Archive for September 27, 2007

Book recommendation

In addition to the sewing machine and two extremely useful kitchen gadgets, a turny-handle whisk and a mini grater, my wonderful boyfriend bought me this wonderful book for my birthday.

As you may have guessed, it’s in two sections, one about growing vegetables and one about seasonal cooking. The gardening bit has lots of handy hints for the novice gardener (although most of my gardening advice still comes from my dad, usually after a panicky text message, or an emailed photo accompanied by the question ‘What’s this?’ to which he replies ‘a weed’). It covers things like crop rotation, companion planting, storage etc, and has a directory of plants with guides to propagating, planting out, care and harvesting. The part has lots of recipes arranged by season, and a section at the end with several recipes for bread and some sauces and salsas. Coriander experiments aside, I haven’t actually grown or cooked anything on the advice of the book yet, but it has been good bedside reading and given me lots of ideas for what may be feasible to plant next spring.

The landlady paved over our garden, so I only have one small square bed (currently full of weeds and a rogue mint plant) and containers to play with. I’ve managed to scrounge some old wooden wine boxes off my dad, which with a coat of varnish and a few holes drilled in the bottom should prove excellent places to grow some salad and maybe squashes next summer. Am also
picking up plant pots in charity shops like nobody’s business.

I gather you can plant some varieties spinach over the winter, which I’m quite attracted by the idea of. Growing spinach is going to be one of those things like using dried pulses – a green thing I’ve started doing not motivated primarily by environmental concerns, but just because it makes life a lot easier. I’m sick of buying enormous bags of spinach and cans of beans; you always have to eat them before they go off, which means you have to think of 400 creative things to do with spinach, or adzuki beans, eat nothing else for 3 days, and then you’re so sick of them you don’t want to eat them for 3 months. (And, believe me, I ran out of things to do with adzuki beans very quickly.) Beansprouts are the same. Maybe I should ask the boy for a sprouting kit for Christmas…


September 27, 2007 at 11:47 am Leave a comment

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September 2007
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The Heritage Crafts Network

Rob Hopkins, Transition Handbook

“Environmentalists have often been guilty of presenting people with a mental image of the world’s least desirable holiday destination – some seedy bed and breakfast near Torquay, with nylon sheets, cold tea and soggy toast – and expecting them to get excited about the prospect of NOT going there. The logic and the psychology are all wrong.”

Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

"Food is that rare moral arena in which the ethical choice is generally the one more likely to make you groan with pleasure."

Carlo Petrini

"A gastronome who is not also an environmentalist is an idiot. An environmentalist who is not also a gastronome is, well, sad."

Sharon Astyk

"I am, of course, firmly opposed to consumerism and corporatism in all its forms, and I believe that we are deeply confused about material needs and wants. Now let me explain how books and yarn are totally different than the material things that other people want ;-)…."

Raj Patel, at Slow Food Nation

"Biofuels, which is the preposterous policy that we should grow food not to eat it but to set it on fire."