My Blog List

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

A forest of trees at London's Royal Academy

The courtyard of the Royal Academy has been transformed into a grove of trees by the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. The structures are made from sections of dead trees collected on the mountains of southern China. These were pieced together at Ai’s studio in Beijing to create the eight ‘complete’ trees on show. They’ve been interpreted as a commentary on the way diverse people have been brought together to form ‘One China’.
Viewing the trees is free, but there is a charge for the rest of the Ai Weiwei exhibition which is inside the Academy and continues until December 3, 2015.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Tomato trial update - Gardener's delight v Tigerella

I’ve just picked the last of my tomatoes. I try to experiment each year with one different variety, so alongside the tried and trusted Gardener’s Delight (from Kings Seeds), this time I chose Thompson and Morgan’s Tigerella (Mr Stripey), which looked fun and promised to be a heavy cropper and three weeks earlier than Moneymaker. (The latter is important, as I don’t have a greenhouse.)
All were grown from seed under similar conditions, against a south-facing wall, in similar compost, and watered togther.
The Tigarella began ripening at the very end of July (above) at the same time as the Gardener’s Delight (top). But whereas the latter produced dozens of small fruit - up to 1.5kg per plant -  I had between eight and ten small to medium-sized tomatoes off each Tigerella.
As you can see, these looked quite unusual, though the stripes weren’t as marked as in the photo on the front of the pack. The flavour was OK, but I think next year I’ll go for a more productive variety.
Any suggestions??

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Apple roses

A friend has just sent me this photo of  'apple roses' - slices of apple rolled up in pastry, with a touch of apricot jam - that she's made with fruit from her garden. They look like a complicated creation from the Great British Bake Off, but she assures me they're really easy to make. Having watched a video demonstration (below) on youtube, I believe her and look forward to trying the recipe myself.

For 6, you need 2 apples, puff, filo or shortcrust pastry, cinnamon, lemon juice, apricot jam and water.

A great dessert idea. Many thanks Fiona!

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Abundance Apple Day in west London

Apple Day – which highlights the wealth and variety of apples available in the United Kingdom – is being celebrated this year officially on October 21, but events have already begun.  Abundance London held their annual fruit day in the grounds of St Michael and All Angels in Chiswick on October 4.
Nearly two tonnes of apples and pears that had been collected over the previous weeks by volunteers and pupils from local primary schools were turned into juice, with a big apple press in action for much of the day.
There was also apple bobbing, grape pressing and craft activities for the youngsters, while all kinds of home-made preserves and cakes were on sale.
A great family day – and congratulations to all involved.