Up in flames

It felt like spring in the garden today – hot in the sun, especially when we were working, and warm enough too just to sit and enjoy what feels like a new season. It was time to burn some of the weeds and trimmings that won’t compost, before the rain that is forecast – at last – for the next few days.

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While Lo Jardinièr made sure that the fire didn’t spread, because everything is very dry at the moment and he had the hose pipe ready to put out any stray flames, I sowed a row of mangetout peas next to the two double rows of broad beans, sown in the autumn and doing well now, almost ready to flower.

Before we went out to the garden I put 450 grams of sautée de porc (a cut of pork that best for stewing or braising) in an earthenware dish with the vegetables we happened to have – a sliced onion, bulb of fennel and parsnip, some pieces of chorizo, some peeled cloves of garlic and some bay leaves. I poured a glass of white wine over them, covered the dish with aluminium foil and left it in the oven (not too hot – 180°C in our not very efficient oven) with some large potatoes baking on the shelf next to it. When we got home a couple of hours later lunch was ready!

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First mangetout peas

These peas seem to grow so quickly, and only a week after I posted photos of the first flowers I harvested the first small crop.  It was enough to make a salad with goats’ cheeses for the two of us for supper when we got home from the garden yesterday evening:

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I cooked the peas quickly in boiling water (just 2 or 3 minutes is enough) and arranged them around the plates, put the pelardons (small round goats’ cheeses) on them and added some slices of red pepper and small pieces of chorizo fried in olive oil, some chopped garlic and Picholine olive oil.  A quick and tasty supper with olive bread that we bought at Mas Rolland on Sunday.

In the garden, the deciduous ceonothus has recovered from the cold spell in February. I call this one deciduous to distinguish it from the evergreen variety we also have and which has dark green leaves all year round.  In fact, here even the deciduous variety rarely loses all its leaves.  I was worried about it because it had flower buds in January which were killed off by the frost, but it seems to have come back to life and is flowering better than ever.

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