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Wednesday, 15 January 2014

My pride and joy.....!

 When you enjoy good and nice things, like food, you have certain favourites....the pride and joys!
This 'mimosa' was one of them for me, when I had a garden - it started life as a small potted branchlet, and finished (when I left) some 40 feet high and full of blossom!
This is really only possible when you live in an area like mine, where the climate is such that almost anything will grow and grow fast! This, of course, makes gardening a pleasure, because you see results quickly, with a little water and basic knowledge - the sun and climate does the rest!   These beauties were number one in my list of pride and joys because they just didn't stop growing, were totally delicious, slightly sweet but also slightly acidy, when you pulled out the 'thieves' (that is the little sprouts between branches that steal a lot of the nourishment) they just thrived, and so did I! They started around March/April and I was still collecting in December! Finished buying at markets those abominations coming from greenhouses or from Spain, full of water, and always having tomatoe sauce, fresh, available! Just the smell on my fingers AFTER harvesting was a delight to the nose. In salads, or with a simple vinaigrette another delight.....if there were any really larger ones (I preferred the 'tomates ronde'- normal sized round tomatoes) then they would be either stuffed with a sausage meat and oven cooked or brushed with a little garlic flavoured oil and popped on or under the grill - another delight! I always used herbs de provence gathered fresh - free of charge in the heathland (or a little fresh parsley - free also from the market hall) and often a filet of anchovy placed on top....all these things simple - natural - not complicated and not expensive, thanks to the sun, the earth, the water and my own little fingers!
 Another pride and joy, although they did it all by themselves, were these things! They started in April/May and we often picked the last ones for Christmas! We were quite happy to make jam and other things from them, as well as having many invited guests to help out with their eating....!
So many things, so little work, so cheap.....for example!
All of these things just......grew!
Wasn't really a question of planting and being great in the garden.....just happened....wasn't even a question of cheaper, because in the seasons, tomatoes, melons and strawberries were so cheap in the market that probably the price of watering in the garden at home was more expensive, but the taste....the taste...! The only thing that presented problems was this....
 At one moment in time, we spent every afternoon until early evening picking them, we invited village friends and others to come and help themselves....we gave them away....and STILL we had to go out the following day and harvest-sore backs or not! We froze them, tinned them, bottled them, ate them - they just kept on coming. For 2 years they were a part of my 'pride and joy' then they fell into displeasure! Shame really, not the cheapest to buy fresh, but enough is enough-and you can't make jam from them!
I had lettuce until I realised I was spending money on plants/seeds and water just to feed slugs and snails, and although I did/do eat snails, I stopped with the lettuce. Slugs are not too nice!

My only failure was this  I got them to grow - for the table, not for wine - already cheap enough here, but I really wanted them for this....THE SHADE.....! Unfortunately, the bees, wasps, flies and mosquitoes liked them too, so - up they came, but for a while they were my pride and joy as well!
Now the gardening is over, no garden any more, and happy with that....just a shame you can't buy chicken or pork seeds. Wonder if it would work with canary seed? Bit on the small side that's all, but same colour as the mimosa.....
Bonne Appétit!
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******* iwmpop (mr le marquis)- Vauvert, France - Janvier 2011