Monday, 27 December 2010

December's a busy month

Sorry for the absence, but who has time to write a blog during December? Now Christmas Day is over and the house is all quiet again, I have time to write a few lines and upload a few pickies.

It's going to be a long cold winter again...

I had a go at making ice lanterns this year.

They're really easy. First, pour water into a container, weigh down a smaller container inside it with gravel and then poke some leaves, flowers or other decoration into the water. Leave the whole thing outside overnight and you'll have an ice container in the morning. Plonk a tea light in the gap and voila!

I went down to pick some heather to decorate one of the lanterns with and this fat little madam was perched comfortably on the plantpot, taking in a little winter sun. :)

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Thursday, 25 November 2010

The deer are back

I've really missed the daytime visits, but now that food is getting scarce they're back in the garden.

I should get upset about them eating my perennials but there's not much else for them to eat...

Which is why I also put food out for them

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Everything but the boar...

So, they've been back. Apparently there are a few groups roaming the area and only one of these was scared off last week.

We have another hunter guy now who's been sitting on our terrace for the past four hours (8pm-12). He's gone off for a wander around with his shotgun under his arm before he calls it a night. No luck tonight, but he has seen deer and foxes in the garden.

Glad he understood our needs. Boar and only boar!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

One wild boar less to worry about

About an hour ago our friendly neighbourhood 'jägare' (Swedish for hunter) felled a wild boar in the middle of our lawn. It was quick and hopefully painless.

I won't be posting a picture for obvious reasons.

Let's hope that's the end of our boar trouble for a while....

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

If I'm really lucky....

...some of them might survive.

Now I know I said I was sick of wild boar blog entries, but this is a little more uplifting...

This is what my winter veg raised bed looked like this morning (please excuse the shaky photos, it's really windy and raining hard):

And I'm really proud with myself, instead of getting all emotional (like I usually do...) I got my rain kit and wellies on and got to work trying to salvage what I could.

I got ABSOLUTELY drenched. I mean really really soaked to the skin.

But look what I achieved. It was definitely worth it! :)

And because the little blighters had shredded my poly tunnel...

I had to be creative and I found this fleece sheeting from last year in the potting shed :D

My little winter babies might just survive... :)

I made my own ramen!

Working from home and not having my own car, I have to rely on my husband to do any ad-hoc shopping on his way home from work (and I try to bug him with that as little as possible). I really need to do a big 'fill the cupboards' shop but just haven't got round to it over the past couple of days. So it's always a challenge to come up with something yummy for dinner with what's left in the cupboard/fridge/freezer/kitchen garden.

And last night I exceeded even my own expectations :D

The process usually starts with a wander round the kitchen garden to see what there is. Yesterday I found radishes, pak choy, choy sum, leeks and even a huge carrot! Perfect.

I then found a chicken breast and some broccoli in the freezer and some dried egg noodles (just enough for 2 people).

Now I've never made noodle soup before, and it didn't really start out to be that. I was just going to wok it all together.

I knew I had a bunch of chilli flakes I'd grown and dried myself and a few chillies drying out on the window sill, so I sautéed these with some lazy garlic (chopped & frozen in a zip lock). Took that off the heat and added the strips of raw chicken to let it marinate a while. I also bunged in a good dose of soya sauce (instead of salt).

Once all the veg was prepared, I simply fried it all in order of consistency (chicken first), then slowly added the water from the noodles (which I must admit I'd added some sesame oil to, to separate them), some chicken stock and soya sauce. Then I left it to bubble for about 5 minutes.

I chucked some noodles in the bottom of a couple of bowls and filled them up with the mix and liquid from the frying pan. Voilá. Ramen :D

I am completely incapable of following recipes. I'm an experimental cook (and usually not a very good one)  and only enjoy cooking that way, but if anyone does have a go at this recipe, please let me know. We thought it was absolutely yummy.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Looking ahead to 2011

I'm so sick of all the wild boar crap that's been occupying our lives of late that I can't face another blog entry about it all.

Instead I'm going to focus on the fun stuff, like the fact that I've just placed an order for some exciting and very very very VERY hot chilli seeds:

Nagaland Naga Morich Naga King (

:D Happy days

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

O.M.G. as they say...

Well, it's been somewhat dramatic here at Åslyckan. This is what our lawn looked like on Sunday morning...

We spent all day Sunday repairing it. Back-breaking, soul-destroying stuff. Anyway it looked OK. Until they came back again last night. The lawn wasn't too bad, but they attacked my new fruit garden and dug up my new baby blackcurrant bush... Sad photos to follow...


Thursday, 14 October 2010

Foggy days followed by frosty mornings

The weather's been acting strange this week. Warm sunny days, followed by three days of thick fog, followed by freezing cold nights and frosty mornings.

Beautiful, warm autumn day
Fog transforms our garden into an enchanted woods

I can't see beyond our boundary wall

Busy day at the bird feeders


The field behind our letterbox

The house engulfed in fog

The garden is full to the brim of spider's webs

Then the fog lifted and it got very cold...

The whole garden was coated in a thick blanket of frost 

Particularly beautiful when covered in frost is my corkscrew hazel
We have a plethora of different types of moss and they are beautiful with a slight frosting

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Destructive little buggers

I really wouldn't have a problem with them (the wild boar for those of you who haven't read my blog before) if they didn't cause so much damage...

Monday, 11 October 2010

Still growing in the kitchen garden...

My first attempt at radishes...
...and they're yummy!
Lots and lots of rocket left from the spring sowing and the summer sowing is just starting to appear.
These leeks should last us all winter.
I love mache salad leaves, but the packet said lamb's lettuce... Please tell me it's the same thing...?
Cut and come again cos lettuces sown in the summer, with spinach seedlings in front of them and half-eaten beetroot behind them.
Beautiful pak choi.
My half-eaten beetroots. I haven't the heart to chuck 'em so I'll give them a month or so and see if they get any fatter.
The strawberry x wild strawberry plant is still flowering!