Another great celebratory dinner at the end of September! This year we held our Harvest Supper significantly earlier than usual, reflecting the much earlier harvest. Indeed, for the first time since we started in 2011, we had very little to be harvested in the station garden by the middle of September. We’ve missed cavalo nero this year, the potatoes in bags were a disappointment and the courgettes didn’t do quite as well as in some years, but the climbing beans were great.
The star produce this year was from our mini-orchard: lots of apples and the most delicious pears. It’s been challenging storing them – some have gone squashy and had to be composted, but most ripened nicely in the dark of my garage.
So our meal this year:
Onion soup, now a perennial as onions are one of our most reliable crops. Diane made lovely wholemeal rolls to go with the soup.
Mark’s fish pie, made with greens and herbs from the garden and if our potato crop had been better and later, it could have included our potatoes. This was a delicious combination of layers of spinach, wild salmon, potato and a grated Provolone topping.
Garden beans (frozen after picking in mid-September) and Madeleine’s baked kohlrabi worked really well as sides or mains for non-fish eaters.
Garden salad – the Greek idea of chopped tomatoes and cucumber with a simple olive oil dressing and some chopped lettuce. The Sweet Million tomatoes having been producing in the greenhouse since the middle of June, and the cucumber plants, also highly productive beteween June and August, rallied mid-September to produce a final few for our supper.
Pear and apple crumble – our pears and our apples – with hints of downland blackberries and a wholemeal and walnut topping. And … a raspberry/blackberry coulis, just made from our fruit simmered down with a bit of honey, whizzed and strained.
Ending with pears with cheese, a great combination really highlighting the flavour of our wonderful pears this year.
This was our seventh harvest supper … hard to believe that the LRSP garden has been going since 2011, still with great enthusiasm.