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Monthly Archive for October, 2011

Permission to cheat

Damn. The slugs have done it again. Around a couple of months ago I dutifully sowed my spring greens (‘Durham Early’, a reliable regular on my plot). This is in itself something of a fine art: the trick with producing spring greens at the right time is in the timing. And that depends largely on luck: [...]

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Hard graft

The tomato season is inescapably drawing to a close. The weather forecast is turning a worrying shade of blue and it can be only a matter of time before I’m scooting into the greenhouse, like as not in the dark, for emergency tomato harvesting to rescue the last of my crop from the frosts. So now that they’ve given [...]

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Right: enough of the lovely but here-today. gone-tomorrow earlies and second earlies: it’s time to get to grips with the meaty maincrops, the ones with the whopping yields and the staying power to keep us fuelled through winter. Maincrops: Lady Balfour: The first up and out of the ground, as it had keeled over to [...]

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That moment when you lift your last forkful of potatoes and lay them out on the surface of the soil to dry off the skins for an hour or two before storing is a turning point in the veg-growing year. Soon after, the covers start to come out again, there is muck-spreading to be done and then the [...]

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Pears poached in red wine My mum used to make this as the spectacular dessert at her tour-de-force set-piece dinner parties (this was the 70s, remember: they did things like that then).  It was a canny choice: it looks like the most amazingly sophisticated dish, yet it takes five minutes to put together and you make the whole thing in advance [...]

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