Tuesday, 29 June 2010

What's In My Basket? - redcurrants, strawberries, Greek cress seeds to dry and save, salad and artichokes, borage and pot marigolds

There are so many berries to pick, alliums to plait and plants to be watered that this picture is already out of date.

The artichokes and strawberries are over but it's been a wonderful year for both. The best new ways of eating artichokes this year had to be simmered in oil and water with thyme and lemon juice (thank you Chez Panisse) and griddled with seared onglet. The luxury of too many artichoke hearts makes up for an awful lot of weeding.

And now it's time to make black currant jelly. The seeping jelly bag and splashes of deep purple all over the kitchen make this a very messy and time consuming job but one that is really worth it. Black currant jelly is our magic family elixir that keeps us going through the winter, melted in boiling water as a cordial. This year we got more than 3 kg of berries from our solitary bush which is a record.

The red currants have been and gone, made into compote, burnt cream tart and summer pudding. I've got dark purple hands and a mild case of shed envy after visting my neighbor Linden's beautiful and productive plot.

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