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One long ski slope to New Year

by MarkD published on
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This is one long skislope to New Year for me. I love it. You're officially allowed half a dozen mince pies a day, whisky macs are almost compulsory and the fire's on as much as it's not.

The garden has quietened down both at River Cottage and at Otter Farm. There's plenty to pick over the cold months but much less to actually tend to now that the green manures are sown.

This is good: we can get on with the garden plan for next year, indoors by the fire. Each year the garden team decides what to retain, what to leave out, what new plants to grow and what new flavours we'll be trying. It's the start of the anticipation for next year's meals.

Luckily there's plenty to be enjoying from our choices this time last year. Jerusalem artichokes, celeriac, leeks and kale are all being picked almost daily and will continue way through the festive season.

I'm trying to steer clear of the Brussels sprouts for now - I love them and don't like to run the risk of running out before New Year. More than any other festive veg, it's the sprouts I look forward to.

I know they're a bit of a room-splitter - you love or hate them. If you're in the latter camp, I hope you'll give them another chance.

The DJ John Peel used to say that if The Fall (one of his favourite bands) released an album he didn't like, he'd assume he just hadn't realised how it was good yet - and this is a lovely attitude to take with food.

Assume there is always a wonderful way for a food to reveal itself and you'll rarely be disappointed. For the unconverted, I promise you my recipe for creamy Brussels sprouts with chestnuts and bacon (from my Veg Patch book) will change your view, or the already onside, give it a try: it's delicious.

- Check out the River Cottage Events calendar for my forthcoming courses including Urban Veg Patch, Allotment Gardening and Veg Patch.

1 reply
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Well this is my first ever comment on this site....woo...ahem.<BR>I love sprouts! however i have chosen to grow P.S.B this year and i'm getting ridiculed by my partners father who like to poke fun at the fact that they have not sprouted yet. I keep reiterating the fact that they won't start sprouting until mid december to january. Should i be confident with this or should they have started by now? i'm guessing this all depends on weather,soil, temp but roughly i think im right. my confidence is deminishing by the day.<BR><BR>I dont want him to be right and get some sort of teenage kicks out of being correct...oh bad gag. <BR><BR>Andy

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