Monday, August 01, 2011

Not much knitting yesterday. I took time deliciously off and re-read Molly Keane’s “Time After Time” all the way through. I did finish round 84, a slightly difficult round, and am half-way through 85. Ted, it’s “Granny Cheyne’s Shetland Shawl” from Margaret Stove’s new(ish) book, “Wrapped in Lace”. "2011" and some initials will be added in the middle, otherwise the pattern exactly as written.

Sea Kale

The passage I was looking for in T after T is brief and simple:

The gardener agrees that they can eat sea kale, although the young shoots are really not quite big enough. “'I only hope Jasper won’t spare the melted butter.’”

Jasper’s face lit. He had thought immediately of the proper sauce.”

Such references as I can find in my books agree on simplicity and melted butter. Mrs Beeton does say that it can be “stewed in good brown gravy” – but things were different in those days. Dorothy Hartley in “Food in England” has a useful paragraph on growing it. Whatever the problems ahead – total disappearance of the three plants being the most likely – I don’t think sea kale is going to taste terrible if we get any to eat.

You force it in the spring rather like rhubarb. Hartley says to cover with dry beech leaves. We’ve got beech trees; I’ll do that, although “dry” is likely to be difficult.

I’ve got both Jamie’s and Nigel’s grow-and-cook books here. Zilch. Delia’s one is in Strathardle; I’ll be very surprised if I find sea kale there. Alexander has a book called, I think, “Unusual Vegetables” by Mark Diacono who works for/with Hugh F-W. No sea kale. I wonder if all these people are not perhaps too rich and busy actually to engage all that closely with vegetable-growing.

The BBC did a brilliant adaptation of “Time after Time”, years ago. Gielgud himself was Jasper.

Fishwife, thank you for your comment (Saturday). I’m not really doing all that badly – it’s just that failure seems more interesting to write about. We’ve had the first potatoes, and they were wonderful. There’s a sowing of real peas (as opposed to mange-tout) which will be ready within 10 days, maybe sooner. The pods are big and luscious-looking; they just need to fill out a bit. Broad beans aren’t all that far behind.

I’m keeping a little list this year of everything of my growing which we actually eat. Not trying to cost it, and not including parsley, thyme, chives and coriander, although it’s very nice to have them to hand. Starting in February with a delicious artichoke soup from the tubers you gave me – which are doing splendidly this year.

The wild garlic thingy’s are here. I’ll have plenty of planting to do. We’re going to Strathardle today and may stay all the way through to the 12th. Myrna Stahman is going to be here on the 13th, stopping off from a cruise to drop in at Tea Tree Tea which I have never heard of. I’m going to try to go. Anyone else?


  1. Anonymous10:39 AM

    there is a recipe on the BBC Good Food website -


  2. Butter makes everything taste better, doesn't it? I recently read something about certain nutrients in vegetables that require fat for your body to take advantage of them. That's my excuse, anyway.

  3. Robin1:33 PM

    Congratulations on your 2,000th post! I check in each morning to see if you have written. Thank you for such interesting posts.

  4. Go meet Myrna if you can. I know her and she is very fun to chat with. I learned to knit a Faroe shawl with her and she had the patience of a Saint with me. I think you will enojoy her.

  5. Hello! just wondering if you will be watching the rugby this weekend? My husband and son (aged 4) will be there at murrayfield, hoping for some entertaining play and not too many showers... Anyway, fingers crossed for your garden/plants and for the Scottish rugby team.

  6. =Tamar3:37 AM

    It's true, some vitamins are fat-soluble. Also, fat is the usual source (building block?) of lecithin, which I believe your nervous system needs to coat the nerves so they can work.

    I couldn't tell from the photo just how deep the mulch is. I seem to recall Ruth Stout recommending at least six inches of mulch for best results.

  7. Jean, I lost my hard drive and everything on it, including RSS feeds, so I have been keeping an eye on you by your blog. I thought maybe I had something wrong, but now I see there really haven't been any posts in almost two weeks. I am hoping that everything is right with you and yours, so far away from Ohio.