Sunday, 18 May 2008

Recipes for May

Some of you will have noticed a strange looking item in your boxes this week, if you're not sure what it is or how to cook it i've included a recipe for Globe artichokes.
They really area a gourmet food item and I hope you enjoy them, our plants are quite young but will produce bigger fruit as they grow.

Preparation: Cut off the stem to make a flat base and remove any tough outer leaves. Position the artichokes snugly in one layer in a suitable saucepan or steamer. Sprinkle over some salt and lemon juice. If boiling, pour in enough water to come halfway up the artichokes. Likewise, make sure there is enough water in the base of the steamer. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and simmer or steam for 40–45 minutes.

Artichokes are done when a leaf pulls easily out of the centre and the base is soft when pricked with a knife or skewer. Drain and leave upside down in a colander for five minutes.

To serve: The artichoke can simply be placed on a plate as is. For a neater presentation, push back the outer leaves and pull out the centre cluster of purple-coloured leaves. Beneath that you will find the 'choke', an inedible stringy substance that should be carefully scooped out with a spoon to reveal the prize – the dense, meaty bottom of the artichoke.

To eat: Pull the leaves off one at a time and dip the base of the leaf in the butter or sauce. Drag it between your teeth, eating only the thick base of the leaf. There should be a 'discard' bowl provided for the uneaten leaves. When you come to the central group of small, purple leaves, as described above, scoop away the choke and eat the base with a fork, dipping it in the sauce or butter

This weeks Box

It's all green at the moment as we are still harvesting winter greens like Kale and chard. The first peas were available this week along with herbs like coriander. A nice tea can be made with the mint and oregano is always useful in small amounts in salad and of course with pasta!

Our Peach tree has had Peach leaf curl: A fungus that can result in dropped fruit and even a dead tree, we are addressing the issue by remineralising with sea solids

We've gone for green peas this year(last years were yellow), and while they don't have the multi-coloured flowers like the others they are still a lovely sight to see in the tunnel.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Tulip Time

In spite of the voracious rodents that inhabit this garden, some of our Tulips that we bought in Amsterdam have survived to welcome the Sun. A nice Pinch of sharp gorse on top of each bulb soon stops their little paws from digging them up :-)

Speaking of the sun it's been so hot here, it's hard to believe it was so cold only a week or so ago. It's a real pleasure to cycle up the hill to the field:

And it being May, the deliveries of boxes have begun. It's a slow start but things like peas and beans will soon be along: