Thursday, September 10, 2009

RECIPES FROM THE COMPOST

Whenever it rains, the weeds grow a foot higher here so we have been dealing with them using my lazy gardener method. You don't dig or pull, you just trample the weeds down flattish, place a thick layer of any old paper over them, watering as you go, and then cover with straw. It is a kind of self-composting layer which also acts as an excellent mulch.

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So there I was, using up junk mail, newspapers, old bills and magazines, some in French and some in English. I learned a few new French words from the junk mail, as I always do because the descriptions have photos, like an illustrated dictionary. Some of the magazines were very thick and I needed to tear them up, revealing articles on everything including gardening, animal care, advertisements and cooking.

It was a hot morning and I was working in the sun, trying to get the job done quickly so I could go for a swim in the pool before lunch. I was trampling and ripping and watering and of course the wind came up, threatening to blow it all away if I didn't get the paper wet and the straw on fast enough.

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I opened a French magazine and there was an article on a beautiful garden where the people are growing a range of native French and European plants and doing some creative things with stones and paths. I stood there looking at it all and thinking we could do some of this ...... dreaming, as gardeners are wont to do..... when suddenly I was brought back to my senses when I realised the hose had been dribbling water across some glossy paper and into my shoe and the wind had strewn some of the dry paper across the yard! I put the magazine aside to look at again over lunch, and got back to work.

image Later I opened an old English magazine and there on the pages I had just torn out was a section called "7 recipes for 7 days"..... not a very imaginative title but the 7 soup recipes looked great.... and I had a few things in the fridge that needed using up and one of the recipes looked perfect..... I was getting pretty hungry so I quickly finished the weed mulching, gathered up my "new" magazine and recipes, a little damp and torn by now, and headed off to cook the soup for lunch, forgetting all about the swim, in my enthusiasm to share my finds with Ian.

He laughed a lot, as he often does at this crazy Australian woman who has come into his life, and said "Here's a great title for a chapter of your book..... Recipes from the Compost!" So there we have it, I am going to include in that chapter recipes which I have saved from the scrap heaps of life. I have quite a few old recipe books bought from garage sales or salvaged from second hand book shops and some recipes given to me by people who have torn them out of magazines destined for the recycling bin and now some rescued from becoming compost in an old French garden.

What a lovely joie de vivre that gives me...... skippity doo!

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