Can’t forget the Kitchen Garden!
Erik and I were beginning to wonder what we had let ourselves in for, as we scrubbed and painted relentlessly, day after day. The Kitchen Garden, quick trips out, wearing nice clothes – all these seem a dim memory as we’ve been trying to smarten up our house to put it on the market.
But we managed to squeeze time to water and tend the Kitchen Garden in between our ridiculously arduous painting schedule, and look what gorgeous bounty we have picked today.
Tomatoes of all shapes, colours and sizes have fought to survive our mad English weather and wierd conditions, and have won. This year we grew Gardeners’ Delight, Moneymaker, Sungold (so sweet, tiny and bright orange they explode in your mouth), Black Cherry (gorgeous). Tigerella (all stripey), Ferline, and last to ripen, Roma, the plum tomato.
Courgettes and Squash are still producing their fruits. The wierd shape of the long , yellow Tromboncino, the friendly round shape of Tondo di Piacenza which is brilliant for stuffing, or slice into thick rounds , coat with flour, egg and crunchy breadcrumbs and deepfry (great with a dip), or my old favourite, Romanesco, with ridged sides (the traditional Courgette shape). We also grew Sunburst, tiny, bright yellow Squash , which grow well in a container. These can be stuffed, or sliced and sauteed in butter and oil. A lovely little fun vegetable.
Carrots are still doing well. The normal shaped Amsterdam, and the little round Atlas carrots, which are fun to eat. My purple carrots, Purple Haze, are a bit slow this year, but finger’s crossed.
As for Runner Beans – our Polestar are going beserk. Luckily we like Runner Beans, and when they are freshly picked and pushed through our Krisk bean slicer, then steamed or gently fried in butter and oil, they taste so light and crunchy. We also freeze them to eat right through winter.
Fruit has had a difficult year. This year our Pink Lady apple tree has struggled, and has produced less than half of last year’s fantastic bounty. But those sweet apples are ripening now, and ready to eat and use in so many different ways. As spicy slices fried to accompany Pork, in sauces and of course in the myriad recipes for Apple pies, tarts, desserts. Our Glen Ample red raspberries are swelling and tasting sweet, and our All Gold creamy yellow raspberries are catching them up.
So we can’t forget the Kitchen Garden. We just have to remember to water it and pick the wonderful bounty. I just wonder what I will be doing next year – will we have moved and started up another Kitchen Garden, or will I be betwixt and between this one and a new one that only exists on paper. Who knows?