Friday, September 15, 2006

An early autumn day off and lunch in the garden.

Unusually I had a day off today. I woke up at the usual time, a nano second before the alarm brought me to consciousness with the Today programme, then remembered, "I have a day off today." Heavenly. Went downstairs and made a cup of tea, then hopped back to bed with my trusty field guide to trees. I'm trying to learn the difference between the Acers ... that's Maples ... or Sycamores to you and I. This is a long and not uninteresting process. Rather like making a quick lunch in the wok.
Cut some shoots of calabrese, that you harvested a last month and let the stalk grow onto these little side shoots. Cut some new short leaves from the chard "Bright Lights" that you cut last month and again, have allowed to sprout. Wash well, as the calabrese shoots especially will be home to whitefly, and shake dry. Pour a bit of your favourite oil into the wok and heat with a few chopped cloves of garlic, a red chilli sliced and an inch of grated ginger. Inhale scent of these volatile oils. Throw washed and still a bit wet greens into your wok. Leaving a bit of water on the leaves adds to that magnificent sizzle and spit as the shoots hit the hot oil. Stir around the wok for a minute or two, then upend onto your favourite plate and take into the garden to eat on the terrace at midday.
Because sometimes life really is too short to spend your day off away from your garden.
Note to self: This would be great with a bit of pineapple and some oyster sauce. Yum yum.