A Flavour Of Spring

As the weather becomes kinder, I’m finding more excuses to get out into the garden. An unfocused potter, pulling weeds, listening to birdsong, can be useful to clear the head. And, more importantly, to stimulate thoughts of dinner.
The new early spuds are sprouting nicely, which should start to reward us in a month or so. The cauliflower I planted has succumbed to the evil that slugs do, but some of the Italian lettuce I sowed in its stead is ready for picking and eating. Garlic and shallots are waving their flags bravely.
Our herb patch looks magnificent. I mean look at it.

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The furry stuff is fennel. We’re both big fans of the sweet aniseed flavour. I love the purple of the seed heads on the chives. Underneath, a lowgrowing oregano, which looked very sickly last winter, has carpeted the ground keeping those darn weeds at bay.

There seem to be a lot of bees around this spring too. Next door have a nest in their roofspace, and every so often they’ll spill out of an air brick and swarm. They sound like a B52 going overhead. That’s a bit unnerving, but in small doses the little fellers are charming. They’re welcome in our herb patch any time.

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Fodderblog – a fresh sauce for spring

This is kind of a sauce, kind of a condiment, kind of an accompiment. But it’s all great.

Mix half a cup of creme fraiche with half a cup of yoghurt. Then add a big handful of finely-chopped chives, and about three-quarters of that amount of either fennel tops or dill. A pinch of salt. That’s it.

I’m trying to keep the measurements a bit vague so you can scale it up and down to meet your own needs. The amounts above will give you enough for two, with enough for leftovers afterwards. As long as you keep to half and half yog and creme for a spoonably thick texture, and enough greenery to make it interesting, you could make enough to feed an army.

Tweak it if you like. Don’t got fennel or dill? Maybe some parsley or chervil. Perhaps a little cucumber might be nice to make it more of a salsa.

Goes great with chicken, grilled fish, on a burger or steak, hell, I dunno. It’s your dinner. I’m just trying to help you out a little here.