Monday, October 31, 2011


The thing I failed to mention in the last post is that I dug up the back garden this weekend. I always have trouble doing that. It's not about the labour, it's about the loss. When I turn the soil and pull out the last herbs and tomatoes etc, I am saying good-bye to hope of renewal; it's the end, the final point of the growing season. I don't like it. And so often I have tended to avoid committing to the finality. I often leave the digging too late (which means I have a mess to deal with in the spring). (This year it's all done, and as well, I have rye seed to plant as a cover crop for over the winter. I'll let you know how it goes.)

But this year there were some great finds in the fading garden and somehow a feeling of ease about it all. I came on some heads of tender fresh garlic for example. And I pulled a number of green and growing dandelion plants. I've been harvesting those leaves all summer, since the spring, to chop up and stir-fry as part of my breakfast (rice underneath, a fried egg on top). Now pulling them out feels like a definitive good-bye.

I was due to go to Dawn the baker's and Ed's for supper the other night. So I took along some dandelion greens and garlic from my garden tidying. They had cooked merguez from Sanagan's and wanted to turn it into a form of Thai salad. So I sliced the merguez, then sliced the shallots thinly and tossed them with the merguez and some fish sauce and vinegar and lime juice, as well as some Vietnamese coriander leaves (so delicious). Then I sliced the tender young garlic cloves and fried them in a little olive oil, along with finely chopped dandelion leaves (there was a little arugula from the garden in there too). It went onto the salad as part of the dressing, both the wilted greens and cooked garlic. Wow. Something wonderful happens when you had a bitter greens to the sweetness of the lamb in the merguez.

We can safely call this fusion food, and in my view it's the best version of all: solid ingredients, meshed with some insight, and with pleasure!

All this is another piece of the Thanksgiving process that fill October, from early on all the way to Halloween. So lucky! So lovely!

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