Monday, 11 December 2017

Harvest Monday - wintery

I've seen so many photos of lovely snowy scenes over the last couple of days but here in Norwich it's been cold, heavy rain (with a tiny bit of sleet). We're not jealous at all, nuh uh. But it's definitely the weather for warming stews and one morning last week I set up a slow-cooker meal, including a couple of small squashes (cubed), chard and rosemary from the allotment, plus carrots, lentils and a tin of tomatoes. We had it with mashed potato (potatoes stored in the shed). It's nice coming home to a ready-cooked meal, I seem to lose enthusiasm in the evenings at this time of year. And there were enough leftovers for the next day too.
Today I made something similar, using one end of my remaining mega green butternut squash but added curry powder for a bit of spice instead of the rosemary.
The flesh colour isn't as deeply orange as the previous squash but it tasted alright. These squashes do seem to be quite watery though, as you can see with it seeping out after cutting.
And throughout the week we've been continuing to have salad leaves from the lean-to in our sandwiches, like this sweet rocket and winter purslane, plus green lentils which I sprout in a jar on the kitchen windowsill. I sometimes feel like this is a bit samey each week but then remind myself that we're still eating homegrown salad in December, which isn't bad going.
There's a small wood not too far away from us, which we walked down to last week to snip off some bits of holly and ivy - these grow prolifically in the wood so worry not, we're not depriving the local wildlife at all (and we saw a song thrush in a tree on the edge of the wood, which was lovely). So I made us a Christmas wreath for the front door - I have a solid metal ring (which was actually a plant support) that I re-use every year and twist the holly and ivy stems around it...tah dah....

Actually the photo isn't very good, it was at an angle so the wreath doesn't look properly round, but I was rushing to take it during a brief dry moment. Well, it looks a tad uneven too, so I might stick a bit more foliage in if I get round to it. I'll try and get a better photo next time. Maybe with a bit of snow ha.


Oh and some good news is that Norwich Farmshare (who I mentioned the other week) have been successful in their crowdfunding campaign, so can get cracking on developing their new CSA (community supported agriculture) site in the city, hooray.


That's me for the week, I hope you're all getting on okay where you are. I'm linking in as usual with Harvest Monday kindly hosted by Dave at Our Happy Acres.



  1. We haven’t had any snow either. Most people on my bloglist are snowless! Not having to go out to work and having outdoor activities curtailed, winter is a good time for us to settle down to some serious cooking,

  2. Homegrown salad in December will never be samey to me! It's been soup and stew weather here too, which have been very satisfying to me given our cold temps.

  3. Lovely to have home grown salad in December isn't it? We did actually have some snow, but it didn't hang around long, and we are back to rain again today. Not grown green butternuts before.. are they as richly flavoured as the orangey coloured ones?

    1. Hi Kathy, sorry for the late reply! I would say that this green butternut has a nice sweet flavour and nice aroma, but maybe not as richly flavoured as a traditional one. It is also a bit watery and can fall apart, which isn't a problem for stews etc but I guess it depends what you want to make with it. It's also very easy to cut through the skin of the raw squash, which could be good for some people (including me). Definitely less likely to accidentally cut yourself compared with some rock-hard squashes!

      However, I've found with courgette plants that where I've grown a couple of the same variety, in the same year but in different bits of soil, the courgettes from each plant have slightly different properties, so the same might be true of these green butternuts? And the amount of watering may make a difference..... I'm not sure if I've painted them in a good or bad light, but I'll be growing them again anyway, at least until the seed runs out. It'll be interesting to see if I get huge ones again, or maybe more moderately sized ones with different characteristics!

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