Wednesday, August 25, 2010
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.
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?