Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Thank you for the kind comments about the jabot. It was well received – I have every hope that the jacket will be ordered in due course. There’s a specific target – the Beijing St Andrew’s Night Ball. That should help concentrate the mind.

And for the good wishes (rather alarming in tone) about migrating from one ISP to another. I didn’t hear from Alistair yesterday – he was meant to pursue the attempt to get hold of the necessary migration code from the current supplier. At the very worst, I won’t be gone for long. I’ll get a Man In.

Janet, I have already told Cathy that you were reading “Slaughter Pavilion”, and will certainly tell her tomorrow that you enjoyed it. I love your “red” photography project (June 28). It is astonishing how expressive of Ireland it seems. Could I do something like that for Edinburgh?

Here are the Green Granite Blocks, with four ranks complete. I sped forward yesterday, once Rank #5 was established. If progress is as good today, I should reach the mid-block dots.

I maintain an electronic Filofax, largely devoted to knitting but helpful as a birthday-reminder. I also weigh myself every morning and record the result there. (I reached my present level, and stuck there, in January of this year.) I also make a note, on the first day of every month, of where I am with what I’m knitting. June 1 reads “nearing top of first rank of Green Granite Blocks”. It doesn’t seem like much for a month’s work.

Salsola soda

This is rather embarrassing, but you deserve to hear how the story has unfolded.

You may remember that on a recent visit to Strathardle I found two little seedlings in the otherwise-bare salsola soda patch which tasted so wonderful that I was inspired to fill up my Roottrainers with compost and sow the rest of the seeds.

When we were in Strathardle last week, the little seedlings had got bigger, and I decided that their delicious and complex flavour was nothing more or less than self-sown rocket (arugula).

That leaves the Roottrainers, here on the doorstep. They now contain three plants – with a fourth currently unsure whether to live or die – which must be salsola soda. I’ll have to take them up and plant them out when we go tomorrow. So there’s some hope that I will, in the end, find out what they taste like.

I wish I could remember how I got started on this pursuit.

More on vegetables

An overdue blog post from the Fishwife shows how it ought to be done.

I’ve got the books from the famous cooks who claim to grow their own vegetables – Jamie Oliver’s “Jamie at Home” and Nigel Slater’s “Tender”. I find them surprisingly useless. Example: my first crop of lettuce – if it hasn’t bolted already – is going to need serious attention straight away. It happens to anyone who’s ever grown the stuff. Neither man offers a cooked-lettuce recipe. Nigel doesn’t include lettuce at all. Fortunately the ever-fecund Internet is richly productive of the sort of recipe I need.


  1. Got home late and tired yesterday--getting home from the airport was almost as bad as getting into Kampala from Entebbe. Better roads here, even worse traffic. I was greeted by the overgrown and bolted garden and, inspired by the radish recipe, pulled up the bolted arugula, peeled the leaves off the stems and made quite a respectable pasta sauce with the bitter leaves plus hot peppers and garlic. Thanks for the thought. Helen

  2. I have some bolted spinach - maybe this will inspire me to try and salvage it for something.

  3. Did you ever eat "Wilted Lettuce" as a child? It is a basic salad, really, with a hot bacon dressing over top that takes a great huge bit of lettuce and wilts it down to a manageable size.

  4. The Green Granite Blocks is looking stunning!

  5. =Tamar4:23 AM

    Liz Lovick reported on her blog that she just got her yarn for her classes at knit camp.