Friday, July 01, 2011

And the prize for knobbliest spud goes to......

Well, it would if I entered it in a competition!
I've reached that time of year when I can serve up meals almost entirely produced by me and it's a wonderful feeling. What's more, I find I'm reaching this happy point earlier each year!
This very knobbly spud is a 'pink fir apple' and I am getting the heaviest crop ever from these at the moment. They are delicious steamed or boiled but for a real treat, they make the most fantastic big and lumpy chips! It seems the early frostnip they got did no harm at all.
Yesterday dinner was a plate of these, beetroots and carrots from my allotment with hard boiled eggs from my chickens and mint and chives from the garden. (okay, I bought the butter but even so!) 

We often have eggs for breakfast but when we don't our shopbought breakfast cereal is studded with berries from the garden, gleefully collected by little flower in her pyjamas on her way back from letting the hens out.

 We've had a little robin redbreast keeping us company in the garden for the last couple of weeks.
We've watched as she hopped round the garden collecting bits and pieces for her nest that she built in Wurzel's shed.
We brought horse hair back with us from the stables and put some on the ground beside us and she came right up and got it.

We bought live mealworms to keep her strength up while she sat on the eggs and were so excited when those little fledglings started bombing round the garden!
One came close to being a chicken snack so little flower had to pick it up and show it back to the nest....quite an experience for an eight year old London kid!

I've started processing the purple garlic that had to be harvested early because it split.
For the first batch I decided to make myself  some 'umami' paste. I cooked the cloves gently in oil, added herbs, balsamic vinegar, anchovies, horseradish, parmesan and worcestshire sauce.

When it cooled I blitzed it all and put it in the freezer. It tastes really good but not very garlicky or strong which is a bit disappointing. 
I'm hoping that the oil will make it easy to take just a spoonful of this paste to liven up risottos or to add to basil for a super quick pesto.

So, all in all June has been a good month. Plenty of fresh things to eat, wildlife nesting in the garden, the weather is evening out now and we're all looking forward to the long summer holidays. 

Even the dog looks chilled out! He spends hours like this, asleep on the decking.
 It ain't a bad life eh?

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