Thursday, 2 September 2010

Delinel delivers

Got home from work quite early today (I've been working at Heathrow this week) so I had a chance to have a good look round the garden. I found that the soil was very dry, and so I got the hosepipe out and gave things a drink -- especially the beans, which looked very thirsty. My sandy soil dries out very rapidly, and beans need a lot of water if they are to keep cropping.

I decided that the first beans from my new batch of 'Delinel' dwarf French Beans were ready to pick. Here's what I got...

Fresh pods from the dwarf French Beans

I think these probably have a date with some new potatoes and pesto tomorrow night (in Pasta a la Genovese).

I also noticed that the Asparagus is still continuing to put up some new spears. Will somebody please tell it that we are now in September, not May?! By this time of the year the Asparagus is usually starting to go yellow and die back, but I suppose it got off to a late start this year, so we must expect a late finish too.

Asparagus spears continuing to come up

The Blueberry crop has just about finished now (Lara consumed most of them...), but the plants look nice in their Autumn foliage.

Blueberry foliage in its Autumn colours

 The Maskotka tomatoes are on their last legs too. They have been fantastic. I can't think how many fruit thay have produced between them -- probably hundreds (and remember I only have two plants). I gave another plant to my daughter Emma a couple of months back, and she tells me that her one has been just as good -- much to Lara's delight. I can't recommend this variety highly enough!

Faded glory -- Maskotka coming to the end of its time...

 Jane's making home-made pizzas tonight, with home-grown tomatoes, so I picked a selection of salad leaves from the garden to go with them, including some from the young Endives. These are no way mature yet, but I find that I can pick the odd leaf here and there without doing them any significant damage. In this next picture you can see a broad-leaved Batavian endive next to one of the curly varieties.

Young Endives

Actually the pizzas deserve a bit more of a plug too: they are based on an idea we picked up from Jamie Oliver. Instead of using tomato sauce or puree as the main ingredient of the topping, Jane chops the tomatoes into fairly small pieces and then macerates them for about two hours in olive oil and balsamic vinegar with a pinch each of salt and sugar, before adding them to the pizza along with any other toppings you are using, just before cooking. Ours have thinly-sliced chorizo, mozzarella cheese and semi-dried tomatoes (home-grown of course). And they will eventually have a garnish of Land Cress added at serving time. I promise you these will be better than anything you can get from the Take-Away!

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