Tomatoes, finally!

It is quite late for our first tomatoes to be picked. Often we pick in January, but not this year. You can see these have growing scars from the combination of very hot weather then torrential downpours. It’s been very hard to keep a steady watering regime.

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Meanwhile …back at Chez Fork

I know I’ve been rather slack when it comes to posting lately, of course lots has been happening in the garden. I was thrilled when our tomatoes finally started ripening and now they are in steady production.

One of the major blips in this years garden program has been the total failure of us to harvest our nectarines. I couldn’t believe that I would miss picking the fruit I’ve been watching ripen over the past month, but miss it I did. When I thought about it, two weekends ago, TB went to the tree only to report that all the fruit had fallen on the ground. All I can say is that I hope the chickens had a good feed so the fruit wasn’t completely wasted!

On a more positive note I have at last found a use for my lovage plant. Lovage,  Levisticum officinale, is a perennial herb, which in flavour is like a very intense version of celery.

Lovage leaves on the chopping board
Lovage leaves on the chopping board

Like a number of plants in my garden I put the lovage in without giving much thought to its use. Its leaves can be used to flavour stews and other hearty winter dishes and I have also read that its seeds are used as a flavouring in southern mediteranean countries. Trixie Pin has a beautiful recipe for a savoury celery and cheese shortbread which I adapted by substituting the lovage leaves for the celery. Just lessen the amount of lovage you use as the flavour is quite strong and could easily overpower the shortbread.

Lovage and cheese shortbread, just about to go into the oven.
Lovage and cheese shortbread, just about to go into the oven.

OK so it wasn’t my best month – I forgot to take a photo of the finished shortbreads because I was packing them to take to a friend’s place the same day. Suffice to say they didn’t remain uneaten for long. I’ve since found out that the shortbread can keep for several weeks in an airtight container. This came about because we’ve just found the remaining shortbread that I’d left for home consumption in a tin that got put to one side and then forgotten. Perhaps not the best way to find out but they were still very tasty and there have been no side effects – which may be due to the lovage’s reported antiseptic properties!