Mending things and planting garlic

Last year I called the eldest and only son a ‘bloody idiot’ for putting the hedge trimmer through its electrical cable. Yesterday he had vindication as I did exactly the same thing. There was a satisfying bang and a blue spark and then nothing. So that must make me an idiot too, if not a bloody one. Having mended it once before I knew what to do and had it working again in ten minutes or so.

Trimming the hedges was the second job of the day. The first was mending a doorknob. One of the joys of living in an old house are those things that fall apart and can then be left a few months before being mended. The door knob to the cloakroom has been coming off in our hand for the last few weeks. Yesterday morning it took four screws and ten minutes to mend it which I suppose must beg the question as to why I did not get round to it sooner.

Tea was a fractious fish and chips as various children announced that either the would not be home for tea or they had plans to be out for the evening and could they have their tea now rather in the hour or sos time I had planned. When the three that were left got round to their tea it was very good.

I had watched Simon at Wards taking the fillets off the haddock that morning. I seasoned them with salt and pepper and then ran then them through trays of flour, then egg and finally breadcrumbs. I am always slightly amazed that this process works so well. The breaded fish goes into the hot oil a flaccid white sticky mess and comes out with a stiff coat of fried brown bread crumbs encasing the creamy white flakes of fish. We ate them with potatoes that had been cut into chips and roasted in the oven, peas (lots of peas) and a great jar of tartare sauce. Next time I will make my own tartare sauce.

Today’s job is going to be planting garlic. This will be to give the empty parts of the veg plot something to do over the winter months. I have grown garlic before almost by mistake. I just push some old cloves that were showing too much shoot into the ground and I was surprised when a few months later I had a few bulbs I could harvest.

This time I have been more scientific about it and have been on The Garlic Farm website and have bought myself some proper seed garlic. I have a combination of Elephant Garlic and Vallelado Wight. They will be going into the ground this afternoon and hopefully I will be pulling them up next summer. So come back here in six months or sos time and see how they are getting on.

Garlic is of course good for you and it is one of the kitchen staples. If there isn’t any in the kitchen I start to get nervy. It is so good for you that I have persuaded myself that it acts as a counter-balence to all the too much beer, red wine and red meat I punish my body with. Keep eating garlic and it will be okay.

Many years ago I was given a two kilo string bag of garlic from Spain. It was brought over by Simon who had travelled to friends before he came to see us. He carried the heady perfume of it around with him for weeks. I put the garlic in a great bowl in the kitchen and we steadily ate our way through it over the course of a couple of months. The smell of it filled the small house in Oxford we lived in at the time.

In the meantime it is still warm in the garden. There is a bumper crop of apples. rather frustratingly some of the best ones for eating have come from a small tree that has not produced much before and which I had mentally cut down so I could enlarge the veg plot. It has bought itself a stay of execution.

The tomatoes are still going red in the greenhouse which means I won’t get to try out a trick I heard about on the radio during the week for reddening green tomatoes which involved putting them in a paper bag with a banana. Next week perhaps. And my sole remaining pepper is starting to turn red. I am looking forward to eating it!

1 thought on “Mending things and planting garlic

  1. Pingback: Harvesting garlic | Sheep's Head Food Company

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