Thursday, 21 May 2009

Henrietta on Radio 4 - The Deighton File

Make sure you tune in to Radio 4 on Tuesday 26 May at 11.30am for The Deighton File. Patrick Humphries will be talking to Len Deighton about his writing career stretching back to The Ipcress File in 1962. Of course, he wasn't just a writer of spy novels - he was also a food writer of some renown. Amongst the highlights, Henrietta, a complete fan, will be talking about his Action Cook Book.

Home Grown Harvests - the rocket is taking over...

Aargh - we're being overtaken by rocket. As I mentioned in my last post, it's a straight-edged variety rather than jagged, but - and I'll be posting new pictures soon - the leaves are massive. Truly massive. A small handful easily does enough for two of us as a side salad to whatever we might be having. MCD is threatening to give bags away at the roadside. However it wilts down a treat - which saves on washing up, so we can fit it on the same plate as our main meal. It also doesn't have that sometimes antiseptic taste that supermarket rocket increasingly seems to have. It's not all a raving success though. One of the runner beans seems to have been invaded by black fly and treatment might have come a little too late. But the kale and cavolo nero are fighting back against the odds - the C.V. even looks a little like it should... god knows what we're to do with it all if it all grows well. This weekend we get our next batch of goodies - tomatoes, courgettes and perhaps melons. We're going to have a go at growing them against our sunny wall. I'm not hopeful but - hey - experimentation is all. Tonight's treat - Chicken caesar salad made with lettuce leaves and rocket from the garden - I can finally make a stand against supermarket lettuce!

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Home Grown Harvests - it's still hard

Further to my rant - gosh a little carried away there - on the de-merits of seed packet labelling, we've now planted out our cavolo nero and kale. Well, people, at this early stage, it's hard to tell whether it's disaster or triumph (again). Some of the cavolo are looking a little - well - green around the leaves and have slumped to the soil, overcome at the challenge; some are sturdy upright and going great guns. Others have been decapitated as if by a tiny, discriminating beastie... The kale, widely spaced as we thought they grow so very wide, have taken to it a little better, but now, with all this weather - (eh - so much for May's blissful sunshine), will our little seedlings survive the weekend - gales, rain - it might be too much... On a brighter note, the lettuces are looking fulsome, the rocket is curiously smooth-edged rather than jagged, but tastes like it should and the broad beans are flowering. Should they be - does anyone know? And how do you know when onions are ready? Next time - pictures for the defence.