Monday, 17 February 2014

Saturday Lunch

I was going to try and make a lunch only using ingredients that had been gathered from our garden on the day and over the past 6 months, but was tempted by the fresh squid in the Smelly Alley fish shop in Reading. In the end the ingredients were squid stir fried with dried chilli flakes and tomato sauce (made and jarred about 5 months ago), garlic, parsley and chopped leaves from my young Babington's Leek plants. On the plate to the right is a parsnip rosti seasoned with ground coriander seed and a salad of mustard greens (Golden Frills), red veined sorrel, chopped celeriac leaves, and flat leaf parsley. The tea was made from fresh herb fennel.

Had I not succumbed to the lure of the squid I would have used some dried beans, harvested last September, in a sauce made a few months ago from tomato, onion and sweet pepper.

Friday, 14 February 2014

February 2014, Windowsill gardening

As the rain and gale force winds continue here in Caversham outdoor gardening and even general tidying up is impossible. There is still plenty to do indoors: planning the sowing calendar and checking through the catalogues for seeds I've forgotten to order. In any case, it is the time of year for starting off some of the plants and vegetables indoors. Potatoes are chitting on the kitchen windowsill alongside the Babingtons leeks that I have started off in pots. The kiwi plant - 'Jenny', a self fertile variety - has arrived but will have to stay on the sill until there is a lull in the stormy weather and we can plant it out. 

On my office window sill I have sown the chilli seeds in a propagator. The varieties I am growing this year include:
  • Habanero Fatali HHH+ "Brightyellow, very hot, fruity"
  • AJI Pulsar HH "Nearly white, erect fruit turn orange then red. Low growing"
  • Bulgarian carrot HHH "Hot and fruity "Carrot coloured and shaped"
  • Nepalese Bell H-HHH "Jumbo sized version of Friars hat" [Friars Hat - "2" (5cm) flange shaped fruits. Slow to mature but worth it. Heat strength variable."]
  • Habanero 7 pot yellow HHHH+ "Fruits mature pale yellow with wonderful flavour"
  • Scotch Bonnet Bahamian Goat HHH "Pale green, slightly ribbed, fruit ripen peach/orange"
All came from Simpsons Seeds.

Next onto the windowsill will be the aubergines.