Saturday 2 August 2014

Lost in a Book

I needed to look up about Cob Nuts and picked out one of my books to browse through, thinking it would be a good choice to find out what I wanted to know.  Once I started reading I couldn't stop.  I went back to the beginning and started reading properly at every opportunity, every cup of coffee I stop work for, every advert break on television I read another few pages.
You've got to love a book that encompasses growing and cooking the things you grow and when it's written so well, in such a relaxed and chatty and yet eloquent fashion it makes for wonderfully relaxing reading and isn't that just the best sort.

This lovely sounding recipe has reminded me that once again I must plant some Jerusalem Artichokes near my polytunnel.  I had no idea they could be baked in a cake as well as eaten as vegetables.

If you click on the picture it should go nice and big so you can follow it for yourself.
The guy himself, picture courtesy of Google Images.
I bought this book from Waterstones, it's lovely retro cover cried out to me when I was going upstairs in our local branch for a coffee, it was the last one on the shelf, so I took pity on it's loneliness and carried it up with me.  It's great that they allow you to read what you are about to buy while you drink your coffee and sample the delights of the array of cakes on offer.
It reminded me I also have this,  Mark's first solo book.  Bought while we were at River Cottage the year it came out .....

.... and signed for me by the man himself.
  We had a wonderful chat about Blogging and our vegetable growing.  He really is as nice in person as his writing implies he would be.  And anyway I tend to think that any food grower loves to chat about their accomplishments and failures.  As you would expect we are a down to earth lot :-)

Nice books, nice guy .... but I didn't find out anything about cob nuts, also known as hazel nuts. We have bushes and bushes of them and I want to know when best to harvest them,  I guess I better Google it, if I dare to lift another book off the shelf I could be missing for days.
Sue xx


  1. Before the squirrels! Apparently when the husks are beginning to turn yellow (mid to late September, obviously depends on the weather) but if the squirrels start to pinch them, you may have to harvest early but the flavour won't be so good.

  2. I hopped straight over to the library web site and Shock horror! they don't have a copy. I shall put in a request right now.

  3. Jerusalem Artichokes come back year after year once youve planted them. OH decided he didnt like them and we are still digging them out years later! Oh, and another thing, the carbs in them can be hard for your system to break down so thay can make you a bit 'windy' (we nicknamed them fartichoikes in our house).
    Good luck with them.
    Youve got some really lovely books there Sue.

  4. They look really interesting but I daren't buy another book!

  5. NIce looking reads, I ended up googling what to do with hazlenuts, found some interesting recipes on River Cottage.

  6. We have several hazelnut trees in our hedge (plus a few that have self seeded elsewhere). The nuts usually hurl themselves onto the drive when they're ready which makes them easy to harvest, if I can get to them before people have scrunched them as they walk over them! We were only saying a few days ago that it looks as if it will be a really good crop this year. I like the look of the MD books.

  7. The squirrels take ours before they are anything like ripe!

  8. I will also put in a library request, thanks for the tip Sue.

    Jean x

  9. When you get a definitive answer re. the nuts please share!
    I can't read the jerusalem fartichoke recipe clearly I'm afraid and we have lots and lots of them here. I shall try to get the book to copy it, as I'm always looking for thing to do with the little blighters.


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