I wake up early from a dream where I have grown some lovely, fat, red, ‘Marmande’ tomatoes. I know it’s a dream because I can’t grow them on Dartmoor. But this quirky tomato induced fantasy has left me with a yearning for all things colourful. As I toss seed packets and brochures off the duvet I wonder if I might be suffering from an overdose of subliminal stimuli and I conclude that I really should not fall asleep whilst studying the vegetable section of the harlequin coloured Edwin Tucker and sons (Ashburton, Devon) seed catalogue.
And yes, it is that time of year again, when choosing, sowing and nurturing seeds (with their fabulously coloured packets) borders on the manically obsessive. And yes, I am a patient gardener. Well, I was until I had the TOMATO DREAM. Now I want the passion and joy of colour and I want it now!
But the day is grey and the wind cold-blooded and sharp; too cold to garden. I hit the jumper drawer and settle for something the colour of pale antique rose poppies and decide that if want colour and passion on this bleak March day then I am going to have to cook it!
I settle on a chicken dish bursting with Moroccan warmth and passion, using Rose Harissa paste, coriander and honey. The colour will be lustrous and jewel-like and the flavour as tempting as anything in the Arabian Nights.
Settle down and just soak up that COLOUR!
For the recipe for Moroccan Chicken, please click here.
I am glad to see that I am not the only one longing for Spring that I can work in my garden. It seem like we get snow or sleet at least once a week. The cold winds that blow strong here cut right throught your clothing. Unlike me you have been inspired to cook. I have been inspired to spring clean. I have a pile of mending that I need to do and all I want to do it procrastinate. I feel like I need to get these boring task done now before the weather gets too warm and my gardening takes all my time. You meal looks delicious.
Thank you Honey. It has been so cold here too and the wind, as you say, really does seem to blow right through your clothes. I am making a new bed for lettuce and salad, but I can’t plant it up yet until things warm up. Have you got a greenhouse? Or a little cold-frame? That would help you to get started sooner. I have both, but my greenhouse is unheated, so most nights I have to bring all my little seeds into the house. Sometimes the right thing to do is to stay inside. Staying inside is exactly what I should do! It is in need of a big spring clean! I think you have been very wise. Glad to hear what you have been up to. Karen.
Beautiful post, Karen! The imagery and descriptions are just so engrossing, as are your photos–you’re really good at this blog stuff! And you have such a good attitude–find color where you can and enjoy it!
Thank you so much! Blogging is such a joy! It is therapeutic in so many ways and I have been very surprised to discover how I have shifted and grown as a person as the blog has grown. One of the aspects I value most is the connections I am building, with people like you! Karen..
I feel the same way! I never expected to make real friends as a result of blogging and yet . . . 🙂
Creativity has a way of finding a channel and cooking is such a lovely way of sharing the things I grow. Thank you so much Gretchen.
I am really delighted that I still have some blocks of roast tomato passata left in the freezer from last year’s harvest… I love that taste of summer on a winter or early spring day. I think I may even still have a jar of bottled peaches in the dresser, just waiting to remind my tastebuds of warm sunny days.
I am so pleased that you like bottling. More than anything, that method of preserving captures summer produce in all its glorious flavour and colour and it is a method which lets you SEE the fruit or vegetables. I always forget what is in the freezer! I have a dwarf wall greenhouse so I struggle to grow tomatoes, but I am trying chili peppers this year.
Your message mentioning ‘roast tomato passata’ really got my taste buds going and I cooked my self panfried cod and tomatoes flavoured with olive tapenade for supper. I actually raised a glass of wine as a toast to Mr and Mrs SOH! I got my TOMATO DREAM after all. Cheers! -Karen.