Weekend Reading

22 May 2020
This is the farmhouse hard cheese I used to make.

I've been going through my old photos and there are several I'll share with you in the coming weeks. I used to make cheese fairly frequently, I loved making it and it was delicious.  I haven't made any for a couple of years but that's because I found it difficult getting enough fresh milk rather than I stopped liking it.

It's cold here today and will remain cold over the weekend. We've had rain too so the tanks are full again. I'll be gardening over the weekend, mainly fertilising, pruning and adding sugar cane mulch.  How is your garden going?  Are there any new gardeners with their first garden this year?  I'd love to hear what you're doing.

Thanks for the comments during the week.  I love reading your news and each new comment adds to my understanding of you. xx

Here are my weekend reads. Make sure you check out the last link, it's really good.






21 comments

  1. Oh I love the sound of Tasha Tudor and her garden! I will have to follow up and find out more about her. I'd love to see photos of her home, garden and artwork.

    Our winter garden is going well, Grant is hoping to plough a new bed for the budding market garden next week. That will be a trial area of garlic. I have some a few salvias and lavender in now which have settled in well before the frost hits. I'm striking some rosemary cuttings from the community garden I hope to plant come spring.

    The boys moved the goats today to a new patch so they are happy for an abundance of fresh grass and shrubs to puck through.

    xx
    xx

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  2. I agree with Emma and enjoying Tasha Tudor, what a truly beautiful way to live. Thank you Rhonda for your reading list this week.
    Here in Durban, South Africa, the Lock Down is a real challenge... the effects of loss of income will be felt for months to come. I have planted my first Swiss Chard in a container, and the sprouting was met with much excitement and brought tears to my eyes. Mostly because my 12yo daughter2 sent me a photo while I was at work, with the caption "We have Shoots!!" Precious moment for me. She has tended the little shoots daily which I hope will help her appreciate how growing our own food {even just a little bit} will help give us some nutrition. Take care of yourselves, Tanya

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    1. I'm sorry to hear the lockdown is such a challenge. Good luck with your vegie containers, Tanya. What a great learning experience for your daughter. She'll have those skills for life. Stay safe and well. xx

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  3. I do like the visual image of Tasha Tudor and her garden and home but I dont think the person stands up to scrutiny I'm afraid and this has put me off her, I'm thinking of the way in which she treated her children in particular. Liked many things, all is not as it seems on the surface.

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  4. Thank you so much for the reading links Rhonda. I am off to Gympie to visit my 80yo Mum for the first time in 10 weeks. I will be taking your tea cakes which are so easy to make. This time instead of cinnamon sugar I pushed some blueberries into the batter. Then when I get back home I have your warming pea and ham soup ready for dinner. I love your recipes! Enjoy your weekend xx

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    1. Hi Roslyn. I hope you and your mum are well. Those tea cakes are my favourite bake at the moment. So easy and quick to make and so delicious they're eaten by everyone. There's never one slice left over that sits there. I like the sound of your blueberry addition.

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  5. We've experienced some unusual temperatures in the UK. High in the day low at night which has caused havoc with seed germination, plus a bag of rubbish seed compost. Hopefully everything will come good. It's my first year growing in a much smaller garden.

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  6. Thank you so much for the links to the Tasha Tudor YouTube films, I had no idea there was footage of her on there. What a beautiful and sustainable way to live. She is a wonderful person.

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  7. Thanks as ever for some great weekend reads. I'm starting a vegetable patch for the first time in over five years. I've missed it, but my two year old daughter is my primary motivation. I grew up on a farm so this is a small thing we can enjoy together and hopefully some important life skills will flow. We are very restricted for space because we rent - our home is north facing so I can either plant a small north facing plot, half of which is partially under the canopy of a large mango tree, or a small south west facing plot but with no tree canopy. I'm so confused that I've stalled in my plans - do you have any suggestions? The north facing spot is great but I'm worried the mango tree will be a huge impediment.

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    1. I'm not sure of your climate but I'm guessing that it's hot if you have a mango tree. It's usually difficult planting under a tree because the tree takes most of the water and nutrients. Have you thought of a container garden? If should serve you well and you'll be able to take it with you if you move. When we made our garden smaller, I made smaller gardens in polystyrene boxes I got from the greengrocer and filled with potting mix (never use garden soil in a pot). If you get a variety of sizes, like small rectangular boxes to large tall boxes you'll be able to grow herbs, leafy greens, a cherry tomato and even carrots and potatoes. Good luck!

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  8. We had lovely rain here too so I'm looking forward to some garden time. Stay warm! -Liz

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  9. I loved the article on ageing, I have actually read Charlotte's novel, The Weekend, and found it to be beautifully written, observant and thought-provoking.

    I have had some of the fears she mentions in the article but my approach has always been to take seriously good care of my health (knowing there are no guarantees) and live by the motto 'if you rest you rust' - in other words, don't be a couch potato! I've told the kids no nursing home, I'd rather have a heart attack in the garden and die there than go in a cold, white room without nature all around me. Most of my friends are older - 60s to 80s - and doing it well, so perhaps this gives me more optimism!

    Madeleine

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  10. Good evening to Rhonda and Hanno. Looking forward to catching up on the links,sitting here a little bit shattered as have had family to visit and after so long with just the two of us the extra cooking,chatting etc has worn us out! Pressing on this week quilting and hoping to tidy up and improve our garden.To 'frugal in Essex,we too found it takes awhile to adjust to the smaller garden after having very large ones,working out where the sunshine and shadows sit takes awhile but the perseverance pays off in the end. Have a lovely week allπŸ™ƒ

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  11. Just found your blog, another lady recommended it. So pleased, it is delightful. Will be returning ☕πŸ™

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  12. Hi Rhonda,
    I was surprised to see your photo of farmhouse cheese pop up when I checked in. We have recently had access to fresh milk and have been making soft cheeses and cheddar. It's a steep learning curve but enjoyable too. I have seen your post on camembert but haven't attempted it as yet. Just wondering if you have the your farmhouse cheese process here in the blog anywhere? Keep well and happy :) and thanks for your thoughts and recommendations- always great to read.
    Jassey

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    1. Lovely knowing people are out there learning about cheese. Camembert is one of the easiest cheeses so don't be afraid. Farmers cheese isn't on the blog but it's in one of my books. The Simple Home has an entire chapter on making cheese and milk in general. You should be able to pick it up at your local library, or ask them to get it in for you.

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    2. Thats wonderful. Thanks so much Rhonda. I'm definitely keen to give camembert a try so thanks for the encouragement!

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  13. I am growing in raised beds for the first time and love Heather at North Ridge Farm’s - Now is the time to grow food post. It really spurred me on. I am just growing anything I can, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, pumpkin, beans, peas and small peppers. I don’t have a greenhouse so they just go on a windowsill and I am just reading lots and learning by trial and error. I love it and try to get the kids as involved as much possible. We were renting for years and only just managed to buy so I feel so blessed that I finally have a garden. Xx Nia

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    1. Good on you, Nia. It's exactly the right time to grow food at home. I learn everything by trial and error. It's the best way, I think. Happy gardening. xx

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  14. Found the article on ageing very interesting, My mum would look in the mirror (occasionally) and say - “that isn`t me”. I am beginning to understand what she meant! Also agree with Madeleines comments, I know some older people who are a real inspiration and try to focus on those rather than the couch potatoes.

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