Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Herb harvesting and lots of shopping

It's been a good day today. To start with, both Sam and Jude went to summer scheme, and Steve took Luke to 'work' in his shop for an hour this morning. With a complete hour to myself I managed to tidy almost the entire house. It's amazing what can be accomplished without children under foot. I felt so great for the time alone that I decided to go shopping with Luke when I picked him up. Strictly window shopping of course! But when I got to Matalan they had a 75% off sale!!! There were kids jumpers for £1 each so I got a few for Sam and a few for Luke. I bought Jude a beautiful dress (even though she doesn't need it) because it was just divine! And reduced! It's almost like a classy bridesmaids dress. We bought one for a friend who's having a birthday soon too. Then I got a few organic bowls reduced from £10 to £2.50 (can't resist a bargain). I also got Sam an England Football Team duvet set which was half price, andduvetvet set for Jude, which was white with a grey photo of a kitten on it. It's cute.
Then Luke and I went into Argos where we bought him a new car seat. His old one was getting too small for him, and he would always ask to sit on the chair instead. So I got him a booster seat which works from age 1 - 11. He felt so grown up in it when he found out that Sam and Jude could both sit in it too. I'd promised Luke we'd get lunch in a cafe so we stopped at Sainsburys cafe for a bight to eat. Luke had 1/10 of a pancake with jam on, and some coke. I had vegetable lasagne, which wasn't that nice.
Then we went into Bargain books and bought a few bargain books, and a tractor. Now, I'd promised Luke we'd find a toy shop and there wasn't one to be seen anywhere. But I found a TK Max with a good toy section in it so we browsed through that and I got Luke a little farm set - a farm house which opens out, two farmers, a tractor and trailer, various farm animals, all in a handy carry case! Yes, I know, I spoilt everyone. We even went in JJB Sports and replaced the football which Sam got for his birthday and Diamond the dog eat.
By this time I realised that we only had 30 minutes to get back to the summer scheme to pick the other two up, so we raced back into the car. Luke fell asleep on the way home, then slept in the car in the driveway for another 30 minutes. He woke up crying and I got into my bed with him, where he went back to sleep until 6pm. Needless to say, he is still full of beans now, at 9pm.
While he was asleep it stopped raining long enough for me to nip into the garden and harvest some of the herbs. I've been trying to get round to it for days. I'm not completely sure yet how to dry them and what to use them for, but I'm learning. In this photo you can see (in particularlar order) mint, lemon minMoroccancan mint, spearmint, basil, thyme, rosemarGreekeek oregano, nasturtium seeds, calendula flowers, marigold flowers, lavender, and chamomile flowers. I'm going to make tea with the chamomile, and I will use the calendula and marigold to make skin ointments. The other herbs I want to dry for culinary use. If anyone has any tips or advice be sure to let me know!


Maria said...

Hey there! What beautiful herbs!!! Your garden looks great. Can you send a bit of the rain back over this way?? We are really drying up!

As for drying herbs, you can cut the long stemmed ones (like rosemary and lavender) in bunches, tie them up and hang them to dry. Or, if you cut them too short, you can spread them all out on a drying screen and let them air dry. I just made a drying screen by pulling a 2x4 foot piece of window screen tighly in a wooden frame. You can build legs for it or just prop it up on something so that the air can flow under it. Hope that helps!! Medicinally, chamomile is wonderful for calming the nerves and stimulating digestion. The mints are all great for digestion, and Thyme is good for congestions and colds...

~*~ Linda ~*~ said...

Wow!, you all know so much about herbs and stuff, I'm really impressed!

Our dog Tess likes to 'eat' footballs too, its a pain in the neck isn't it?

educatingmummy said...

Hi,found you! Thanks for your comment, I'm a learning Mum for sure.My children know I don't know everything but its great to know the one who does!!What a beautiful place to live.

Hazel said...

thanks maria for visiting my blog and for the herb advice. Much appreciated. Your blog looks amazing.

steve said...

those herbs look better in reallife than they do in the picture

well done darling