Peas in a pod head for divorce

In another life, a respectable husband killed his wife because she had put the salt and pepper pot in the incorrect position on the table for breakfast.

The details are hazy as this was nearly 30 years ago, but I seem to remember he was your average commuting civil servant. As I worked in a press office in London full of average commuting civil servants, this was discussed with great interest.

In our case, I was unlikely to be killed for misplacing the salt and pepper pot (they don’t work in our climate) but the case of the pea seeds was heading for the divorce court.

I follow strict crop rotation, so after the last of my roots, in this case onions, had been pulled, I was planning on planting legumes. After the success of the aguadulce broad beans last time, I thought I would go for peas. And I only had a few bean seeds left.

‘Can you call at the abono shop for a packet of peas, darling?’

‘No.’

‘Why not?’ (Puzzled)

‘Don’t want.’

‘Well, they’re not exactly heavy and they won’t break the bank.’

‘No.’ Sulky annoyed look starting to appear on surly face.

I dropped the subject.

Last week I cleared out all the stampeding lettuces (the cockerel seemed most pleased with them), and planted a mix of rocket and lettuce.

Salad and onions, pic taken before, lettuces bolted. Larger would-be pea plot behind
Salad and onions, pic taken before lettuces bolted. Larger would-be pea plot behind

Day 1

I broached the pea subject again. I timed it carefully. He was paying the annual rates bill at 8.30 at the bank, and handing over 350 euros didn’t make anyone happy so I left it.

Later he went to the village supermarket for essentials so I took a deep breath and mentioned peas.

‘NO!’

Repeat previous argument, but rather more forcefully.

Sulks all round now. This was getting serious. Neither side was giving in. We stopped speaking. We refused to be in the same room together.

Day 2

Another attempt the following day met with the same response.

‘But it’s not as though you don’t like peas, you do like them,’ I said plaintively in a feeble attempt for logic to permeate.

‘I don’t want to go to that shop.’

Now, it can be intimidating, I will be honest. All the old boys congregate outside, and it is a dark old-fashioned Spanish shop. But last year, when I was on Snowy vaccination duty for three months, I went quite a few times. Perfectly nice staff and it’s cheap too.

‘I don’t see why not. You know Loli’s sister who works there and the young lad is nice too.’

‘I’ll have a look when I cycle into town tomorrow,’ he said grudgingly. ‘But I’m not going to that village shop.’

OK so that was a concession. A stupid one mind as the town shop is dearer, but I decided not to point that out.

Day 3

I didn’t mention the peas, hoping he’d remember his offer.

He cycles to town.

He returns. I empty the shopping. NO PEAS!

I sulked. I answered any comments with a monosyllabic grunt, and read an ebook.

‘What’s wrong?’

‘Nothing,’ in the tone of voice that means everything.

‘It’s the peas isn’t it?’ He groaned and gave in.

‘I’ll get them tomorrow. Tonight.

‘OK I’ll walk down now.’

Beam, happy smiling roughseas. And after a couple of days they were poking their little green shoots through. Unlike the eight beans which were doing nothing. Just as well he bought the peas eh?

From peas and beans to pinto beans

A few people mentioned the pinto bean red casserole and thehistorytourist asked for the recipe. So, after a fashion here it is. As pinto beans are similar to red and black beans, I based it loosely on a chilli red bean recipe.

Ingredients

Pinto beans, soaked the night before and cooked for 30–40 mins, depending on your pressure cooker. I prefer dried beans because a) they are cheaper b) they taste better than tinned or jarred and c) I’m not creating as much waste by buying jars/tins. For two people, around 4–6 ozs of dried beans.

One onion, red or white

Garlic, as much as you choose

Red chillies, if they are picante you may only need one, or maybe one hot one, and a less hot one

Red pepper, say, one large one

Garlic, onion, pepper, chilli, tomato
Garlic, onion, pepper, chilli, tomato

Tomatoes, two or three large ones, I used pera (plum) toms, peel them and give El (the cockerel) the skins – and the seeds out of the red peppers

A couple of potatoes, old ones, diced, but not too small

I had some mushrooms to use up so in they went too, washed and quartered (trimmed stalks for El)

Mushrooms
Mushrooms

Herbs of choice, seasoning if you like it

Method

Pour a decent helping of olive oil in pan, add all ingredients except beans, set on low heat, and cover. The juice from the tomatoes and onions will create liquid, so your veg shouldn’t stick. The aim is NOT to sauté the veg, but to soften them gently.

Veg in pan
Veg in pan

Check from time to time, add a drop of water if necessary, not a lot as your main liquid is going to be the pinto bean cooking water, which you add with the beans when the veg are ready.

We usually let it sit for a while for the flavours to blend together and then gently reheat.

Easy. I went for the red veg because pinto beans turn water red when they are cooking, so might as well make a red meal out of it, plus the flavours are complementary.

If you need to add meat (anotherday2paradise mentioned adding chicken) I’d suggest red meat, eg stewing steak but that would increase your cooking time. Chorizo or sausage would be easier and sausage and beans are a good mix. Similarly if you want to add stock, I’d use a veg one, but I prefer it without so the flavour of the beans and the veg stands out.

Original recipe: me

And as I had a few courgette kicking around, here is another recipe, which we ate pretty much most days.

Marinated dill courgettes with curly red onion and pickled cucumber

Which really means courgettes with a mustard vinaigrette, red onion and gherkins.

However, it is good if you have a sharp bite, a bit like the roughseas, and not a sweet tooth.

Ingredients: simple if you adapt
Method: easy peasy
Time: half an hour for prep, one and a half for marinading and for chill time, total, two hours

Ingredients

Courgettes, the smaller the better

Red onion

Salt and pepper

Whereupon I now differ from the original recipe as my store cupboard ain’t quite so fancy

White wine vinegar, plus dried dill, unless you have dill vinegar

Olive oil (EVOO) in preference to sunflower – I live in the world centre of olive oil production, why would I buy anything else? And I like it.

Dijon mustard, fresh chives, and garlic, because who on earth has whole grain garlic and chive mustard? Not me. It probably has sugar in it anyway.

Lots of gherkins. Which as far as I can see are pretty close to pickled dill cucumbers.

Chopped gherkins and chives
Chopped gherkins and chives

Method

Slice courgettes lengthwise thinly, discarding the first slice. Naturally I didn’t do that, but peeled two opposing sides and chucked the skins in our discarded veg pot for darling El.

Sliced courgettes
Sliced courgettes

Then chop them to approx 1.5 ins wide and steam for five mins or less.

Meanwhile make dressing.

Chop gherkins. I used four.

Grind salt and pepper in pestle and mortar and add garlic.

Salt and pepper in much-loved pestle and mortar
Salt and pepper in much-loved pestle and mortar

Collect chives from garden, wash and snip.

Mix all this together with some mustard, olive oil, wine vinegar, and a dash of dried dill.

Making the dressing
Making the dressing

By now the courgette are more than ready so add them to the marinade.

Leave for 30 mins at room temp.

Chill in fridge for 30 mins.

Chilled courgettes
Chilled courgettes

Slice red onion following the curly wurlies, and add to marinade mix, chill for another 30 mins or until ready to serve.

Garnish with parsley, and more gherkin and red onion if you want. I think parsley is sufficient.

If you like pickle (I do), it’s great. If you don’t, forget it. I suppose if you wanted to sweeten it you could add some decent honey to the marinade. Not my choice but it would work.

Original recipe: Roselyne Masselin, Cuisine Imaginaire.

And after all that veg, here is Snowy’s favourite plant to eat:

Hibiscus (now placed on the wall to avoid thieving Podenco)
Hibiscus (now placed on the wall to avoid thieving Podenco)
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70 comments on “Peas in a pod head for divorce

  1. Did you ever discover why he didn’t want to visit the shop for the seeds? I find it both amusing and perplexing! I remember my grandfather growing potatoes, tomatoes and other things in his garden in Liverpool. Those tomatoes tasted wonderful!

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    • No. It’s still a sensitive subject so I’m not going to ask until he’s in an extremely good mood! I suspect it’s a combination of factors, everyone hangs around there, it’s by the bus stop, a bank, the start of our (small) high street, and it’s the sort of shop you can’t really browse in. Plus, being a small town, you can imagine half the village knowing ten minutes later what we just bought!

      I’ve never done well with tomatoes although my dad was great at them too, and cucumber. He never grew potatoes but liked growing carrots. But you would think I could grow tomatoes in Spain wouldn’t you? However it seems not.

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      • I love eating fresh vegetables however I, like you have never been any good at growing tomatoes (it was my grandfather who possessed the green fingers in that respect)! I do have several houseplants which are all thriving (famous last words) and would hate to live in a place without plants.

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        • Glad I’m not the only one useless at tomatoes. I’m pretty good with some plants, and some veg. Know your limitations, I think. I’ll report on the peas at some point. Fingers crossed, I’ll be staking them next time.

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  2. Very interesting. I wonder why he was so upset. Hopefully your figure it out and I really do hope his mood improves. The food sounds wonderful. Time to fix lunch since I’m starving.

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    • He’s fine now and has been ever since he bought them! Just goes to show he should have bought them sooner.

      As well as being veg, I like veg, so they are 90% of my diet. Seems everyone is hungry right now. Me too!

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      • Ditto.
        Now I’m really curious about the shop though.
        It is true in small communities/neighborhood places, an odd person really sticks out…and they stare…and may not move aside if you need to pass easily. That happens even in a couple of local “joints” here – open for business…but only if you are a part of the known been here forever crowd…and you know you will be the topic of conversation once you leave.
        Glad the peas did arrive.
        Molly and the German adore lantana which I understand was used medicinally by local Indians in early days.

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        • It’s a good shop. I was surprised when I started using it that other Brits went in! But now, I just feel local enough. I know so many people.

          Lantana? That stinky poo flower? Vile. Just vile. I cut some down on a gardening job and was totally sick of it.

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          • I have one giant one over on the side which came from an old Galveston homestead in the sand dunes. Found it there after hurricane Ike. It’s outside the kitchen table window so we can watch the birds eat the berries and the monarchs/hummingbirds rest as they migrate through. I try to use hardy local plants. It is stinky – and I have to whack it back or it will take over the house, the yard, and the one next door. Dogs seem to love it…so they help keep it trimmed up…it is pretty dominating

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          • The one in the gardening job had gone totally rampant. They’d employed so-called professional gardeners before I did the job and this was in a corner area that just hadn’t been cleared, with of course a giant bougainvillea. The problem with the lanterna was that there was a lot of old dead branches that hadn’t been cut. I started selectively pruning out the deads, but in the end gave it a pretty firm cut back to give it better shape and re growth. They were selling anyway!

            Liked by 1 person

          • And in such a climate hardy stuff grows quickly. That’s one reason I dislike all the hot weather for 6-8 weeks it’s really hard to tolerate working in the yard – something lantana and bougainvillea take advantage of. Last summer I just ignored the tangle. This summer I’ve run out and whacked periodically. Those darn things do get leggy (and itchy to work) Husband like the flowers – but he doesn’t do the yard work. Just wants to eat all the produce without effort …think there’s a children’s story or two about that?

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  3. Wonderful veg recipe, and I like the detail because I think more people would make veg food if they realized that with a some thought and technique it can be a delicious meal. Even in our household the veg to meat ratio of increasing because via blogging I’m getting more idea of how to make different dishes, and the G.O. is enjoying them.
    Funny how we negotiate… I employ a similar “nothing” “it’s fine” [meaning of course you idiot it’s not] approach. I’m pleased you have peas. May peas and peace reign in your household :)

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    • I know not everyone likes recipes, and tbh I rarely use ones I see on blogs, but that’s probably because I’ve got a wide repertoire – when I choose to use it – so I see very little that’s new or inspiring. After 25–30 years of being veg, it’s pretty difficult for someone to amaze me with a new recipe :D

      Fine, is a classic isn’t it? My mother used that so I try and avoid it. It’s all very childish. The point I was annoyed about was that it was in both our interests to buy and grow the peas. And I can’t walk down. And back. I’d need him to go with me anyway.

      However there are indeed peas in the fridge (bought) and peace in the household.

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    • Always looking for few pots required and easy veggie meals by those who’ve been at it for a while. The pictures – and options really help. So thank you roughseas. I’m ready for fall, but will miss all the tomatoes. Finally convincing husband that veggie meals can be filling and you don;t feel stuffed.

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      • We love one pot cooking. You can cheat and use jars/tins, but I prefer dried legumes. Wash up pressure cooker while cooking food. We start early. Beans on at eightish.

        Two different meals tonight. Broc and col soup for me, pea tortilla for him. Each to our own.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ah, nice hot soup. Another thing to look forward to with cold weather. I feel like putting out landing strip lights to guide in the cool.
          Dried is better as you don’t have to wonder if traces of odd metals are leaching into canned food. The best meals are the one where almost all the dishes are done before you eat!

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          • I like broc and or col soup because it has a nice delicate flavour. I am more of a soup fan than him but he is happy to make it for me sometimes :) eg last night.

            I’d not thought about the trace metals. Bad enough thinking about the pesticides. Or GMO. Changing lifestyles. Why did my grandmothers live longer than my parents I ask?

            My mother was a big fan of washing up as she went along. Drove me up the wall. But when I’m living on my own, eg with Snowy last year waiting for his jabs and chip, I found myself doing it.

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  4. I bet those peas are going to grow abundantly and be the most delicious ones ever! That food looks yummy,made my mouth water so I am off to go get a snack. lol Hope you have recovered fully from your injury. I have not been on the computer very much and I am so far behind reading blogs I will never get caught up. Hugs for you and nose kisses for the sweeties

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    • I’m hoping they will be good as the broad beans this year were great. I had no success with peas in the UK but my scarlet runner beans were wonderful. They don’t seem to do scarlet runners here :( their flat beans aren’t as tasty.

      I’m still limping, it will be a while yet, thanks for asking. Missed you being around. WP has been up to the usual trick of unfollowing people for me, so I will have to check if that has included you.

      The sleepy boys say thanks, and send some back.

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  5. We can only grow veggies in pots here, no in ground planting. And I have had little luck with tomatoes which is a shame since nothing beats a home grown tomato. But it’s always something when I tried to grow them. I would consult the ‘experts’. Too hot this year. Too cool this year. Too wet this year. And so on. Oh, and the caterpillars loved them as well.

    Hot peppers always did quite well in pots though. They seem to love a hot summer which is what we get.

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    • Mines all in pots/containers. No garden, just the terrace in the picture. And I came to Spain for loads of ground and olive groves. Hey ho. But I’ve learned how to do it well enough. Really want to build a raised bed, but not got round to it…

      Chillies grow well here. One of the classics of Andalucía is to have the tiny plants, and then later see them drying outside the houses. I rely on next doors to give theirs, he grows them but doesn’t like eating them! and sometimes he gives me a few plants too.

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    • Just ask. It’s not just about fixing them, it’s about also making sure the accompaniments are good. I’ve just done a potato salad, with a caper, mustard dressing. Not the same as the courgette one (which would work) but similar.

      I’ve been promised broccoli/cauliflower soup today by the other chef. Hope it turns up.

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        • Made. I don’t buy any store prepared sauces. Easier, cheaper and better to make.

          Recipe for mustard dressing is here:

          https://roughseasinthemed.wordpress.com/dross-2-foody-things/recipes/sauces-and-dressings/sauce-moutarde/

          Just add chopped capers, and some type of onion, spring onions, fresh green onions, red onions or chives, depends what you have.

          Boil potatoes, new or salad ones are easier, you have to catch the floury ones correctly. Chop potatoes before boiling, it cuts down on fuel use for boiling. I don’t peel organic ones, I do peel others. I keep the size fairly small, sort of inch cubes, if I’ve got any left in the fridge I’ll add a pic to the salad page.

          The dressing is a bit like tartare sauce really. It suits our taste. It’s really like a mayo in consistency but sharper and with no egg. If you wanted to lighten it, some yoghurt might work? No idea. I’d need to know more about your taste to give you specific advice.

          Cauliflower soup is just the same. Cook cauliflower, add softened onion, herbs if required (I’m careful about that as col and broc are strong) and either soya milk or water to thin. Again if you like dairy, a swirl of yoghurt or cream, and chervil or parsley for garnish. If you want a stronger soup add a stock cube of choice, I’d recommend veg, but chicken would work if you like it, I think it would be too strong and distracting.

          Anyway, I made lasagna last night…

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          • Forgot to add, you can use a wine vinegar instead of lemon juice. I use white wine or sherry, but balsamic would work if you like it. You can also chuck vinegar over the potato salad before you mix it with the dressing. Chill before serving, much better cold.

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  6. Here in the US, gherkins are always a sweet pickle. Should I use a tarter pickle…a dill pickle, maybe? The zucchini recipe sounds right up my alley. Regarding the peas in a pod….we were on vacation in Bermuda years ago and a headline read “Man Killed in Bunny Row.” It seems he ate the ears off his wife’s chocolate Easter rabbit.

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    • No! Chocolate rabbit story is better than the salt and pepper pot one!

      I think, because I don’t know, it’s meant to be dill pickle, I actually don’t know what they are! Gherkins are not sweet here. Basically, they are tiny pickled cucumbers without anything sweet added. Of course, if you like something sweet, I guess that would work too.

      I’ve never bought a bag of sugar in my life, I loathe dessert, apart from fruit, although I liberally add wine vinegar, vinagre de Jerez, and lemon into food and salads.

      Any recipes I post, are always on the tart side. When I cook sweet and sour, it is really sour and more sour. So long as people understand my preferences, they can adapt to their own taste. Although the courgette are best just blanched, the crispness of the gherkins saves the if they cook a minute or so too long.

      The onion and chives make it tangy and you could add other herbs, thyme is one of my faves that I think works well with courgettes. It’s quite an elegant salad too. Just expect anyone who doesn’t like vinegar to screw up their face. Or substitute balsamic. I wouldn’t, but it might lesson the tangy effect that I like.

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      • I adore a nice tangy salad and can’t wait to try this recipe. I know exactly which pickles to buy now….the little ones I can buy at a specialty market which my Swiss friends serve with raclette sound like they’d be perfect in this dish. Sounds delish! And even though you “loathe dessert” I will continue to read your blog. Nobody’s perfect. Regarding chocolate bunny story, what does it say about me that I’ve hung onto that newspaper article for decades? Probably nothing good….

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        • I serve it on its own with some decent crispy bread, or as part of a general salad dish. Greens that go, are def rocket (aragula your way?) and a decent lettuce, not totally crispy but with some flavour. If you wanted to add colour, I wouldn’t, a little grated beetroot would work, carrot, not so sure, too sweet.

          If you make loads of dressing, you can always add other partially cooked veg, eg col, broc, potatoes.

          I made some potato salad today, which is similar to this but using capers not gherkins and a mustard dressing, which again is pretty much the same but adds a drop of hot water. Think the recipe for the dressing is under dross (food) pages on the top bar.

          I still have the article where some people were killed in the house we had rented shortly before they did…

          https://roughseasinthemed.wordpress.com/2007/04/08/the-villa-from-hell/

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  7. Perhaps he was traumatised by a plate of peas in his childhood. He certainly doesn’t look like the sort of guy to worry about who’d be serving him in a shop. Don’t force him to eat them .. It might bring back untold misery for him :)

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    • He might have been traumatised by his mother’s cooking based on my limited salty experience. Luckily, he learned to cook from a young age which is A Good Thing.

      No, he’s not. It was just one of those strange moods that overtakes us all and we dig in our heels. Did you remember the salt and pepper pot story?seeing as we were in London at the same time.

      If he doesn’t eat the peas there will be all the more for me :) but I suspect he will eat them.

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  8. Things like Day 1, 2 and 3 often happen in my house too. Spice of life!
    …and yes, it works both ways.
    That’s one of the nice things that comes with age. We get comfortable with a sense of not having to completely agree all of the time without flying off the handle and doing the theatrics and temper tantrums that soap operas and juvenile life are all about. I have to say that the story brought me a great sense of pleasure and satisfaction.
    The food looks great too. Over time I am increasingly finding myself drifting away from meaty dishes and not for any other reason than the simple fact that I want to.

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    • I wonder sometimes if we need to disagree in our relationships. Life wd be very humdrum if we all thought the same, and that applies to our personal relationships too.

      My mother rarely ate much meat in her later life, probably cooked too much of it. My father and I would be cooking into huge helpings of meat, plus the veg, and she wd just have the veg. When I stayed with her after his death, she seemed happy enough with my veg food. She even ate a Chinese take-away for the first time in her life – and – enjoyed it.

      Cooking veg and prepping salads is about making them interesting without having to spend hours on it.

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  9. I am also very curious why you had to sulk before you got the peas. It sounds familiar. If I don’t want to see people, I don’t want to and can get quite rude about it if someone keep bugging me about it. And it must be quite frustrating because you’re still hobbling around and can’t do it yourself. How’s the leg doing and how are you doing?

    Love the photo’s and never tell me again that you can’t do ‘foodie’ posts because these are excellent! Such a great recipe and it looks so delicious! Love the header as well. Our African Grey loves peas. Simba however, licks them to one side with his tongue and eats them last. LOL!

    I just love your little veggie garden and always wish I can have something like that here, but it would be mostly for the monkeys. Anything else wouldn’t do because they’ll trash it anyways. hahahaha

    Those Chilled courgettes also looks scrumptious! Makes me wish I was there to eat it all up. Believe me, I would have left nothing for anyone. hehehehe

    That hibiscus is gorgeous and I don’t blame Snowy for eating them. They are healthy too and I bet he knows that. He is such a clever little pup. Please give them big hugs and lots of kisses from me. :D xxx

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    • Trouble is when you’ve lived with people long enough, you know how they work. Some things need a variety of approaches ;)

      Maybe in the next few months I’ll be able to hobble down to the street. Of course I can’t carry anything because of the crutches…

      Pippa loves peas, Snowy has decided he does too, so when I am podding them he lies right next to me. If I look away, his little face is right in there to snaffle some.

      I hate not being able to grow food. Flowers are nice but mostly all you do is look at them. But veg :) they germinate, they grow, you look after them, and then you crop them and start all over again.

      The courgette dish is popular here. It’s a good mix of flavours and textures.

      Snowy takes either the buds or the ones that have flowered and died back, but not usually the open ones. Well, the ones he’s allowed to open by not eating the bud first!

      Liked by 1 person

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