I would set up this actually very delicious meal of goat’s cheese, home-grown fresh baby broad beans, mangetout and spaghetti with lots of beautiful shots of my garden and food that perfectly capture the essence of June in the English countryside. It would be aspirational or even inspirational living for a world in which there are elderflower blooms artfully arranged on tables and people meander in the evening through their vegetable garden collecting fresh produce before relaxing with friends for a night of laughter and good food.
That is not the life I have here.
It was a day that started off with taking some lovely, local children to bottle-feed the lambs, move sheep with an over-excited dog, wrangle turkeys and carry baby chicks outside into the front garden.
While Ataturkeyzade – the male turkey – demonstrated turkey reproduction we distracted ourselves by discussing the Turkish prefixes and suffixes of ata, oglu and zade in naming practices …. part of my mission to teach Turkish and Arabic by stealth to unsuspecting children and adults.
Then I spent much of the day sorting out bits and pieces for a symposium I am running with a colleague next week: Pasts without History: politics and the practical past – see here for a bit about it. And then I sent off a book manuscript to the publisher …. at last.
There was some walking of the dog (when I found two puffballs), campsite stuff and talking with friends and some editing of various work projects.
At about 7.30 I went to water the greenhouses and fruit cage without my camera as that requires planning. I started thinking about dinner. James wanted pasta and I wanted to use some of our very prolific mangetout mountain – I am so not complaining about eating these every single day though. Then I spied the first sizeable broad beans and dinner was conceived.
Spaghetti with broadbeans, mangetout, dill and goat’s cheese: handful of baby broad beans, very very large handful of mangetout, small handful of dill, handful of pinenuts, optional puffballs depending if you have found any, juice of half a lemon, half of a Tymsboro goat cheese, olive oil.
Bring a pan of boiling water to the boil, add spaghetti. Meanwhile gently fry the puffball and pinenuts in a little butter. Just before pasta is cooked add broad beans and sliced mangetout to the water. Drain, toss with olive oil and lemon juice. Add in the cheese and dill. Sprinkle on the puff ball and pinenuts.
This was far more delicious than I expected. I kind of want to eat it again right now.
While making dinner rather than take some artful photos I finished a batch of elderflower cordial and started another because if I don’t make it now the flowers will be all gone.
I ate my dinner with a cocktail (yeah … look at me) made with a dash of gin, some home-made elderflower cordial and fizzy water.
Look I made an effort and took a photo of said drink in front of my garlic … because let’s face it, that is my lifestyle – hurried shots of a tasty drink 30 seconds before I finally get to collapse in the evening, too tired to talk after a long day. Beautiful gardens and nice table settings aren’t really a big part of my life … weeds, animal sex, Ottoman grammar and dirty dishes are!
N.B. While I would quite like to edit my photos, I don’t. Firstly and perhaps most importantly because I can’t and secondly because I generally blog while eating breakfast or sitting on the train.
N.B. One book sent off, one more to go off in two weeks … and then I can focus on the one due in January. Right now I feel as if I am on a hamster wheel of book writing and all I want to do is start planting in my polytunnel.