Saturday, July 15, 2006

Lists, lists and again I say lists

I love coming home from the seaside to my garden, and there are few more delightful tasks than the eager stroll around the garden checking each little horticultural miracle. The size of the annuals thrown in any old way and thriving, the forgotten gloves and Felcos discovered under the bench by the hedge, the roses, the soft fruit, apple trees and herbs, all calling, "Welcome back!" and, "How was your holiday?" and "Look what we've been doing whilst you were away!"

And then I strolled into the vegetable garden. Pumpkins looking quite respectable, plenty of greenery and a respectable number of fat yellow flowers unfurling for the bees; sweet corn waist high; three netted tunnels of fat, outrageous brassicas; four long rows of field tomatoes each plant interplanted with its garlic bedfellow; wigwams of beans.... er, where are the beans? I've got 8 wigwams and two long rows of beans. The bloody rabbits had eated the lot. Feckers. That's the third set of beans I've set out, two lots of plants and finally good old fashioned beans dropped into a hole made with a finger dibbed into the soil up to the knuckle. Every bloody one chewed by those fur-coat-good-for-nothings.

Here's the obituary:

Fagiolo rampicante -
Borlotto lamon
Santa Anna
and some glossy black beans, white beans and brown speckled beans saved from last year

Fagiolo nano -
Canadian Wonder as these resemble kidney beans

Rabbit with tomatoes & balsamic vinegar

First shoot, skin and gut your rabbit. You must gut them pretty much immediately, so do that in the field, (or, as in the case in hand, in the garden...) Cut each rabbit into pieces and shake into a plastic bag of seasoned flour. Brown rapidly in a pan and transfer to your baking dish. Cover with the following sauce and cook uncovered for 40 minutes at 180'C basting midway with an extra 3 or 4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.

Sauté a large chopped onion with 3 or 4 cloves of finely chopped garlic in olive oil until transparent but not browned. Add 5 or 6 chopped tomatoes, season with salt and black pepper, handful of finely chopped rosemary, half a teaspoon tumeric, and one teaspoon of lightly toasted fennel seeds. Stir in 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and simmer until sauce is thick and reduced. Pour over rabbit, and enjoy your french beans via the rabbit. Feckers.