Monday 4 December 2017

Harvest Monday - surviving the frost

It's been very frosty here in Norwich recently, and we even had sleet and snow the other day. So I haven't been to the allotment much, it's too damp to get on with things like weeding. But I did nip down there this morning to harvest some goodies....first up is the mizuna, which doesn't seem to have minded the frost at all. I have a few plants (sown at home in plugs and planted out in the area I had some maincrop potatoes), so I just harvested the larger outer leaves, leaving the rest to grow on.
The chard doesn't mind frost much either. The stems on these are quite vibrant, nice to brighten up winter dishes.
The Nero kale is also ignoring the frost, with its dark leaves. There seems to be less whitefly around since the temperatures have dropped so that's a bonus too.
I picked a bit of rosemary to make a cleansing tea .....although it's early in the Christmas season I already feel like I'm overdoing the sugary foods (and not being as active because of the weather), so a refreshing tea is very welcome (and very easy - just snip off a couple of inches, pop it in a mug and pour in boiling water, then leave to infuse for a couple of minutes (I find if its left too long the tea has a bitter flavour).
We were going round a friend's to eat the other day, so I decided to take roasted beetroot. I have some beets stored in the front shed but thought it probably best to use up the ones still outside in the backgarden. They roasted up nicely with a few cloves of garlic, yum. I also mixed in a handful of winter purslane leaves from the lean-to (not pictured).
On the puddings side, I already had a tub of stewed fruit in the fridge (blackberry, raspberry, gooseberry and apple mix), which we have on our muesli in the mornings, so I made a cake batter and mixed in a good dollop of the fruit. It created a sort of raspberry ripple effect and was pretty tasty, though the cakes did sink after I took them out the oven. I'm sure there's a scientific reason for that...anyone know? Here they are before baking (I didn't get an after shot).
On a completely different tack, we needed a quick dinner the other day, so had some curried rice and additional veggies from the freezer, including some red pepper for a bit of colour. It ended up being a bit like a risotto, not bad.
Talking of peppers, I used up last week's fresh pepper in sandwiches, along with sweet rocket from the lean-to and homemade chutney.
After eating loads of almonds last week I felt bad for ignoring my hazel nuts, so cracked a load open and toasted them in the oven (when it was on for some other baking too).
The skin flakes off after they've been toasted, which makes them even tastier....mmmm.

Today we made a non-edible harvest...holly and ivy trimmings from a nearby wood, which I'll make into a Christmas wreath - photos to follow. And I have another 'harvest' this week too, if the weather holds out - bagging up a load of lovely well-rotted horse poo to take to the allotment. Not sure which one I'm most excited about (yes let's face it, it's the horse poo).


Thanks for reading, I'm linking in as usual with Harvest Monday kindly hosted by Dave at Our Happy Acres. Head over there to see what other people have been harvesting too.



  1. I've done like you with our mizuna, just taking a bit from the plants and leaving the rest. I do think it's milder this time of year too, not that it's ever too spicy. I'll have to try your rosemary tea. I have a big plant I dug up and brought indoors for the winter.

    1. Hi Dave, we don't have to move our rosemary indoors here fortunately, I'm sure I'd never get round to it!

  2. We haven’t had any snow yet other than a sprinkling and very little rain so we managed to get a few allotment jobs done. I think we are due for a cold end to the week.

    1. Hi sue, Norwich seems to be one of the only places not getting snow this week, just heavy heavy cold rain, brr.

  3. Your greens seem to be holding up in the wintry weather. I'm hoping ours make it through the winter, fingers crossed. Your risotto and pudding cake look delicious, and roasted vegetables sound wonderful this time of year. I've done a lot more cooking and baking now that it's cooler, summer months are too busy for more in depth cooking.

    1. Thanks Phuong. Yes it's interesting how meals change throughout the seasons. When we were at my sister's recently in hot Spain we were really enjoying raw cauliflower with hummus, but completely didn't fancy it back in cool Norwich. Good luck with your winter greens :)