Friday, 31 October 2008

Swiss chard

Thomas stopped to talk to me when he passed the Cat allotment. First of all, he told me off for working in the north wind, saying that I'd catch a cold - not now, but when I went home.

On the back of his bike in an orange string bag he had some white stalks with green leaves that were half as big as him. I asked him what they were, and he said they were spinach. He offered me some, and I accepted two stalks. He told me to chop them into 2-inch lengths and cook them in water, then serve them with a little salt and some garlic. He said his children liked them but his grandchildren didn't. I said that was because they were English.

I brought them home and cooked them, putting some chopped up stalks in my tomato sauce and cooking the rest as spinach. I expected them to be coarse and taste strong, but instead, the tops were just like spinach, and the stalks I had cooked with them were mild and delicate with an excellent texture. I later discovered that what I was eating was Swiss chard. Another vegetable to add to my repertoire.

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