Monday, 29 August 2011
Would somebody PLEASE put one of those white jackets with the wrap-around arm thingies onto me, and take me away in a Welsh Ambwlance?!..... No, I beautifully live on the Welsh Border, absolutely love it, I'm not Welsh, and I'm not insane Children, I'm just addicted to preserving what I've lovingly grown so that nothing goes to waste in the leaner months, or 'the hungry gap', as us horticultural peeps have fashioned with words to disguise that we're facing the prospect of buying another thousand litres of oil 'at that price', and if anyone reading our blog has just won the lottery, or IS The Sultan of Br...Br..Gorgeous Wealth.....
You DO have to make yourself smile though........
Think of making a homemade Pizza dough from the depths of your cupboard when you're in need of a culinary hug?........ and then waiting for it to prove....... and it isn't up to anyone but yourselves to adorn your own 'in your own very special way'...... Now WHAT is more exciting than that? .....To open up your Larder Cupboard, or walk into your own Pantry to rediscover what you've preserved from your own plot when everything was plentiful: Chilli-Oil, Oven-blushed Tomatoes, Basil Pesto, Roasted Passatta, Sweet Peppers, Sweet'n'Sour Borlotti Beans, Chargrilled Globe Artichokes in Olive Oil, Herbs from the freezer.....Wild Garlic Pesto, ... the list is endless, and I've even stretched to making my own Nasturtium Seed Capers of Garlic Chive, French Tarragon & Dill flavours this year,(so far) to cover a multitude of sins, just because I can?
Which brings me round to the subject of Sorrel. Do yourselves a favour by putting a packet of seeds for this lovely lemony-leaved herb on your Christmas List. 'Trust Me', I'm A Gardener? not being able to buy the leaves in any useable quantity from anyone, it makes sense to grow it for your own use in salads, sauces, soups and savoury tarts. (10oz. of in fridge for savoury tart tomorrow, so don't let me forget, eh?!)
But I'm not going to even remotely 'go there' with Savoury Tarts in this particular blog update, because I could talk about it for hours, with its' endless possibilities for a beautiful homemade dinner, and I refer religiously to the very brilliant Tamasyn-Day-Lewis's Art Of The Tart book in my kitchen when I'm in need of inspiration for any kind of comfort for my dear heart and I.
Whilst we all strive to eat freshly and seasonally from our own plots, or the generosity of other peoples', and love to cook from both, storecupboard ingredients to preserve for our own benefit should definitely make a recognised 'comeback', because, quite honestly, to make the simplest of any of these preserves from what you already grow, is not Rocket Science my friends. And I'd like to proudly Stick My Hand Up, and say "I DO"!
The birds of our gardens always seem to 'tell us' whether we're in for a mild or a harsh winter, me thinks, according to what they harvest, and when. And I do try and take notice of them, honest I do. But I'm thinking that it's only the end of August right now.... the hedgerow berries are way ahead of schedule, my freezers are already full, and with the berries ripening ahead of time, they'll be needing 'a sleep-over' at some point in Wellie's freezer to break down their cells for use before any real Jack Frost arrives to do that for me naturally if I'm going to make them into anything gorgeous in a jam jar.
The nights are definitely drawing in. BC, my such-loved and beautiful black panther of a pussy cat, is curled up between the draining board and the magimix as I sit here typing.
She'll stay there now, but I have to go.
I hope that you've enjoyed it once again.