what's in season: september

Brighton (September 2012)
End of Summer
An agitation of the air,
A perturbation of the light
Admonished me the unloved year
Would turn on its hinge that night.
I stood in the disenchanted field
Amid the stubble and the stones,
Amazed, while a small worm lisped to me
The song of my marrow-bones.
Blue poured into summer blue,
A hawk broke from his cloudless tower,
The roof of the silo blazed, and I knew
That part of my life was over.
Already the iron door of the north
Clangs open: birds, leaves, snows
Order their populations forth,
And a cruel wind blows.
Stanley Kunitz 1905 - 2006(from The Collected Poems of Stanley Kunitz. © 1953)

In theory, September is the pinnacle of perfection in terms of the vegetable patch; a truly excellent month for fruit and veg such as sweetcorn, broccoli, apples, blackberries, damsons and early pears. This time last year, Britain was suffering the after effects of a truly dreadful wet summer and many crops were affected. A knock on effect of that was many farmers were unable to plant cereal crops last autumn since the ground was too damp. Some crops failed due to waterlogging and to pests.

However, this year's warm summer has meant that what cereal was grown is of a high quality. And our fruit and vegetables are having a bumper year. So it is not all doom and gloom.

Right now, salad vegetables such as peppers and juicy tomatoes are in abundance, even if you buy ones from abroad, and I am very happy that while last year I didn't have much luck growing my own veg, this year I have had a glut of courgettes. My tomatoes are doing beautifully so I shall be making one of my favourite new recipe discoveries, from Nigel Slater.

So while I won't be preserving my own fruit and vegetables, I will be looking out for cheap deals at the market and supermarket for an embarrassment of riches to make pickles, chutneys, jams and
relishes, as well as laying down some fruit vodka for Christmas (I do like to be prepared!)

You'll begin to see more of the autumn and winter vegetables such as pumpkin, celeriac and cauliflowers. But September also marks the beginning of the fish season (every month with an R in it). Look out for sea bream, crab and my favourite mackerel, which packs such a punch in flavour.

vegetables, herbs and wild greens:
artichokes (globe), aubergines, beetroot, borlotti beans (for podding), broad beans, broccoli (calabrese), cabbages (various varieties), carrots, cardoons, cauliflower, celeriac, ceps, chardchilliescourgettescucumber, endive, fennel, french beans, garlic, kale, kohlrabi, lambs lettuce, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, oyster mushrooms, pak choipeppers, parsnips, peas, peppers, potatoes, pumpkins and squashes, rocket, runner beans, salsify, sorrel, spinach, swedesweetcorntomatoes, watercress

fruit and nuts:
apples, bilberries, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, chestnuts, damsons, elderberries, figs, grapes, greengages, hazelnuts, juniper berries, loganberries, mulberries, peaches, pears, plums, raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries

meat and game:
beefchicken, duck, goose (farmed), grouse, mallard, mutton, partridge, pork, rabbit, turkey, venison, wood pigeon

fish and shellfish:

black bream, crab (brown, hen and spider), freshwater crayfish, herring, lobster, mackerel, mussels, oysters (native), prawns, river trout (brown and rainbow), salmon (wild), scallops, sea bass, shrimp, sprats, squid, whiting


1 comment:

belleau kitchen said...

rabbit... that's something I haven't eaten in ages... also Spring lamb is now at it's very best!