With the weather on the improve, the garden has been the place to be of late. While the garden on the terrace has been totally revamped,
Gary has been working around the pool, removing the existing planting and totally renovating the surrounds. He has removed a trailer load of nandina, rectified the irrigation system, barrowed in pebbles, sunk plinths and has urns ready for the planting. He has also erected our old canter-lever umbrella, and employed some local tradespeople to extend the paving – it looks amazing – but you’ll have to wait to see how it looks…
I have spent a little time in the corner patch, where we now have a raspberry bed, all planted, and with trellis erected.
But one must be patient, it will be a year or two before we see any real results from this little patch. I’ve also been leveling the ground and stockpiling soil in readiness for the creation of all the new beds.
In the kitchen, well, inspiration has come from our garden, to a degree. Our little patio mandarin had 12 fruit, so we could either eat them as is, or make some marmalade which would reward us for a longer period of time. We opted for Mandarine Marmalade which also has a little Cointreau added just at the end.
Then there are lemons, so this morning when I was making a batch of gluten free Friands, I ducked out and pulled one off the tree to liven the mix for the raspberries and almond ones.
Another recipe that has been brewing for a couple of weeks, is Blood Orange Vinegar, a recipe that I found in the wonderful book “A year on the Farm” by Sally Wise. This vinegar is not only beautiful to look at, it really livens up a salad. We have a blood orange tree ready to be planted, so hopefully in a few year’s time, we will be making it with our own oranges.
Finally, given that it is now asparagus season, and I had picked up some beautiful thick spears from our local farmer’s market, I made an Asparagus, Cheese and Shallot Tart to have for our dinner.
It was so good to come in from the garden and quickly put a salad together to serve alongside – for Gary, I topped his off with some of our home smoked salmon.
There is lots to do in the garden still, the shed is to be erected on the new concrete slab, more leveling of the ground, and the building of the new beds, meantime the seeds have been planted and are showing their colour as incentive for me to get to work.
So until next time…
Blood Orange Vinegar
Asparagus, Cheese and Shallot Tart