‘I do sincerely trust
that the benediction
that is always awaiting me
in my garden may by degrees be more deserved and that I may grow in grace and patience and cheerfulness, just like the happy flowers
I so much love.’ Elizabeth von Arnim
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.
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.
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!
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
have had some courgettes, although again not the crop I’d hoped, but sufficient
to make friend Vivien’s delicious Courgette
and Cumin soup:-
1 garlic clove –crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
150g potatoes – cubed
350g courgettes – thickly
450ml vegetable stock
freshly ground pepper
Melt butter and fry onion and
garlic until soft.
Add cumin, stir in potatoes
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 -
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).