Posts tagged June
Eat Seasonably in June

June is the month when the abundance of summer begins. If you grow-your-own, you'll be spending the next few weeks podding peas and trying to resist eating them like sweets from their tiny green cases. Why not try making your own mushy peas to devour alongside a traditional fish supper? Simply blend butter, salt, mint (ideally fresh but sauce will do) and the peas for the freshest mushy peas you've ever tasted.

Broad beans should also be featuring on your plate, but if you can't find them in your veg patch you'll have to search for a local supplier as they're not readily available. You can blitz like the peas and enjoy as a dip to go alongside a Mexican feast, or add to summer soups for a nutty, earthy flavour like no other.

Sticking with veg, June is officially the start of salad season: lettuces are at their best (no wilted leaves or bolting) and you can enjoy alongside new potatoes, flans and lining the sides of your sandwiches. Throw in a few radishes, some slices of cucumber and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and you're on to a winner.

You might not find British strawberries early in the month, but by the second half they should be readily available. Don't be tempted by shipped in punnets - they're usually bland and have been stacked high for days before you've bought them from the supermarket shelves - and besides, the anticipation of enjoying homegrown varieties makes the reward so much sweeter. Make sure you make the most of their season and enjoy whenever you can: scatter on your cereal, as a snack to take to work, turned into jams (and stored to brighten up the winter months) or switch things up and add to a salad. 

If you're looking for a simple supper dish, try mackerel kedgeree - the fish is freshly available this month and its punchy flavour will bring a depth to any salad dish. Boil an egg, add onions and peas and wild rice and you'll have a light midweek meal perfect to enjoy after a tiring day at work.

June

June is... gorging on the soft flesh of ripe strawberries, al-fresco cooking, the crackle of midsummer bonfires, thundery showers, and the humming of bees.

Did you know? At one time the days from the 23rd to the 29th of June were all considered as 'midsummer festival', whereas now we tend to see Midsummer's Day as the 24th of June. According to John Stow, in London in the 1590s, doors would have been festooned with greenery: from white lilies to long fennel and green birch. Bonfires were the traditional way to celebrate the season, intended to bring peace and encourage neighbours to converse, and also to purify the air. As June is often the month we migrate outside (in the UK at least), it seems fitting to make time to celebrate the height of summer and nature's bounteous offerings. This year I'm hoping to revive the custom of a week's worth of revelry, with a midsummer bonfire, and green door decorations: will you join me?

Dates for your diary: The summer solstice - or the longest day - marks the turn of the year once again, and falls on Sunday 21st June. A precursor to midsummer, this final week of June means the daylight remains until past 10pm, so make the most of the light before it begins to slip away again.

June in words:

The bonny month of June is crowned With the sweet scarlet rose; The groves and meadows all around With lovely pleasure flows.

(Cornish Midsummer Bonfire Song)

Things to do at home and in the garden:

  • Leave part of your garden to grow wild. As a nation of lawn trimmers, we get used to neatly mown grass and not a lot else, but just leaving a small part, or the edges of your garden, to grow wild, will enable you to help a menagerie of tiny wildlife. Wild flowers are integral to our landscape (see here for more on this) and are an essential source of nectar for honey bees (something which we are passionate about with our newly acquired hive!), but so often we hack them down and only admire from afar. This year, make them a priority in your outdoor space.
  • Take part in 30 Days Wild. A new scheme for 2015, the plan is for everyone to make room for nature this June - no matter where you are or how busy your life! With tons of ideas for Random Acts of Wildness - record the birds singing for your ringtone, make a hedgerow brew and wild exercise to name just three - it's a fantastic way to introduce nature into your everyday routine without it becoming too onerous. Click here to sign up and receive the free welcome pack.
  • It's not too late to start growing some veg. For an easy salad, plant lettuce and radish seeds straight into the ground or in a pot. If you're looking for something more substantial, chard is easy to grow, looks wonderful on your plate (rainbow-coloured stalks!) and lasts right through the summer and well into autumn. Get planting.

Be creative: If you're thinking of celebrating midsummer, then you definitely need to try your hand at Midsummer Cushions - all explained in this month's letter for subscribers.

June in the Garden
june in the garden
june in the garden

(From top left) the tips of leaves waiting to unfurl; brand new deckchairs; a wave of this pale pink filling the front borders; scented red roses come early in our garden; late blossom that is only now starting to fall; chocolate cosmos (a thoughtful gift from Mr CC); the promise of what is yet to come; potato flowers, dainty and sweet; lettuce and radishes ready to pick.

The garden is pretty magnificent by the time we reach June. Beds have filled in with plants bursting from the soil and the veg patch is starting to yield its first few crops, but it hasn't yet reached the stage where everything becomes overgrown and unruly. That privilege belongs to late July and early August, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Things to be doing in the garden this month:

  • Sow seeds for late beetroot and more lettuce to allow a continuous supply. [More advice here.]
  • Plant winter vegetables including cabbages and brussel sprouts. [Top 10 winter vegetables to grow.]
  • Harvest second early potatoes, lettuce, peas, broad beans. [How to grow peas here.]

What does your garden look like in June? Are you tempted to grow-your-own fruit and veg?

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June in Pictures
june in pictures
june in pictures
june in pictures

This month has really felt like summer, and it's got me excited for the weeks ahead that I hope to fill will alfresco dining and relaxed socialising. Looking back over this month's photos has made me smile, which is what this blogging and photography lark is all about really, isn't it?

Here's my month (from top left): a vibrant blue hue plastering the Lincoln skyline; no countryside garden is complete without a white, wooden gate; my mantra for the month - Eat, Drink & Be Merry; strawberries in the early morning sunshine; so lovely to meet some new people at the #LincsBlogMeet; my sister's stunning engagement ring; warm Italian breads with a pesto dip; our home basking in the summer sunshine; and a well-deserved reward on one of our few evenings out.

What have you been up to this month? Has it felt like summer for you too?

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P.S. Want to know what I was up to last month? Check out May in Pictures.

Eat Seasonably in June

Hello lovelies, and happy Tuesday! So we're getting closer to the weekend and that means I'm starting to think about exciting dishes I can cook for Mr CC when I will actually have time in the kitchen. Those of you who have dropped by here before will know that Mr CC and I grow our own vegetables and try to eat what's in season each month; the reasons for this fall mainly into the taste category, but I do find that eating seasonally has economic advantages too - veg in season is so much cheaper than anything that has been exported.

So what should you be eating in June?

eating seasonally june
eating seasonally june

Lettuces, peas, broad beans and strawberries are the best of the bunch at this time of year. If you grow your own, peas and broad beans are often among the first produce to be ripe for the picking and it is such a delight to go from plant to plate in less than half an hour. Lettuce and strawberries are available year round but are so much fresher in the summer months, and June is the perfect moment to bottle up that strawberry goodness into jam if you have a glut (or your local farm shop is selling them cheaply).

The lovely folks over at Eat Seasonably have compiled a handy calendar should you want to investigate further.

The BBC (always a good port of call for recipes) also have a category dedicated to seasonal recipes - you can find those for June here.

What foods do you enjoy in June? Have you got any recipes that would fit for these foods?

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May in the Garden
may in the garden

May and June are the months when our garden really comes to life; colours pop in every border and vegetables start to thrust out from the soil in earnest. The colour palette is formed from candyfloss pinks, vintage lace creams and soft yellows and is a delight to return home to after a hard day at work.

These images were taken right at the end of May and reflect the cusp of changing seasons:

may in the garden
may in the garden

(From top left) sunlight filtering through the newly formed ash leaves; potato plants about to flower; the bud of a deep red rose; a half formed blast of pink; an explosion of cow parsley; lettuces and radishes tempt; the tendrils of a young pea plant; a haze of pink; a tiny yellow rose on the patio.

Things to be doing in the garden this month:

  • Sow seeds for late carrots and kale. [More advice here.]
  • Plant out courgettes and runner beans. [Video advice on courgettes here.]
  • Harvest lettuces, radishes and early potatoes. [How to grow potatoes here.]

What does your garden look like in May? Do you have the same colour palette as we do?

CC x

Goals: June
GoalsforJune

So it's June. Already. How on earth are we almost half way through the year?! I had a lovely weekend planting peas, eating lunch with family and gorging on the first of the season's strawberries; I always wait for the British ones to appear in the shops as they always taste so much fresher and more - I don't know - strawberry like! They're great as a stop gap until my parents' crop starts to fruit.

As the weekend progressed I also looked back at my goals from last month, and I have to admit that I did pitifully little to achieve some of them.

maygoals
maygoals

tried to do number one, I really did. Some days I achieved this goal and others I spectacularly failed, but I knew this would be slow and steady progress rather than an instant effect. I am pleased to announce that goal number two - getting to grips with wedding stationery - has definitely been achieved.  Mr CC and I spent a Sunday morning playing around on photoshop creating a 'logo' of sorts for the wedding (a sycamore leaf with a small heart cut-out inside) and then created our Save the Dates - or should I say Bookmark the Dates (!). All will be revealed in another post another time...

The last three goals really came into their own over the last week or so. Mr CC and I went out for dinner, I made and froze some lovely looking meals and I took lots of photos in the dazzling sun that shone so beautifully over this past weekend in particular. I'm not sure why it took me all month to reach these goals, but nevertheless they have been attempted, and that's what setting them is all about really.

I'm quite excited about June. There's always lots going on, so I'm hoping it won't disappoint!

GoalsforJune
GoalsforJune

Here are this month's goals:

  1. Spend evenings in the garden. I need to make a conscious effort to remember that when I get in from work there is usually an hour or so that could be spent quite happily in the dappled late sunshine (weather permitting) instead of settling down on the sofa straight away. There are only a few weeks left until the daylight hours begin to wane once more, and I intend to make the most of them.
  2. Make elderflower cordial. If you've never tried making your own, you really should; it's so easy and tastes delicious - much better than anything you could buy. Keep an eye out this month for a 'How-To' blog post.
  3. Be (almost) vegetarian. Now this isn't a choice to avoid meat because I don't like or agree with it - sausages and mash is my favourite meal and I don't see that changing any time soon - but rather a conscious effort to eat healthier and more frugally. So although we will be having meat and fish this month, it will only be from those meals that I made and froze last month, I don't intend to purchase anything more. Not sure how Mr CC will feel about this...
  4. Write every day. Because why not?
  5. Read every day. Because I'm getting into a lovely reading habit now and I want to cling to it for as long as possible.

Do you have anything you're going to focus on this month? I'd love to hear from you!

CC x

P.S. Check out previous monthly goals here:

Goals for April

Goals for May