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So March is nearly over and done. This month has been full of highs and lows as I continue my journey into motherhood. I have, however, made some time to explore the beautiful winter garden at my local National Trust property with Tilly, and for once taking my ‘big camera’ rather than just my phone.
Sometimes I think I should just put away the cameras and enjoy just ‘being’ in a place, and I definitely want to make sure I do this as Tilly gets bigger and older. But on this walk, I discovered that I really noticed so many signs of spring that I might have ordinarily strolled past.
I saw bumble bees pushing their way into tiny iris, and flowers of all kinds – many more than I imagined would be flowering at the beginning of March.
It has been a while since I shared any pictures of what we’ve been cooking and eating at home recently, so I thought I would look back through my albums and share some with you all. Following on from my post about cutting out cheese temporarily for health reasons, this has now been extended to a lot more things, specifically wheat, sugar, and yeast. It has been a challenge recently, but I hope I will get to the point where I am happy to share more with you.
So here’s some of the food we’ve been making and eating during April and May…
Sorrel, fresh garlic and white asparagus frittata
This was inspired by watching an episode of Two Greedy Italians where they met an elderly lady who knew all the wild herbs and plants growing around her mountain home. She picked some wild greens and made a kind of frittata, popping the cooked greens through a mouli first to remove the tough bits.
I don’t think my sorrel had many tough bits, but being rather short in both supply and knowledge of wild greens, I wanted to try out the idea anyway. It was great fun mouli-ing the sorrel and then mixing into my beaten eggs.
We’d not tried white asparagus before, but it was available in our organic grocery – I sliced peeled the outside, sliced them in half, blanched them and then laid them on top of my fritttata. Topped with a dollop of raw basil pesto (this stuff is amazing and I live off it at the moment) it was pretty tasty.
Lemony garlic baked chicken with rice, asparagus and leftover aioli
Last week we had incredible fish and chips from a place in Didsbury called Frankie’s Fish Bar, but it left me feeling guilty that all I’d eaten for dinner was deep-fried fish and potatoes.
So I was determined the following night to fill us full of vegetables, and this is what I came up with…
All the vegetables were English, although not grown by me. There were new potatoes, boiled and tossed in lots of salty butter and black better. Pink and white radishes sliced in half, asparagus spears and baby carrots blanched and sliced.
Broad beans and fresh peas shelled and briefly cooked in simmering water. Lots of seasonal salad leaves, crispy bacon shards, and those gorgeous nasturtium flowers (bought from Waitrose, so delighted they’re selling edible flowers).
Not a lot of complicated stuff, just a lot of shelling broad beans and slicing. But really delicious – I want to eat more of this sort of food over the summer.
I have just created a brand new Recipe Index for the blog to help people find the recipes they want – and hopefully some others you’d like to try!
I thought it would be a breeze to put it together…but in fact it turns out I’ve added rather a lot of recipes and took me a lot longer than I expected.
Hope you enjoy!
Mr Rigg and I have had a lovely weekend with my family. Yesterday before we left my mom and I made a delicious pasta dinner using green spring inspired vegetables. Simply dreamt up with the ingredients we had. Here’s how we made it…
Spring vegetable pasta
2 small to medium leeks
Half a bunch of asparagus
Small bowlful of frozen peas
2 handfuls of shelled broad beans
2 spring onions
Long thin pasta for two
2 rashers of bacon (optional)
Parmesan to serve
Butter, olive oil, salt and pepper
Melt a generous knob of butter in a saucepan. Finely slice the leeks and saute in the butter until soft. You can also add a couple of teaspoonfuls of the pasta cooking water. Season with salt and pepper.
If you are having bacon, cut it into small pieces and fry until crispy.
Put on a pan of boiling salted water and cook the pasta accordingly. About 3-5 minutes before the pasta is ready, add the broad beans and peas. Slice the asparagus diagonally into small slithers and add them to the pasta, peas and beans to cook for a few minutes.
Slice up the spring onions and add to the leeks.
When the pasta and vegetables are cooked, drain the water and tip the pasta into the pan with the leeks. Stir well, add a little olive oil and season to taste if needed. Add a little more butter if the pasta is a little dry.
Eat the pasta topped with crispy bacon and shards of Parmesan and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Better looking photos thanks to the little sister’s camera!
Last weekend I planted my first vegetable seeds of the year…peas…broad beans…little gem lettuce…and Angelica (a first for me).
As you can see the first signs of life are poking through – how exciting!
I feel like I have fallen off the planet for the past few weeks. Last week I was delivering a week long conference, then I caught a terrible bug that was going round – I lost a lot of weight, didn’t eat anything for two days, slept for days. I am now only beginning to get my appetite back, one small mouthful at a time.
Food hasn’t been my best friend for the past week so I haven’t got anything lovely to post, however, I do have some pictures of the first signs of new life on the allotment.
Here’s what the allotment looks like at the moment…
And the first signs of life…
No matter how weird-looking rhubarb is when it’s emerging, there’s something comforting about these first signs of life amongst the dreary greys and soggy browns of the allotment.
I am busy getting ready for a week long conference next week at work, so am unlikely to get a chance to post properly for a week or so.
Hopefully I might be able to post some pictures this weekend of our allotment – we managed to get down there last weekend and do a bit of clearing. It’s not very exciting but must be done!
Happy gardening all of your who are lucky enough to be in your gardens getting ready for the spring!