Squiggles is late. Nine days late so far, and I must admit I'm getting impatient! Since the arrival and passing of the due date on 16th August, it feels like I'm waking up on Christmas morning over and over again, only to be told that it has been put off until the next day. You start to feel like Christmas will never come. It becomes harder and harder to believe in Christmas. You start thinking maybe you made Christmas up. Then you get a punch in the ribs (from the inside) and Christmas is real again, it's just not here yet.
Anyway. Why am I thinking about Christmas? Oh yes, because the weather has turned. To begin with we didn't quite believe it had turned for good, but now everyone seems to agree that there's a distinct taste of Autumn in the air, a cold and damp nip... The mushrooms are out (every day I go for a walk and spot at least three new varieties (new to me, anyway) from weird, big, black rotten toadstool things to tiny, delicate, bright red mushrooms. My dad thinks he's found an abundance of Death Caps. Which is worrying. But there are edible mushrooms too - nice creamy white (familiar looking and smelling ones) with blushing pink gills. The only problem is that we already have so much food from the garden that it's hard to make sure everything gets eaten before it goes off.
I've been admiring the developing nuts and berries on the trees alongside the lane (I'm trying to walk Squiggles out, which has meant I've had a good excuse to explore the surrounding area), and looking forward to picking and making use of them when they're ready. We've got loads of hazelnuts (and cobs), rowan berries, sloes, elderberries and acorns, as well as blackberries and wild raspberries by the stream. Being mostly at home (rather than regularly leaving to go on tour) has been such a great change, and has made me realise how over the past few years I've been logistically unable to keep an eye on the wild harvest, it would always be a matter of luck if I happened upon ripe berries or nuts... Now I see them every other day, which is giving me a chance to really get a feel for the turning of the seasons, as well as time to think about what I could make with them when they are finally ready. I'm pretty sure I'll be telling you about it as it happens!
Now, what to do about all of those overgrown courgettes?! OK, marrows. They're massive, and we just can't keep up with them! Yesterday I found myself meditating on the stripey green marrow which has been sitting on the kitchen worktop for about a week now, and wondering what to do with it. I've made plenty of Marrow Provencale over the past month or so, so I needed an alternative to that. I started thinking that I could stuff it, knowing I had half a packet of brown lentils taking up room in the back of a cupboard somewhere... Anyway, I happened to mention this idea to my mum and she gave me a delicious recipe which turned out beautifully - it comes from one of Nigel Slater's cookbooks, but is also to be found online here. Click on the link and go right to the bottom of the article. :D I served us half the marrow each, accompanied by a small portion of lightly boiled French Beans. I couldn't manage all of mine, half a stuffed marrow is quite the mountain of food. Now that I look at the recipe again, I see that it is supposed to serve 4. Yes, perhaps that's what I'll do next time, ha ha!
Right, better go for another walk in the rain. Ah, what a blissful August, eh? Ha ha.
Here's a pic my mum took of me at 40 weeks:
Happy Winter Solstice & Merry Christmas
3 years ago