The potager shed

The potager shed

Hi.

Welcome to my blog. This is just my personal garden and food diary. I’m a flexitarian, vegetarian at home, but more flexible when with friends. I’m trying to grow our own food so we leave a lighter footprint on this precious planet.

Over the past six years I have been transforming a one acre former vineyard on a steep hill into a garden. There are distinct areas; an 80m2 vegetable garden, a small orchard, a pond and a sunken path flanked by two long mixed borders.

We are in a small hamlet near Faugères in the Occitanie (formerly Languedoc) region of France. Our soil is rocky schist. Summer temperatures can reach 40℃ and in winter sink as low as -10℃. Water comes rarely but is diluvial when it does.

Lizzie

Dead simple vegetable curry

Dead simple vegetable curry

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In the last few months we’ve decided to be vegetarian at home and flexitarian when we’re at friends’ houses or in restaurants. We’d like to reduce our footprint on this precious planet and my plan is to grow not only vegetables through the easy months but to feed us all year round. Although I have already sown or planted dozens of different vegetables in the potager, we’re in the hungry gap so we’re still buying vegetables.

Our visits to the brilliant vegetable shop just ten minutes from here present us with a massive array of super-fresh produce. We buy what looks best, and ideally in season, then keep it in the cool on a balcony outside. Vegetables seem to keep at their very best like this and retain good flavour. I had a look to see what we had and decided that courgettes, a pepper, onions, an aubergine, a can of crushed tomatoes and some chick peas might make a really fresh curry. So here it is.

Dead simple vegetable curry

Chop up two onions and a chilli & lob them in some hot olive oil. Chuck in a heaped teaspoon each of turmeric, ground coriander, ground cumin, half a teaspoon each of nigella seeds, white mustard seeds and crushed dried chilli. Cover and cook gently for around ten minutes. Tip in the can of crushed tomatoes plus a can of water. Add all the rest of the chopped pepper, aubergine, courgette and chick peas (400g). Add a teaspoon of organic demerara sugar and season with salt & pepper. Clamp a lid on, bring it to the boil then let it simmer for around 40 minutes. This makes enough for about six people with the addition of boiled rice, so we have lots left for tomorrow by which time the flavours will have developed from fresh and vibrant to more profound and rounded.

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Sweet promise

Sweet promise

I'm back!

I'm back!