Is your garden overflowing - and more to come? Do you have soft fruit coming out of your ears? What about giving it to your neighbour? Oh, they're full. Then try our Rumtopf recipe: see below.
Food does not just give us energy in the day, it also affects the way we sleep. You can do a lot to help yourself sleep better. In the first place, don't eat too much in the evening. Have your meal 4 hours before bedtime, and for a bedtime snack if needed, take a small cup of herb tea or warm milk, some fresh or dried fruit and/or a small handful of (unsalted) nuts or seeds.
On the other hand, low-carb fruits like raspberries, apples, oranges, grapefruit will help us stay awake.
For other ways to stay awake without taking refuge in coffee or the like, see bit.ly/jEGocO, or 'Foods that Help you Sleep or Keep you Awake' at bit.ly/kl7Z7Z.
beetroot, calabrese, french/runner beans, kale, carrots, cauliflower (mini only), salad onions, (sugar) peas, radish, kohlrabi, mooli, turnip, courgettes, marrows and pumpkins, pak choi.
Sow swede and sweetcorn in early June. If the soil is above 25C, sow crisphead, cos or little Gem only.
Plant out: courgettes, cabbage, sprouting broccoli, sprouts, celery, celeriac, ridge cucumbers, runner/french beans, leeks, marrows, pumpkins, tomatoes, sweet corn.
Veg: broad beans, cabbage, carrots, lettuce, new potatoes, artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, mangetout, peas, radish, spinach, spring onions, spring greens, watercress, kohlrabi, turnips, redcurrants, strawberries, gooseberries.
Meat: lamb, wood pigeon.
Fish: grey mullet is at its best between June and August. Mullet is an oily fish, and can be steamed, baked roast or barbecued.
GREY MULLET with GARLIC and ROSEMARY, 4 servings.
3 lb gutted and scaled grey mullet, 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary; garlic cloves sliced thinly, olive oil, salt, pepper.
Wash and dry. Slash with a sharp knife 3-4x on both sides. Fill with rosemary and garlic and put leftover herbs inside slashes. Brush olive oil inside and all over fish, season. Cook under medium grill for 10 mins on each side, or until the point of a knife can easily be pushed into the centre. Serve immediately with green salad and saute potatoes.
Stir cooked shredded cabbage into creamy mash with some finely sliced spring onions, then dot with butter.
SWISS CHARD (or SPINACH) with PINE NUTS
2oz sultanas, 2lbs chard, 2oz butter, 2 tbsps olive oil, 1 clove garlic, finely chopped, 2oz (55g) pine nuts, salt.
Put sultanas in bowl with warm water, leave to soak for 15 mins. Trim chard, and separate leaves from stems. Cook leaves and stems gently for 10 mins – you won’t need extra water as there will be plenty left from washing. Take off the heat, drain, pat dry. Melt butter with oil, add garlic and pine nuts, fry for 5 mins. Add chard and sultanas, tossing with 2 forks so it gets covered in butter/oil. Salt, heat it all through for 2 mins, tossing gently all the while, serve.
HOT NEW POTATO AND SORREL SALAD
500g new potatoes, 2-3 handfuls of sorrel, 50g butter, 1 tbsp olive oil, fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Boil potatoes until just tender - if not too big, 8-10 minutes is often enough.
While they're cooking, strip central veins out of the sorrel. Wash well and shred into 1 cm wide ribbons. When the potatoes are done, drain them, cut in half and put in bowl with butter and oil. Add sorrel, mix. Leave for a minute so the heat of the potatoes wilts the sorrel, stir again. Rest for another minute, season and serve at once.
You need ripe, not over-ripe fruit, sugar, rum and a large glass or glazed pot. Best start with strawberries. Wash, dry, add half their weight in sugar, leave for half an hour, put in pot. Add rum to cover by 1", close tightly, store cool and away from light. Stir or shake every few weeks, but only with plastic/wooden spoon: no metal.
Throughout the summer, add fruit (sugar, and rum) as it ripens. No apples or blackberries. When the pot is full, leave for 2-3 months or longer.
For more detail see bit.ly/jQJQsu, bit.ly/lPQXX7 or bit.ly/jQKamq.
So that's your Christmas presents sorted!
With love, Annemieke.