Shrinking Violet

Latest posts by Shrinking Violet

Alcofrolic fruits for Christmas

Posted: 09/08/2014 at 20:41

A recipe that works even for orange-flavoured anything haters like me!  (Remember the ad a few years ago?  There was a sexy Frenchman who seduced the woman at the dinner table with his eyes and a glass of orange liqueur.  This recipe is Frenchman-free, but infinitely cheaper!)

Cut the peel of 10 medium oranges into eight sections and place on a baking sheet.  Heat in the oven at the lowest setting for several  hours until hard and brittle.

Place the peel in a wide-necked glass jar and pour in about 75cl gin to cover.  If necessary, remove some of the peel or add more gin to ensure that the gin covers the peel.  Seal the jar and leave in a dark place for six weeks, shaking the jar several times a week.

Put the sugar and 1/2pt water in a pan and heat gently, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil and boil for 3 minutes.  Remove from the heat and leave until cold.

Strain the peel and gin through a nylon sieve, pressing the peel lightly with the back of a wooden spoon.  Add the syrup to the orange gin, then strain through muslin.

Pour into small bottles and seal.  Store in a cool place for two months before serving as a liqueur.



A Senior Moment.

Posted: 08/08/2014 at 19:41

OMG - this thread had made me laugh out loud!  I identify with so many of the posts!

There was a time when I would raise my eyes to the heavens in desperation at mother who had "lost" something (usually the glasses that had been pushed up on to her head) and think that she was really going downhill.

These days, I raise my eyes to the heavens and say "sorry, mum" because I now understand the condition!


sacrilege or what?

Posted: 08/08/2014 at 19:33

GW seems to be a moveable feast - and them wot's in charge have scant regard for the many gardeners who are the mainstay of gardening TV.

All things go in cycles, I suppose - it's just seems as if the antiques/cookery/house-hunt cycles are stuck in permanent mode, and we have to wait for our time to come again!  (But please, no more quick-fix garden makeovers!).


How do you separate these Daisies

Posted: 05/08/2014 at 16:33

I think they look like Shasta Daisies, too.  They can be the very devil to lift if you have heavy clay soil, as I recall from previous experience.  If you have a problem dividing them, then lift them in large clumps and dunk the roots in water to wash off the soil  Autumn is he best time for this, and they are pretty easy to re-plant.  (I suggest autumn rather than winter btw because lots of water and cold weather is not a pleasant combination )

To design or not to design?

Posted: 05/08/2014 at 16:27

Patricia - we also have our house up for sale.  It's taking a long time - this part of the country is well behind the rest with regard to movement in the housing market!  Finally, there are signs that things are picking up.  The comments we get from all those who view is that they love the garden.  (Not as large as yours, but designed with pond, island bed, ericaceous bed, veg plot etc).  I suspect that they don't want the work associated with it, although there is as much or as little work as you want, if you plan things properly.  (The ericaceous bed of rhodos & azaleas pretty much looks after itself, for example).

Ah, well - we just have to wait and hope for a fellow-enthusiast to turn up!  Good luck.

Let's Remember Them

Posted: 04/08/2014 at 19:16

Having researched family history (both mine and OH's), we can, surprisingly, find no direct involvement of either family in WW1.

However, it is all very poignant, and heart-breaking to hear the testimony from those whose forebears took part and were killed.  Oh, what a tragic waste war is.  Would that the politicians would learn from history, rather than dooming us all in casual repetition.

I will light a candle tonight, and reflect on those millions who died.  And the millions of families changed for ever as a result, either of those deaths or the injuries sustained.

Taunton Flower Show

Posted: 03/08/2014 at 22:13

 Excellent!  So glad you had a good time!

Taunton Flower Show

Posted: 02/08/2014 at 20:38

So how was it for you, Winniecat?  I've been in Wellington today - a downpour at lunchtime, but lots of warm sunshine for the rest of the day.  Was Taunton as lucky?  And did you enjoy the flower show?


Midges/mosquito help!!!

Posted: 01/08/2014 at 20:27

I agree about the Avon Skin so Soft (original - they have added other "perfumes" over the years). 

The only way to prevent midges etc from breeding is to ensure there is no open water eg in a forgotten bucket round the back of the shed!  And for the water butt - I add a little bit of Armillotox (about half a capful) which forms a sheen over the top, and prevents midges from laying eggs.  I tend to use the butt as a dip-in reservoir rather than using the tap, and a bit of Armillotox in the water does no harm for general watering.  (It can be used, is particular dilutions, for example, as a soil drench against vine weevils!). 

Taunton Flower Show

Posted: 01/08/2014 at 20:12

Weather here is predicted to be showery, gradually drying up, so it's in the lap of the gods as to what it's like at the show tomorrow!

It has been raining all afternoon - a steady, gentle rain that doesn't batter the plants down, but actually gets right into the soil, and, boy, do we need it!  (On the minus side, I've already been out there hunting for the slimies and crunchies that have emerged into the damp).

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