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Friday 2nd August, 2019
Quick date pudding .... Just too easy comfort food
Woohoo, Sticky Date pudding could be on the menu tonight. Apparently a cold front is here for the whole weekend and from where I sit right now in my office, looking at all those squally fronts coming over, I am well pleased to be here writing this email!!!
The very thought of that cold front reminded me of a sticky date pudding that my mother made the other night and brought to my place for dinner. I have said it before and I will say it again, my mum loves recipes that are too easy and this is one of them!
I wanted to share it so I rang the old girl for the recipe and suggested that she take a photo of the recipe and send it to me on messenger. I have always enjoyed cooking and this recipe comes from a cook book that I put together years ago, probably while I was in my teens and typed, no less, on a typewriter.
"oh yea maybe I could but its a bit faded but there isn't too much to write either" she replies.. I duly get a pic through messenger.
In my reply I say OK that looks OK to read... is it really that easy? LOL thanks heaps!
Is that 1 cup of milk? "yes Remember you did the typing its all so old xx"
Yep 3/4 cup of sugar that's the only faded bit ... clever aren't I ... wasn't sure that reference was to the pudding or sending me the recipe via technology but thanks heaps mum!
1 cup milk, 3/4 cup sugar (prefer brown), 1/2 cup chopped dates, 1 dessertspoon butter
Put all in a sauce pan and bring to the boil. Take off and heat, add 1 teaspoon of baking soda and a pinch of salt, add 1 large cup of flour.
Steam 1/2 hour or longer with no lid on basin but lid on pot.
You might not thank me for this but really if you want quick easy comfort food, this is it!
Buds are bursting forth...
We have just had a most stunning weekend and now, as I said, we are experiencing a cold blast arriving from the south and so the last couple of days have been riddled with cold, squally showers but that is not stopping the spring movement that is happening real quick.
I was just showing a client the cherry tree, Felix Jury, yesterday so they could see the shape and form of the tree and honestly there it was, all but, in flower and I reckon that its leaves only just fell off a couple of weeks before, last to drop its leaves and the first in flower... I guess that we will be having a visit from the Tui in the not so distant future.
Felix Jury is a campanulata type and hot on its tail to flower is the softer pink Superba also attractive to the Tuis. If I recollect correctly then the yedoensis species and hybrids like Awanui will soon follow with their clouds of pink blossoms. If you love Awanui like I do and could be tempted with a similar white form then consider Mountain ice.
If you are looking at the cherries, they do come grafted in different ways ... let me explain.
H/W means that they are High Worked or grafted high on a rootstock and we have many grown this way as 1.8m standards or stems. This means that the trunk is already formed for you. I like this size for lawn or garden specimens so that you can whiz around them on the ride-on and not get caught up.
Then there are ones that are grafted at 1.2m and 1.5m standards which give a lower tree and could be quite the look as a garden specimen.
I'll touch on the L/W trees and these are low worked or grafted at ground level and its up to you to remove the lower branches as the tree grows to create the trunk height that you desire. I planted low worked Awanui in the garden centre so that I could have a taller tree in the garden centre. My needs were to be able to let customers walk under them and push trolleys and to be able to put plants under them but not be over shaded by them.
The nursery is just humming and after all that potting we nearly have all the new seasons stock sorted. Just a few small orders still to come in. I liken the job to being like ants as we all move around the nursery with small barrows laden with trees and roses. If you happen to be out here then know all the roses are in strict alphabetical order. I think Simone sorted all the high worked cherries yesterday and Josh manged to get all the crabapples together as well as the dogwoods.
Alex has been working on all the double grafted apples and pears and so its nearly all sorted.
Ang has been busy this week shopping to fill up the tables.
Clivias... we haven't had for a while and they are so handy to suggest for plants to plant in those dry and dark shady positions in the garden. They really don't mind the dry and can tolerate quite low light levels and in the right spot are as tough as old boots just know that they don't like direct frost however in the correct position are not likely to get frost.
Clivia Moon Glow apart from gorgeous large broad green starppy leaves has stunning soft yellow blooms
Clivia Fire Glow, as it name suggest, has bright fireglow reddish orange flower, glossy dark green leave and I haven't mention the beautiful red berries that follow on from the flowers, they just look amazing and are a feature themselves.
Chimonathus praecox, or winter sweet, every garden has to have one of these as the mid winter scent is to die for.. The flowers are what I would call subtly beautiful, translucent lemon yellow packing that powerful fragrance.
Cordyline stricta, Cabbage tree genus upright habit but quite cool softly dropping leaves.. good for a spot where you need something upright but again away from the direct frost though perfectly happy here in gardens in Hamilton in those micro climates that all garden have.
Cyathea Smitrhii something a bit new to us as we have only had the black punga medularis before.. Typical punga habit soft ferny like leaves and this one only half the size of the black punga.
I think that Ange went mad on these this week as I saw heaps of hellebores being put away.
Gorgeous in flower and I spied some of the special Clifton Homestead doubles being put on the tables. We haven't put these on the web this round as their colours are so diverse they are hard to catalogue so you will have to come out and see them for yourselves, I know they won't last on the tables long. Remember these as a rule prefer semi shade and humus rich soil to retain some moisture.
Ice Queen dark green foliage off set beautifully with pure white flowers with a green centre and yellow stamens.
White Magic hails from the European Alps. Dark green glossy foliage that forms a mound topped off with stems of large white blooms, sometimes tinged with pink, that appear from late winter onward.
Snow Frills has double white, slightly fragrant flowers that start white and fade to light green or blush pink in cool weather.
White Tutu, Elegant semi-double white blooms with delicate ruffled centres. Thrives in shady nooks.
Jasper is a selected form with delicious single blooms in pure white with yellow stamens. A lovely contrast to the dark green foliage. Flowers appear from winter through to spring
Can you believe it but Tuesday the 6th is yet another planned power outage and only just a few weeks after the last one... I did wonder why could they not have planned it all for the one day but obviously not... and I think that we are a lucky business that can actually go and hire generators to keep some of our systems up and running but I hear that some of the other local business like cafes actually have to close, so we will be up and running as usual on the 6th with the sound of generators quietly buzzing away but keep in mind we may not have all of our systems running to capacity.
Think that it is going to be a blustery weekend so probably no pruning to be done so spend this time browsing around the nursery or cruising on our website looking at all the gorgeous roses that we have this year. Especially since our range may be considerably reduced next year and going forward.
Start the planning and be organised for feeding your garden, you will need fertiliser to feed those camellias , roses, lawns and just all plants in general will love that quick fix as spring kicks in...
Here's hoping the weather gives us some opportunities to enjoy our weekend, wrap up, stay warm and don't let the weather keep you from your favourite past time or from visiting us at the nursery.