Monday 29 June 2015

Harvest Monday - courgette (just)

It's been a bit of a funny old week, we were meant to be on our hols but as Jan's still unwell we couldn't go away. So I decided to take a couple of extra days off work anyway and take us out on the bus, (we've borrowed a wheelchair from the British Red Cross as she gets v tired easily and can't walk v far...stupid thyroid gland). We went to the excellent Time and Tide museum in Yarmouth and the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts up at the university, plus we've got a cool dragon Sculpture trail around the city at the moment ( I might do a separate post on this ). The weather's been confusing again, freezing one day, scorching the next.
Anyway, on to the harvests,
More rocket and basil, here's a bit of the basil with some tasty goats cheese sarnies,
I've been using up the broad beans still, and thought I should really do something other than the new fave broad bean stew, as we've had it 5 or more times in the last couple of weeks! So I made a simple noodle soup with some greens from the allotment and garlic too
The last of the bean plants on the plot were looking a bit yellowy and sad so I picked off the remaining pods, and cut the plants just above the soil, to leave the roots in place and add nutrients as they decompose. I was going to use the cut bits as mulch but there were lots of black fly on them, so I just added them to the compost instead. Has anyone noticed a lack of ladybirds? I've on,y seen one recently, though have spotted (ho ho) a couple of ladybird larvae this week...they are cool looking mini beasts. Hopefully they'll get to munching the black fly soon. I've had a go at my spring broad bean plants with soapy water spray but there's still loads of flies.
Anyway, Tonight I made an alternative turmeric broad bean stew, adding in odds n ends including leftover cooked potatoes, garlic and greens
The strawbs are still cropping, this was the best picking in one go and since then they've started slowing down, in fact tonight there was only just over one tub ( I usually pick them every other day ). A nice total so far of 17kg!
Of course we had to have warm strawb on toast with cheese again,
Yum yum yum! This time with museli bread (from Norwich Providore on the market. Yes I did get us squashage rolls again too, that we had with rocket one day. They are too good)
Tonight I picked a bit of rhubarb because the huge leaves were in the way. Not sure what to do with it yet.
More potatoes harvested by rooting around in the soil rather than pulling up the plant. The soil was bone dry under the grass mulch though, so I gave them a good water to encourage more potatoes to form and swell.
And here's the first courgettes of the year! There's two here chopped up, very tiny but I didn't want to risk them rotting off, as some had already done ( and seems to happen with the first fruit each plant produces, for me anyway). Here with some onion tops from the garden.
That went with scrambled egg, another quick and easy dish (there's a bit of a theme in my cooking!). Abit of mint garnish too from the front yard.

So, nothing majorly exciting this week, I've spent quite a bit of time taking us out and about for a change of scenery. I'll be getting bigger arm muscles after all this wheelchair pushing that'll be handy working the plot though!

Linking in with Harvest Monday on Daphne's Dandelions


Monday 22 June 2015

Harvest Monday - strawberries on toast with cheese!?

I didn't think I'd have much to report on this week, as I'd been feeling under the weather for a few days with hayfever and whatnot. But! Turns out a few things have come along after all....
I've harvested more potatoes, by lifting off the grass-clipping mulch and rootling around in the soil a bit. The plant can then carry on growing more potatoes as it hasn't been too disturbed. There have been slugs hiding under the grass too, but I've dealt with them as I find them
I've picked more of the autumn sown broad beans. There was about double this amount, I podded them in two sessions...
And have made the delicious broad bean and egg turmeric stew THREE times this week, it's so quick. It's nice with cooked potatoes added too. I kept forgetting to bring back marjoram ( as I don't have dill yet) so used mint, added just at the end of cooking.
The eggs are really good, sort of a cross between fried and poached
The over- wintered rocket is going a bit crazy so I picked a bunch, snipping off just above the lowest leaf point so it re grows again
Some went with squashage roll ( a delicious pastry with squash and sweet potato sold at the Norwich Providore stall I get our bread from. One day I will try making these myself!)
And I picked a bit of basil to go with the rest of the rocket to make a walnut pesto
Using my own garlic too.
And a first for the year....redcurrants, yum. I think I might actually prefer these to strawberries
...of which there are still plenty coming. Over 11kg so far. I heated some through to then freeze.
And we decided to do something a bit different on Sunday and made warm strawberry with goats cheese on toast. The recipe used ricotta but it's easier to get organic goats cheese here. Also I forgot to pick up flaked almonds so we used ground almonds plus some toasted walnuts, with Norfolk honey too.
Cooking in goats butter, very extravagant!
Yummy yummy yummy.

It was meant to be a brunch recipe but we had it for need for pudding!

Linking in with Harvest Monday at Daphne's Dandelions


Monday 15 June 2015

Harvest Monday - broad bean stew, strawberry cake & the first potatoes

The weather's been mixed again this week, summer one day, autumn the next. I expect the plants are confused. I am anyway.
But it's not been bad for harvests. I'm continuing to get lots of overwintered rocket, that we have in sandwiches or with salady meals ( here including my own grown and fermented gherkins)
The organic veggie stall on the market was closed for a couple of weeks, so I was trying to get creative. Having run out of onions from the stall, I snipped off a couple of the greens from spare onion sets I stuck in the garden.
...which added an extra dimension to a noodle soup, which also include the last of my corn from the freezer.
I'm running out of overwintered chard but getting some reasonable pickings. I think we had this with pie :)
I almost forgot, I rustled up my first potatoes! I was feeling a bit under the weather that day so only got this pic. A couple of the guys on the allotment site had been lifting theirs, so I thought I'd have a go (even though I knew I'd planted mine later than them). So rather than lift a whole plant (likely to mainly be small tubers ) I pulled back the grass-clipping mulch and some loose soil from a few plants and just took the biggest potatoes I could see /feel and left the little ones. The plants will then continue to grow and I'll have another check along the row this week. There's been lots of rain over the weekend so that'll help them.
I spotted a couple of asparagus spears in the bed I've sort of abandoned (I've planted the bed witha couple of squash plants instead)
...and added to a soup tonight, with the last frozen potatoes ( I thought I'd already used these up, but spotted another dishful at the back of a shelf) and some perpetual spinach I picked the other day.
Drum roll.........My first broad beans of the year! About 2 pounds, picked on friday

I was thinking of making a broad bean soup but first I fancied something a bit different. Shaheen's 'A Veg Table' blog is always good to check for recipes and I wasn't disappointed - plus this Broad bean stew was really easy.

I podded the beans in the (rainy) Saturday afternoon so there was less time pressure later on - it always takes longer than you think, and I cross-referenced the original recipe that inspired Shaheen too because my beans were fresh rather than soaked. I didn't have any dill either but have loads of marjoram so used that instead, I'd picked some the day before from the plot and brought it home because I thought the flavours would probably go ok with beans and was originally just thinking of making a soup.

Nice with some honey and walnut sourdough from the Norwich Providore stall on the market. And we liked it so much and it was so quick and easy, we had it the next day too! ( we needed something quick after spending a rainy Sunday afternoon watching the awesome new Jurassic World film.)
Another big harvest this week has been strawberries. - 1.1kg picked on Friday
Picked two days later (Sunday), Another couple of kg! I've picked 5kg in just under 2 weeks, phew.

We've eaten lots raw as snacks or with yogurt and I've given lots away too, plus frozen some. I thought I'd make a cake too using this Strawberry cake recipe for something a bit different.

Yums! I'll be heading to the plot tomorrow after work to pick the next batch.

Linking in with HarveEst Monday on Daphne's Dandelions.