Tag Archives: vegetables

My German Garden

To be honest, I haven’t done a lot in the garden this year. First the arctic winter dragged on… then there were dry spells which seemed to coincide with weekdays when I was working, but pouring rain and decidedly gardener-unfriendly weather on days when I could have got my wellies on.

But nevertheless, as summer approaches, there are still some signs of a good harvest coming up.

My tomatoes are being very Teutonic this year – they are growing in formation. They line up on the stalk in a very orderly fashion.

germany

German tomatoes... neatly growing in orderly rows

My first aubergine is not so orderly. In fact Birgit has accused me of having a positively disorderly aubergine. “It’s all wonky, there’s a definite list to the left,” she said to me yesterday, having subjected my entire crop to a military-style inspection. Pah! It’ll still taste lovely … even if it doesn’t live up to Germanic expectations.

On the fruit front, the strawberries have pretty much finished now and the rhubarb-season is past. But the grapes are starting to show a lot of promise… maybe it’s time for another doomed attempt at wine-making…

Meanwhile, down in the jungle orchard there are very promising developments on the apple and plum front…

Lovely plums... ooooh...err....

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Growing purple cauliflower in Germany

I mentioned before that I’m growing my own vegetables this year.

One of the things I wanted to do was pick varieties that I wouldn’t normally be able to buy in the shops – or at least not without having to remorgage the house to afford a bag of variegated tomatoes or mottled frisée salad.

I am now paying the price of this overblown horticultural ambition. Take the cauliflower, for example. Of course I could have bought ordinary cauliflower seeds… but what’s the fun in that? Instead I picked out a packet of seeds which said “purple cauliflower”.  I was thinking along the lines of purple flowering broccoli – which is quite pretty, and in any case turns to normal green when you cook it.

Even so, when I found this growing in the garden…. I have to admit, even I recoiled a bit.

It’s recognisably a cauliflower… but nobody told me it would be that purple.

This is a serious problem. You see, my kids are not great fans of vegetables. Generally I have to hide them in soups, pasta sauces, curries and bakes… adding a tin of tomatoes or a cheesy topping to camouflage the presence of carrots or chopped cabbage.

But how the heck am I going to hide something this colour? If I make cauliflower-cheese, it’ll look like a purple monster lurking in an avalanche. Steamed cauliflower rosettes are going to look like they fell in the beetroot. Hmmm…. now there’s an idea. Can you make borscht with cauliflower?

Help me please! I need recipe ideas for alien cauliflower….

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Is it a plant, is it an alien?

I’ve mentioned before that I’m growing my own salad and vegetables this year.

In keeping with my infiltration of German society, I thought I’d better grow some proper German veg. And what could be more German than having your garden full of kohlrabi?

Well… that’s what I thought until they started to turn into aliens… right there in my vegetable patch! Seriously… some are purple and some are green… but they’ve all got tentacles… or possibly antennae. I can’t sleep at night as I’m expecting them to invade the kitchen any minute. If I don’t post again, you’ll know they got me….

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