Thursday, December 3, 2015

Golden Acorn Squash Yet Again. . . and autumnal warmth lingers

Sautéing in olive oil small cubes of winter squash till lightly browned, stirring in some dried thyme and minced garlic for a few seconds before adding a tablespoon or so of water, then covering and simmering the whole lot for about ten minutes results in a delectable sauce for penne. Don't forget to boil the pasta while the squash is getting tender and carmelised. Be sure to add a bit of the pasta-cooking water to the skillet and a dash of sherry or balsamic vinegar before tossing in the penne. Heat for a minute or two while stirring until most of the liquid is absorbed. Have a generous hand with the black pepper mill and salt to taste before serving with freshly grated hard cheese. My favourite is Pecorino Romano, but I wouldn't say no to either Parmesan or Grana Padano. Eat with gusto!

Our potager is mostly asleep at the moment, though preparation of the thirteen beds continue in earnest because in just a couple of months I will be sowing seeds and transplanting sturdy seedlings in anticipation for the first 2016 harvest which will be around March/April.

The two bird baths in the background are visited frequently by gregarious starlings

The back of our potager is more wild than not which was the way most gardens once were which allowed leaves and pruned twigs to decompose at their leisure. Honeysuckle has volunteered to cover some of the heaps.

 My hiding behind these sundry piles gives me a cozy feeling

In between the back wall and these mounds is the fig tree whose denuded branches still have some fruit. I am waiting for the starlings to take notice.

Abelia and cranesbills have turned a glowing shade of mahogany.

The mulched bed will be the early-spring home for lettuce, spinach, and parsnips 

This robust evergreen hedge of laurels was planted about five years ago from tiny cuttings of mature specimens situated in the front garden.

A patch of calla lilies encouraged by the wet, warm weather recently put out fresh leaves.

They share their space with a very tall rose which provides shade

A little more than half of the numerous annual veggie beds are now spaded and mulched with oak leaves.

This will be the carrot & beet bed in a few months

Dirac the Young Cat is around a year and half now and is still growing. Or so I tell myself when I give him extra food.

He is checking out the active compost pile which is behind the slow-decomposing ones

He is a wonderful garden companion. Graciously calm but also incurably curious, he follows me all around.

His beautiful, full-tabby coat is halfway between silver & blue mackerel varieties

À la prochaine!

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