After a beautiful February when I dusted the moths off my denim (almost) mini-skirt, today, at the back end of May, it’s so cold I can barely think straight.
Mark, who is taking over our Kitchen Garden, has planted rhubarb and gooseberries in the raised beds and last year’s chard is going bananas in the poly tunnel. Apart from that, however, it’s a waiting game. We are excited for the season to start, but this weather makes for tricky column writing!
Mark has lots going on in the way of seedlings, including tomato, brassica, celery and courgette set away under glass. He is about to start planting up the poly tunnels and will be planting out at the start of June. The chefs have been buying micro-shoots for the wedding canapés from our supplier Delifresh, and in order to be more self-sufficient we have bought our own little glass house. Hence, red amaranth, pea, basil, coriander and rocket seeds are on my desk waiting for the weather to warm up so we can grow our own.
Among of our favourite things of the season are Carroll’s heritage potatoes. The farm is near Berwick and you can buy them online. They do all sorts of varieties and very kindly supply us with a mixture of baby potatoes including pink fir apple, violetta (which are purple) and goodness knows how many more. We used them when we catered a private dinner party at Hallington Mill near Matfen recently. It is so beautiful, I want to live there, and our menu included canapés with drinks, poached pears, candied walnuts and Roquefort for a starter, followed by whole plaice with caper herb butter and the last of the kale from the garden.
We decorated the birthday cake for the occasion with herbs from the garden and little violas which have emerged from their winter sleep.
Food and garnishes like this are enough to make my heart sing. Roll on summer…