Well, as you may recall I am recovering at home and am not allowed to garden until March. This makes me extremely sad. The last time we went to the plot for a harvest was on New Year’s Eve. Due to The Husband’s planning ahead with his crops we had a right old harvest: Leeks, Parsnips, Sprouts (precious!), Cabbage, Cranberries (well a mouth full) Mizuna & three types of Kale. I even found a prancing Parsnip which is quite amusing to me anyway! Little things please little bored minds….which apparently I have, as well as forgetful……love you ????? damn it what is your name?
We had a feast fit for a King on New Year’s Day…..I do now resemble a little fat weeble thanks to The Husband’s super cooking skills. I am not really ‘allowed’ to cook but my contribution was a Blackcurrant and Rosemary Cheesecake (The Husband can’t do cakes), this is loved by all the family but I have found that only Philedelphia will do, any other cream cheese just does not work. Have a bash:-
7oz digestive biscuits, crushed
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
3oz butter, melted
1 ½ lbs cream cheese (philidelphia)
8oz castor sugar
1 tsp natural vanilla extract
For the topping
8oz blackcurrants (can freeze from harvest, they last for months. Also brush stalks off whilst frozen so easy – tip from the great Alys Fowler.)
Granulated sugar to taste (I use less than a tbsp for a topping that bites back)
1 tsp arrowroot
Mix biscuits and rosemary, stir in the butter. Press the mixture into the base about 2.5cm up the sides of a buttered 20cm springform tin.
Preheat the oven to 150c or 300f.
Beat cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla until it is quite thick takes a good five minutes with an electric mixer. Spoon into the tin and level (try not to eat it all – yummy ). Bake for 1 – 1 ¼ hours until set, then leave until cold.
Stew the blackcurrants in 4 tbsp of water until the juices run, only takes a few minutes. Sweeten to taste. Blend the arrowroot with 1 tsp of water and stir in. Cook, stirring until thick and clear. Leave to cool.
Remove the cheesecake from the tin and place on a serving plate. Spoon the blackcurrant topping over and chill before serving – Enjoy.
This is not really an allotment thing but we got a tagine from Sainsburys in the Christmas sale. It is fantastic, you can cook a smoked haddock risotto in 18 minutes! I love risotto long gone are the days of stirring and adding for hours on end. I must add it is not really for cooking risottos in, but I thought why the hell not, they cook a treat. Lamb is the traditional dish and by gum does it melt in your mouth!
We did the annual seed sort out recently and found we only actually need a couple of packets. We need some sweet corn, we grow a bi-colour sweet corn called Ambrosia, this is a Thompson and Morgan seed. It produces two cobs to a plant, they are the sweetest thing you ever tasted and are good sized cobs. They freeze as fresh as the day you picked them. We also need some sweet dumplings – what is that I hear you say ? You already have one!
It Is great to sort them out but a tad disappointing when you discover that you do not need many packs. We went to a local Wyevale Garden Centre in September and they were selling all their seeds off at 50p per pack, as you can imagine we came out with 3/4 of a carrier bag! I mean a pack of purple flowered broad beans for 50p – 50p!
Last year we picked up some excellent little seed packets from Wilkinsons. I think they were about £2.00 for a pack of 20. Just the job for gathering seeds from the plot.
This month is the time for seed potatoes, we usually travel for about 45 minutes to a garden centre that sells them individually with many varieties, this way allows inspection as well. Far better than getting a net from an internet shop. However, a week or so after we purchased them last year, we went to a local farm shop and he was selling them there in the same way with lots of varieties, so we shall tootle off there first. Either way we are supporting local businesses and having the fun of selecting them.
Just to add to the sadness of being trapped I think I may have recycled my star letter voucher of £25.00 from the Kitchen Garden magazine……what a star prize idiot I am!