Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Eating Seasonably: October

I'm a little slow off the mark this month, partly due to my own sloth, but also because I had trouble finding some of my key seasonal picks for October in the shops! Shame on them! In the end, I managed to track down everything except a marrow. I have become a little obsessive about cooking something tasty with one, so keep an eye out for the November round-up to see if I pulled it off! In the meantime, we have an autumnal cornucopia to be getting on with: sweetcorn, Cox apples, aubergine, sweet potato, butternut squash, fennel (moved on from last month as we didn't get to it!) and pumpkin, which I suspect will end up being carved into a jack-o-lantern instead of eaten, but hey.... we'll roast the seeds!

As for September, we started the month strong with an apple and blackberry crisp, thereby ticking off two items at once. The crisp was delicious: cinnamon-sugary with a good crunch, tempered by just the right amount of tang from the ripe, juicy blackberries. Then I remembered why I don't like Bramley apples: they are tart and mushy. They remind me of school dinners. Blech! I'm sorry, I realize to criticise the Bramley in England is tantamount to blasphemy, but I stand by my opinion. Next time I will use Braeburns.

Next, I made an exciting discovery. Since I have been eating seasonably, I have been more aware of what is on offer in the grocery store and one day I noticed a display of cobnuts. I had read about them in a couple of places within the previous few days, so I jumped at the chance to try them. They are lovely: sweet and moist with flesh slightly reminiscent of a coconut. I also stumbled upon some greengages. They were so delectable that I have probably eaten about 20 of them in the past week or so. They were definitely my favourite find of the month.

And then we come to the Big Fail: the dreaded fig. I have no idea where my fig phobia comes from, but there it is. I bought several punnets with good intention and each time they all withered away until they became even more unpalatable than before. I give you Exhibit A, below.

I could not bring myself to eat one. Oh, the shame... What can I say? I'll keep trying and let you know if I overcome my reticence!! Did you try anything new this month? Or spot something that caught your eye that you'd never seen before? I am on the lookout for salsify. No, I didn't know what it was either. Turns out it's a root vegetable, a bit like a long, narrow parsnip, that belongs to the dandelion family. I suspect I might have some opposition on this one from the kids....!

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