11 days and counting until my allotment 1 year anniversary! How does one celebrate? Do I buy No.27 a card and a prezzie? If yes, what present do I get…a plant, a new tool? Is this an excuse for some balloons and a cheeky glass of champagne on the plot?
Please say yes!
If its nearly No.27’s anniversary that also means its nearly a year since I started sharing my journey via my blog, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. What an incredible year it has been! I will make sure I do a separate dedicated post on the day.
The weekend finally arrived after a long week and Saturday I managed a good 3 hour session in the chilly sunshine. Mainly tidying the empty beds and planting a few tete a tete daffodil bulbs. Only another 89 to go, that’s not forgetting the 100 free alliums bulbs I got from the Gardeners World magazine offer thanks to Thompson and Morgan. So nearly another 200 bulbs to get planted in the next month!
There was a small fib there, sorry, I think ‘mainly tidying’ was the wrong phrase as I really mainly spent my time chatting to my plot neighbours with some work in between. We have all done this though, haven’t we?!
Allotment chat is just as valuable as the actual hard graft I think, don’t you? It’s where you can share experiences, tips and support. Also a great time for swapping allotment produce, I love trying new varieties!
I finished off my allotment time with the harvesting of some Chard, the Rhubarb (Vulcan) variety which I sowed back in July from Mr Fothergill’s. I’m pretty sure that the seeds were free in a previous edition of Grow your own magazine. You can read more about the sowing of them in my previous post.
The leaves can be cooked like spinach on their own or in an array or recipes, the stems are tasty too. Thank you for all the recipe ideas I have received recently on Twitter and Instagram! Risottos, stir fries, pasta bakes, you can pretty much add it to anything by the sounds of it. A great to way add an extra kick of vitamin C in to your diet too just in case you need another excuse to try it.
I had a double dose today and just what’s needed hopefully to get rid of this cold I have developed over the last few days. Its amazing how your system slows down after a few days being unhealthy, especially when you are already exhausted.
I decided to start the experimenting as simple as you can get, by just slicing the leaves up, giving them a good rinse under the tap then sweating them down in a pan with very small amount of additional water and a pinch of salt for about 10 minutes. I cooked enough for two portions so the first went into my lunch; wholewheat pasta served with the chard and some roasted tomatoes. The tomatoes I cooked for about 30 minutes with some olive oil, sea salt and black pepper. It certainly was the delicious! For what is just some leaves really, this variety of chard do pack a lot of flavour.
The second serving went towards my dinner; accompanied by a chunky piece of cod and the best sauté potatoes I have ever tasted! It was my first attempt at ever making them, so easy and very yummy! I definitely recommend you giving them ago. In case you want to, here is how I did it;
– I used my plot grown Sarpo Mira variety spuds but pretty sure any decent main crop variety will do the job
– Put the whole unpeeled potatoes in a pan of water; bring to the boil and cook for 15 minutes
– Drain and leave to cool, you can do this part in advance if you wish
– When ready to serve, cut them into slices
– Heat olive oil in a large frying pan and cook for 10 – 15mins turning frequently until golden, crispy and looking delicious
– Finally sprinkle with sea salt and thyme, fresh from the allotment if you are growing it like me. You could also try rosemary too.
– Serve and enjoy!
Let me know what you think if you try them or the chard, always love hearing new recipes too.
Will leave you with a bunch of my stunning cosmos flowers still looking fabulous in mass on the allotment. Have a great week x