Duck à la cauliflower

cauliflowersTime for some nauseating smugness and self-congratulation.

As ever (gotta LOVE that hubris), my cauliflowers have been a triumph. The weather’s helped; wet ‘n’ windy suits brassicas very well.

The fridge is stuffed with cauliflowers and I’m trying to dream up ever madder recipes for them. ‘Duck à la choux-fleur’ wasn’t too successful, but cauliflower cheese soup was. Recipe:

  • Boil softened onion and cauliflower florets (lots of ’em) in chicken stock for 30 mins
  • Liquidise
  • Add grated cheese (strong cheddar) and melt it

Simple, but dead nice.

Posted on 27th July 2012
Under: Brassicas | 7 Comments »

Damned if it didn’t stop raining… briefly

cauliflower seedlingsO frabjous day! Callooh Callay! It stopped raining!

We have an extraordinary 48-hr sunshine window. Can’t pretend it’s warm – 14C max – but at least it’s not pissing. I’ve enjoyed the first productive gardening day in a month.

asparagus shootsThe cauliflowers are in, and even the asparagus has appeared. At last. Not in time to save the UK asparagus festival, but better late than never.

Jeez, but things look and feel so different in the sunshine. One sees proper colours again, the way God intended… not the washed out, bleached, deathly pallor of life under leaden skies.

We’re back to rain on Monday, but the break has felt like a holiday.

Posted on 12th May 2012
Under: Asparagus, Brassicas | 9 Comments »

Slowest growing brassicas EVER

Cauliflower seedlings gherkins

Now the mad time is starting. I’ve got seedlings stuffed into every nook and cranny of the house. There’s even more under plastic outside. I’m gagging to get them all planted out, but daren’t: it’s not frost safe for another month yet.

It’s already turning into a very peculiar growing year. My cauliflower seedlings have grown more slowly than I’ve ever known – the ones above were sown in early March, but still have only two true leaves. Quite extraordinary.

In other news, my potatoes are also coming through spectacularly slowly. Looks like patience is going to be the watchword for 2010… which is dispiriting news, because I have BUGGER ALL PATIENCE.

Posted on 1st May 2010
Under: Brassicas, Cucurbits | 8 Comments »

Looks like I fed the pigeons again

Brassicas eaten by pigeonsWretched pigeons. These were meant to be my autumn cauliflowers.

I had a few heads from them, so it’s not a dead loss, but the rest started to go to seed (I’ve not been to the plot much) and the pigeons were able to reach through the net to pull them up.

Irritating, but there it is.

D-Day for digging and manuring rapidly approaches. I’m praying the weather is dry this weekend, because I need to make up some time fast.

Posted on 4th November 2009
Under: Brassicas | 3 Comments »

Video: How to grow cabbages and cauliflowers

The latest in my ‘how to’ video series focusses on brassicas… specifically cabbages and cauliflowers, and how to grow decent ones. As always, apologies to anyone who’s an expert already. Do tell me about any hot tips of your own for brassica success.

How to grow cabbages and cauliflowers from Soilman on Vimeo.

Posted on 23rd June 2009
Under: Brassicas, Summer | 11 Comments »

More cauliflower crowing

I know I’m getting boring about this. And coming across as an insufferable egomaniac. So this is the last bit of vainglory, I promise…

Get the Flash Player to see this content.

Posted on 25th April 2009
Under: Brassicas, Spring | 6 Comments »

Cauliflowers: The ultimate pain in the arse?

Cauliflower seedlingThe first cauliflower seedlings are in. This is where the hard work starts. Everything hitherto has been buggering about, frankly.

Why? Because if you’ve ever grown cauliflowers, you’ll know what utter bastards they are. Everything has to be just so: the soil, the sun hours, the rainfall, the nutrients, the pest and bird protection.

This fine specimen is wearing a brassica collar. It’s a circle of tar-impregnated cardboard intended to deter the ghastly cabbage root fly. They do work, but of course it’s an added pain in the arse.

Everything’s a pain in the arse with cauliflowers. So why do I do it? Excellent question. Let me think about than one for a few days and get back to you…

Posted on 13th April 2009
Under: Brassicas | 11 Comments »

Walcheren winter: primed for April

Walcheren winter cauliflower

Looks a bit scrappy, I know. Bloody weeds. They’re like gremlins: one drop of water and they double in size and turn seriously nasty.

These will be pretty big by the end of September, and with luck they’ll head in April. Cauliflowers all year round!

Posted on 27th August 2008
Under: Brassicas | 3 Comments »

Watering in the deluge

Posted on 25th August 2008
Under: Brassicas, Peas and beans | 6 Comments »

Curds away!

Arty cauliflower shot

Biggest allotment cauliflower of the year… so far. About 25 more still to come, and I’m drowning in them. The freezer hasn’t seen so much action since last year’s bean glut.

Talking of which, the beans are also going bananas. Gotta love the glut after a poor start to the season, but I’m beginning to lose it here.

Posted on 9th August 2008
Under: Brassicas | 3 Comments »