Friday, 7 October 2011

Long Time No Blog

It's been a while since I've put fingers to keyboard. Several reasons, been on holiday in Wales, my better half has been away on various travels (so I've been living on home made chilli and curry!) and we have been busy in the garden clearing twenty years of ivy from a rotting fence so we can get a new one put up.

However there are a number of food related items to talk about.

The Garden
The garden has been a mixed bag this year; some thing have cropped well others not so well thanks to the odd summer we've had.

Success Stories:
Beetroot, Jerusalem Artichokes, Mixed Salad, Courgettes and onions have done really well this year and all will find a place in the garden next year though I may substitute red onions for white and I may reduce the number of courgette plants! Leaks are looking good for late in the year.

Could Do Better
Beans (French, Broad,Runner), Sweetcorn, Rhubarb. All suffered from the hot dry April followed by the humid cloudy summer. Harvested some nice early beans but quality and quantity dropped off rapidly. Sweetcorn didn't set well so carved off the kernels rather than boiling the cobs whole.

Very Poor
Tomatoes. Blighted by blight due to the humid dull summer (and having lots of water dumped on them thanks to a blocked downpipe/gutter!) I, for the first time, harvested no tomatoes, very disappointing! 

Newbury Show

I know I should call it the Royal County of Berkshire Show but for me it will always be the Newbury Show!

This is an agricultural show that Liz and I have been going to together for 20 years and Liz for even longer as this  the area in which she grew up. As well as show animals (huge bulls, primped sheep and pampered pigs) there are vast craft and food tents to explore. Amongst the food tents the highlights this year for me were: Watercress Pesto - great with sliced courgettes and pasta, a West Country butcher who always bullies me into buying more high quality meat than I can physically fit in my freezer, Fox's Spices where I stock up on my herbs and spices for the year ahead, WI jams and pickles and fine cheeses including Oxford Isis a rind washed cheese with a wonderful scent and flavour.

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