Monday, June 13, 2011

Yesterday’s reader was an old woman. Her pronunciations were immaculate. It’s the teenagers who can’t manage Phrygia and Pamphylia.

We’ll have to be quick, this morning. The car is about to go in for its MOT – its annual Certificate of Fitness without which I think it will be illegal to keep it on the road after the coming weekend.

Knitting-wise, the news is that I finished the body of the Aran sweater last night, put it on hold, and started the first sleeve. Knitting on four needles is troublesome, but it will become less so as it rapidly expands.

Now, vegetables.

Angel, thank you for the Mennonite sorrel recipe. It sounds delicious.

I will now move on to another vegetable. I grow something called Good King Henry (chenopodium bonus-henricus, would you believe it) – I’ve mentioned it before. It is related to a well-known weed called Fat Hen (chenopodium album) – not well-known to me, but I gather there is lots of it further south. Good King Henry used to be common in cottage gardens, the books tell me. It rivals Jerusalem artichokes for the title of Ideal Vegetable: perennial, utterly hardy, deer- and rabbit-proof, non-aggressive (=it doesn’t seed itself about, or spread underground). Its only fault – one it does not share with Jerusalem artichokes, which must therefore retain the title – is that it tastes terrible.

In the current issue of Kitchen Garden magazine – I read it devotedly – is an article about Bangldeshi allotment-holders in London. The article says, in a throwaway sentence, that they cultivate Fat Hen and eat the leaves like spinach.

Right! So what I need is a Bangladeshi recipe. Approaching Google in that spirit, I’ve found a couple of possibles, “potato and Fat Hen frittata” and “Mixed spring greens with Good King Henry.” The latter includes dandelion and sorrel, with spinach to take away the taste; it’s already too late this season. I’ll try the frittata.


  1. I think there is a recipe in Moro East - I will check it tonight and let you know!

  2. It seems to me there would have to be good recipes for Good King Henry or it would never have been cultivated and planted in gardens. It would have remained a weed in the field.