Category: Did you know?

Year of the Pig (2019)

Chinese Zodiac

Year of the Pig (2019)

 

Photo by JMorton

  •  It is the 12th of 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac of the Chinese calendar.
  • It is the 12th or last of the animals because it was the last one to arrive when the Jade Emperor called for a great meeting.
  • LAZY PIG comes from the story during the great race for the Jade Emperor’s great meeting, the pig took it upon itself to stop and forage, when it had its fill, he promptly slept.
  • Lucky flower is Lily
  • Lucky Colour: yellow, avoid red and blue
  • Characteristics:  Faithful in friendship, kind, generous, stylish, perfectionist and hardworking

The Yew Tree

Our beautiful  Yew Tree lit up at night with Christmas lights, photo by PH Morton

The Yew Tree

We have got a lovely yew tree in our front garden which we dress up with lights on Christmas. It is now about 8 feet tall and still growing.

But did you know that the yew tree has a not quite a nice superstition attached to it?!!!

Yew (Taxus baccata) is a characteristic tree of churchyards, where some are estimated to be well over 1,000 years old.:
It is believed that ever since people arrived upon UK  shores, they planted yew trees in acts of sanctification, close to where they eventually hoped to be laid to rest.
And, according to a label on a yew tree at Kew Gardens in 1993:

The Druids regarded yew as sacred and planted it close to their temples. As early Christians often built their churches on these consecrated sites, the association of yew trees with churchyards was perpetuated

Apparently, if you bring in a yew (as part of a bundle of greenery for decoration) inside the house at Christmas, there will be a death in the family before the year out. It is also advised not to take yew inside the house because it is very unlucky!!!

Oh no, our yew tree is so beautiful to be a source of such malevolent superstition.

And all parts of the yew tree are poisonous, the hidden seeds inside the berries are extremely poisonous.

Ripen Fruits with a Banana

Ripening tomatoes with banana, photo by PH Morton

Food Tips

Ripen Fruits with a Banana

 

Now that summer has rolled into autumn, it is now time to gather in the fruits and vegetables still in the garden before the onset of cold weather and frost.

 

 

From his experience of keeping an allotment for more than 50 years, Mick, our neighbour, and good friend has lots of tips for gardening and how to store the yield produce.

He said to ripen green tomatoes, store them with a banana in a closed container. We use spare space in a kitchen drawer.

Peter applied this tip with a few green tomatoes last night and when he checked them this morning and found that they had started to ripen. (See above photo)

Remember!

Do not refrigerate an unripe banana.  The temperature of the fridge will halt the natural ripening process of a banana and would now remain green and unripe even when taken out of the fridge.

What is a Harvest Moon?

Harvest Moon, Photo by PH Morton

What is a Harvest Moon?

Harvest moon is a full moon.

It heralds the coming of autumn when farmers are believed to take in their harvests from the field before the frost gets to them.

What makes a harvest moon more special than being just a full moon is that it appears larger and orange and it occurs in September during the autumnal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere.

That is the autumnal equinox?

It is that time when the earth’s equator is directly in line with the center of the sun.

As the Northern hemisphere has its autumn equinox, the Southern Hemisphere is starting its Spring equinox.

 

25 September 2018 – Harvest Moon

Shrove Tuesday

Pancake, photo by PH Morton

Today is shrove Tuesday, which has now become better known as Pancake Day.

What is Shrove Tuesday about?  Has it become just a day of cooking and tossing pancakes?

Shrove Tuesday is the last day of merriment and feasting before Lent begins in earnest.

But in truth and in its history, today is about penitence.  Shrove Tuesday got its name from the ritual of shriving, which early Christians used to do.

The act of shriving meant that Christians would confess their sins and their shortcomings and in so doing will receive absolutions.

Absolution means the person will be forgiven of his sins and released from his guilt and pain that he had caused.

This tradition is very old.

Shrove Tuesday

It was a custom and tradition of the early Christians to confess their sins a week before the start of Lent to their priest/confessor, who shall so shrive them.

Today is not only about pancake but a time to think about the wrong deeds that we have done or have continued  doing.  We must be penitent of them.

On the happier side, Shrove Tuesday is also about partying and feasting.  Time to cook and serve all the foods that may have to be given up for the sober Lent to come. Barbecue the meat and fish and make pastas so no food are wasted for the coming Lent.  Today is like a Mardi Gras – Fat Tuesday.

Pancake became the ideal food for Tuesday because it uses up all the fats, milk and eggs with the addition of flour.

Source:  BBC.co.uk