Kitchen Garden, Uncategorized

December food: A look back at summer, and forward to winter

It’s a strange thought as we’re here on the edge of Christmas, that only a few months ago our garden was full of tasty vegetables waiting to be picked and eaten. Now when I look out of the window it seems empty in comparison. The huge courgette plant that dominated our patio is long gone, and the ‘trench’ we dug to plant tomatoes and cucumbers has all but disappeared. The Veg Trug is still out, with some remaining purple carrots we planted later in August for early winter, and which have lasted long enough to be enjoyed on Christmas day. (A very welcome treat!) Then there are the two garlic plants which weren’t planted at quite the right time for this year. They’ll stay out over the winter, and will hopefully be harvested next summer.

The crop of turnips I planted at the end of August was decimated by an army of caterpillars and aphids, and has not long started to recover from the damage. There are a few baby turnips growing, but I don’t know if we’ll get any big enough to eat. What I do know is that next year I will be investing in some butterfly-proof netting! We also planted some potatoes in a separate planter, with the hope of eating them at Christmas. After the early frost we had in October though, they haven’t recovered well and I don’t think we’ll get any potatoes this year. I have resolved to try again for next summer instead.

Otherwise, our veg is now coming from our weekly Abel & Cole delivery, and it feels a little odd not to be regularly picking from the garden. This said, I have been very pleased with the vegetables delivered so far, and with the seasonal picks in the selections, along with plenty of potatoes and greens to serve with my favourite comforting recipes. I’m definitely in winter mode now, cooking pies, stews, one-pot casseroles and soups. Look out for my ultimate Shepherd’s Pie recipe coming soon on the blog after Christmas. The classic comfort food recipe, enhanced with wine and Worcestershire sauce to make it rich and tasty is a perfect January pick me up.

Speaking of winter food, we went to the BBC Good Food Show Winter at the Birmingham NEC again this year, and had a fantastic day out with plenty of tasters, demos and a few purchases too! We had an early start for the train, to be there ready for the show opening and a day of discovering, tasting and plenty of buying, to make the most of our time there. I even got really organised, and took a festive shopping list of things to look out for while I was there! I didn’t quite get everything, but I got some extras too, so I was very happy with my purchases! (More on those coming soon.)

And lastly, winter is my favourite foodie time of year (as you may have guessed!), so I would love to know what you’re eating at this time of year! Especially those festive treats you’ll be enjoying on Christmas Day! Let me know in the comments below.

Oh – and Merry Christmas!

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