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Sometimes it takes the simplest of meals to remind you what real, good food actually is. I had this revelation last night as I tucked into my dinner for one of scrambled eggs on toast.
Mr Rigg was away for the night and my dinner choice was based on the fact that I really couldn’t be arsed to make anything more just for myself. We have a lovely farm up the road who produce organic eggs, so I always have a large tray of their eggs on hand for quick meals.
This time I had treated myself to some of their white Leghorn eggs, which I scrambled in my own sweet fashion – melt a healthy amount of raw butter in a saucepan, crack the eggs directly into the hot butter without whisking prior (I had two whole eggs and an extra yolk). Next I turn the heat down and let the eggs cook a little in the butter without touching them, then I use a spoon to break them up. This way you end up a mixture of quite distinct ‘white’ and ‘yolk’ but also some standard pale yellow scramble as well.
I considered skimming some cream off the top of our raw milk to add to the pan of eggs, cream in scrambled eggs is divine – don’t bother with milk! Anyway, that seemed like too much effort, so I just seasoned with salt and pepper and added generous amounts of snipped mint and chives from the garden, plus some pretty purple chive flowers.
We British are always talking about the weather, it seems we are unable to have a conversation with anyone without mentioning it. So here I am, talking about the weather – but what incredible weather it has been this past week!
Mr Rigg is convinced this is our summer, last year March was stonking hot, this year maybe it’s May. I do hope this isn’t the end of hot, sunny weather for the rest of the year, just a few more occasional weeks like this would satisfy me.
Like everyone I’m sure, we’ve been out in the garden, down on the allotment, cooking and eating outside, and quickly getting in a tan in case this really is our one and only week of warm, cloudless skies.
Some of our many meals eaten outside (and some even cooked outside!) have included this new favourite pasta dish of prawns, rocket and sundried tomato paste…
A rather scrummy and also new favourite omelette with colourful cherry tomatoes from our local farmer’s market, crispy Serrano ham, shavings of sheep’s cheese and snipped chives from the garden…
I’ve never had much luck with tomatoes, I don’t have a greenhouse and the English weather seems to be terrible to them. Sometimes I get tomatoes, but then the never ripen, maybe I’ve just had the wrong variety or not cared for them enough.
It must be said, I like my plants (ornamental or edible) to not need a lot of care, I like them to get on with growing without having to be fussed over and tended to too often. That being said, this year, one of my three tomatoes plants is doing really well.
I bought a set of three Jamie Oliver tomato plants, I really liked that they all came as different varieties – I chose a set that had a red variety called Tomatoberry (this is the one that’s doing well), a green and orange striped one called Green Zebra (a few tomatoes on that, none ripening yet), and a yellow variety that hasn’t done well at all.
One day I hope to make this meal again, with everything but the sausages grown in my garden or on our allotment. I do believe that the best food is made with what’s available seasonally and from an idea of what it is you want to eat.
What started as a simple meal (and possibly one of our favourites), of grilled sausages, new potatoes and salad, turned into something a bit more interesting. The sausages came from the fab new Kenyon Hall Farm Shop, the new potatoes were boiled and violently shaken with salty butter and lots of mint from the garden.
But it was the salad that became something far better, using up odds and ends from the garden and the fridge. To a bowl I finely sliced spring onions, added a splash of white wine vinegar and some salt – I like to do this to take the edge off the onions. Otherwise I find that all you can taste is onion.
We are busy picking platefuls of raspberries, loganberries and strawberries from our garden. The first of the raspberries appeared at the end of June, which seemed really early to me – anyone else finding that their raspberries are out earlier this year?
For all the cursing I do during the year about the raspberry canes that pop up in all the wrong places (like the middle of my raised veg beds!), and all the promises I make to pull out all of them over the winter, I can’t help but leave them when we get such a bounty during the summer.
The strawberries have all but disappeared from their original location (overtaken by the raspberries) but have sprung up in unlikely places. If you pull back their parasol shaped leaves you discover lots of very sweet fruits – a wonderful surprise.
The loganberries are prolific growing over an archway, but I find if I don’t pick them in time many of them that still look ok have yucky little white maggot/caterpillas inside them – those ones go on the bird table.
We have too many raspberries and loganberries at the moment to eat, so I bung them in the freezer until a time when we have enough to maybe make some jam. The strawberries are fewer so those we are eating.
I am so happy to be back in my little blog home – it has been far too long and I have missed sharing my food adventures.
Since getting engaged back in September 2009, we have been steadily planning and preparing for our wedding. As the date drew nearer – 21st May 2011 – I have just had little time to do much else (whilst juggling it along with my job and my website).
Here’s a picture of some of the cakes our family and friends made for our wedding – the big white one in the middle so beautiful decorated was made by my Granny!
To save me rambling on for too long, I’m going to do some bullets of what’s been going on in our lives for the past few months I’ve been missing from here, and then aim to follow with a nice post and recipe for a fab barbecue we had over the weekend:
- Most importantly – we got married! On 21st May 2011, I married Mr Rigg in my home village in Gloucestershire – we had a beautiful, rustic country wedding, with a party in my parent’s garden, lots of local cider and perry, AMAZING food (lots of it local) and just an all round fab day. If you’re at all interested, photos and details will follow on my website.
- We honeymooned in an incredible Canopy & Star’s hideaway for a week and took Buddy with us (more details and hopefully a couple of foodie posts on this to follow).
- Sadly, Mr Rigg’s lovely Granny who was always so interested in what we were doing passed away.
- After spending an exorbitant amount of time and effort getting our allotment covered in manure and getting rid of all the weeds over the winter…we have neglected it and it is now overrun with weeds – we are totally and utterly the worst looking allotment – gutted.
- Although we haven’t got a lot growing (and the radishes all matured as we headed south for our wedding), we have got a couple of healthy pea plants, some small beetroot seedlings, potatoes growing (only just!) and quite a few courgette, squash and pumpkin plants.
I am just so happy to ‘be back’ and can’t wait to get growing and cooking some decent food – and to share it all! I’ll leave you with a picture of my overgrown garden…
I so desperately want to have the time to write here again – I have a camera full of photos and lots I would love to share, I just don’t have the time. I think I might pop!
We have, however, managed to plant some seeds last weekend – carrots, salad leaves, beetroot, radish, parsley, and peas…and today we spotted the first green pea shoots poking through! So exciting!
Mr Rigg is nurturing a monster in our garden…
There is something so lovely and comforting about being able to wander to the bottom of your own garden and pick something for dinner. Last night I decided to pick some of the yellow sunburst squash that I have growing in my vegetable patch.
These UFO shaped squash are so pretty – although mine are looking a bit sorry for themselves. They’ve started to rot a bit where the flower blossomed with all this rain we’ve had recently. Also, the ones I usually see in my local grocery are much more yellow – mine are a bit pallid!
None-the-less they taste lovely. So I picked a few and brought them inside to be eaten within half an hour of picking – now that’s pretty special. Beat that supermarket giants!
For tea we had scrambled eggs on toasted bagel with garlic fried squash, oregano flowers and Gruyère. Fresh flavours and very tasty – and I love the yellow from the eggs and squash flecked with the purple from the oregano flowers.
Scrambled eggs on toasted bagel with garlic fried squash, oregano flowers and Gruyère
A couple of small yellow sunburst squash
2-3 cloves of garlic
5 medium eggs
Handful of oregano flowers and leaves
Heat a frying pan with some olive oil. Finely chop the garlic and add to the pan – softening it gently.
Thinly slice the squash and add to the garlic. Fry until soft and starting to turn a little golden and season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, make your scrambled eggs – here’s how I make mine.
Put your bagels on to toast and butter them once they’re ready.
Add the oregano leaves to the scrambled eggs, mix together, then spoon over the bagels.
Take your fried squash and place on top of the eggs and grate over some Gruyère cheese.
Finally, sprinkle over some oregano flowers and eat!