Friday, September 06, 2013

John O Groats to Sannick Bay and Back

We set out on this walk with a vaguely defined objective--see how many flowers we could find and identify. Ralph--pen name for hillwalker/kayaker/biker/botanist--had set a high standard by finding 100 in one of his adventures.
There were three of us on this walk: Cynthia, me, and The Book. Much of the walk was spent in close conversation with The Book.

The day was glorious.  We walked on the cliff top, down along a shingle beach, and then back up across pastureland and along the verge of the road.  We managed 40 different, reliably identified flowers and some we recognized (but did not count) from their seed heads or leaves.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Last of ...

A gardening friend in the States made me green with envy--gazpacho every day, tomato and bacon sandwiches (the lettuce he says just intrudes on those two flavours).

Geography is destiny. So I set about harvesting the last of my basil. Even kept indoors and watered and tended lovingly and pinched back, it knew the season was over. I kept saying, 'Tomorrow I'll make pesto...' So instead today I harvested the best of the leaves and tucked them into olive oil in a jar in the fridge. I'll recapture a bit of summer later, hopefully, with those leaves.

I cooked the beans from someone else's harvest.  My one bean may yet produce something but I am grudgingly accepting that this is the end of the season --and more importantly, that here at 59degrees north, we do not have a second season or a long Indian summer.

And so thinking North, I pulled out my carefully controlled Juniper syrup from Estonia. I can't say I prefer it to Maple syrup, but it is as good and of  course conjures all the warm memories of my time there.
Not exactly gazpacho--but French toast (or eggy bread) with Juniper syrup suits a northern palate.

I have a few more tomatoes on the vine. With a bit of imagination and good luck, I can still have the best of both worlds.