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@nigelslater
There were four plum trees in this little garden: a Czar, Ouillins gage, a damson and a greengage. For various reasons only the greengage still exists. A wilding, I never actually planted it, it’s fruits are difficult to collect without trampling over the beds beneath. I keep it there mostly for its blossom, a creamy white froth that flowers late, usually just as I come back from holiday in late spring. My local organic greengrocers has had a fine collection of plums this year. This crumble was made with some of them. The crumble crust is spiced with cardamom, ground ginger and cinnamon lending a faintly gingerbread tone. Details are on theguardian. com and nigelslater.com under recipes, autumn, puddings.
Sun 22nd September 2019
@nigelslater
So lovely to be back in this beautiful room at @spring_ldn again. Thank you @4thestatebooks and 🙏🙏💕to @skyegyngell and everyone at Spring at Somerset House for looking after us so splendidly tonight. 🧡🧡
Wed 18th September 2019
@nigelslater
Newcastle, with @gilesrcooper. An unexpected delight of the Toast tour is arriving in each city early and being a tourist for a day. Huddersfield, Oxford, Liverpool and now Newcastle. Never enough time but it has been too long since I’ve spent a day just pottering around like this. The light from the glass roof in the Central Arcade is really rather lovely BTW. Toast is here all week, at Northern Stage. Sadly I’m not.
Tue 17th September 2019
@nigelslater
Greenfeast Autumn Winter is out on October 3rd. Today, Food Monthly in the Observer publishes a collection of recipes from the new book. @obsfood @4thestatebooks.
Sun 15th September 2019
@nigelslater
All manner of plants grow up the walls of this house, from wisteria and jasmine to old roses and an espaliered pear. The most accommodating of all is surely the Hydrangea petiolaris, living happily in light shade, and tolerating my ability to both pamper and neglect as the mood takes me. This one now lives in the corner of the little courtyard with ferns at its feet and tangled with the gnarled trunk of a very old rose.
Sun 8th September 2019
@nigelslater
A golden autumn day. And with it, the need for pudding. Hence today’s rice with cardamom, cloves and condensed milk served with Victoria plums, muscovado and lemon. Details theguardian.com and nigelslater.com (in the autumn recipe section). The beautiful grey dish is by @jonosmart
Sun 8th September 2019
@nigelslater
Overhead shot of the little courtyard, (taken by leaning out of a second floor window). The two white jasmines have finally met in the middle forming a canopy that encloses the table and chairs. So the space now has a green roof giving shade to table underneath. The tree fern has done well again this year without protection last winter. (I feel it needs a friend.) Previously the yard had been a storage space for tools and builder’s materials. A bit of tip TBH. It is now a secret green space in which to sit under a canopy of jasmine.
Sun 1st September 2019
@nigelslater
Long hot day in the garden, feeding and watering and tidying and sweeping up the already falling leaves. Scratched from the roses and sore from lifting heavy terracotta pots around all day I shall shower then take a long, long soak in the cedar bath. Its a godsend after a day like today. TBH it has been a good while since I had a proper day in the garden, and I do love it, despite the fact that I often come in battered and bruised and scratched. Looking at it now I’m not sure I can see exactly what I’ve accomplished today, but it’s fine. This little garden has been good to me.
Mon 26th August 2019
@nigelslater
‘There has been a subtle change of step. Spiky dahlias in carnival colours have replaced the pink roses in the jam jar on the kitchen table and the broad beans have made way for climbing beans as thin and crisp as pencils. But it is the tomato that has been at the heart of this week’s cooking. I made a sauce for some of them with mustard seeds and garlic, turmeric and chillies. The heat of the spices, softened by coconut cream, produced a sauce the colour of terracotta. The fruit was both filled and surrounded with the spiced coconut sauce, giving the impression of something that had been cooked lovingly, for hours.’ From this week’s @obsmagazine column. Details: theguardian.com.
Sun 25th August 2019
@nigelslater
Summer’s end. The little courtyard seen from the kitchen window, the old zinc table just visible through tree ferns and hanging jasmine now home to young foxgloves potted up ready for autumn planting.
Sat 24th August 2019
@nigelslater
Ripe nectarines, grilled gammon and Cashel Blue. A recipe from this month’s @obsfood , the details of which are online at theguardian.com in the lifestyle section. It has taken till now, virtually autumn, to find really luscious, truly ripe peaches and nectarines this year and now I’m making the most of them.
Tue 20th August 2019
@nigelslater
My desk, at which I sit and write my column and my books, is rarely without its jam jar of flowers. You can often tell, almost to the week, what time of year it is just by looking at them. This week marks the moment when summer becomes autumn. I have never known the change happen so suddenly. I would love a long autumn. Still sunny, warm and bright but with softer light, a gentle breeze and the garden slowly turning from green to gold. 🍃🍂
Sun 18th August 2019
@nigelslater
Apricot and lemon sorbet from today’s @obsmagazine column. I eat a little ice cream almost every day if my life. Not much. Just a spoonful or two. Sometimes it is home made, sometimes not. Right now its the late summer stone fruits - plums, apricots and peaches - that I’ve been using in my own home made versions. Cooking the fruits in a light syrup of sugar and lemon does wonders for the apricots’ sometimes elusive flavour. Details in today’s Observer and at theguardian.com.
Sun 18th August 2019
@nigelslater
The first few dahlias opened this week. They are later than usual but I’m fine with that because they will now probably be around till the first frosts. The larger plants from last year are heavy with buds but I still wish I’d picked out the growing tips a bit more rigorously to encourage thicker stems. I can see I will have to get the hazel sticks and branches out again this year to support the larger flowers.
Wed 14th August 2019
@nigelslater
Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge is one of my favourite places. I often dream of living here, surrounded by the Ede’s collection of art, ceramics and found objects. This visit was made even more memorable by a chance to see Jennifer Lee’s exhibition The Potter’s Space. (Open until September 22nd.) Not only was it a huge treat to see so much of her work in one room but also to find some of her pieces sitting quietly amongst the furnishings in the house too. And yes, I had cakes at the delightful café and sat in the comfy chairs in the house and browsed the collection of books and catalogues in the library. It is difficult to think of a gallery or museum where one feels quite so at home. What a total joy this place is. @kettlesyard @erskinehallcoe
Sun 11th August 2019
@nigelslater
Creamed smoked mackerel, crushed peas and pea shoots on sourdough toast from Sunday’s column in @obsmagazine. Details are online at theguardian.com
Mon 5th August 2019
@nigelslater
One side of the garden is damp and heavily shaded. I struggled for a few years to find anything that enjoyed the conditions (though raspberries did well there). The bed is now a mass of ferns and they are doing exceptionally well, over-wintering happily under the medlar tree.
Mon 5th August 2019
@nigelslater
I have long admired the work of potter Jennifer Lee and am lucky enough to have a couple of her pieces at home. I have now made three visits to see her Works from a Private Collection at @erskinehallcoe in the Royal Arcade in London’s Piccadilly. This rare chance to see so much of her work in one room is keeping me going until I can get to see her major show at @kettlesyard in Cambridge in the next few weeks (a gallery I would dearly like to live in). The London exhibition can also be viewed online at erskinehallcoe.com under installation.
Sat 3rd August 2019
@nigelslater
When I have time, I like to cook beans and chickpeas from scratch, soaking them overnight, then cooking them with bay, onion and peppercorns. (On other occasions I open a jar or tin. Much depends on the day.) Either way, I will often mash them to a thick cream with olive oil and herbs to give clouds of fluffy mash to serve with roast vegetables or sausages. This week I made a chickpea mash flecked with thyme and parsley to eat with grilled Italian sausages. Afterwards we ate crumble cake made with the last of the gooseberries. Details in today’s @obsmagazine and at theguardian.com
Sun 28th July 2019
@nigelslater
Lemon and chinotto trees at @chelsea_physic_garden. I love the way many citrus trees bear fruit and blossom at the same time. I must have spent a good twenty minutes sitting on a bench next to the trees yesterday, the heavy summer afternoon air filled with the scent of citrus blossom. One of the city’s little havens of peace and calm.
Sat 27th July 2019
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