Yet again I have found myself speechless last weekend at the marvels that can be produced in a Great British Vegetable patch. Well not just that actually – the hedgerows too.
Yep, you’ve guessed it – this post will mainly be pictures!
Look at the tomatoes above – those have been grown in an English garden, albeit a sheltered garden, they taste nothing like the brown-plastic-boxed ones you buy in the supermarket, even the posh ones that still have the vine. The easiest sauce you could make for pasta – halve the tomatoes, put into a pan with a teaspoon of butter and a gently bashed garlic clove (gently and bashed in the same phrase?? Yes, bash the garlic until the clove splits, but make sure it is intact so you can pick it out). Bring to the boil a teeny slosh of white wine, probably using the glass from which you are drinking, Grindy pepper, pinch of salt. Pick the garlic out. Done. If you want to seive it to get rid of the skins, you can but I wouldn’t recommend it.
Now i’ve aways one of these country-gone-townie people who doesn’t like going for walks, doesn’t really eat anything that she didn’t buy from a supermarket or a ferociously expensive and hugely gimmicky farm shop! But, even I can’t deny that i took immense pleasure in picking these. If you take a careful look at the picture of the blackberries you will notice that the scales say 5.5lbs – we picked that little lot in just over an hour!! And I’ve got enough blackberries to make 5 blackberry & Apple crumbles along with about 10 pots of the stuff for the Boy’s cereal! Must get some cooking apples tonight!
The onions, I confess, I would never be able to hang them up and make them look that pretty, but there were 3 bunches of those along with another huge wicker basket of shallots!
Who know’s what pictures above are of??
Coriander Seeds! I’ve never ever seen these except on a supermarket shelf – and to be presented with an entire branch of them!! And for free?? It really doesn’t get better. Apparently coriander plants aren’t very healthy creatures, they don’t, unlike your average parsley or rosemary plant, look after themselves. Once they’ve got bored; they go to seed. We got 1 and 1/2 jars out of the branch – you’ll see in the magic eye-esque picture there are some green ones, if you come across these when you’re stripping a branch bare (which I imagine almost all of you are) just pop them on a baking tray and put into an oven at 50 (ish) degrees for 20 minutes.
I know you’ve seen lots of pictures of this basket, filled with much of the same produce this season, but, I’m putting it in any way to show you that this much yumminess is STILL growing. Courgettes by the barrel load, as many green beans as you could possibly want. The potatoes are called Annabel Potatoes and are wonderful – they remind me a bit of Jersey Royals ( to those of you who think I just blasphemed – no really they do!), they also have a bit of Charlotte about them. Again, all homegrown, pulled up a few weeks ago and stored in a brown paper bag that is inside another brown paper bag, both bags are crumpled closed.
I understand that ALL these bounties are only available really if you have the space / time / enthusiasm. For the most part, of course, it is mainly a space thing for those of us living in London. With an imminent house move on the cards, my project for the winter (with a great deal of help from the Boy….) will be to get a couple of beds of a bed and a couple of large pots ready for planting next spring – I want to see what I can do, in a small (but perfectly formed) South London garden, WITHOUT turning it into something out of The Good Life.