One particular favourite place for me this time of year it at our little bowls club, hidden down the side of a hill. A thoughtful gardener (or gardeners) has planted the boundary of the green with a blaze of colourful dahlia's.
It is also widely known as Barnbrack, and Bairín Breac. Traditionally, the loaf that's baked is quite large and would be used in a fortune telling game. Many different charms with all sorts of meanings used to be placed in the dough before baking, for example, whoever got the gold ring would be next to marry!
They work hard most days to provide us with eggs (everyone needs an RDO) but it's hard not to lose patience over the winter months. I hold up a big blue tinged egg that Zelda lays, she's easily our best layer, and gather the girls around. I show them the big egg, point at it and tell them...
It feels like only a ninny would say that Summer was too long, it was though, long, hot and very dry. It hung on for longer than usual. The dizzying heat has a cabin fever like effect on the human psyche. Staring at brown hills, watching
Perfectly sized to be eaten by one person, the old heirloom variety called "Lemon Cucumber" (because of the colour of the skin, not taste) ticks all the boxes!
It's prolific, easy to grow, even here in our cold temperate climate, and miraculously develops a thick skin once it's picked, but remains sweet and juicy on the inside, without a hint of bitterness at all! It also tends to have a longer growing period than other cucumbers.
This year I looked at my usual pickles recipe and decided to add to it and change it up a bit and added a few of my favourite flavours. For example instead of plain old vinegar, why not a full flavoured apple cider vinegar?
The one and only Main Street is dotted with trinket shops, bazaars and used good shops. and food cafes, bakery and the new Bullant Brewery, which is becoming well known for its delicious food and craft beers. Civic gardens with gazebo, roses and trees sits in the middle, like a village green.