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.
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?