Thursday, 24 August 2017

24th August - St Bartholomew's Day and The Job List


One of my favourite books to look in for folklore information is Cattern Cakes and Lace.
It's an old book now, published in 1987 but I like it  because of the pictures and the old traditional recipes
One of the recipes under August is Saffron Cakes now traditionally made in Cornwall. And that's when I realised that somewhere between the smallholding and the cottage, my little box of Saffron had vanished. It was brought back from India (or maybe Egypt or perhaps Spain) for me by a neighbour many years ago but I'd kept it and used a few strands now and again. I wonder where it was lost? I'd always thought it was quite exotic but seems you can get some for £2.50 in Tesco!

According to this book, as well as being the patron saint of Beekeepers. St Bartholomew is patron saint of butchers and tanners because he was reputedly flayed alive. Those Saints certainly had a rough time of things back in the day!

One of the weather rhymes I mentioned at the beginning of the month said  "Dry August and warm doth harvest no harm". It wasn't very dry or warm at first but last week the weather was good enough for the wheat field beside us to be combined and baled. Col noticed that in the corner right by our garden was a large pile of straw the baler had missed so he collected it up in the wheelbarrow and it's now in a bag in the shed ready for putting round the strawberries next summer. Useful.

Thank you all for comments yesterday, we don't see the Long-Tailed Tits every day on the feeders but they are around in the hedges quite a lot. What we do have here  that we rarely saw in Knodishall are Sparrows - by the dozen. House sparrows mainly and Tree sparrows too. The House sparrows live in next door's roof and congregate noisily in our hedges.

Three more jobs from the to-do list have been organised...........  both the new oil tank installation and pumping out of septic tank will be done in the next week. Then we've had someone round to look at the huge Ash trees at the end of the garden. There are several big branches over our veg. patch and fruit trees which need taking down plus the willows behind the workshop need cutting back so they don't sit on the workshop roof. That's going to be a big job that will be done sometime during the Autumn. We are using a local company but they are behind on work due to having a lot of their machinery stolen recently. It will be expensive but will give us enough wood  for the wood-burner for a couple of years, let more light into the garden and make everywhere safer.

Back Tomorrow


  1. The intermittent periods of rain has made harvesting tricky and drawn out this August. Yesterday I was chatting to our neighbouring farmer, combine at the ready, and he had just taken a moisture reading: 16% and it needs to be 15% to harvest the wheat.

  2. My daughter just had her large oak tree pruned and the company did a fantastic job. The shape us still there put its been thinned out letting in much needed light. Hubby cut down her front tree and the timber went to the youngest daughter ftor firewood.

  3. There is always something to be done, isn't there? We love the trees for shade, but invariably they cause us problems. The Saffron story is interesting. Your comment about Bartholomew got me going on a search. Yes, skinned alive and then be-headed. He was one of the Apostles of Christ. All through history and even today believers in Christ are being martyred.

  4. My Dad loved saffron buns. I remember bringing some home for him once after a holiday down in Cornwall.
    Thanks for jogging my memory.
    Lisa x

  5. I brought a small container of saffron back from Spain and have been wondering how to use it. I am now going to look for cake recipes.

    God bless.

  6. You do realise that as soon as you buy more saffron the other supply will be found! Commonly known as sods law! x

  7. Ash trees were the bane of my life in my previous garden. My neighbours had a row of them on the other side of the fence and I was constantly pulling up small saplings as soon as they appeared. Even some of my pots which I brought to this present garden have since produced more ash saplings Aaaarrrggghhh!!! I suspect yours will be a constant problem unless you can poison them!