Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Autumnal Witterings

Autumnal Witterings, because I decided that the garden is way too weedy, and you've witnessed too many Smug Trugs already.... so:

On visiting the Dentist for a check-up this afternoon, I parked in the same vicinity as six months ago, and discovered, to my utmost horror, that there were kilos and kilos of wild rosehips on a pickable-height hedge in front of my bumper, that had gone over and were now way too soft to harvest. What am I LIKE?!! (mental note to oneself: next dental visit end of March.... the one after that'll be end September, so keep an eye on the garden ones' and do a drive by Luv to the dentists' a couple of weeks earlier, no?!)

It's all the fault of my paternal grandfather, I seem to remember, because he was the one that nurtured my horticultural interest, by showing me and explaining the theory behind shaking the tomato plants in his greenhouse to help the pollination happen. From then on in, I was very quietly hooked....

Many years later, when I eventually met my maternal grandfather, I discovered that he and I also shared an interest in horticulture, and I remember wishing that I'd met him much earlier in my life.

However, whoever which one of them, or both, keep sending me these brilliant 'Ping' Ideas, or snippets of knowledge from that garden in the sky, consider yourselves well and truly adored Gentlemen, because it is turning my life around so beautifully.

Talking of which..... Trousers and his mate Jim went detecting with Pete last weekend, and the three of them went detecting on a Rally, with another sixty or so like-minded enthusiasts, somewhere over towards Cardif evidently. Either that, or they devoured a whole tin of homemade Biscotti Bickies on their own, and sinfully, neglected to bring the empty tin back. Although I'd settle for a very valuable piece of Roman jewellry instead of a replacement tin, if truth be known.

I know, credit where credit is due.... but allegedly, Wellie's Cheesy Sheep biscuits (made for a previous detecting rally) are now in high demand, so my culinary experiments are indeedy paying dividends somewhere along the line, eh?

My 'best friend' Gloria came over yesterday to take more photographs of produce that I'm still growing, produce that I've harvested, and produce that I've preserved/stored.

And it's rather a lovely thought, that one day, one of her photographs of something that I've grown, harvested or preserved, may end up being published in a book on the shelves, and admired by me, one of you, or one of your children, or childrens' children in years to come. Because, like my own late father, she proffers them for use to Photographic Libraries, and has had a lot of her kitchen garden work accepted very recently......
..... or who knows, I might get a book of my own published one day..... with
Photographs by Gloria Nicol.
I'd still got some SweetiCorn Cobs producing in The Funny Farm Kitchen Garden, from a successful experiment of successional sowing this year, and I was amazed that Gloria had never eaten a freshy picked and cooked corn cob. So whilst she did what she's best at with her photography, I did what I'm best at. Five minutes later, a healthy lunch was served. And then completely ruined half an hour hence, with a square of Chocolate Truffle Brownie, fresh raspberries and cream, and a shot of Wellie's newly decanted wickedly-homemade Strawberry Rum 'a la Bob Flowerdew', if you please!

Now then. With the pure symmetry that Gloria and I share of cooking and preserving, with new recipes that we've found, new books that have just miraculously fallen out of the sky, landing on our cookbook shelves - last count totalling One Hundred And Thirty Five, ouch?! (until Trousers notices at The Funny Farm, obviously!), I would just like to say a very heartfelt thankyou Gloria, for the gift of my 'Preserving Tongs' Sweetheart.

I'm not in the least bit worried that people reading this will think that I've taken to curling my eyelashes between Jam Making Sessions, because I'm way too busy for that, but because there is nothing quite like being given the right tool to do the right job, whilst the raised James Martin Pancakes are on the stove, I shall multi-task and 'flick' my hair a little, or do I mean Paul Hollywood?
Unless you are here in my kitchen, you will never know, my friends.
But bless you for listening.X


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