Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Glasshouse offical launch and end of summer BBQ

Thank God for a fine day
Saturday afternoon saw the garden awash with kids and relations for what is fast becoming the annual end of Summer BBQ party. This year apart from Seamuses family we had my family too so I'm thinking of changing the name to the " Inlaws and Outlaws" Summer BBQ, it has a nice ring to it I think!
It's also a bit of a rehersal for next Summer when we are having a big garden party to mark someones milestone birthday. Although Dave had been working on the patio all week it wasn't finished in time for Saturday-it's not finished yet! Hopefully that and a million other jobs will be done by next summer.

Trish and Annie
One of the best things about doing my own party food was trying out the varieties of spuds that I grew especially for the day. The Maris Pipers (supposedly the best chipping spud)were destined to be wedges but I got a bit disheartned as I was digging them. So many were tunneled by slugs and half gone off, and yields seemed quite small too. Some of the spuds had weird ridging like two spuds joined together or maybe one was splitting in two? Never saw anything like it before though inside they were fine. I was planning on at least 4 trays of wedges to feed the hungry hordes but in the end I had to add some roosters to bulk things out. Although I didn't get to eat any myself Joe told me they were really the best ones he has ever eaten so maybe it was worth all the effort to grow them in the first place. I have a few small ones in a bucket outside that were left over so I might try those out for myself today.

Nor, Joey and Dace
The charlottes became a (very delicious) potato salad that I did get to taste. These spuds are second earlies and couldn't have been more different from the maris pipers. Yields were very good, spuds were 99% perfect, long pale and smooth skinned, no slugs on the inside and no sign of blight.I was really pleased with them and will definately grow them again.The potato salad went down really well too, not a single bite was left! The recipie is one of Kevin Dundons and it's here if you want to give it a go- potato salad. It was the first time I really made use of the french tarragon thats been growing for a few years in a pot and the flavour was excellent. If you want to grow it be sure to keep it under cover through winter, it will die back naturally and regrow in spring but hard cold can kill it altogether.

Kieran and Martin
I dont know about the rest of you but I do like to eat well at BBQs, not crappy stuff but real food, so it was jugs of Pimms, wine, home made elderflower and blackcurrant cordials, home made salads, home made burgers and wedges and home made ice cream for dessert, Just when they thought they couldn't eat anymore sparkling wine and white tuxedo strawberries appeared for the glasshouse launch where I made a short speech to thank Johnny and ask him to cut the blue ribbon on the glasshouse. It was quite funy how everyone entered into the spirit of it,applauding the cutting of the ribbon, while my mum and a few others dashed in the door after the offical opening to get a look around!!!(a tour lasting all of 5 seconds!) This in a way was good as everyone left their seated spots and suddenly they got talking to everyone else. They stood up in the evening sunshine enjoying the last heat of the day before Seamus brought on a coffee course with Daces delicious spice and ginger cake.
Worlds greatest mother in law Mary and my big brother Joe

Now that the glasshouse is finished I can almost move plants in there (many thanks to Martin Begley for all the glass!) The floor is paved in sandstone that must be sealed before I can put down a single pot. The sealer puts a stain resistant barrier between the porous stone and the outside. It should last ten years so it's well worth doing. I'm also short saucers for some of the plants.As Atlantic Homecare are folding up they are selling off everything at quite a discount so I might go in to see if I can get some badly needed large pot saucers to act as reservoirs for tomato plants. (I grew too many tomato plants as usual!).

Aaron tried to break in-literally!
Before going home some of the kids came down the garden with me to pick and eat plums and get veg for their mums. It's frightening (and quite cute too) how they "ooh" and "ahh" over seeing carrots growing. Even the ones growing up out the country have no clue where food comes from.This is a frankly frightening state of affairs but it's only a reflection on the adults they grow up with who grow no food and spend feck all time outdoors. When society as we know it collapses they will be the first to starve and die! Dont believe me? Read Jared Diamonds "Collapse". The Romans never believed Rome would end either-console yourself with that!

Ps; photos of the food? you must be joking! I was too busy flying around feeding people.I only managed to get these later on when the feeding frenzy was over. A million thanks to Michael who came early and got loads of jobs, including manning the BBQ and getting more gas! And to Tara and Nick who came early and helped out despite me almost mowing them over that morning at the Cappamore show. Big thanks to Martin for bringing and putting up Ricks marquee that morning despite having a million more important things to do.To my fantastic mother in law Mary who did so much to help me, including becoming my burger apprentice! To Donna who couldnt come herself but sent on trays of beautifully made rice crispie cakes for the kids.To Annie for the fab blue cupcakes, Treas for the roulades, Tara for the georgous pear and almond tart, Trish and Kate for the freshly imported french wine and everyone for the ridiculous quantities of alcohol, we will have to throw another party to see the end of it.

Johnny offically opens the glasshouse with a very blunt sissors!


  1. Nearly 2 years too late, but another great blog Marie!

  2. ah, thank you, reading it again puts me in the humor for another garden party!