Thursday, June 02, 2011

Today is my late sister-in-law’s 80th birthday. We are all going out to lunch, her three daughters, the husband of one of them, my husband and I. It will be good to see them again, two months and a bit. And good to talk about C. again – my husband doesn’t, understandably.

I never realised until this morning that the Coronation happened on her birthday. She was 22, that year.


Before we leave the subject of vegetable-growing.

Catdownunder, sorrel tastes tangy, with a distinct hint of lemon. It must have been useful during the war, when there were no lemons. It’s remarkably easy to grow – I was surprised when it came up, assuming as I did that the seeds of perennial plants would be even more reluctant to perform for me than the other ones. But there it is, and back it comes every spring.

It is modest in its territorial ambitions. Alexander refuses to plant it because he is plagued with sorrel the weed, and says it would be like introducing Japanese knotweed. I did find a stand of my-kind-of-sorrel this spring six feet away from base camp, out in the part of the garden completely exposed to rabbits. I was delighted, and left it, and so far the rabbits have left it, too. They prefer things not-tangy, on the whole, and will leave spicy salad leaves.

And by the way, I found Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall referred to simply as “Hugh” in a food magazine yesterday, so I was wrong. But the paragraph did include a picture of him.


I finished Joe’s 21st birthday socks – the 4th FO of ’11. So that’s something done.

And I’ve got all the information I need about the Japanese shirt, although I haven’t written it up yet. So it’s back to the Aran sweater this evening, with the multiple-WIP panic subsiding..

I’m sure you’re right, Shandy, that understated chic (the Japanese shirt) is going to be hard to achieve. To begin with, my stitch gauge is, as expected, much coarser than the Japanese one. We shall see. It’ll be fun to try.


  1. Oh, thankyou. I am not averse to "tangy" or lemon. I may investigate. We were however given something supposedly like this by our Chinese neighbour but did not care for that - it was, for some strange reason, also very salty and cooked to a brown mush after a very short time. He gave me the Chinese name and I cannot remember it.

  2. Irenka's warm sorrel salad, as requested :) Ingredients: 2 eggs, four to six new potatoes (depending on size), and a handful of fresh sorrel *per person*. A few pickled gherkins/dill pickles, one lemon, a little coarse sea salt and cracked black pepper.
    Shred the sorrel and finely chop the gherkins. Hard boil the eggs. Scrub but do not peel the potatoes and put to boil until tender but still firm. The trick is to have the eggs cool enough to peel and chop when the potatoes are ready as the dish is eaten warm but not piping hot.
    Place potatoes in a serving dish (with a knob of butter if you like) and sprinkle with the crunchy salt and pepper to taste. Add the chopped eggs and top with the shredded sorrel (if you don't like sorrel raw you can blanch it first, just boil for a few minutes in lightly salted water.). Finally garnish with the finely chopped pickles and a splash of lemon juice. It's simple but it's very tasty :D

  3. Catdownunder, although sorrel is quite lemony I'd say nothing really tastes like sorrel except sorrel ... do give it a try, I love it :)

  4. My mother-in-law used to make a lovely salmon and sorrel quiche. The recipe started out like the one for sorrel sauce, but with the addition of eggs for the filling, and poached, flaked salmon. It is nice with a whole-wheat crust. Perfect for a summer supper!

  5. Betty7:48 PM

    Jean I love the Japanese shirt. Can you tell me how to get a copy of the pattern? I would like to try and knit it.
    I love readding your post ever day. My husband and I are going to the UK in the spring.