Just Merveilleux?

Life at № 42

The kitchen garden + The Russians are coming!

20april2016b (2)

The baby bok choy has come and been eaten. Excellent, easy crop. It only takes 30 to 45 days from seed to table. They’ve been replaced by a variety of lettuces. The rest of the raised bed will take Japanese bunching onions, radishes and mini-green bean plants. Opposite the bed is the tomato area, this year we’ll have three varieties. The herbs this year are all in planters because last year the greenhouse got so hot that they all went to seed much too early- so now I can move them outside when the temperatures are consistently high.

A greenhouse is really an incredibly practical thing to have. I was able to start a number of plants, including tomatoes and chilis way back in late February. Parsley, coriander and basil are already usable. And all for practically no money. At most I spent €10 on seeds (total).

On decorative plants I’ve spent a bit more. But I’ll never admit to how much. And there’s more to come because I still haven’t got the Florentine cypresses (or orange trees?) and gardenias that I want for the new beds on both sides of the steps:

I’m getting already large trees (over 2 metres) because I’m not in the mood to sit and wait for things to grow. It’s one thing to plant trees from seeds in your twenties- at this point I want immediate gratification. Plus the house is too old to have dinky little plants around it.

The Russians are coming! Okay, maybe they’re Ukrainian, but that would have made a less interesting title. The children (now adults) have announced they’re coming to visit in three weeks bringing part of the Ukrainian branch of the family. Excellent. Mike saw them at their wedding, but I haven’t seen them since they visited us in Spain in 2013. In expectation of the visit I’ve been out to buy those aperitif spoons that seem to be the fashion these days:

See original image

They were on sale at the Leader Price for 50 cents each so I got 24. Super easy way to serve appetizers without having to arrange things on tiny crackers or toast at the very last minute. This probably won’t help the fact that the young (newlywed) Mrs. Gwilym thinks I’m somewhat uptight and formal. During their last visit she offered to cook and I may have over-organized the kitchen in preparation. I sort of lined up the ingredients, (appropriate) knives, cutting boards and bowls in the correct order on the counter- and the pots were ready on the stove (and some things may have already been chopped, put in bowls and covered in plastic wrap)… When she walked in she said: oh, it’s like I’m going to be on a cooking show on television. What she probably meant was: This guy is a total psycho, control freak. Anyway, they’re coming to visit, so it can’t have been that bad.

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25 comments on “The kitchen garden + The Russians are coming!

  1. clubschadenfreude
    April 21, 2016

    Control freaks unite!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. acflory
    April 21, 2016

    lmao – I’m amazed you let anyone even step foot in your kitchen. :p Let me guess, you did the cleaning up afterward because…no one else would know exactly where everything goes? -ducks and runs away-

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory
      April 21, 2016

      p.s. I would kill for your greenhouse!

      Like

      • makagutu
        April 21, 2016

        just go ahead.
        I will arrange for a legal team 🙂

        Like

      • acflory
        April 22, 2016

        lmao – you’re all heart. Will you send me care packages in jail as well?

        Like

      • makagutu
        April 22, 2016

        I will be visiting to ensure you are well taken care of.
        Hopefully we will convince the judge you have always been on the right side of the law and community service for a few days would suffice

        Like

      • acflory
        April 22, 2016

        Thank you, thank you! I promise not to covet any greenhouses ever again. 😉

        Like

    • No cleaning up! Ever. That’s Mike’s realm 🙂

      Like

      • acflory
        April 22, 2016

        Oh god…now I am jealous. 😦

        Like

  3. john zande
    April 21, 2016

    I am thoroughly, hopelessly, dangerously envious of your greenhouse. I am, also, thrilled to see you enjoying it.

    If you want a nice little side project, try growing catnip. Takes a long time to germinate from seed, but once going, it goes crazy and responds beautifully to pruning. Like growing pot, the trick here is to produce huge buds. If you know any cat owners, a bag of good buds is a gift (like a good umbrella) they will never forget.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Arkenaten
    April 21, 2016

    That greenhouse rocks! And ditto what John said.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Cara
    April 21, 2016

    Oh you’re one of those people…an anal control freak when it comes to your kitchen. I know the drill (because my mother is also a control freak)…a place for everything & everything in its place, and God help me if I let her catch me eating Nutella out of the jar with one of HER spoons (although she thinks they’re all her spoons, so as a kid every time I wanted Nutella I had to be willing to endure a spanking for it)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hariod Brawn
    April 21, 2016

    Immediate gratification in the garden – you’re not a sort of Tantric Percy Thrower then, Pink?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Helen Devries
    April 21, 2016

    That’s one of the delights of living in Costa Rica…I don’t have to wait years for trees to grow to a respectable height. Bung them in and they power away…

    I’ll have to look for those spoons in the Chinese allsorts shops next time in San Jose…very labour saving. Though what some of my guests will make of them is anyone’s guess…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Plus your garden is green year round.
      The spoons are fantastic. You can’t go to a good restaurant now without them using them for one thing or another. The bottoms of the bowls are flat which means you can even use them to hold sauce and sit them on a regular plate.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Helen Devries
        April 22, 2016

        Needless to say good restaurants here have not yet discovered them….I’ll be talking to the chefs of a couple of restaurants that I like.

        Green all the year round? No…we have just had an el nino year with searing heat – my pasture is down to bugger all for the sheep -but, thank goodness, the rainy season has arrived a couple of weeks early so I’m
        looking forward to not spending half the evening watering the garden.
        Still, things grow! So used to waiting four to five years before the sticks I planted started looking like trees that the way things grow here still takes me by surprise.

        Like

  8. Sirius Bizinus
    April 21, 2016

    Actually, arranging things for a person to cook with is a really nice gesture. She probably was amazed at the level of ease with which she could cook. It’s awkward using someone else’s kitchen, because one never knows where anything goes.

    Being a control freak isn’t always a bad thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love the spoons! I really like them served on a shiny black lacquer tray, that looks smashing. I love ALL of the what I call tiny hors-d’oeuvre dishes. I LOVE the tiny plastic silver spoons too. I have a set like you wouldn’t believe. Probably 15 different shapes and sizes, mostly white but some bright green and orange colored ones as well. What they are really nice for is serving sushi. I have some that are like little bowls, I put shrimp sauce in them and then hang the shrimp from the sides.
    Really nice are tiny servings of Oysters Rockefeller, Pate on Toast, cherry tomatoes that you make into tiny Tomatoes Provencal and serve hot.

    The tendency is to use them for cold hors-d’oeuvres but we use them for hot ones as well. Just take any hors-d’oeuvre and down size it. I use the tiny sliver plastic spoons in the wasabi dish so people can dish themselves some wasabi with their sushi. I also use those tiny silver plastic spoons with the Oysters Rockefeller in the tiny dishes. Cucumbers peeled and cut into 1″ tall chunks with fresh tuna stuffed in the middle are very attractive using the tiny dishes. Ceviche too.

    There are little ones that look like a mini stock pot with lids, you can put deserts in them, again using the little silver plastic spoons. You can make little Banana Fosters in them. Guests love our parties when we use these hors-d’oeuvre dishes.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. wcs
    April 25, 2016

    I have serious greenhouse envy.

    Like

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This entry was posted on April 21, 2016 by in design, gardens, Mazamet and tagged , , , , .
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