Monday, 28 January 2013
'Bring Me Sunshine'
"Bring me sunshine!" is what the above clump of snowdrops must have been shrieking out before I rescued them from a mound of leaves yesterday. My fault entirely for not doing this job before now. Changes in the garden last year, including the building of a wall meant that leaves had piled up more than they usually do. I filled two black bin bags yesterday with them so more raw material for making leaf mould, although this clump and two others have suffered. I only hope that they live to tell the tale.
The sunshine was around long enough yesterday for me to spend a little time in the garden although it was on the windy side. The day started off though with me perched on a stool looking out of the living room window for an hour completing the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. As usual on these occasions I'm sure that the birds know that they are being watched and therefore a number of regular customers were reluctant to show their beaks at the open all hours cafe. This year's visitors included blackbirds, long tailed tits, blue tit, coal tit, great tit, wood pigeon, dunnock, wood pigeons, magpies and robin. I live in hope of a parrot or eagle alighting at the bird table but nothing exotic to report this year.
Then outside in the afternoon where I rescued the snowdrops and did some sorting out in the greenhouse. The bite in the wind though made sure that there was no danger of getting carried away and after an hour or so I felt that the warmth of the house was a more attractive proposition. Here the sunny theme continued as we eat our one and only 'Sunshine' red kabocha winter squash for our evening meal. It was cooked in a sort of soupy stew - the other ingredients being onions, cannellini beans, celery, red pepper, herbs, stock and some sliced pork and leek sausage. Some crusty granary bread would have gone down nicely with it but there was none to hand. Having said that it was sufficiently filling without bread. The squash had a most sweet, nutty taste and is a must for this year. Sadly last years sowings which all germinated did not flourish when they were planted. I was fortunate that I had passed a plant along a plant to my allotment neighbour which thrived and that he was generous enough to give me one of the resulting squashes. It had been waiting patiently for just the right moment for consumption. No photo of either squash or stew to illustrate this post but the rest of the evening was filled with the warm glow of summer. Now that we have also consumed the last of the frozen strawberries there are only some shallots remaining from last year's harvest. Time to get sowing again!