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I thought it was about time for some wildlife pics after all this talk of food and eating and recipes! 

Aren’t they so sweet?  I discovered these teeny tiny caterpillars on my nasturtiums this evening – I don’t mind them chomping on the leaves as there are so many and I do so love butterflies in my garden.

I love how they all huddle together…

I especially like this picture, not only because of this rogue caterpillar who was brave enough to leave the huddle and explore the leaf, but also because you can just see three tiny yellow eggs clinging to the underside of the leaf – on the right in the picture.

These are the last of the berries from my garden: blackcurrants, raspberries and loganberries.  Although there are a few loganberries still ripening, the raspberries and blackcurrants are all but finished. 

We’re heading off to Yorkshire this weekend to visit Mr Rigg’s family and be joined by my parents.  A restful few days awaits and someone else to do the cooking – and very good cooking it is. 

I will pop this small bowlful of berries into the freezer, and cook with them over the coming weeks (at least that’s the plan!). 

Whilst picking the berries I was dreaming up different ideas of what I could do with them, and my favourite idea so far is a sort of late summer berry crumble or pie

I have spotted blackberries turning deep purple in the hedgerows, so think supplemented with a few of these a crumble or pie would be lovely.  Plus we have a tub of homemade clotted cream ice cream to finish.

Is anyone else starting to feel that summer is waning and autumn is approaching?  Maybe it’s just the warm, wet and windy weather we have had recently in our part of England that has awakened a longing for stews and pies.

Have a lovely weekend and I hope to be back afresh next week to catch up on all that I’ve promised to post – this week has been unnaturally busy and I’ve barely had a chance to breathe.

What could be prettier than a garden grown salad with radish flowers…

I am getting a backlog of lovely posts that I want to share – overdue recipes for cooking with a glut of lettuce, two homemade summer drinks, and the last of what I got up to with the little sister (and more importantly what we were eating!).

However, for now I wanted to share this delicious garden salad we had tonight.  I’m very proud of the fact that everything was grown by me from seed.  This was a salad that I truly nurtured.

Here’s everything seconds after being pulled from the earth or cut…

Baby carrots – a type called Paris Market Baron that produces carrots that are fat and round.  Perfect for anyone growing in rocky soil!  And radishes – my favourite kind, French Breakfast, with their elegant long body and crisp white tips that gently blush to a deep pink…

Pretty spring onions – sorry I can’t remember what type they are!

Vibrant green Little Gem lettuces…

And my edible discovery of 2010 – that you can eat radish seed pods!  A big thanks to Alys Fowler and her series The Edible Garden for opening my tastebuds to the joy that is radish pods.  Simply leave some of your radishes to flower (or if you’re like me they do this out of neglect…), then the flowers turn into these elfin shaped pods and eventually fatten up.  Eaten they – unsurprisingly – have a radishy taste…

After trimming the hairy roots from the spring onions, washing the dirt from the carrots, slicing the radishes into discs and arranging them all in a pretty dish this is what it looked like…

Look at this lovely picture the little sister took of my lovely bunny Borage…


Image: Izzy Burton Photography (the little sister)

She keeps changing her blog name, but hopefully now it’s sticking at this.  She also took some lovely photos of deer at my local National Trust – Dunham Massey.  She’s aspiring to be a pet photographer at the moment and I’m her biggest fan.

The little sister and I picked a bowlful of my first homegrown raspberries and a couple of wild strawberries.  It was so exciting – my raspberry bushes have gone mad this year, with tons of fruit.  Photos taken by me, but with my little sisters camera – I want it!

I didn’t realise that you could grill smoked mackerel fillets – it turns out you can, and they’re delicious!  This is one of the recipes Heston has done for Waitrose – I tweaked it a little, like substituting red onion for shallots.

It’s basically new potatoes that are tossed in lightly cooked onion, wholegrain mustard, lots of herbs and a dash of wine vinegar.  The lovely tang of the potatoes goes nicely with the strong peppery fish.  Very yummy especially when eaten with crisp garden salad.

The full recipe can be found here – perfect to use the seasonal bounty of locally grown Cheshire new potatoes near us.  Here’s to another day of eating in the garden on a warm June evening…

It is so warm at the moment that we are enjoying lots of meals eaten in the garden.  We have a tiny little red metal table and two chairs, providing just enough space to squeeze on dinner for two.

Tonight we ate crusty bread…thin slices of French sausisson…fat pieces of Parma ham…my favourite cheese at the moment Brebirousse

…and a bowl of warm tomatoes with torn chunks of milky buffalo mozzarella and drizzled with lots of extra virgin olive oil and a few splashes of balsamic vinegar.

Simple food is always good food.

Last night we had a simple supper of homemade trout pate spread thickly on slices of pumpernickel bread topped with a morsel of homegrown lettuce.

The recipe was inspired by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s version in his book River Cottage Everyday.  I had planned to follow it to the letter, but it seems that I picked up soft cheese rather than crème fraîche while out shopping, so I ended up making it up and tasting it as I went along. 

We ate the pate on slices of the Barbakan’s pumpernickel bread, which was delicious – dark, sticky and chewy.  Every mouthful felt good for you.  It has been agreed we must eat more of it more often.

Here’s my version, without exact measurements – mix and taste, then amend.  Alternatively follow Hugh’s recipe.

Smoked trout pate

Feeds 2 for dinner or 4 as a starter

Approx 250-300g smoked trout (I used a combination of smoke trout and hot smoked trout)
A couple of spoonfuls of soft cheese/cream cheese
A dollop of mayonnaise
A couple of teaspoons of English mustard
Lots of lemon juice
A good grinding of black pepper
A bunch of chives, snipped
Chive flowers

In a blender add half the smoked trout, the soft cheese and mustard.  Blitz.  Add more soft cheese if it’s a bit dry and the mayonnaise.  Add a good amount of lemon juice and the ground black pepper. 

Blitz and then taste.  You want it to have a good punchy kick of mustard, but not overpowering.  And a nice fresh lemony background taste.  I added a tiny splash of water just to loosen the pate a little.

Flake the remaining smoke trout and stir into the pate – this gives a nice texture.  Also stir in the snipped chives and the chive flowers which you should pull from the head.

Eat with pumpernickel or a dark rye bread and a crisp green salad.  This would also make an excellent canapé – a tiny chunk of bread spread with pate and topped with a piece of lettuce or a sprinkling of chives and chive flowers.

Dinner last night – scrambled eggs my way with a generous amount of garden grown herbs (chives, mint, parsley, oregano, and chive flowers) on a fresh bagel with lettuce, homegrown rainbow radishes and a mustard vinaigrette. 

Bliss.

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Eat the Earth

I love food, especially locally grown and seasonal food. This is my place to share my food finds and the food I like to eat.

My Pictures

All pictures are my own unless stated. I would kindly ask that you don't use them elsewhere unless you ask permission first. Many thanks x

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