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I did my usual chore-bundle today, but it left me feeling kind of meh. Possibly it's an art hangover from Seizure and Pop Art at the Tate, or maybe it's some sort of capitalism exhaustion; one sale sign too many. But I think on balance it is becuase my plants are dying and there's little point in getting more; it's dark all day and barely above freezing. Nothing will grow. I drew a plan for the front garden, and chopped back the fir and the laurel but the beds look desperate and it's impossible to tell what is making it through the winter, and what is rotting, cells blasted open in the chilly freeze-thaw dampness.

Anyway, I made stew and it tasted good enough to be worth recording the recipe.

Venison with fruit and flowers

In a pan, fry together a little bacon and chopped venison with powdered mace, cracked black pepper, a generous pinch of annatto seeds, two dried marigold flowers (petals only) and some freshly grated nutmeg. Add onion, carrot, and a red sweet pepper, chopped, two red chillies and a few garlic cloves roughly chopped, a can of red kidney beans, and top up with potato water. Add savory and capers to taste, and a few squares of very dark chocolate to thicken the sauce. Cook until it is tender enough, and then sift over flour to absorb the fat and add a little more potato water if the sauce needs it, stir until it is smooth. Add chopped mushrooms and cook until it is ready.

I served it with wedges of potato and sweet potato rolled in dukkah spice and a side of portabello mushrooms cooked in garlic, butter and lots of parsley, which worked well.

And then, to bed.


( 5 worms — Feed the birds )
4th Jan, 2010 09:22 (UTC)
My preference is to plant a garden for Spring/Summer and accept that Autumn is for tidying and Winter just retains evergreen structure.
We did have success with Winter Aconite, Mahonia and Snowdrops (early January is possible with the right varietal in a sheltered bed).
4th Jan, 2010 14:16 (UTC)
I think the trouble is that I didn't really have enough time to get anything established last year, so now it's just a lot of mud and slimy leaves. I've got shelter, but no light.
4th Jan, 2010 14:33 (UTC)
The vegetation that has grown from your wedding seeds (or at least something leafy that has grown in the spot of earth where I planted them) looks to be still alive.
4th Jan, 2010 15:54 (UTC)
Great! whichever one it is should overwinter fine and carry on next spring, I picked seeds that would do that.
4th Jan, 2010 16:36 (UTC)
Nom indeed! I've put this in LJ memories for future ref. Am especially intrigued by the dark choc and I need to lay hands on annatto seeds.
( 5 worms — Feed the birds )