Rainy Day Ramblings

The wind and rain doesn’t seem to stop the many visitors who gear up and brace themselves for the 4+ mile journey from Kilronan to the islands main attraction, Dun Aenghus Fort.  However, I did wonder this day how many of them would’ve boarded the ferry in Galway had it already been lashing.  But the rain started late morning and they had already arrived.  So while cyclists buzzed by our garden during yesterday’s wonderfully wicked weather, I was welcoming a day off from the hotel and garden to stay inside the house.

i live here in aran blue star

Blue star is where we live.  Map source.

Johnny even lucked out by having the rain begin just after the morning milking and ending before the evening one.  You’d never hear him complain, but many days of the six months or so that we have fresh milk, I’m happy that it’s not my daily responsibility.  Bella seems well over her loss by now and is giving us plenty of milk twice a day. With over four fresh litres in the fridge, I thought it would be a good day to make cheese.  The expiration date on my rennett disagreed with these plans, so instead my attention turned to stored vegetables from last years harvest.


Sturdy and strong at just a few hours old, Baby Henna, with mom Gemma.

It’s unusual for us to have anything in storage this late in the year, but a few onions remain as well as two heads of cabbage– the cabbage having been repeatedly ignored in favour of the kale that was pulled from the ground two weeks back now.  With fresh whey in the fridge, fermented sauerkraut was the obvious choice.  Simple enough to make taking well under an hour, it will be to our liking in about a weeks time.


The rest of the rainy indoor day was pretty uneventful.  Working five days a week now at the hotel and keeping up with the garden gave me an unneeded excuse to take a lie down and so I did.  After an hour I awoke refreshed, just in time to get out for the end of day sunshine– perfect for a bit of pottering about in the garden.  The girls and I sat aside one of our fields and talked about the tea garden we’re hopeful to begin planting next year.  Johnny snapped this picture of us huddled together.  You’d never know it had been such a dark day.


Busy days and nights are keeping me from the computer, but despite any consistent visits from the sun, photosynthesis is taking place and much is growing.  I will write a bit about that another day.  For now, slán agus oiche mhaith, goodbye and good night. Melissa Xx


    • I can almost hear him saying it Roz 😉 Depends on your perspective how you view it though. Those cyclists didn’t mind it and neither did I.. A nice time to slow down for me, and we have not been having so much gray and messy as just cold and windy. Would be nice to feel some warmer temps soon though 🙂


    • Thanks Sue, It’s unusual to have a pic of the three of us and usual for me to be behind the camera so it was nice when he sneaked up on us.
      I’m happy you appreciate the blue star. Just did it for a bit of fun. Everything before our house is an uphill climb, then it’s all down hill until you reach the fort. It’s a workout the visitors might not expect, never mind in the wind and rain. There’s another route with it’s own ups and downs, and certainly more exploring beyond those, but this is the main road and everyone travels that way once or more on their visit. Melissa 🙂


  1. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    Impressed that you still have vegetables in store. I’ve been buying onions and potatoes for last three weeks now (though Japanese ones are coming on)! So much to do in garden – definitely behind this year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Only every third onion is edible, the others are getting very soft in the middle. Honestly, we have never managed to have anything this late in the year either. We are still picking off a celery bush that has gone to seed and the stalks are round instead of ‘u’ shaped, but are actually a bit sweet and tasty. It’s bare around here. Eating lots of rocket! And picked first courgettes from tunnel this week. What a treat that was. Would love to visit your garden someday. Out to play in the dirt now. Will catch up on what you’ve been up to tonight. Enjoy the sunshine Karina!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Murtagh's Meadow says:

        Yes our last onions were the same but Wow, first courgettes – the one in the greenhouse is getting close to flowering but still a week or two off. But yes lots of lovely rocket, mustard and lettuce. But sprouting broccoli almost gone! -Sunshine?? – maybe – in between the heavy showers!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ha, ha! We just had a very heavy shower, the first of the day. Just checked my records on the courgettes– March 23rd is when the seeds were first sown in individual cells, two plants went in the tunnel earth on April 7th, no room for more than that. The rest still in pots have a flower or two but no fruit. Interesting. We are planning to install wind break around the pumpkin/courgette beds for next year so we can plant out earlier. To think we could be eating and selling them already makes it worth it. Well, we hope to feel the same after pricing it out 😀 Mmmm, sprouting broccoli–can’t wait!!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. kim says:

    Lovely photos! It’s all rain here today in the West of England, so we’ll find something quiet to do inside. We have plenty of cabbages grown in the garden so maybe I’ll make sauerkraut too. I don’t have any whey, but last time I made it without and it turned out pretty well. Hope the weather warms up for you soon. x

    Liked by 1 person

    • You definitely don’t need whey. I often don’t use it with veg as don’t like to compete with natural organisms already existing on veg, but had it from straining kefir for using as frosting and it was popping away in the fridge, so alive! I couldn’t resist using it. 🙂
      It gives ferments a nice head start with the beneficial organisms that it contains. It just takes a bit longer without it/a starter culture. Salt prevents spoiling organisms from getting a foothold, so by using whey you can cut down the salt– I really prefer the taste with less salt. Whey is easy enough to make if you want to try, just let me know. Probably you know all of the above already, but I could chat about fermenting all day long! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • kim says:

        I know little about fermenting but am very interested to learn. Maybe in the future you could do some more posts on it? and making whey? Could I ask you if sauerkraut must be kept in the fridge after the initial fermenting period? That’s what I did last time, but I only have a small fridge and would like to make more than one jar at a time – is it okay to store in the kitchen cupboard? Thanks 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • I make it in large batches, keep it in cool storage that’s out of direct sunlight, and keep a jar in the fridge that I eat from. This is really out of convenience as I could easily serve myself from the big batch but since I go to it daily…it just makes sense for me– my storage spot is not so convenient. If it’s not in an airlock container, then check it periodically to make sure it is happy, no mold growing. I stored pickles one year in my pantry and they fizzed out of their jars, made a bit of a mess, but they were so yummy and fizzy. Here’s a link to one way to make your own whey. http://wp.me/p5j7Uf-1mW I will definitely continue to write more posts about fermenting. The site that I still go to with questions, that I started out with many years ago, and highly recommend is http://www.culturesforhealth.com/
          I will always answer any questions Kim. Happy Friday!!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Melissa, your island seems so beautiful, I can understand why all these cyclists are around there. I’ve never drunk goat milk, is it different from cow’s? You and your girls are lovely! Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cow and goat milk are different, we like them both, but couldn’t possibly keep a cow!
      Thank you, they are as lovely and loving on the inside as the outside. I am so proud of them ❤
      You enjoy the weekend also 🙂 Chat soon.


  4. Such different environments we live in,but some similarities. The high desert here experienced a very rainy spring which made for just beautiful wildflowers, and our area is just filled with cyclists. Just a lovely photo of you and your children. Wonderful post and indeed the cabbage always gets chosen last!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, the poor neglected cabbage! Yet it transforms into one of the best delicacies in the house when fermented. Thank you for your kind words…I am going to get the photo printed 🙂
      The rain does make for a real lushness and growth throughout the garden and surrounding natural landscape. Wish it were a bit warmer though!

      Liked by 1 person


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