I am new to having a dog, and new to the ritual of dog walking. With the advent of the grape harvest and Pumpjack working as an Oenologist in Chablis it fell to me to walk our young Chewie in the mornings. I wasn’t looking forward to this, particularly as the days closed in and the weather turned colder, potentially wetter, not to mention the time it would take away from my day. Turns out, I must say, I love it.I have always wanted to be a morning person, and the animals have definitely cemented this reality with their dawn (if not earlier) to dusk lifestyle. Continue reading
There’s a term in the the wine industry, a ‘Harvest Widow’. I’m a Harvest Widow. In fact this is my 6th time being a widow. No, I haven’t butchered 6 husbands and hidden them under the vines, though harvest time may give one ideas. Harvest season is the best of times and the worst of times, as it brings in the bounty (hopefully) but also means long, long, long hours, getting up before dawn, coming home well after dark, often working through the night. And as a Harvest Widow, I keep the home fires burning, food ready and on the table and to bring to work the next day, the animals fed, watered and walked, and I do lots and lots and lots of laundry. Continue reading
To complete my weekend trilogy homily to the Pumpkin I close with a classic recipe for Pumpkin Pie. The wondrous thing about Pumpkins, whatever their size, is the will provide you with a goodly amount of pumpkin purée, and with very little effort. Sure, you can buy pumpkin in a can (in the States), but there is no comparison in taste. For very little work you can easily make your own purée and freeze in readiness for use throughout winter. Continue reading
If you saw yesterday’s Blog Post (How Big Does Your Pumpkin Grow), I mentioned a number of Pumpkin recipes I tried, of which I included Spicy Pumpkin and Apple Chutney. Today I am posting Thai Coconut Pumpkin Soup and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds for your autumn harvest enjoyment. (Tomorrow, I will post a Pie recipe to close on a classic .) After all, those large pumpkins go along way. Continue reading
Whether it is images for Halloween or the cornucopia concept of harvest, autumn to me can be summed up in Pumpkins. There is something about these roly-poly orange veg that just makes me smile. (Maybe that is why we are driven to carve toothy faces into them?) Continue reading
A blog is most successful (I gather) when written regularly. So today I join a select collection of bloggers who write their apologies for having been absent from writing for awhile. But I have a good excuse. Honest. It wasn’t just laziness or even being too busy. In fact, I can blame everything on my parents. Continue reading
Our first harvest is in, has been made into wine and is now, as of today, in barrel!!! I for one am really proud, and particularly of Pumpjack for all the hard work he did, through out the year, to make the vineyard produce something we could actually harvest. Twelve hour days, 7 days a week, along with a bit of blood, huge amounts of sweat, and not a few (of my own) tears may not be everyone’s glass of wine, but at least we can call the wine ours. Continue reading
As this was my second year gardening vegetables, I put my hand to trying to grow more unusual vegetables. As a Garden Virgin, I of course had varying success. However, I am very proud of having had a go with melons, various types of basil, sweet potatoes, and particularly Rond de Nice – round courgettes (or zucchini) to you and me.
Last year I planted straight courgettes, only 4 plants, but my oh my did I get a few courgettes. As did the neighbours, and the neighbours of the neighbours, the workmen, heck, anyone who dared come to our door. This year I planted Rond de Nice, mainly because I think they are prettier, but! and this is a big but, it turns out they also produce less and don’t (quiet) take over the garden.
It’s a little trickier figuring out what to do with them. The obvious is stuff them, and that is actually a delicious thing to do as they cook better than squashes this way, since they are softer and have a higher water content. But that can get a little boring after the 3rd time, particularly if you have quite a few of them. I did find you can actually cook them just as you would straight courgettes, cutting them up, ribboning them, whatever the needs are for a recipe.
One of my favourite recipes for courgettes is so very easy, takes about 5 minutes:
sumac (substitute paprika if you don’t have sumac, though not quite as good)
Using a potato peeler, peel your courgette (round or otherwise) into ribbons, skin and flesh, until you get to the seeds. Compost the seeded bit.
In a saucepan heat a tablespoon of olive oil on a medium heat. Toss in the courgette ribbons and stir around. Add a pinch of salt. Add a teaspoon of sumac, and stir into the courgette. Add the sesame seeds, and again stir. Stir loosely for about 2 minutes and serve.
Having blogged about what to do with left over apple peels and cores from making apple compote, I thought it might be worth actually posting a recipe for what to with the actual apples. So herewith, a delicious recipe for apple compote / sauce: Continue reading
I’m sitting here, writing this blog post with a pot of apple cores and peels on the boil on the stove , deliciously wafting an apple scent into the room, and a bowl of vanilla ice cream and warm apple compote sat beside me just begging to be eaten. So, excuse me just a minute…. Continue reading