Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Competitive gardening: the sequel

Competitive gardening is an idiotic concept, but has that ever stopped anyone from playing cricket?

Way back in October I responded uncharacteristically competitively* to an uncharacteristically boastful post by Danyl at Dim-Post about the vegetables he had just planted (tomatoes and – no, just tomatoes) with a list of what I had just planted – tomatoes, potatoes, broad beans, chillies, lettuce and spring onions. I didn’t mention the celery, leeks and cavolo nero as that might have looked like showing off.

For Christmas dinner we had new potatoes, lettuce, rocket, raspberries and a bunch of other stuff from the garden like lemons and lime juice. (Plus South Island salmon via LaughyKate and a pile of beef via our friend Tommy at Wholly Cow. Thanks, Kate and Tommy!)

Above: Jersey Bennes, from today’s bandicooting, plus the first haul of garlic. There would have been raspberries in shot but we ate all the ripe ones. There could have been celery, leeks, herbs etc in shot too but they are too boring. Screw ’em. Food miles: zero. Are they organic? Yes, because I am far too lazy to spray. Plus they are carbon-based life-forms.

In other garden news: Black Krim and cherry tomatoes are on their way, and we will soon have enough basil to make pesto. But to cheer Danyl up, all the coriander bolted. 

* For true, I am deeply uncompetitive which is one reason I was so rubbish at running a business. Here, from my Christmas present to myself, 27b/6 blogger David Thorne’s The Internet is a Playground which is the funniest book I have ever read, is Thorne on competitiveness:
I am possibly the least competitive person I know and am in fact the current national loser in the ‘Who is Least Competitive Championships’ where trying to win will make you lose. Trying to lose makes you win which makes you lose. Not trying at all makes you lose which makes you win which makes you lose.
Trying to figure that out made my head hurt, but in a good way. A bit like Christmas dinner with my in-laws.


Danyl said...


Stephen Stratford said...

Danyl. am I supposed to be impressed that you went to Moore Wilson's this morning?

But in the spirit of Christmas here is a recipe for a beetroot dip because not everybody likes beetroot unless it is in a hamburger but everybody really really likes this. It is from Egypt, via Jill Dupleix, and it is excellent:

Whiz five cooked, peeled beetroot in a blender with 300ml yoghurt, 2 crushed garlic cloves, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp extra virgin oilve oil, sea salt, pepper and 1/2 tsp each of ground cumin, coriander, paprika and cinnamon.

I'll email you the other recipe I use. Of course this assumes that you have grown (i.e. bought from Moore Wilson) more than one beetroot.

Anonymous said...

My Xmas was made when I heard a celebrity on the radio say: "I'm so over it, I can't tell you!" It was Sandy Shaw of 60s pop fame, "Puppet on a String" etc. She is now a psychotherapist, since you asked. Oh, and a Buddhist. More good news is that "cuddle class" (as in Air NZ) made it as one of the top words of 2010 in the NY Times! On the vegetable front, we managed some inflated aubergines in the garden, along with some tomatoes which come out at about 1£ each I reckon.

Anonymous said...

Back again. Stephanovic here. I am only Anonymous because I can't figure out how to activate the Stephanovic signature. I also get headaches and hear voices in my head. Anyway, there was a point to this post... Oh yes: website 2b/6.com is actually very funny. And I don't generally accept recommendations over the internet, because we haven't been properly introduced. Also, your taste in music is lousy. When are you going to post some video of yourself playing the bass guitar? You don't have the cajones to do that, do you!

Stephen Stratford said...

Anonymous from Sandwich: there is nothing silly about being a Buddhist but there is lots silly about being a psychotherapist. I wonder if Ms Shaw, whose USP was that she sang in bare feet, pyschotherapises likewise? Now I shan;t be able to get "Puppet on a String" out of my internal radio.

Still, congrats on the aubergines. They look lovely, don't they, but nobody really knows what to do with them. A bit like some people I know. I cannot imagine that an English tomato would taste of much. (There must be a Basil Fawlty joke there but it has been a long day over the Kaimais.)

And I take back that crack above about Danyl having bought in his vegetables. Decent carrots are hellish hard to grow so, you know, respect.

Anonymous said...

Yes, carrots are indeed tricky to grow but they have an interesting pedigree. You will know, of course, that the Sandwich Carrot, was a prized item in the markets of London from the 17th Century onwards (true). Until that time, carrots had been scrawny, bitter tasting white and purple things more prized for their green tops than their roots. Huguenot refugees brought artificially developed modern sweet tasting carrots from Flanders to the Sandwich area. They were bred to their current colour in honour of the House of Orange!
I remain anonymous because I have forgotten how to activate the Stephanovic signature!