In the veg patch – Part 2

It’s all happening in the veg patch and the greenhouse this week as things suddenly start to flower and fruit. This weekend, I think we’ll be ready for homegrown potatoes and I ought to do something with the gooseberries but I’ve been putting it off as I’m really not a fan. The gooseberry bush is prolific, despite a very shady spot, and is something we inherited from the previous owner of our house. Every year I gaze at those plump little green fruits and usually end up giving them away to one gooseberry fan or another. This year it will be different – to mask all that gooseberriness, I have an idea to boil them, to within an inch of their lives, with the aim of making some kind of chutney to accompany hard cheese. I’m still working on the recipe and will report back when it’s finally perfected. Apologies to all you gooseberry lovers out there – please let me know if you have any great recipes that might encourage a gooseberry sceptic.
Another inherited plant (or tree, judging by the size of it hanging over our garden) is the elderflower. It wasn’t there when we moved in seven years ago and now it’s a beast! Last weekend, my husband was adamant that he was going to go round and remonstrate with the neighbour about it and have it chopped down. “Not before I’ve made elderflower cordial”, I barked, and so I did, for the first time ever. So successful was the experiment that it is likely to become a regular annual feature chez nous – it’s deliciously fresh and just shouts ‘Summer’ at me.

This week has been a long one so I think I might try the cordial with a slug of gin tonight and, thanks to the weather, make the most of being saved from the most herculean of tasks – watering the garden.

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