Beta vulgaris of the Chenopodiaceae family is a descendant of Sea Beet from the Mediterranean coast. It self-seeds in my garden with gay abandon and when they first pop their heads up, the baby red rainbow chard plants are as cute as a button. They are tough, grow quickly and look wonderful in rows in my veggie patch. The leaves are also quite delicious and full of million nutrients.
We found a packet of marshmallows hiding in the back of the pantry. Naturally this led to talk of making fire. We built a pretty little fire just the right size for toasting. There’s something so primal about creating a good fire and then sitting around watching it burn like a magical beast.
The season is a strange one this year on many levels. The tomatoes are late and not very prolific, but the ones I have managed to coax into existence are quite delicious. Sweet, juicy, and zingy, the little red orbs hang like jewels from the dying branches. They shout their tiny victory over the weather in aesthetic defiance.
It’s delicious, it’s pretty, and I made it. I’ve been making vinegar for a year or so now, with left over wine (not that there’s an awful of that in my house!). This particular batch was made with the bottle of rosé bubbles that had a little accident in the post just before Christmas. What didn’t sog up the box went into my vinegar and this elegant little brew is the result.
The bounty from one’s own garden is so much sweeter than from anywhere else. Today the nectarines called to me as I wandered in the back yard, and although it is not a large harvest, they are quite delicious. I’ve watched them from my kitchen window these last few months, growing from tiny, hard, green balls into plump, reddened, sweet fruits that fill my mouth with juicy flavour.
Is there nothing a lemon can’t do? Ask Professor Google about uses for lemons and you’ll be met with hundreds of different applications for the humble citrus, from cleaning the bathroom to speeding digestion. Apparently the even the smell of lemon is therapeutic, which explains why pruning the lemon tree makes me feel so good. My lemon tree has been busy making babies for months, and now it has a dozen or so large, bright fruits hanging from its branches. I love their pendulous nature – like a big round body part – and the juxtaposition of the bright yellow against the vibrant green of the leaves. They hang out their begging me to add them to a zesty cocktail!