Sunday, 26 August 2012

Relishing beetroot!

The last few mornings have had a definite autumn feel to it - but then we have the shorter nights to remind us of summer's colourful cousin just around the corner. It's always been a bit of a mind bender to think back to the days of March when seeds were just seeds, and there was the big push to get them in the ground and get good food coming to the table. We planted most of our seeds on a gloriously fine and sunny (yet suspiciously too good to be true) mid March day. But even though all was started by Paddy's Day, things just seemed to just stop growing some time during May, standing still for some weeks after. The peas were the most notable absence to the Holly Cottage summer table - the plants got burned in an unforgiving May wind and never quite recovered after that. Swings and roundabouts with our crops though - this time last year I was worn out blanching peas and the freezer was packed of sweet, green bursts of flavour to add to stews and curries....(far away distance look :))

Beetroot relish a-cooking down slow and easy.....
Not to worry there's always beetroot :) This evening marked the start of the relishing of the crops. We have about a 6m drill of mostly small, baby beet size and then there were the 1lbers that obviously got the poorly distributed, yet powerful chicken manure hit ;) Five beetroot gave us 4lbs of purple goodness; add 2lbs of slowly sweated onions, a big hunk of ginger grated, brown sugar and red wine vinegar - and hey presto, magic beetroot relish to last maybe even until spring time. It took about 15mins to grate the beetroot - seriously, watch your fingers! Half an hour of slow cooking and the ingredients unfold to deliver the ultimate companion to baked goats cheese on crusty bread.....sorry, drooling on the keyboard ;) Add a few tasty, peppery rocket leaves and cherry tomatoes and wow - taste sensation. It's one of those jars that when you open in dark November you're back in the earthy tastes of when you bite into strawberry jam smothered toast on a Hallowe'en morning...mmm. 

Even if you don't have your own beetroot - go and buy some from your local veg supplier and just do it. We follow Darina Allen's recipe but there's all sorts to choose from and plenty of scope for some innovation I suspect - think apple, orange...go for it.

Buckwheat seeds - ones that escaped the cat!
Other news - the Buckwheat seeds sprouted on Saturday morning - so cute with their pinkish kidney bean shaped first leaves. I did however, catch a cat in the act of trying to sabotage those freshly raked beds, and I assume that's also why the blackbirds and swallows have been noticeably absent the last few mornings. Cats and garden birds do not together go. I am a cat lover, but the feathered friends win for garden entertainment. Especially those dare devil swallows..

Holly has also taken to reading the Holly Cottage blog over her Sunday morning nuts - check her out on the Blackberry!

"More of an i-phone dog myself....."

No comments:

Post a Comment