Tag Archives: Gardening

Brunch Break

15 Apr

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I have been keeping baker’s hours this week, and today was no exception, but with all the cooking done for the events and the market I was free to get out into the garden at first light. With pyjamas and wellies on, a pot of tea under a cosy and accompanied only by the dawn choir of birdsong in their cathedral of beech trees, I make a start on the planting.

The beans which have uncurled themselves and are now reaching joyfully skywards are the first to go under the polytunnels, carefully tucking a little fleecy blanket at one end to stop the draft. I know I sound like an anxious mother but I am new to this! I flirted with
vegetable gardening to get me through a tricky patch some years ago, then like many flirtations it became a dalliance and then a heady passion! Although any skill or success I may have is due to a religious adherence to the RHS allotment handbook and asking very nicely! I have yet to have anything but beginners luck but my annual sense of pride at the tangle of beans and regimented lines of lettuce is disproportionate!
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The Seedlings Are Up!

12 Apr

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Because of the cold and bitter weather, which went way past Radio 4s description of inclement and became downright depressing; the garden has had to come inside. The conservatory is now absolutely full of pots containing the seeds for this years crop of vegetables and herbs, which are finally starting to sprout!

The broccoli was first past the post. To me this little army of peat pots with their tiny green shoots is such always such a sign of hope.

While I love broccoli, particularly the purple sprouting variety, I have never really understood the popular combining of this tender vegetable with stilton in a soup.
But I do recognise that it does go very well with blue cheese. By way of compromise, therefore, and in honour of the broccoli to come we made this; we wrapped the steamed, and very well drained, heads of purple sprouting broccoli in thin slices smoked Brunswick ham and made a creamy sauce of Roquefort and Gorgonzola (this was a great way of using up Easter leftovers).. We put this in an oven proof dish and sprinkled with parmesan and breadcrumbs. Once baked in the oven for around twenty minutes, it was rich and delicious. This recipe also works really well with whole braised Chicory heads!

The weather looks set to warm up, so hopefully the brave little seedling will be planted later this week!