Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas Eve 2007 - weather: chilly and damp

Today we had our annual journey to the plot to gather veggies for the Christmas festivities. Number one son came with me as our little girl was quite poorly with a shocking cough and cold. It was chilly and damp and we both got quite muddy, but we were able to gather carrots, parsnips, chard, cabbages, turnips, celeriac, salad leaves, red and white winter radish (mooli) and beetroot to feed family and friends during the festive period.

As you can see, the moolis have put on some serious growth considering I didn't sow until after the longest day back in the summer. They have the typical radish pepperiness if eaten raw, but chopped up or grated, they are a valuable winter root for soups and stews where they loose that heat and turn sweet and tender.

Red cabbage and savoy cabbages came home with us. The red was braised with onion and apple, a slosh of white wine vinegar, a little water, Christmas spices, salt and pepper for a couple of hours very very gently until it was tender and sweet with a hint of sour and delicious. It will definately be on my winter menu again. And of course, the parsnips. Not as massive as in previous years, but they were buggers to germinate so didn't get going until late in the spring. However there are 2 rows of these beauties, another great root for this time of year.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday 14th December 2007 - Weather: chilly and overcast

Wow, has it really been over a month since I last posted? I have popped to the plot a couple of times, but only when passing just to check everything is okay. Pretty much the same thing today. I had a hot date with old Jack to go over to the orchard and pick some miseltoo and as he wasn't arriving until 10, I had a whole hour to knuckle down. Started digging, did a section on the brassica patch, then cleared the runner beans and the few tomato plants that I hadn't gotten around to oiking out. My waterbutt had fallen over, not vandals I am certain, but the moles seem to have been burrowing around that area, and the bricks the butt was up on were at an angle, and I imagine the strong winds we have had recently were enough to tip it over, so I sorted that out. An hour is no time on the allotment, and I still have some tidying to do on plot number 2, number one is spick and span and ready for 2008.

Still in the ground and growing well are Japanese onions, garlic, leeks, chard, cabbages, purple sprouting, brussel sprouts, kale, mooli, long red radish, carrots, parsnips, swedes, turnips, a big selection of salad leaves like mustard, corn salad, oakleaf, mizuna, etc and beetroots. Should have plenty of veg for the Christmas hols.

Hopefully, weather permitting, I will go to the allotment for a couple of hours Monday afternoon, and Tuesday afternoon.