I’ve been invited to join in a blog hop on writing by Elizabeth from Dig In (more on that very soon…). Elizabeth writes about her garden and kitchen in Hobart – over 10,000 miles in distance, and 6 months in climate away from my garden and kitchen in Yorkshire. So it’s always interesting to see what’s growing and cooking on the other side of the world.
In her post about how she writes, Elizabeth says that one of the things that makes her writing different from many others is her willingness to share when things go wrong. It’s very easy to hide mistakes in the garden or kitchen – you simply don’t blog about them, or take nice close-up photos of the flowers so that no one sees all the weeds in the background. I’m as guilty as anyone of doing this. Especially the close-up photos… see, no weeds here –
But in the spirit of openness and honesty championed by Elizabeth, I thought I’d share one of my many cooking disasters with you. To be fair, this one really did seem like a good idea at first… a chance to create something delicious from unwanted plants.
The raised beds that I tend at The Dutch House are slowly being overtaken by self-seeded nasturtiums. Now nasturtiums are lovely plants to have in the garden, with their bright and cheerful flowers. But these nasturtiums were really getting too much and taking up nearly all the space that was meant to be growing lettuces for the café.
I’ve been pulling up the seedlings by the handful, and still they keep on germinating – there must be the world’s largest nasturtium seed bank in those raised beds. It was while I was weeding the beds this morning and thinking it was a shame to be wasting all those edible leaves, that the idea of a soup using nasturtium seedlings surfaced. Fresh, peppery nasturtium leaves with early summer lettuce and herbs, seasoned with a little ginger and lime juice – a perfect lunch on a sunny day. Well, no. In my head, the soup was a lovely fresh green colour and tasted like a summer salad. In reality, the soup looked not unlike one of the potions my kids used to make when they were little – you know the ones, involving water from the water butt and any bits and pieces that caught their eye in the garden. The delicate bubbles on the surface don’t really help the appearance either. More pond slime green than fresh and zingy. The taste wasn’t a whole lot better than you’d imagine a three year old’s potion to be either – definitely lacking the herby freshness of early summer.
So it’s back to the drawing board for the nasturtium leaves… or more likely the compost heap, as I’ll soon be pulling up more of the self-seeded plants. Unless anyone out there has a good nasturtium leaf recipe to share?