Sunday, May 3

It was carnage!

I have come to the conclusion I am just not a very good gardener..........all I seem to grow really well is caterpillars. This would not be quite such a problem but they are one insect (on a long and fairly substantial list) that I find completely gross. They have a purpose (to produce White Butterflies, the point of which I must say does completely elude me), I just wish they would pursue life in someone elses garden. It isn't just that they eat , nigh INHALE any brassica their fat little bodies can wriggle onto (and don't even get me started on the eggs, ugg), but they are so squishy & green & just foul about it, yuk yuk yuk! I will use an exclamation mark on that one, and another, yuk!
As you can probably tell I have had a big session in the garden today, mainly removing ALL my lovely Cauli's, Cabbages & Broccoli to the green bin. If I am honest they were anything but lovely, fully or half eaten, hiding icky green eggs among the minute foliage actually left, but it was still extremely upsetting. Even worse the little buggers had also stripped my parsley and mint plants bare. Now garden is one thing, but to touch the Herbs, that is a wriggle to far buddy, there is a line in the compost and you crossed it. So after a dumping of Derris Dust a napalm bomber would be well impressed with, I systematically remove every last brassica, along with my depleted herb garden.
I have come to the realization I am a cook who gardens (badly), not actually a gardener. Which is ok, the first step to recovery being the ability to self-analyse. So I have scuttled back into the kitchen, and made Leek & Potato soup (nope, neither the leek nor potato originated in my patch) and bread rolls. The rolls I have high hopes for. I have added what herbs I have left standing, thank you hardy Rosemary & Thyme, and also Saffron, which smells gorgeous, and makes the bread a lovely buttery color. The soup is a Darina Allen recipe I picked up on a cooking course at Ballymaloe in Ireland (name dropping, moi?), which I love not least because when I cant actually find the printed version in my tin, even my memory can locate, 1 part onion, 1 part potato, 3 parts vegetables and 5 parts stock. Tonight's is Leek & Potato, so I have upped the potato to 3 parts (3 cups in this case) to two cups of leek, 1 onion, and 5 cups of chicken stock from the freezer (if you are scoffing, please return immediately to Post number Three)
So much easier if you have a stick blender, it always put me off soup, having to put the liquid in a blender, which I then had to clean while nursing the inevitable burn gained in hot-liquid transfer..........a stick blender does the job in the saucepan, genius.
Anyway, the soup is garnished with a scattering of crispy bacon. If I was posh it would be pancetta, if I was more organised it would be Chorizo, I am neither, but have bacon in the freezer, hooray.
I thought I should add a new challenge to my "new ingredient/recipe from the tin thing", as looking back at my posts I can see how I have put on nearly 20kg since I got married (10 years this month, hence I am feeling reflective....), how much do I love cream/bacon/cheese, let me count the ways....?
So I will also be endeavoring to follow Michael Pollan's dictum of "eat food, mostly plants, not to much"....real food, lots of vegetables, watch the portions.
Lets see how we go x

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