I've been looking out our front window for most of the winter time, peeking at our beloved little vegetable garden, from the warmth of my kitchen and our crackling wood fire. I've almost felt guilty for such comforts as I've wondered if my plants were still thriving or even surviving on the neglect the cool, dry weather and I have shown them this season. The potato plants looked particularly happy and green, popping with white flowers, the garlic steadily sending up shoots, the silverbeet and lettuce a constant source of supply, but the onions and leeks did seem to be struggling.
Spring arrived last week with drizzling rain and warm sunshine, heralding the time to venture outdoors and have a closer peek at what harvest has been hidden away, now ready to be unearthed. The garden is looking a little untidy and overgrown, although pops of Spring colour welcome me as I open the gate. Regardless of the evident tidy up required, for now I am simply in search of potatoes.
Each week I look forward to Tuesdays. Molly currently studying design at university has classes four days a week, however on Tuesdays she has the day at home. I do my best to plan my week to be home with her on Tuesdays.
Although we both have a lot of work to do; her with design assessments and me with my recipe writing, testing and editing, it's super nice to have her company for the day. I am usually sitting at the kitchen table tapping on the keyboard, in between stirring something on the stove. She is in her bedroom, investing much effort into various complex attempts to tackle the design principles she is learning.
Being that our little house is a really a large shoe box with doors and windows, she's really just in the next room and so within ear shot we banter together. It must be stressed that we do make every effort not to distract one another, yet invariably we end up completely distracted together!
Our reward for progress or in some cases procrastination is lunch together. I make something simple, like today's lentil, potato and cauliflower soup (recipe below), we pick pretty flowers from the garden and sit at the table together to eat. Occasionally we sit in the sunshine out on our front deck eating lunch from our laps, listening to the hens clucking in the hen house.
Today I lured her out to the vegetable patch with the request to bring me a bowl, and then to help me dig for the potato loot. It wasn't that I couldn't unearth the creamy coloured treasure all by myself, it was more that I wanted Molly to also experience the joy of the harvest.
And she didn't disappoint me, dirt under her finger nails and squeals of joy bursting forth, as we discovered another cluster, Molly exclaimed 'this is the most fun I've had today!' - I can only imagine what distractions we will invite next Tuesday!
Lentil, Potato and Cauliflower Soup
what you need
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 leek, finely sliced
1 carrot, roughly diced
4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 cup french lentil, washed
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
2 potatoes, peeled and roughly diced
1/4 cauliflower roughly chopped
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp natural yoghurt
what you do
1. In a large pot on a medium heat, heat oil and cook onion, leek, carrot and garlic for 5-7 minutes until softened.
2. Add turmeric and lentils and cook for a further 1 minute.
3. Add stock and potatoes, bring to the boil.
4. Turn down to a simmer and cook with the lid on for 1 hour.
5. Add cauliflower and salt and cook for a further 15 minutes.
6. Serve hot with a dollop of natural yoghurt and a little vase of flowers picked from the garden.