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  • Writer's pictureLiz Kameen

Perfectly roasted veg and all the wintery weather

Snow, sleet, rain, wind, and then heavy frost last night. We've had it all in the past few days. Even more ready for Spring than we were last week! The pink sky this morning was pretty amazing though.

Super happy we made it in to open the shop last Friday despite the snowy Prion roads and so many schools and businesses closing - we were really busy and it was so great that customers expected that we would be open :)

After going away from home the other weekend, we made a list of things we wouldn't want to live without (obviously our veg goes without saying!) and thought we'd share here. Very grateful for all these things, simple as most of them are.

In the field:

With the forecast as it was and low temps we still haven't really sown anything,the plan is to start sowing today! Chris is about to get his trusty Charles Dowding book out to remind himself what he's sowing first #every day is a school day

We have however planted out a load of turnips as a 'catch crop' - so am sure everyone is very exctited about that haha.

Whilst the snow didn't do too much damage the strong winds have left us needing to do some repairs to the big polytunnel. Another thing to scratch our heads over. We managed to harvest the leeks before the heavens opened on Monday - you might have noticed we're coming to the end of our leeks so we're now harvesting the small ones..the annoying thing about small ones is the amount of work involved in everything to do with leeks is the same regardless whether they are big or small (so enjoy those small leeks!).

Also harvested lots of salad and kale from inside the polytunnel.

We know the recent snow has had an effect on what's available in terms of UK crops - we got purple sprouting broccoli in this week but there's none available for next week so hoping there'll be more to come once this cold weather has gone through (assuming this is the last of it!).

In the boxes:

Small - potatoes, carrots, onions, aubergines, Prion salad, courgette, Savoy cabbage, oranges

Regular - potatoes, carrots, onions, leeks, purple sprouting broccoli, curly kale, sede, mushrooms, kohlrabi, clementines

In the shop:

We have a lot in this week, please come and help us get through it and avoid wasting any - spread the word, remind people we're open, encourage people to come and see what we're about.

Onions (brown & Roscoff), carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, golden beetroot, swede, celeriac, kohlrabi

Red cabbage, Savoy cabbage, squash, cauliflower, courgette, celery, mushrooms (white & chestnut), palermo peppers (green & red), leeks, broad beans, aubergine, tomatoes (vine & cherry)

Fresh garlic (finally!) and turmeric

Fruit: Lemons, kiwi fruit, bananas, grapefruit (these are seriously good - super juicy and not too bitter), oranges, clementines, apples (Fiesta).

Plus our prize-winning (at Denbigh show last year!) eggs from Mike in Prion, Pentrefelin milk from Huw in Llandyrnog and sourdough bread from Rob at Nant y Felin in Llanrheaedr. As I write that, it makes me so proud to know we have these amazing local suppliers producing the amazing quality produce!

In the kitchen:

Around once a week at the moment we're doing a big tray of roasted veg - amazing how much veg you can use up doing this as you can fill a tray but once it's roasted it really shrinks up so it's a very satisying and tasty way to get through some of those roots if you've built up a little stash. I always thought roasting veg was just about throwing the veg in and roasting it...but I'm learning that there's a few things that really transform this process so wanted to share. Let me know any other roasted veg tips that you can add to the list below!

  • use the best tasting veg (ours, obviously!) - it doesn't matter if it's a bit old /soft but needs to have taste

  • get the roasting tray and oil (we use olive oil) super hot before putting the veg in - this is key, don't be tempted to skip it

  • cut the veg up into similar size chunks, not too big (and if you have 2 things that look similar eg swede and potato, recommend doing them in different shapes so you know what you're eating - a mouthful of swede when you're expecting potato somehow can be quite disappointing....!)

  • I think sweet potato (or squash) is quite important for texture as there's something about how these veggies caramelise and soften that really makes it for me (as opposed to the harder veggies that roast and soften but don't go squidgey)

  • throw in an onion cut into quarters (ideally red or Roscoff for flavour) and whole garlic cloves

  • put the veg in a bowl and coat with olive oil before putting into the hot tin (yes, lots of oil but it's so good), also sprinkle some rock salt over when you put into tin and then give it a good shake

  • cherry tomatoes also really add something to a tray of roasted veg, gets it all sticky and takes it to another level (perfect for those cherry toms that are a bit soft) - you can throw these in at the start or half way through cooking if you want them not to complete disintegrate

  • a tray of veg should cook in about about an hour at around 200 deg C but will need checking and make sure you give it all a good toss during cooking with a spatula

  • when it's looking super tasty, get it out of the oven and pour a dressing over the top before serving- we have been experimenting with this but not following any particular recipe - essentially olive oil, cider vinegar, salt and pepper, lemon juice and then tahini or mustard is our go-to.

  • we eat a plate of roasted veg without any sides and every time can't get over how good it tastes, and how filling it is. Super easy too.

Also, if anyone else is interested in making an Indian lemon pickle to go with curry and dal, this is a recipe from Anna Jones that looks so simple I can't believe I haven't made it yet! She says - 'Place a small pan on a medium to high heat, add a drizzle of coconut or rapeseed oil, then add 2 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp dried turmeric, ½ a finely chopped red chilli, a good pinch of dried chilli and a handful of curry leaves. When the mustard seeds begin to pop, add a pinch of salt and two finely chopped lemons, peel on but seeds removed. Cook for about 10 minutes until thickened a little.'

Our online shop is here if you need any extra for your box or want to pre-order to pick up in the shop.

have a lovely week

#enjoy that tasty veg

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