Sunday 31 March 2024

The Delargo Gardens - March

Here we are again me dears with the March garden. Winter is over, hoorah! We have indeed had a mild March and everything is growing like mad.

Narcissus 'Tête-à-tête' gave us a massive hit of colour in February when we needed it but now it's the turn of the more elegant  Narcissus 'Thalia';

and the delightful Narcissus “Minnow”

Brunnera macrophylla “Alexanders Great”

Chionodoxa forbesei “Pink Giant” has not flowered well this year and might need replacing.

The first Tulip! We will have a lot more to see from them next month methinks.

There tiz me lovelies, now it's time to climb up into the Land Rover for a tour of our vast estate.

The Ipheion uniflorum are still flowering away -

 and looking fab;

as is Cyclamen coum

The wallflowers and Pansy.

To our great joy, three of our Fuchsia pots have been doubling-up as a nursery for self-sown fern seedlings. 

Donny is well chuffed

That's it for March then me darlins. We hope to see you back in the garden in April when I am sure there will be a lot more to see.

Till then me dears. 
It's Ttfn from Donny
and it's Ttfn from me

Toodle-loo and Pip Pip.

Saturday 30 March 2024

Madam Arcati Cooks the Books #5; Delia Smith - Companion of Honour & CBE

 I can not express the respect and admiration I have for Delia (as a chef she has got me out of trouble many times). In recent times it seems to be fashionable to 'poo-poo' her - but since the early 70s until now with her 'Delia Online (Click)' her work has inspired and taught a nation how to cook fabulous food at home. Just in the UK the sales of her cookery books run to over 21.5 million.

Companion of Honour is a much higher order than that of Dame Commander of the British Empire and she is also has an O B E. but sadly can not be called 'Dame Delia'. I do anyway!

I am lucky enough to be able to have the most amazing butcher's based in Yorkshire that only uses rare and native breed animals that frolic on the Dales. I got a whole Breast of Lamb from them. Didn't know how to tackle it. I looked at loads of my 300 cookery books and online. Only Delia came up with the goods - God bless her. She got me out of trouble again !

Frugal Food 1976;  my edition is 2008

Once again Delia came to the rescue

And Leftovers !

 Flavour was amazing - why don't you give it a go?!


Thursday 29 February 2024

The Delargo Gardens - February

Late again but here we are me lovelies with the February Tour of the Gardens. We have just had the warmest February on record and probably the wettest too and everything seems a little ahead of itself. 

For me Narcissus 'Tête-à-tête' is the perfect Daffodil.

Especially in containers

Our Cyclamen coum has been in the same pot for years and comes back with a jolly show every year

as does Ipheion uniflorum. It was the star of the show last month and has looked fabulous all of this month. 

There are two varieties in the same pot and the darker blue should come to the fore as this one fades

The crocus and Iris we bought last Autumn were very disappointing.

Well there we are me dears and now its time to grab your hip flask and climb up into the Land Rover for a tour of our vast estate, stables and outlying farms.

The Winter stalwarts and gawd bless um I say.

The Winter would be even more depressing with out them giving us a splash of colour.

Vulgar and common some might say but;

So what if they are; so are some of my best friends but I still love Them.

Winter ended with the last day of February and good riddance to it. We sowed our Foxgloves a little late. They are a little small so am not sure if they will flower this year but they look strong and healthy.

Donny is hiding from the sun and is using Garnier Ambre Solaire factor 50. Gnomes can burn easily even in Winter sunshine.

There Tiz then me Darlins so till next time then. 
It's Ttfn from Donny
and it's Ttfn from me

Toodle-loo and Pip Pip.

Tuesday 27 February 2024

Madam Arcati Cooks the Books #4; Claudia Roden CBE

 Welcome back to the kitchen me dears. Today's delve into the Delargo Foundation Library's cookery book archive: 

Claudia Roden CBE (née Douek; born 1936)  - the Food of Spain; 1st edition 2011; my book is 2012 

Claudia was born to a Syrian-Jewish family in Cairo; she studied in London to become a painter before she became engrossed by the stories and recipes of Britain’s expatriate Egyptian community. She then began researching the first of the dozens of award-winning books for which she is famous.

Her family descended from Jews who had been expelled from Spain in 1492 and her grandmother, Eugénie Alphandary, spoke an old Judeo-Spanish language called Ladino with her friends and relatives when Claudia lived in Egypt.

Claudia Roden was already one of our foremost authorities on Mediterranean, North African, and Italian cooking but in this book she gives us the definitive cookbook on the Spanish cuisine.
It is a huge book covering every region of Spain in detail. It took her years to research and to write and that shows on the page. Her focus is very much on traditional regional dishes and how much do I love that? If, me dears, you would like to know more about the book you can find it here in her own words 


This is what Claudia says they should look like. My attempt is below this.

Ingredients correct

Filling and dough correct.

I halved the recipe but had forgotten this. I tried to divide the dough into the 4 or 6 pieces as the original recipe and roll them out to 10 cm rounds. I do not have any pastry cutters and did it freehand. I started to run out of dough rather quickly and this is why you see a shoddy mixture of large and small misshapen embarrassments.

They all went into the oven anyway, and they did taste lovely. (Not sure about the egg yolk glaze though)

I had wanted this book for ages and bought it at not a cheap price on Amazon, only to find the last few pages had obviously had a glass of wine spilt over them.
I could have been annoyed, but instead I enjoy knowing that the owner of the book takes the same pleasure in 'Cooking the Books' as I.

I love Claudia Roden because she gives context to her recipes: food and cultural history, geography, genealogy, poetry and jokes in all her books.

This photo of her by Vogue magazine with a goat is one of my favourites! Why they did that I have no idea, but knowing her work it captures a spark and a spirit most wonderful.