Posted by: kathandroger | November 25, 2009

Cauliflowers, artichokes and tea dances

We committed the biggest sin in gardening this morning – being inattentive to our garden! In fact it was even worse than that as we thought we had bought a dozen cabbages and a dozen cauliflowers. It turns out they were all caulis and we were blissfully unaware that they were ready…about a week ago at least –

So we now have 3 in the freezer, made tartiflette with cauli for dinner, gave 2 to the neighbours and are having lots of soup for several days to come!

The other major surplus we have is of Jerusalem artichokes (topinambour , or topine for short in french). They are one of those vegetables that the french don’t eat either because they ate them during the war when there was nothing better, or they feed them to animals. Swede and parsnips unfortunately fall in the same camp. This means that the supermarkets usually have a dozen old, minute swedes, and a handful of shrivelled, brown, soft parsnips and Jerusalem artichokes alongside a mountain of beautiful leeks. No wonder no one buys them. We brought them from the UK and they developed into the tallest vegetables I have ever seen – over 3 metres high. Roger dug half a dozen roots today – we have at least another 20 times that!

Whilst we like them, I’m not sure we like them that much! They do make a cracking soup with a few carrots and onions thrown in. So – soup every day ’til Christmas I reckon. The only draw back with ‘topines’ is that they contain an inabsorbable sugar which absorbs water from the gut which, according to Roger, is ‘apparent on evacuation’!

Changing the subject somewhat, we discovered yesterday what the population of Descartes does on a Tuesday afternoon – they dance! Having started dancing lessons recently we decided to go along to the local tea dance…and were thoroughly out of our depth. Some of those people have been dancing for about 70 years – what were we thinking after just 6 weeks. There is definitely some work to do! However, it was quite an education and was followed by another fabulous ‘social’ dinner hosted by the dance society, which makes it all worthwhile…


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