Christmas cooking

Dedicated vegetable growers will be able to make an entire Christmas dinner from the garden. I am dedicated but not sufficiently organised or successful to do that. However, we did manage to have Howgate Wonder apples for every meal on Christmas Day: some fruit salad for breakfast, some pieces of apple as part of a snack lunch and in both the red cabbage (a family tradition, cabbage from the farmers’ market) and the Christmas Pudding for the main feast. We also had our own Brussels sprouts, rosemary in the roast potatoes and bay leaf in the bread sauce. For Boxing … Continue reading Christmas cooking

… and what to do with red tomatoes

Last week I told you about my green tomato glut and what do with it. This week some of them have ripened and I have red tomatoes. Not exactly a glut but a decent crop. In the past I’ve always thought that the best thing to do with home grown tomatoes was to eat them fresh and, preferably, warm straight from the plant, but I discovered a couple of years ago, when I really did have a red tomato glut, that the best thing to do with them was to make fresh tomato soup. So I saved up this little … Continue reading … and what to do with red tomatoes

Borscht – or a use for beetroots

Since my garden and allotment don’t quite supply me with vegetables all year round, the weekend started with a trip to the farmers’ market to top up the veg supply. I like the market because I can by localish organic vegetables with NO packaging. I love the way the stall holders pile up all the muddy veg and then tip it into assorted cotton bags – finally a use for these, which seem to breed in our cupboard. They do get all muddy but you can wash the bags (and the veg for that matter) and no packaging is used. … Continue reading Borscht – or a use for beetroots

Monsoon weather

I brought the lawn mower back from the allotment last week so that we could tackle the jungle in the garden. Fortunately a small gap in this year’s monsoon enabled us to have a go at the lawn.  But the monsoon has returned, which means the lawnmower is useless and the grass just keeps growing, but I have found a solution I evicted all of these little chaps from my pea plants and set them to work on cutting the grass. Meanwhile the marrows are really enjoying all this rain: I did get a great harvest from the peas and … Continue reading Monsoon weather

Green

It’s been a scorchio day here as everywhere else in the country. I went for a wander and passed an in ice cream van, selling, among other things, mint choc chip ice cream: I had been thinking about my Dad, as I often do at this time of year and now six years since we lost him. His childhood was during the Second World War, a time of rationing and few sweet treats. This led to him taking great pleasure in sharing childhood delights like ice cream with us. Ice cream in my rural childhood came in blocks from shops … Continue reading Green

Onion soup

Despite being June, it’s definitely soup weather. I’ve already made several of my classic green soups, mainly using Swiss chard, herbs and assorted bought vegetables but this week I’ve also been experimenting with onion soup. I’ve got a bit of an onion glut. The autumn planted allotment onions are absolute stunners. Here they are back in early May: Since then they have grown even bigger and more beautiful and have been the subject of much admiration by passing allotmenteers. Meanwhile the overwintering red onions in the garden have also done really well, even though they were planted in the dark, … Continue reading Onion soup