Since we turned the clocks back at the weekend it is, once again, a pleasure to take a stroll around the garden at first light and take in the views we never tire of. Our neighbour has brought his few cows to the bottom field and their tinkling bells greet us as we take in the morning air.
Cauliflowers, we knew they were there but we weren't expecting to find them ready for harvesting. Taking an early morning stroll around the vegetable beds we suddenly spotted 8 full size, white and crisp, cauliflowers.
The warm weather, recent rains and bright autumn sunshine has worked their magic and everything seems to be growing vigorously and lush.
The cabbages are not far behind and many are ready for harvesting. The early sprouting broccoli seems happy and will shortly need further staking to protect them from the stronger winds we get at this time of year. We are using the leeks already but like the carrots we have plenty to go at. The fennel have regrown tender young heads from the first cut - often two or three on each plant.
I picked four beautiful cauliflowers today and I probably will make a large pan of cauliflower and cumin soup and a cauliflower cheese pasta bake. Luis took one to our neighbours who often brings us jars of jam and other gifts.
Elsewhere in Toriello the trees have shed their walnuts, hazelnuts and chestnuts. The birds are busy stripping the berries from the hawthorns and sloe bushes, the buzzards soar high above and the cooler nights draw ever nearer.
|Perfect for supper - cauliflower cheese pasta bake|
1 lightly steamed cauliflower
600 mls of cheese sauce - flour butter roux, add milk, thicken and then add cheese, salt and black pepper
100gms grated cheese
1 good handful of boiled pasta.
Mix all ingredients together - put in oven proof dish, sprinkle with a bit of grated cheese and a few seeds, bake in a hot oven for 15 mins until cheese is browned.