This week I foresee a battle between the heart, the head and the stomach. We’ve arrived at the end of a pretty dismal summer to be greeted by a stretch of (what’s set to be) warm, sunshiny delectation. This stranger in our midst, albeit very welcome, was all the more unexpected leading to a touch of confusion amongst our tums and taste buds and out in the fields. There was I, my summer clothes making way for balaclavas, floatation suits and the like, pie dishes out, chutney-making, all to be told but AHA, Mother Nature had different plans for us.
For those of you who have started out in the wonderful world of pie offerings, fret ye not. Like many others, I’m still in the mindset of lunchtime salads having left the building to be replaced by stews, hotpots, soups and said pastry-encrusted unctuousness.
However, let us embrace it, dig out the sun cream and bask like only Englishmen do when faced with a heat wave>>* casts aside sun cream, burns to a crisp* We still have our gorgeous variety of TOMATOES – HERITAGE, CHERRY, TIGER, SAN MARZANO etc and RED SPRING ONIONS are back. What’s more, we have RED HISPI – kind of like a chameleon (except in no way at like a chameleon); fabulous for warm weather salads and sides or perfick braised to shed those chills. So efficient. A*. The hottie of herbs, LEMON THYMEhas also made a thymely (sorry) comeback, refreshing and enhancing all sorts of dishes.
OK, and switch. Imagine fireplaces, defroster, slippery roads, and silly excuses for delayed trains (oh wait, that’s yearlong). All you want is a hot chocolate and some SQUASH. Yes, squash. Beautiful, hearty and delicious, our offerings are just going to keep growing and growing. Presently, we have the cutesy GEM, the beguiling HARLEQUIN and (my favourite), the one that ticks every box going, the CROWN PRINCE. Not only that but we have the quintessential pinnacle of medieval feasting, the QUINCE. Old Henry loved getting his chops round these (having mauled a small animal already of course).
Sadly, our RUNNER BEANS and LORD LAMBOURNE apples have finished for now.
So here we are in September, the month in which it feels justifiable to dig out the hats, scarves, Uggs and sit wrapped up in front of the fire. The fact that the months preceding this have also called for such actions is by the by and one which shall be swiftly swept under the rug. Sure-fire signs come flying at us in the form of our CELERIAC and PARSNIPS, settling in for the winter stretch ahead of us.
On the sweeter side, the orchards have been a hive of activity over the past few weeks with the trees a’rockin’ and a’rollin’ under the strain of all the delish apples and pears ripe for the picking. LORD LAMBOURNE, BRAMLEY, and RUSSET APPLES sit alongside our DISCOVERY APPLES to kick off the season along with a juicy selection of CONFERENCE PEARS, HERITAGE PEARS and HERITAGE APPLES.
Unfortunately, we have some expected casualties: PEAS, BROAD BEANS, RED SPRING ONIONS, RADISHES, YELLOW and GREEN ROUND COURGETTES, DAMSONS, MIRABELLES, GOLDEN and GREEN GAGES have all finished.