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On Sunday we entered a couple of items into our local produce show.  Sadly I overcooked my lemon drizzle cake and it came in a miserable fourth…gutted.  My marmalade didn’t even come anything – I won’t be trying that Country Living recipe again.

Thankfully we got three 2nd place awards – for our giant yellow courgette, a pretty arrangement of hedgerow berries, and a plate of fruit scones.  The recipe for my scone’s comes from my colleague and friend Jane – who makes the best scones ever.  No question. 

My version of Jane’s fruit scones had a ‘lovely appearance’ but I lost marks because I didn’t tidy up the edges (i.e. pull off the currants that were sticking out…) and they needed a pinch of salt.  Hmm.  I’m not sure I can be doing with winning 1st prize if I’m required to carefully tidy up the edge of my scones, and besides, I like rustic food.

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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

Feeds 2

A couple of small yellow sunburst squash
2-3 cloves of garlic
Olive oil
5 medium eggs
Handful of oregano flowers and leaves
Gruyère cheese
2 bagels
Butter

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!

I’m not doing very well at keeping up with … well … updating!  There’s so much I want to share and yet I must find more time!  And so many promised posts and recipes … I haven’t even finished off my food memories of Italy (part 1 and 2), and that was last September!

Note to self: must try harder.

On a jollier note, we had a scrumptious and so SO simple tea of roasted summer vegetables.  This is my idea of cooking, of eating, of tasting.  And what a Nigel Slater way to eat dinner – just a plate of roasted vegetables and some hunks of good bread to mop up the juices.

In my pan of delicious roasted vegetables were the following: baby orange peppers, red pepper, yellow cherry tomatoes, red baby plum tomatoes and homegrown yellow courgette.  All cut into similar sized chunks, drizzled with good olive oil and roasted. 

The added extra that make this dish really simple were liberal dollops of sundried tomato paste, hunks of buffalo mozzarella, finely chopped garlic, a sprinkling of dried herbs, and some good old fashioned seasoning (salt and pepper). 

I also whizzed up lots of fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil, and a good handful of grated Parmesan which was drizzled over everything towards the end of the cooking, and extra served fresh.

All this was munched up with gorgeous foccacia bread from Jane’s Handmade Bread – bought that morning at Abbey Leys Farmer’s Market.

You can’t get better than that!

This afternoon we popped down to the Walton Lea Garden Party in Warrington.  We went last year and it’s always a lovely opportunity to go and enjoy their pretty walled garden and buy some gorgeous homegrown vegetables and fruit. 

We had a nice wander round the walled garden whilst munching on teeny tiny cupcakes – literally a mouthful.  I so enjoy seeing vegetables and fruit growing in such a beautiful old walled garden and going to the Walton Lea Project is almost like going to a National Trust garden.

Everything is looking a lot more parched and dry than last year what with all this steaming hot weather we’ve been having recently. 

But there is some gorgeous vegetables – like these stunning onions, all of which are for sale in the shop…

There is also a lovely selection of bedding plants and some good sized fruit bushes (redcurrant, whitecurrant and jostaberry) for a very good price – I would like to come back and get a few for the allotment.

We came away with…a selection of yellow and green courgettes, a punnet of redcurrants (destined for the pot to make a relish to go with a bacon and brie sandwich Mr Rigg fancies) and a punnet of blackcurrants (possibly for blackcurrant cordial)…

They were out of blackcurrants when we arrived, so whilst we enjoyed a stroll around the walled garden, someone went off to collect us a punnet of them!  Where else do you get service like that?!

And this gorgeous bunch of sweetpeas picked from their walled garden – and for only £1!

I have been wanting to make and devour this meal ever since I spied it.  What would we do without Nigel Slater?  This recipe was found in his book Tender, which is fabulous, and everyone should read it.

We had rain yesterday and this morning, but by the time we got home from work it was hot and sunny again.  A perfect excuse to use the barbeque, if only to chargrill some courgettes.

The green lentils are boiled until cooked, then mixed into a dressing of red wine vinegar and sherry vinegar (I substituted sherry for cider as this is what I had), olive oil, finely chopped garlic, sliced spring onions, salt and pepper.

For the courgettes, you slice them thinly (I used a selection of green and yellow), pop them in a colander and sprinkle with salt.  You leave them for at least half an hour, then wash them and pat them dry.

Chargrill them, then toss them in extra virgin olive oil, finely chopped parsley, salt and pepper.

And finely, the ham.  This was excellent quality, acorn-fed Spanish ham.  That’s it.  You don’t do anything to it, just lay out the slices on your plate, or tear them up a bit.

Altogether on a plate this is a beautiful combination of tastes and textures.  Eaten outside it is, of course, all the better.

I took these photos about a week ago but haven’t got around to posting them yet.  Up until this year, the only type of radishes I’ve grown (and my favourite) are French Breakfast – those gorgeous elongated pink bulbs which fade to white around their middle.

This year, I was tempted by a packet of Rainbow radishes and here’s the first harvest.  So far we have pulled up pink ones, red ones, purple ones, yellow ones and white ones.  They are all very fiery – especially the yellow and white kind.  However, they are so pretty I can’t complain.

We have nearly finished with the first lot I planted, and the next lot are nearly mature.  Other than herbs and the odd baby leaf, these are the first harvest from our garden.

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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.

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