)

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Chocolate fudge icing

I made a cake for a friend last night, and came across this quick and simple recipe for chocolate fudge icing; I can't remember where I took it from, bit remiss of me, but it's out on the net somewhere!

3 1/2 oz butter
1 tbsp golden syrup
8 oz good milk chocolate

Melt all together in a bowl over hot water, stirring well to amalgamate. Remove from heat and leave to cool, spread on cake or in cake as desired. Enough for 1 x 6 oz sponge, filling and icing the top.
Excellent bowl-licking too lol

Monday, 21 June 2010