Small gifts of vegetables are always welcome in our kitchen. We lack the room needed to grow them ourselves but, most of all, we lack the will power. Being surrounded by horticultural magicians, it’s clear that any effort on our part to compete would only be shaming. Whilst the markets are empty of good tomatoes, those on our neighbours’ vines are still red, ripe and delicious. Some are even still green. I noticed a very sporty broom stick parked in their garage which leads me to believe that paranormal planting is afoot. Not so much Covent Garden as Coven Garden.
We benefit from simple, thoughtful food gifts as well as the bewitched bounty of which I will speak more later. Meanwhile, our daughter had left us some courgettes and red peppers which led me to open my folder of “mean to do” recipes. As expected, the first recipe that came to light was Rachel Khoo’s Soufflée Omelette. In the complete version, the omelette is served with an eggless piperade basquaise the main ingredient of which is red peppers. As luck would have it, or maybe through the agency of local necromancy, the next recipe that revealed itself was Courgette Flans.Returning for a moment to more mysterious matters. As I was chopping small wood for fire lighting this morning, I noticed my neighbour in the vicinity, no doubt enchanting frogs to leave their legs at the door and return when they’ve grown new and better ones. I thought garlic would come in handy with Walpurgis nearly upon us and asked if I could buy a “tete” from her. The word “buy” didn’t go down at all well, so I had to settle for “give”. Our grammatical differences were happily settled without recourse to my being transformed into a bat and she advised me that the garlic would appear in due course…which it did.