And all this week the clear night skies and cold mornings led to heavy mists rolling down the hills and filling the valleys with morning fog. Some of the tallest oak trees growing along the hedgerows were the only part of the valleys visible at breakfast time. The ground frosts over this week thankfully began the destruction of the annuals, which should clear some space for mass spring bulb planting in the next couple of weeks. I still haven't potted up the prepared hyacinths for the house, which as last year, won't now flower in time for Christmas. But I have made the most sublime recipe from Sophie Grigson's Vegetables book.
Htipiti, or Greek red pepper and feta dip, contains a small and seemingly ordinary list of ingredients which transform themselves, as Sophie promises, into a dish of sublime delight. I shall take a photo of the page in this cookbook and include it here to encourage you all to rush out to Waterstones and buy it.
Sophie instructs us to halve, seed, grill until charred then skin about 5oz red peppers; and throw them into a food processor with a seeded and chopped red chilli, 6oz feta (I used the standard supermarket 200g / 7oz packet), a clove of garlic and a drizzle of olive oil sufficient to make a creamy mass on processing. Pour into your favourite serving dish and force feed to your new best friend who historically claims to dislike both chillies and peppers. She scoffed the lot. This dip is so beautiful to look at, especially if served in a white dish. I made it with the mixed peppers from Bakewell, so got a golden sunrise colour, with the flecks of chilli and a shake of paprika adding a "red sky at night..." note.
So there you have it. A wonderful week full with Ray Mears, markets, vegetables; frosty mornings and late evenings; lolling about on the sofas watching Bridge to Terabithia with Merci Beaucoup Enfant Deux; Sophie Grigson and a Saturday night double bill of NCIS. Life really doesn't get too much better than this.