Real Men Sow

Activities to Cheer Me Up During the Snow

Just when you thought a corner was being turned, along comes a big dump of snow.

I like winter, but come February I want things to kick on. The New Year arrives and rejuvenation is renewed, often by a good session of digging. Rhubarb pops up, and suddenly I’m lulled into thinking Spring is just around the corner.

Of course, its not. This snow has made me feel like I’ve taken one step forward and several back. The white stuff is not showing much sign of melting, so I’m stuck for jobs on the plot, and rather down in the dumps about things. This is unlike me, so I’ve been doing my best to find some activities to keep me occupied.

Cake Friday
Cake Friday has been one of my favourites. For the past few weeks, I’ve been baking a cake on Friday evenings, to eat over the weekend. I’ve enjoyed having a treat on Saturday and Sundays, and after making Jamie Oliver’s squash muffins using some of last year’s harvest, there is an association with the plot too.

Having a cake for the weekends reminds me of being babysat by my nan on Saturday afternoons when I was a little boy. It’s an old fashioned but satisfying indulgence. I’ve also made lemon drizzle cake, Victoria sponge and a wholemeal honey cake since Christmas. I’m not quite ready for the Great British Bake Off yet, but I’m having fun.

Marmalade
Running out of supplies is another seasonal downer. My last few potatoes are well past their best, my frozen fruit has all gone and the plot is looking bare. I’m also down to my final jar of damson jam, which jeopardises another weekend treat, jam on toast.

To combat this, I’ve made my first ever batch of Seville orange marmalade, after tasting a homemade jar of the tangy preserve recently and being reminded how much I love it. I’d always been concerned that making marmalade was a faff compared to fruits such as plum, but I followed a recipe from Herne Cottage Country Living blog, which makes things straight forward and split the process over two nights.

I’ve also been entertaining myself with name ideas for my marmalade. I remembered reading on Twitter that Alys Fowler likes to name her jams and chutneys after events going on in her life or the world at the time she made them. I loved this, and so after much thought, I turned to a conversation Ailsa and I had while out messing around in the snow on the day I made the marmalade.

We both kept hold of a snowball, as a deterrent to each other. This somehow turned the discussion towards nuclear weapons, and how countries keep nukes to make sure the other ones don’t start wars, or so the theory goes.

Anyway, in a Make Love Not War fashion, we then decided to discard the snowballs and sign our own Snowball Non Proliferation Treaty.

Naturally, Ailsa went back on this and threw one straight at the back of my head, but that’s besides the point…

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3 Comments

  1. staceFebruary 8, 2012 at 8:54 amReply

    I know how you feel, i am chomping at the bit to get cracking wish this snow would go I took some time off work to do a few things down the plot but as of yet havent been able to! your marmalade looks “cracking” was going to make some this weekend.
    happy plotting

  2. DeWayneFebruary 8, 2012 at 11:31 pmReply

    We don’t have snow, but it has been cold and wet … trying my best to stay busy!

  3. jackFebruary 16, 2012 at 6:15 pmReply

    Enjoyed my visit today. Different there than here along the shore of Lake MIchigan in USA. I do like see how the other side of the pond lives! Jack

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meIn 2007, I took on a redundant allotment plot with my gardening-mad mum Jan. As all good mums do, she went along with it, but I don’t think she held out much hope. However, over a decade later, and she now lets me do stuff without watching over my shoulder, so I must be doing something right. [ read more ]

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