• Kay

The Last Butternut!


Today I had my favourite breakfast, grilled tomatoes on toast spread with marmite, with grated cheese on top. It is such a luxury to have an abundance of wonderful tomatoes and it is good to relish them.

Today, Aideen and I pay a visit to Harefield marina at the invitation of Nick, the member of our choir who was our original contact about the Mayflower, Aideen’s little narrowboat. He was doing some sign painting on a boat that was being repainted at the marina and thought we would like to have a look. We had a very interesting chat with Nick and the boat painter and we picked up some useful tips on boat refurbishment. We then went to see Mayflower and were both surprised by how small she is. Having just looked at the boat being repainted with Nick, we were thinking that Mayflower was not much smaller. When we found her, bobbing about behind a bush, it was a shock to be reminded how small she really is. However, this is not a bad thing, as for the moment, she will be sat between two nut trees in the orchard!

On our return, we had lunch, a large salad, and I then continued work on the fruit tree border and Aideen had a go at weeding the dwarf French beans. We made a pleasant discovery, finding seedling cornflowers growing in the bed amongst the French beans which I will move about for companion planting next year. This bed had been home to some of the earliest companion planting last year of tall bright blue cornflowers and they have obviously self-seeded.

Unfortunately, the bed that Aideen was weeding was fiddly, so she kept wandering off to pick flowers to press instead, it is easy to get distracted from fiddly weeding! I then struggled through my border with a full bucket of weeds to put into the big green barrow to find it had mysteriously disappeared! I could hear the sound of a lawn mower in the distance so it wasn’t too difficult to figure out who had stolen it…Patrick!

I then decided to gather vegetables for tonight’s dinner before it got dark. I had come up with an invention for this evenings dinner, a vegetarian option amalgamating two recipes from too different books, plus additions of my own. This was partly because I wanted to create something special to use our last butternut squash that was in storage.

I created the dauphinoise potato base that I used for a moussaka a few weeks ago and roasted butternut, sweet potato and red onion cubes, suggested in a butternut/sweet potato lasagne recipe and pan fried sliced courgette in butter. I then created my own vegetable lasagne by layering the courgette on top of the potato dauphinoise base then I added a layer of chard leaves (lasagne substitute) then a layer of mozzarella, then a layer of roasted butternut, sweet potato and red onion, more chard leaves, and another layer of mozzarella. I topped the whole creation with cheese sauce and grated cheese…you can never have too much cheese! I served it with a big salad, loads of tomato and basil, and sweetcorn on the side. I’ll let everyone know what it tasted like tomorrow.

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