Well yes, today it was!

Friday and yesterday marked the 30th anniversary event for the FCFCG (…Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens…), and Diane attended both days.

So we put back our ‘normal’ (…well, as ‘normal’ as any day spent on The Plots can be…) Saturday to today.

Nick was up late last night (…much more excited ‘techno-babble’ from him in the coming days on the ‘Plot Power’ Blog…), so didn’t arrive until gone 11.00am-well after Diane, Emma, Barry, Sarah and little Adam.  Barry had brought some more onion bhaji’s for us to sample.  Even though it was still before noon, they were still excellent!

Over an obligatory cup of tea (…and bhaji!..), Diane told a little of what she’d seen at the 30th Anniversary Bash -and I’m sure there’ll be much more to note in the coming days.

It was agreed that we’d eat as close to six as possible because our ‘Plot Kids’ have school tomorrow, so Nick eventually went down to The Childrens’ Plot to start a little light weeding before starting the fire for about four.

Tomatillos, heading for the roof!

Tomatillos, heading for the roof!

On his way down, he noticed these Bad Boys in the new greenhouse, and couldn’t help but take a shot of them.

Yup, its the tomatillos, just starting to make their presence felt!

If you click a couple of times on the image, you’ll notice the heart-shaped ‘pods’ hanging down from the branches.

As previously mentioned, these don’t have fruit in them yet -they are mostly completely hollow!

In a week, maybe two, these pods will start to fill out from the inside such that you know when they are ready to be harvested because the pod splits a little from the bottom, revealing the green ‘tomato-like’ fruit inside.  Unlike a conventional tomato, tomatillos are meant to be green when you harvest them!

Gherkins in the greenhouse.

Gherkins in the greenhouse.

On the other side of the path, you can see the gherkins also starting to show themselves.  This is a pretty poor photograph, but if you look them over, you can see quite a few ‘baby’ ones starting to form.

Shot of the inside of the greenhouse.

Shot of the inside of the greenhouse.

In fact, this shot here to the left is how you are ‘greeted’ as you step into the greenhouse.

Just click back a few weeks’ worth of Blog entries to see how it used to look just after Diane and Nick had planted this up.

Quite a difference a few weeks and a little warm weather can make, eh?

Elsewhere on the top Plot, our ‘Minipop’ sweetcorn was ready for harvesting.

Sweetcorn ready for harvest.

Sweetcorn ready for harvest.

You can see the ‘tassles’ have turned a beautiful purply colour (…Sorry.  My command of English this evening is terrible!..).

Apparently, this shows they are ready to be picked, so Diane and Tina picked the top-most ears from each of the plants, leaving the lower ones for next week, maybe.

Up close, they look like this:-

Sweetcorn up close.

Sweetcorn up close.

Aren’t they beautiful? Almost like sea anemones with their beautiful fronds gently swaying in the breeze, you would half-expect to see a small, multi-coloured fish glide out from amongst them all.

Carefully pulling and twisting, they picked them still leaving the green outer leaves surrounding the ears intact.  Not many of us had ‘peeled our own corn’, so it was all a new experience for us to pull back the many layers of leaves to reveal the ‘baby’ sweetcorn nestling within.  Certainly, tomorrow’s bowl of breakfast cereal will get a whole new level of respect!

Seemingly all too quickly, it was four o’clock and time for Nick to light the fire.

This he quickly did -it’s been so dry recently- but today Jon had brought down a new ‘toy’ to use on it.

A new 'toy' for the fire!

A new 'toy' for the fire!

Tina had ‘prepped up’ some potato-halves to roast, which Nick duly placed on the metal grilling.  Actually, Nick was a little anxious over these potatoes because it was so blustery today with the wind blowing quite hard from all directions that in the past, the sides of the fireplace have actually caught light while the potatoes above were barely cooked.

Anyway, he needn’t have been worried because apart from a couple of slightly burned ones, they appeared to go down well.

When the potatoes has finished cooking, Jon came over and re-arranged the fire while Nick carefully re-positioned some burning embers so the wok could sit comfortably with sufficient heat beneath it as you can see from the shot above.

Rather than make the customary Plot Soup, Diane and others had prepared freshly-picked vegetables ready to make stir fry.

Stir fry!

Stir fry!

Her’s a shot as Jon expertly tosses a mixture of peppers, cauliflower (…okay, we cheated on this and bought it, but it was alone!..), no less than three different coloured courgettes, gherkins, red and yellow onions, finely sliced carrot, of course baby sweetcorn, garlic…  You name it, and it went in.

Everyone was given a bowl, told to help themselves to ‘the mix’ then Jon expertly flash-fried them in a little olive oil.

Was it good?  Well, virtually everyone went back for a second helping!

Nick may well be ‘The Twisted Fire Starter’, but today Jon definitely showed that he is the ‘Wok Meister’!

After all these savouries, Tina and Sara brought out their desserts, and, well…  What can we say?

‘Summer Pudding’ made exclusively with blackberries, ‘Key Blackberry Pie’ (…Like ‘Key Lime Pie’ but without the lime!..), cakes and pastries…  Thankfully, when Nick got in tonight afterwards, after the obligatory shower, it was straight on with the jogging bottoms with the expandable waist!

Earlier in the afternoon, while Nick was half-heartedly weeding, our ‘resident artist’, Emma had been up at the top of The Plots with the kids making some more scarecrows.

The new scarecrows.

The new scarecrows.

After only an hour or so, this is the result:-

As new additions to ‘The Crowe Family’ (…see much earlier post…), they haven’t yet got names, but the ‘animal’ to the right is Kyle’s creation has.

He’s called it a ‘Cabbit’ (…to the uninitiated that’s a cross between a ‘cat’ and a ‘rabbit':- ‘Cabbit’!..), but for some reason, Nick insisted on calling it a ‘WereCat’.

Various names have been suggested for the lady and gentleman, but as this is a ‘family show’ they won’t be discussed here.

Suffice to say that Nick remarked that the chap really does share a striking resemblance to a bank manager he once new.  Maybe its his ‘happy’ expression, so favoured amongst bank managers?

Gary's 'Cheese Stars'.

Gary's 'Cheese Stars'.

Anyway, time’s a’ ticking on, but we couldn’t finish without a shot of Gary’s excellent and very tasty ‘Cheese Stars’ with a hint of chili.

These were freshly made this week while Gary’s mum was away, so we’re hoping he’s cleaned the kitchen up properly after himself.  If not, she may not make us any more of her superb dishes when she gets back from holiday!

More to come this week, and in particular, look out for Nick’s forthcoming excited entries on the ‘Plot Power’ technical blog.

Will he finally succeed in transferring charge from a bike into a battery, or will it all explode in a shower of blue and green sparks?

See the next gripping installment to find out!