Thursday, 11 October 2012

The cure for all ill ...

 is not to sit still
Or frowst with a book by the fire;
But to take a large hoe and a shovel also,
And dig until you gently perspire.

                                                                   Rudyard Kipling

Every woman should have one
The sunshine of the last few days, coupled with a promised skip to take  rubbish away, has prompted lots of digging and a tidying frenzy on the part of the allotmenteers – myself included.

October is a hectic month for the vegetable gardener, removing perennial weeds and digging over vacant plots to allow the cold weather to help break up the soil in anticipation of spring planting next year. It is hard work but very satisfying.

I guess gardeners must be optimists as, despite the extremely poor harvests this year, here we all are, planning ahead to next year’s crops – ordering seeds, planting Japanese onions and Durham Early spring cabbages to over-winter and get a head start on the 2013 growing season. 

Globe artichokes grown for glory not food!

There will be leeks and Jerusalem artichokes yet to harvest during the worst of the winter and there ought to have been Swedes but mine just haven’t grown – lots of green tops but no swelling bottoms to add to soups and warming vegetable cobblers. How do supermarkets always manage to have them in abundance?
'Jemmer' coourgettes

I have had some courgettes, although again not the crop I’d hoped, but sufficient to make friend Vivien’s delicious Courgette and Cumin soup:-

25g butter                                       
 1 onion –chopped
 1 garlic clove –crushed                  
2 tsp ground cumin
150g potatoes – cubed                 
 350g courgettes – thickly sliced
450ml vegetable stock                   
300ml milk
freshly ground pepper

Melt butter and fry onion and garlic until soft.
Add cumin, stir in potatoes and courgettes
Cook gently in stock and milk until vegetables are soft
Purée the soup and serve hot or cold, garnished with sliced courgettes.


And my personal favourite courgette recipe -
Courgette Provençale:-

Slice courgettes, onions, and tomatoes (they can all be lightly fried beforehand but healthier not to). Layer in a soufflé dish or similar, adding a grating of cheese every now and then together with black pepper (a smattering of your favourite herb can also be a welcome addition). Finish with a layer of courgette slices and cover with grated cheese – I prefer a strong cheddar. Bake in a moderate over for approximately one hour. Delicious served warm with a salad and crusty bread or as a side vegetable. (It also reheats nicely in the microwave for a few minutes if you want to use leftovers later).


1 comment:

  1. I might have guessed you would be on the allotment this week, as even I ventured into the garden to start tidying up. These beautiful sun filled October days are my favourite of all the seasons.

    Love the sound of both recipes - will have to give them a try. Some gorgeous pictures scrolling down on the right - love the Japanese Anemones