Autumn comes this week; cassoulet time again!

I’ve just put some white kidney beans on to soak. Betty and Donna are coming for dinner on Friday night. Cassoulet, although a one-pot meal when served, takes a while to put together, especially if you start with dry beans. As I’ve written about before, I’m not a fan of the taste of Navy beans, and I find white kidney beans are like the cannellini beans I found very tasty in Italy.

Hmm, there are some interesting ideas in this recipe that I may steal and adapt!

Initial thought: smoked turkey thigh instead of ham hock (less fat, still lots of flavour).

Some of my own grown tomatoes. Maybe add a little of my allotment garden kale to it an hour before serving? That will put some green in the dish.

More to follow later this week.

Harvesting in mid-August

I went to my allotment garden this morning to harvest and water. I knew that my garlic was ready to be harvested, but wasn’t sure how everything else was progressing (especially since I hadn’t been there in a week, and we hadn’t any rain).

Things… are progressing. I’m sure they’d flourish more if I visited more frequently and watered more. But they’re doing OK.

One of my spicy globe basils has flowers – I’m taking this as a sign to start harvesting, and to strip this one plant of its flowers.


Continue reading

Are we abandoning flavour for sweetness?

I ate a couple of ears of corn, roasted on the barbecue, for dinner tonight. They were much sweeter than the corn I had a couple of weeks ago from T&T. They put me in mind of other very sweet foods that have been developed over the last 10 years

  • apples
  • cherry tomatoes (now see: pear tomatoes, teardrop tomatoes, etc.)
  • beets

I don’t know what else.

But the corn I ate tonight was sweet, very sweet. It had almost no other flavour than sweetness. I remember when peaches & cream corn was a novelty, how sweet it was compared to what we were used to. Now it’s hard to find corn that tastes… like corn. What are we breeding?

I’ll ask the same thing about little bitty tomatoes. We’re breeding them sweeter and less red. What are we losing when we choose sweet? Are there fewer lycopenes? Carotenoids? Is anyone paying any attention?

Are we abandoning all taste sensation other than sweetness? Is this a result (or simply something that goes along with) all the sweeteners that have been added to everything?

Hullo, are we losing the benefits of these foods?