What’s in the box?
July 24, 2006
Our obliging veg dealer dropped our delivery around early this Saturday, as we were off up north to visit my folks for the weekend. We gathered excitedly round the pile of boxes and bags on the kitchen table, like bright-eyed Victorian children on Christmas morning.
What fruity wonders had our organic Santa brought us? Which shiny baubles of vegetable delight caught our attention?
One bunch of young carrots, topped with an extravagant cloud of fine fronds, made us come over all rabbity. A bunch of small, juicy-looking onions with thin, elegant leaves also caught the eye.
What is it about tied-up bunches of vegetables that stirs the imagination? Is it only the aesthetics, or do they prompt nostalgic fantasies of a pre-industrial Eden? I dunno, really. Just look good I guess.
I’ve ear-marked the carrots to accompany a bacon hock which I’m planning to boil with lentils and serve with an old-skool parsley sauce.
This week’s broad beans look particularly young and supple. I’m going to have a second go at a bacon, bean and pasta combo I’ve been thinking about. Last time I tried, I got it half-right. It was going well until I added a ladleful of the infamous broad bean pod puree. Turned out like an unholy marriage of mushy peas and pasta. A horrific culinary car-crash. Look away, look away.
I noticed in this week’s veg box newsletter that the Riverford folk are already planting winter cabbage, leeks and purple sprouting. Even in the middle of a blistering heatwave this news bought a premonition of the approaching autumn. The heather is also coming into flower on the Derbyshire moors and the shooting season is almost here. As my old Nan used to cheerily say, the nights are already drawing in….