A Winter Stew from the Kitchen Garden

 Saturday 9th December 2023 was a funny old day weather-wise (Figure 1). Up to and including the 11th December, it was the warmest day of the month reaching a high of 13 ℃ between 10.30 am and 12 noon. There was also plenty of sunshine (green) especially between 10.30 am and 2.30 pm and plenty of light showers (blue) throughout the day.

Figure 1: December 9th 2023 Weather

It was the sort of day where rainbows should be visible though this example was from the day before.

Photo 1: Rainbow over Hereford

It meant a lot of toing and froing between the house and kitchen garden as I went looking for vegetables to add to the winter stew I was preparing. The first port of call was the root vegetable plot - the basis of any good winter stew. Here I dug up, knobbly carrots, hairy celeriac, elongated parsnips and rotund beetroot. 

Photo 2: Carrots, Celeriac, Parsnip and Beetroot

The second port of call was the brassica patch where I picked the last two cauliflowers of the season, including a Romanesco with its fractals and Fibonacci sequence, and a red cabbage (Photo 3).

Photo 3: Red Cabbage and Cauliflowers

The colour of red cabbages is affected by the pH of the soil: redder leaves in acidic soil, purple in neutral and greenish-yellow leaves in alkaline conditions. I think my soil is neutral with a slight tendency to acidic. One day I will find out when I analyse my soil with my new soil test kit.

A warming winter stew is very easy to make in a slow cooker and most of the ingredients can be grown in the kitchen garden. In addition to the freshly-picked carrots, parsnips, beetroot, celeriac, and cauliflower, I added homegrown onions, potatoes, green beans (from the freezer), celery, garlic and jalapenos. Some vegetable bouillon and herbs (fresh or dried) and leave on a gentle boil for 4-5 hours.

Photo 4: Winter Stew

Eat with freshly-baked bread and a side portion of easy coleslaw (red cabbage, carrots and Golden Delicious apples with vegan mayo).

Photo 5: Golden Delicious Apples from the Garden


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