|a glut of tomatoes preserved in |
When the days are hot
I like to find a shady spot
And hardly move a single bit
I am rather fond of August, particularly when the sun comes out. It the perfect time to eat outdoors - preferably with an interesting selection of tapas or mezze, little nibbles of something amazing, under the vine-laden pergola while swigging lashings of cold white wine. Well a girl can dream!
So now is the time that I think of lazy Mediterranean holidays, eating delicious fish and veggies, with the odd citron pressé or six, under a large umbrella.
As I write this, it is the height of an English summer and the sun has finally come out - its 30 degrees and hot in London at the moment, but I am sure the rain isn't far behind. But August should (weather permitting) be a good month for soft fruits and vegetables, with stone fruits such as plums (such as Victorias) and peaches appearing towards the end of the month. (Although a friend reports from the Midlands, that damsons are ready right now in her neck of the wood).
And since we are talking of delicious food and hot weather, this is also the season for spice and chillies; I don't know why, but the hotter the weather, a really hot chilli noodle dish seems to cool me down.
I have onions and garlic and more courgettes than I know what to do with. Yay. Although sadly my tomatoes are looking a bit morose, which means it's a great excuse to visit my local farmers markets to feed my tomato addiction; (like father, like daughter).
By the end of August and into September, there will be food for free and I shall be out foraging and beating back the wildlife in order to get to those wild berries. It shall also be the time to actually put into practice some of my New Year's kitchen resolutions - in foraging, preserving and better planning them all!
vegetables, herbs and wild greens:
artichokes (globe), aubergines, basil, beetroot, borlotti beans (for podding), broad beans, broccoli (calabrese), cabbages (various varieties), carrots, cauliflower, ceps, chanterelles, chard, courgettes, cucumber, fennel, French beans, garlic, horseradish, kohlrabi, lambs lettuce, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, oyster mushrooms, pak choi, peas, peppers, potatoes, purslane, pumpkins (& squashes), radishes, rocket, runner beans, salsify, samphire, sorrel, spinach, sweetcorn, sugarsnap peas, tomatoes, watercress, wild fennel
fruit and nuts:
apples, apricots, bilberries, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, damsons, gooseberries, greengages, hazelnuts, loganberries, peaches, mulberries, pears, plums, raspberries, redcurrants, rhubarb, strawberries, white currants, wild strawberries
meat and game:
beef, hare, lamb, mutton, rabbit, venison, wood pigeon
fish and shellfish:
black bream, crab (brown, hen and spider), freshwater crayfish, herring, john dory, lobster, mackerel, mullet, pollack, prawns, river trout (brown and rainbow), scallops, sea bass, shrimp, skate, squid