It’s not that I haven’t given them a loving home with the very best soil I could provide. I gave them everything and yet they have lashed out like insolent teenagers. Well the best way I know how to sort them out is to eat them!
Although they do have an odd taste. I did a bit of research to find out what to do with them and discovered they have the highest sugar content of all the veggies, however it is in the form of fructose which is tied up in a more complex sugar that can only be broken down in our lower reaches and has a bit of a gaseous bi-product hence the nickname fartichokes. Consider this your: “Fact of the day.”
There were mostly recipes for soups and roasting them and while this sounds lovely – I have a bit of a problem. We are currently renovating and so we don’t have a kitchen as such. My sink is my laundry tub, my spare bedroom is my pantry, and my cook top is my BBQ on the deck. This was ok in the beginning. It was like camping. Oh what fun we had. But now, since daylight savings and the clocks going back, it is darker earlier. And don’t forget I broke the drought last week. BBQing in the dark and the rain is not pleasant! But when it is all done I will be so grateful.
As a result of repairing the bed, I had to dig up a surprising amount of tubers, that had grown so big they were pushing against the side of the bed and had pried apart the nails. They reckon that the best time to harvest them is in the autumn when the plants die back – but how far back do they have to die? I thought I had at least another month to go. Normally it is hard to tell as most of the stalks would have long since blown down in summer storms. But my new greenhouse seems to have sheltered them and I have a fine thicket to determine the correct degree of deadness.
With a basket full of knobbly nuggets and a severe lack of kitchen – I thought about alternative possibilities and came up with pickling them. Perfect to do in my conditions. I sliced and soaked them overnight in a brine solution and then sterilised the jars and lids by boiling them for ages on the BBQ and then boiled up a vinegar and spice solution – with loads of chillies (because I also have loads of chillies) and packed it all into jars and then to be sure of a good seal, I boiled the whole lot again and all of the jars went pop – except one. It turned out that a sneaky grain of mustard seed had snuck under the rim. However all was not lost – I treated it like a fridge pickle and have been snacking on it already. I should have waited, but I couldn’t. Oh so yummo! Sweet, sour, crunchy and everything a good pickle should have. I can’t wait to serve them on a platter with a creamy brie and a crisp cracker in my new kitchen – well if there are any left!
Come again soon – It is a long weekend coming up – surely I’ll be able to sneak a little bit of time in the garden between the hot cross buns and the chocolate!
Sarah the Gardener : o )