Friday, 6 December 2013

Harvest table

One of the boys' favourite games this spring has been burying all of their plastic dinosaurs and animals in the sandpit and then digging them up again. Sometimes weeks can go by between the burying and the uncovering. Depending on what they find they are then classified as palaeontologists, elephantologists or cowologogists for the day. Their enthusiasm for unearthing buried treasure is just as strong in the vegie patch, and I have had to hold them back from pulling out all the carrots too quickly again (the bottom of the fridge has purple, orange and white heirloom tubers rolling around waiting for some kitchen inspiration). But I know of no better way of rounding up a band of willing dinner helpers than putting out a call for them to pull it out of the ground.

We have been eating lots of carrots and beetroot, and experimenting with different ways to serve up broad beans. As Darcy reflected while helping to pod them on the front verandah "they look like they taste really good, but they don't." I think I felt the same when I was his age. I stumbled upon a broad bean and beetroot salad that meant I could proudly proclaim "we grew everything in this meal!" when I put it on the table. Never mind that half the children were already asleep on the couch, it had taken me so long to double pod the wretched things. The same thing happened when I whipped up a batch of spanakopita with the English spinach that had somehow evaded our resident snails. All those layers of filo - all that butter! At least they were still happily devoured the next day.

We picked the last of our broad beans in the last week of spring, and tasted the first tomato of summer on the same day. I have since chopped the bean stalks off close to the ground, and am marveling at their ability to quickly send up new shoots and flowers. We could still be eating broad beans with the summer pesto I intend to make from the basil now planted between the stalks.