Category Archives: Living

Regrow your supermarket spring onions / salad onions

The latest crop from a shop-bought packet of spring onions that I planted last year, still providing me with lots of lovely flavour.

I’ve been regrowing shop-bought spring onions / salad onions for about 10 years.   If you buy a pack that has those spindly little white roots still attached (most of them have them) you can place them in water and regrow them.

It occurred to me today that at this particular time, this can be done very easily even if you are self-isolating, to make your spring onions go further.  Kids would probably love to do it. Best of all, after you cut your first crop, they will grow back!  You should get several crops in a single season.  They will be dormant in winter but will come back in spring.

Note that these will not grow into the same solid spring onion that you originally purchased, but they will produce giant, hollow chives, which are utterly delicious in salads, mashed into spud, or fine-chopped and sprinkled over stews and casseroles.  You can see mine in the photo to the left.  I first planted them last year and they are still going strong in their pot this year.

I don’t actually have any shop-bought spring onions at the moment, or I would photograph the process, but it’s dead simple and here’s how I’ve been doing it for years:

Buy spring onions that have their little white hair-like roots still attached, such as the ones in the picture on the right (which I’ve borrowed from the Ocado website).  If they have been cut off, this won’t work.

As soon as you have your spring onions home, cut off the last 3-4cm (a bit over an inch) that have the roots still attached.  Place these in glass or jar of cold water (a glass or jar is better than a cup so that you can watch what’s happening).  You only need enough water to cover the roots and a bit of the stem.

In a couple of days new, healthy white roots will appear and start growing.  When the new roots reach a good size (I find that anything over 3-4cms / an inch long works) you can plant them out into your garden or into pots (or the bottoms of used plastic bottles, with holes made in the bottom for drainage).

When you plant them, make sure that whilst the roots are under the surface, a bit of green remains, sticking up.  Water well, and keep moist, but don’t drown.  In only a couple of weeks they will begin to grow and when they reach a good height you can cut them and eat them.   Best of all, they will regrow!  The photograph at the top of the page shows the ones I planted last year and am still eating today (quite literally – they are going to be sprinkled over tonight’s home-made curry to give it a bit of zing in the absence of any coriander).

 

Reminder that the clocks go forward tonight

The clocks go forward tonight, Saturday 28th /Sunday 29th 2020.  It is easy to lose track of this sort of thing at the moment.  Enjoy the lighter evenings, always something to look forward to.  Sunset was at around 7pm tonight, so it will be 8pm tomorrow.  Even under the current circumstances, it’s a bit of a silver lining.  The last few days, so incredibly sunny and warm, were astonishing for March, and the promise of things to come.

 

 

Some *good* news: Aberdovey is one of “The Best Places to Live 2020” (The Times)

According to The Sunday Times, which has done a survey of the Best Places to Live in the UK 2020, Aberdovey is given a superb write-up in the Welsh category.   The full write-up is here, but you have to be a Times subscriber.  I’m not a subscriber, so you’ll just have to talk nicely to someone who is!  However, a short summary piece actually is available to read, and you can find that here.  Here’s an excerpt

So beautiful, yet so modest: there’s not a hint of bling in this exclusive resort, and the community comes together for the annual panto and in the queues for plaice and chips at the Bear of Amsterdam or a caramel ice cream from the Sweet Shop. Yes, there are a lot of holiday homes, but they are well loved and well used by owners who mostly live within a couple of hours’ drive — it’s 2½ hours to Birmingham and three to Manchester — so this is no out-of-season ghost town.  Local characters include Carlos the dog whisperer and Dai the fisherman.

Aberdyfi’s attractions are natural and bountiful. Reports of a Mediterranean climate are best taken with a pinch of sea salt, but the glittering night skies are unsullied by light pollution and the rugged mountains of Snowdonia are a suitably dramatic backdrop for the four-mile sandy beach. If what’s on offer at the butcher, the pharmacy, the village stores and the Coast deli isn’t enough, there’s a supermarket, a GP surgery and a cinema four miles up the coast in Tywyn, where you’ll also find the nearest primary and secondary schools.

I felt almost embarrassed by my own good taste in living here 🙂  I was glad to see Dai of Dai’s Shed getting an honourable mention – I’ve eaten serious amounts of the fish he catches, and the same applies to the excellent butcher.  And of course, The Sweet Shop sells my favourite ice cream in the UK.

Terrific to have some good news in this particularly difficult period.  Thanks to family friend and bee-keeper Kelvin Heywood for alerting me to it.

Contrasting attitudes to tourism and Covid-19

I had no intention of talking about Coronavirus on the blog, but I was seriously struck by two contrasting attitudes today.  The first concerns the excellent approach of local holiday business Dyfi Cottages, and their online Coronavirus statement, which is impressive because of its simple common sense.   Here’s an excerpt but see the link for the full statement:

Increasingly this week, with continued lack of clarity on what the social distancing measures meant for self-catering cottages, we are now realising that our friends in the community including health care professionals, police and other essential services, are now asking for us to help them by asking people to stop travelling on holiday in the near future. Visit Wales has now also posted advice on their website regarding visitors to Wales: https://www.visitwales.com/coronavirus?fbclid=IwAR0W4XAWOu0S-iM24G3iO5mvo8pATiN48HUAeXvCBF4PVQruwOGUZ-KfFX0

It is for this reason, we are ceasing taking new bookings for the period up to 15th June 2020, we are also asking that any customer with a booking in the properties listed by us and due to depart between now and 30th April 2020 defers their booking or move it to a date later in 2020 or 2021. We are also asking all of our owners to continue to support us in deferring these dates. We expect that we may need to extend this period at some point in the next few weeks, and we will continually monitor and review the situation.

Serious congratulations and thanks to this successful local enterprise run by Paul Fowles for turning away much-wanted business in the short term, because it is the right and sensible thing to do.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution shop, a favourite of mine, has also made the tough, but sensible decision to close its doors at least in the short-term.  It is an excellent cause, a splendid shop run by terrific people.  I look forward to it opening once again when things are safe.

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By contrast, there’s a report today on the BBC website, from which I have lifted the following photograph in Bala, which highlights how day-trippers have been pouring into Wales ignoring all the social distancing protocols that we all know about and should all be observing.  This is short excerpt so do check out the BBC website for the full report: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-51994504

Car parks and trails could be shut to stop people from visiting Snowdonia National Park after “unprecedented scenes”, according to bosses.  There were so many people on mountain summits on Saturday it was “impossible to maintain effective social distancing” . . . . Welsh ministers are considering their legal powers to force people to stay away during the coronavirus outbreak.

Deputy Economy and Transport Minister Lee Waters said some people were “pretending everything is normal” at a time when hospitals were “turning canteens into spillover intensive care units”.  It comes as seven more people in Wales died after contracting the virus, taking the total number of deaths to 12.

There have already been calls from local politicians and medics to encourage second home owners and caravan owners to stay away from Wales’ holiday hotspots, where some people have travelled to self-isolate.  They also urged them to adhere to guidance on social distancing to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Local residents of Bala, only an hour’s drive away, were quite clearly very upset by the influx, and took peaceable measures to inhibit it, as the above report, and the photograph showing a vehicle and a trailer parked across the entrance to the lake’s main carpark, demonstrate.

I didn’t venture down into Aberdovey today, although I seriously enjoyed the sunshine on my balcony, so I don’t know whether it was any better than the rest of Wales, but I suspect that it will be difficult to keep the crowds away when the weather is like this, unless the government, local community groups, businesses and responsible members of the public can ram it home that social distancing will save lives.

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