If only ! I hear you say! To witness the bad-tempered shoppers and manic motorists, one would never guess the intended mood of the winter holidays. Danes are always spacially unaware in crowds; the only space of interest is their own, as of right. And now their rudeness is compounded by a desire to grab the very items other foragers are examining. But soft! Here in the backwoods the deer are still keeping their distance, blissfully ignorant of the seasonal fun the hunters will soon be sharing with them.
So despite everything, friends, my close companion Backside joins me in wishing you and yours whatever respite you seek for yourselves these dark days. I’ve told him there’s so much to be positive about. (No reply.)
They are the Marmite of veggies, the bane of bairns. And I love ’em.
Their growers have their own association (as you do) who are campaigning against boiling the little critters. Steam, stir-fry or microzap, they insist.
But I humbly suggest an easier way to max their flavour. Take a shallow dish, drizzle ’em with extra virgins, cover with foil and bake in the oven with the roast. Say 15 or 20 minutes – to taste. Crisp or not, you decide. And it’s true, sprouts improve with frost and don’t mention Brussels.
Thomas Toad spends most days snuggled beneath the bay plant, looking smug
after a puffed-up encounter with his metre-long rival, Black Adder.
It’s a beech hedge, 70 yards long on our southern boundary. Can’t hold the electric trimmer at shoulder level for a couple of hours so it’s the shears! Do they make a battery job that doesn’t need recharging every half hour?
I’m not a gourmet but I have been known to toy with a few grenouilles and more frequently a dish of escargots, suitably lashed with garlic butter of course. And Backside reckons that’s a case of matter over mind, given my aversion to garden slugs.
But I was surprised to see only today that if your delicate skin requires pampering you can invest a mere twenty quid for 50 ml of snail salve, the mucus of more than a dishful of the critters, collected allegedly from the glass over which they have slimed their merry way.
Not for you? No, I quite understand, preferring a rub down with an oily rag.
The gardening lobby are a dismissive lot. According to them everything else is as exciting as watching paint dry. Bog Sage, these are the people that watch grass grow!
A garden should consist of a flat lawn and that’s it. Nice and simple, nothing fancy but the world is full of would-be Percy Thrower’s. Who really wants the hassle of extra work and of doing it outdoors? Mowing, sowing, cutting, potting, digging, raking- boring. All those -ings are nothing more than a recipe for sleeping. Endlessly working, always renovating, this gardening charade is nothing more than being an eternal horticultural barber. Just give it a Kojak and be done with. Read more…