Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wandering Wednesday

Here I stand, barefoot on the grass, enjoying this warm late summer day.  I have just come out of the greenhouse with a harvest of tomatoes and squash, and paused to admire the hydrangea.  This gorgeous bush is abundant with huge blooms - blue, pink and mauve just now, but Autumn will fade them to old red and finally turn to a parchment-like transparency in Wintertime. I cut fresh flowers now, and use the large leaves on cheese-boards and fruit platters and later I pick faded heads to dry for Christmas wreaths and decorations.

Most of my wanderings today were between garden and kitchen.  We are back on the Mainland for a few weeks, and the garden here is burgeoning with ripe produce. Our hunger today was satisfied from this very soil.
Lunch was a quick courgette (zucchini) bruschetta. We haven't had quite the glut of courgettes we have in the past - but enough to keep us going.  This is a favourite recipe which I usually serve on pasta, but it is equally nice on a thick slice of country bread.
Slowly slowly sizzle the courgettes (sprinkled with a little salt) and chopped cloves of garlic to taste in a glug of olive oil, until they soften and start to break up and look more oily than watery. Pour off excess oil (keep it to use another time if there is enough)
Throw in some parmesan and a splash of cream.  Serve on warm  soft buttered toast, or you could toast it in the oven sprinkled with olive oil.
Grab a piece for yourself first, because hungry boys and husbands soon polish it off.

Later in the afternoon, I wandered down to the plot, basket on arm, to see what was suggested for our evening meal.  There has been a terrific crop of garlic - large bulbs of rosy pink juicy cloves.  Many of the lettuce we had planted here has either gone to seed, or is very expectant looking.  I pulled a couple of Cos heads that looked as if they were headed for the sky.  But what to do with an overblown lettuce?  Lettuce soup of course - with peas - yes!  We have a great crop of peas too - quite the best I have grown.  They are a rare heritage variety called Champion of England.  Despite the name, I am thrilled with them.  Can one be thrilled with a pea? Why not - they are sweet and perfect and the pods are mostly full of shiny regular green pearls.  They are very tall, however, and they did pull the netting over as they grew, so stronger supports next time. Back up to the kitchen.

Lettuce and pea soup
Sweat an onion (or any allium really - shallots, leeks, scallions) and garlic cloves to taste in olive oil until soft and transparent.
Add 8 oz (ish) of shredded lettuce and as many peas as you like (frozen would be fine too).  When the lettuce has wilted, add your stock of choice ( veg, marigold, or chicken)
Bring to the boil for a minute or two and then blend.
Add cream if you feel so inclined and serve with croutons.  I used the left over courgettey/garlicy oil from lunch to toast the croutons with.
This is the last week Gardenmama is hosting Wandering Wednesday.  I have so enjoyed taking part in this photo challenge.  I never knew where my wanderings would take me, even as I posted the photograph.  It has been a moving meditation.  Where will you go this week?


  1. oh goodness- this looks so wonderful- All these photos are so inspirational!
    I love seeing what other mom's make!

  2. I have truly enjoyed your contributions to Wandering Wednesday! Your photos are always so lovely and tell such a creative story! I really appreciate your photo this week in front of the blue hydrangeas, they hold special meaning for me and remind me of a beautiful friend. Thank you for this : )

  3. Thank you for posting such wonderful, mouth-watering recipes! I will definitely try the courgette bruschetta! I've really enjoyed your Wednesday Wanderings, you live in such a beautiful place! xx

  4. Okay first, this whole post was beautiful and made me drool with envy.
    But, I have never heard of Marigold stock. If you get time, can you tell us about that?

    Love the new Wednesday wanderings but I have to laugh as last year I said to a friend "What is this thing with women taking pictures of their feet and putting them on their blogs?" And we had quite the hardy chuckle on that!

    Can you explain that one too? (Jacqui or indeed, anyone) LOL!
    I do love your photos and posts though, but that is nothing new! (Just your feet-LOL).

    I hope you are having a wonderful visit on the mainland with family and friends!
    (yes-your hydrangeas are GORgeous!)

  5. Thank you all.
    Gardenmamma - I have loved taking part in this.

    megg - Marigold stock is a powdered boullion - very handy for quick soups etc, and it is organic and vegan.
    The WW meme is on Gardenmama's blog, and was a photo challenge to look at where our feet were planted on the earth at the time and take a moment out to reflect on that. Reading all the posts that came from that gave a real sense of connection with other women bloggers around the world. I really enjoyed it. of course as it was a photo challenge, there were some very creative pictures - and feet - but nice to think of us standing together. xx

  6. Blogger is acting up, so I hope this is not a duplicate:

    Very cool meme. If you enjoyed it, i hope you continue it even if it is not a full blown meme anymore. It is a very cool idea and I really enjoyed your posts! Very creative.


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