I love fresh produce in my kitchen. Even better when it has been harvested within the last hour, and only a fraction of a food mile on the clock. It’s one reason I push myself each year to grow my own, but I am doubly lucky. Our neighbours are amazing at growing fruit and veg, processing it into amazing food and they like to share. Their garden is so well set up. Puts me to shame.
This week, our neighbour wheeled her wheelbarrow around to see us. She had surplus garden produce to share. A couple of big punnets of cherry tomatoes, long cucumbers, mini courgettes, and types of tomatoes that I’ve only ever seen in the seed catalogues. I am truly lucky.
I was able to send her back with a spaghetti squash, but that was it. She had more than enough in her own garden. Including apples.
Everyone has enough apples around our way. The “Help yourselves to free apple” boxes have started to spring up along the lane. What is not given away, will end up as next year’s compost, so no waste. Continue reading
Today is the first time, since the start of the holidays, that I have been alone.
As I write, it’s quiet. Really quiet. Almost forgotten how quiet feels. I can hear an insistent woodpigeon calling but that is the nearest to the usual fanfare of children. I have the house all to myself for a few hours. Although I am missing them, I do need this time to myself.
(Note to self: I must make a few more harvest aprons as presents. Pick peas and pop in the expanding pocket, leaving both hands free.)
It is probably the lack of interruptions that allowed me to ponder. You see, earlier, as I sat outside our kitchen door, wearing my handmade, kitchen garden apron, in the shade of our old cottage, I couldn’t help thinking how podding peas is a leveller. Continue reading
Maybe its the abundance of fruit in the garden. Added to the extra eggs from the hens but somehow the first fruit-custard pie of the year just yells “Summer”.
Today I sent the children out into the garden to pick blackcurrants, enough to cover the base of the pan, while I made a sweet pastry.
Next the pastry was rolled out and arranged to line the greased pan. While it baked blind, I prepared the blackcurrants and put together the custard. Continue reading