Z dines from the land

So many early nights, this is absurd.  I’m an owl, dammit!  Anyway, it meant I woke at 3.  At 4, there was a crash from the dining room – no harm done, the salt cellars (and salt) were on the floor but the blue glass linings were undamaged.  I shouldn’t have left them on a TOTALLY UNINTERESTING table.  So I went and made tea, cut a large slice of fruit cake and took them back to bed.  I soon realised that the slice of cake was too big.  I ate it anyway.  Jasper would have tracked it down.

I got to school ten minutes early for my 8 am meeting but three people were ahead of me.  Gosh.  Anyway, I finally staggered home some time after 11 (a second meeting at 9.30) and that was that for the week … oh. It’s Friday.  No, it’s all right, Monday is free and Tuesday involves Food, as the wannabe caterers are presenting their bids and they are bringing samples of their wares.

I planted out most of my, um, plants over the last couple of days and this morning’s rain has settled them in nicely.  A friend helped me replace some broken glass in the greenhouse and I sniffed appreciatively the delightful aroma of the nearby broad bean flowers.  I checked the plants and found a few first blackfly.  So I picked off the growing points of about a quarter of the plants.  I also picked, or rather cut, two globe artichokes.  With a couple of poached eggs, I’ve had a lovely dinner.

My mother and I discovered about 43 years ago that broad bean plant tips can be cooked and eaten just like spinach, though they have to be cooked a little longer and don’t shrink, and they have the bonus of tasting of the scent of broad bean flowers too.  Al used to sell bunches of them in his greengrocery and the novelist Elizabeth Jane Howard, who was a loyal customer, was impressed.  She said they’re an old country delicacy.  My mum and I didn’t know that, we thought we’d invented the use.

Hot and humid this afternoon.  We wait to see if summer is over yet.

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