Thursday, 29 November 2012

Pure joy

I vowed not to grow them again. They were a pain to plant (a daunting number of tiny fiddly seedlings) and an even bigger pain to transplant into the wheelbarrows (sometimes I lack vision and fail to see that 60 leeks will eventually outgrow a small plastic pot).

Then the aphids came along and threatened to destroy the whole lot. I caught them just before they sucked the life out of the slender stems. Blasting them with the garden hose and squirting with garlic spray seemed to get rid of them. I had another job when Mum reminded me shortly afterwards to earth up the stems to keep daylight out and blanch them, which means more of the finer tasting stuff.

I was waiting for fatter stems, but there I was standing, as I do, in front of the fridge staring at a nice piece of pumpkin and a few slices of smoked free-range ham.

It had to be quiche for dinner. I announced to Luca that we could finally go out and pick some leeks. What the picture doesn't show is how long the white parts were.

I will grow them again. I know now what to do (and what not to do!), but more than that, I love that feeling of pulling my own vegetables out and taking them straight to a chopping board. Pure joy.

And this quiche... I've made a lot of quiches, and this one with its raggedy edges is the finest of them all. And with two children competing for my attention, I cut corners. Pastry made in seconds in the Thermomix and I didn't even bother filling with baking beans or trimming my edges – my editors in days gone by would balk at this.

But I'm not working on a magazine shoot; I'm making a meal for my family.

Pure joy.


  1. I've been cooking with pumpkin today too. Your quiche looks scrummy!

  2. yum - looks lovely. I made pumpkin and ricotta tart the other day...but I certainly wasn't clever enough to have grown anything other than the herbs! One day I shall master the garden :)

  3. I've heard others speak of the Thermomix. It sounds like cooking heaven at the end of an electrical cord. Well done on the leeks. They're always better from the garden, aren't they?
    Hey, thanks for reminding me about Friday night too. Was lovely to meet you. It was a high point in a busy week.


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