To beat the heat and keep up with watering on the lottie, mr digandweed and I made a plan-
we get up early and arrive at the allotment before the world is barely awake.
Now, I appreciate this is not everyone's idea of fun, but for me ( and mr d) early morning is the best time of day!
Quite often we are the first and only people there. We climb over the main gate, (having forgotten the key yet again) and walk down the path, sheltered by the hedge, to our plot.
The peace and quiet envelop us. Between us we water everything with just birdsong for company.
The plants are grateful for their early morning drink.
There is plenty to harvest. Although the strawberries have finished (just an average crop this year, though still delicious) there are still bowlfuls of glistening blackcurrants.
Some of the bright berries bounce to the ground as I reach into the bush to pick them. I leave those for the birds, there are plenty more for us.
There are gooseberries too; green ones and red ones. This year, some of the sweetest, juiciest red gooseberries I've ever tasted. There is Swiss chard to pick, broad beans and the first of the climbing beans. The butternut squash are romping away and the plum and apple trees are heavy with young fruit. Only the beetroot have let the side down. Despite sowing a couple of rows and for reasons beyond me only one or two have germinated.
With a basket full of produce, we return home to a cup of tea and breakfast.
This year, in an attempt to cut down on sugar consumption, I decided to make a puree with the blackcurrants rather than jam.
I lightly cooked the berries in the microwave with a drop of water, then sieved them and sweetened with a tiny amount of vanilla sugar.
The resulting sauce is full of fresh blackcurrant flavour and is delicious stirred into any number of things.
A favourite at the moment is spooned over creamy yoghurt for breakfast.
The leftover puree also freezes well.
Since our homegrown beetroot are almost non existent, I bought a bunch of fresh beetroot from the shop and along with the broad beans from the allotment made a delicious salad.
The recipe, Shaved beetroot salad with peas, broad beans and dukkah, is another one from my favourite free magazine Waitrose food.
A link for the recipe is here.
In case, like me, you are wondering what Dukkah is, a quick google reveals it is a rather delicious spice blend which can be bought or just as easily made at home. A recipe can be found here.
Do give the recipe a try.
It is light,delicious and just right for a summer's day.