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A bag of soot and some borolotti beans

Oh look an old post I forgot to publish!

Back in the autumn we were lucky enough to experience a few hazy dry days working on the allotment, before the grey, wet winter kicked in!

My Dad and I  – well mainly Dad  – finally constructed my secondhand allotment greenhouse.  Its 6 x 8, so quite large, and will be a vast improvement on my old plastic covered frame which served me well for the last two years (since writing this – the old plastic greenhouse vanished during the gales last year).

To food and soot…

My parents always think I never have enough food in the house when they visit, so they bring extra food – just in case!  I’m not complaining, especially when its Dad’s home-grown borolotti beans, or Mum’s home-made tomato chutney, but this trip they also bought a bag of soot from their freshly cleaned chimney.  Soot is a good slug deterrent apparently – something I am always in need of!

Anyway back to those borolotti beans!  My bean harvest was pretty poor this year.  I imagined jars of dried beans lining my shelves, but after numerous failed attempts to get them started, I gave up.  Dad’s fresh beans sat patiently in the fridge waiting to be turned into something amazing, and were at risk of heading back up north at the end of their stay.  The last time these flavourful beans came to visit, we ate minestrone soup with garlic rubbed toast 3 days on the trot!  The destiny of these beans however, was to become Greek baked beans.  Sadly I used the last of my tomatoes on some hastily made bruschetta, so I bought these brutes from the Bull Ring veg market.

I have a kitchen the size of a postage stamp – so group cooking is not really an option, but Dad humoured me whilst I tried to photograph him at work.  Especially when I asked him mid-tomato chop if I could turn the light off!  The end result (although slightly caught!) was very delicious.  I can’t wait to cook this with my beans next year!


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