Monday, 5 August 2019

Little Sunflowers

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned the Russian Giant Sunflowers growing in my garden, well here are images of some of them.  
The Russian Giant Sunflowers have been a disappointment this year, not living up to their giant name - these should be called Five Footers, some are not even four foot.
Still its nice to see in the garden.  There is something cheerful about sunflowers regardless of their size. 
So here is my most recently harvest.  

Starting from the top: a round courgette, yellow courgettes, some tomatoes, green beans, purple beans, peas and runner beans
My plum tree brings all the butterflies to the yard,We have had a load of courgettes.  Some of which were turned into another Quiche.
This Quiche also has spring onions, garnished with nasturtium flowers. 
Yellow Courgette, Spring Onions and Twarog Cheese Quiche
For the pastry
120g butter
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon dried parsley
200g plain flour
For the filling
2 tablespoons grainy mustard
2 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
285ml milk
Salt and pepper to taste
2 courgettes
180g soft cheese such as Twarog or Cottage cheese
Place flour and butter in a large bowl and rub with your fingertips until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
Add enough water to combine into a dough.
Turn dough onto floured surface and roll out to fit a deep greased 8 - 9 inch round or square tin.
Carefully place the pastry into the tin, pressing gently down and trim the edges.
Prick the base with a fork.
Chill for 30 minutes, then remove from fridge and cover with non-stick paper and weigh down the pastry with dried beans.
Bake in a preheated oven at gas mark 6 for 20 minutes.
Then remove paper and beans and bake for another 10 minutes till crisp.
Leave to cool.
When it is cool, scatter over the chopped courgettes and spring onions.
Evenly distribute the cheese. 
In a bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, mustard  and season to taste. 
Pour over the creamy egg mustard mixture.
Bake gas mark 4/180oc for 40 - 45 minutes or until golden. 
Allow to cool, before serving. 

Oh I should mention that the eggs used in this quiche came from this rescued chicken that belongs to the neighbour next door.  There are four of them, but this one always comes up and close to us when we are harvesting, in the hope it will get something to eat from us.  Have you heard of the pecking order...I understand it now, completely. 
The tomatoes are coming along nicely, but again, not quite right - even though they are super sweet and tasty, they seem to be growing the size of cherries, that you'd think we had planted cherry variety, but that is not the case.  Again, not sure what it is - perhaps the weather, perhaps the soil, perhaps we are not feeding them enough...
We have artichokes in the garden.  I am growing these mostly for ornamental purposes. 
The pear tree this year is laden.  Last year was the best year for pears for us, but i think this year may be the best so far.  I cannot say the same for the plum tree, this year is not its best, but we will still get some.
My plum tree brings all We also have blueberries.  I have been picking them every day.  Its not enough for a big cake, but maybe muffins. 

I am sharing this small harvest with Dave who blogs at Happy Acres for Harvest Monday


  1. I love sunflowers...they remind me of North Dakota...your garden is gorgeous and so prolific...
    ~Have a lovely day!

  2. Wow, that still all looks wonderful, despite the size issues.I love the nasturtium flowers on your quiche.

    1. Thank you e. i am hoping to use the nasturtium in some of my recipes, i have done so in the past with pancakes/fritters

  3. Oh your pears are to be envied. We grew them many years ago in Massachusetts. The artichokes are lovely too. You should try them--the leaves dipped in mayonnaise or melted butter and run between your teeth. They're a California favorite.

    1. Thank you Sue. I am not v. confident in prepping artichokes, so i am afraid these will be left for the bees when its flowers.

  4. wow your garden sounds so impressive. I agree that sunflowers are cheerful. And I like seeing how your use the produce in recipes - it always inspires me.

    1. Thank you Johanna. It is not as impressive as my allotment plots in the past, but i am pleased we are getting there. So many courgettes ....i am always looking for new recipes, but always end up using tried and tested favourites!

  5. The sunflowers are lovely, even if not as tall as advertised. And the artichokes are pretty too. Are they not edible?

  6. Thank you Dave. The artichokes are edible, but i am afraid i am not confident at all in prepping them, so will leave them to flower for the bees, i love how they look.

  7. Your home grown produce is simply amazing! SO many beans, artichokes, tomatoes and zucchini, you will enjoy cooking them. The sunflowers are simply stunning. perfect specimens.

    1. Thank you so much Merryn. Its nice to eat homegrown produce when we can, be lovely if we could do it all year round but our garden is not that big

  8. Totally in love with your sunflowers! Each year i fight with squirrels to grow some and... they win the fight! AND the sunflowers ;-(
    Your artichokes are beautiful!

    1. Thank you Ephee. Very kind of you, even though these are small. Hopefully oneday you will best the squirrels.

  9. What a fab time of year it is! Our Russian Giant are quite small too, but they are so pretty. Love the chicken photo!

    1. Thank you Belinda. it truly is a marvellous time of year in the garden. MMm i wonder why our Russian Giant sunflowers are small this year.


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