Allotment: Life’s a squash with all these houseguests
LAST Christmas, my cousin bought a ham so large – literally the size of a small armchair – that it meant her family was still eating “ham-sagne” well into February.
When it came to cooking the brute, her ingenuity knew no bounds – there was ham meatloaf, ham hash, ham curry; I even have a suspicion she tried to incorporate it into a crumble, writes Georgina Wroe.
Now I know how she felt. My ongoing culinary abundance, however, comes in the torpedo shape of courgettes.
I shouldn’t complain. The good news is, after four months of toil on the allotment, we are now self-sufficient in Cucurbita pepo.
The fridge has been full for a week and still they are everywhere – under tables, propping up bookshelves. In truth, I could lag a small loft with them.
What to do with the godforsaken gourds?
Yes; you can boil them, steam them and griddle them. You can grate them and hide them in other foods (although even I draw the line at muffins). You can stir fry them, douse them in cheese sauce, white sauce, and even drown them in vinaigrette.
- 1 Revealed: The most popular Suffolk fish and chip shop
- 2 Suffolk woman stole thousands from football club and school
- 3 What time will the Red Arrows be flying over Suffolk this weekend?
- 4 London couple transform Suffolk home into an 'intimate' lifestyle retreat
- 5 Two motorbikes stolen after break-in at Suffolk home
- 6 Forbidden Suffolk: 5 more places you can’t visit in Suffolk
- 7 Former Town striker's front-to-back season could end in Wembley glory
- 8 Man claims supermarket fuel was contaminated as he reveals £200 repair bill
- 9 Inquest opened into human remains found by Suffolk river
- 10 Woman in hospital with life-threatening injuries after serious A143 crash
But what you can’t do is stop them coming.
The tyranny of the squash. Ignore them and, overnight, they’ll swell to the size of a small airship.
Offices up and down the country are stacked high with carrier bags with the desperate plea: “Unwanted courgettes. Please help yourself”.
It seems churlish to complain. A fortnight ago the only vegetables the allotment had produced were a handful of pea-sized potatoes and a sprig of mint.
But it’s the lack of consistency I object to. Tesco online manages to deliver a regular, varied supply of vegetables – why can’t the vegetable plot?
We have the Genovese globe-trotter Christopher Columbus to thank for courgettes.
Before that they were a staple only in ancient pre-Columbian lands (along with beans and maize).
I know I should be making more of my glorious glut, but I can’t help thinking constructing a life-size replica of Shrek might be putting them to better use.
Talking of squashes, the growth of Dave – our giant marrow – continues with the pace of a GB cyclist in the velodrome. He has now swollen to 2ft in length, with the circumference of Anthony Ogogo’s biceps.
If there were a Veg Olympics 2012, I might fail to qualify in other categories, but would surely scoop the gold for gourds.