Thursday, January 24, 2008

Lemons - and gardening

José has got bored with giving us half a dozen huge lemons at once.

The other morning Partner walked out and found a bag on the terrace. There must have been 20 lemons in there.

We have had this problem before. Instead of giving us a steady trickle of lemons, it's all or nothing. Am I being critical about free lemons? No, obviously not.

But giving me a load all of a sudden that I can't possibly use in a six months of Sundays is not clever.

We have had plastic crates piled high with lemons, and they go off before I can use them.

Sometimes José decides to pick a load off the tree all at once. And I mean A LOAD. Like why not pick half a dozen at once? Consistently.

Other times he decides to wait for them to fall on the floor. And picks them up. So they are bruised, and start to go mouldy and make the others mouldy too.

I can't really talk as my lemon tree is having a bad year so I am grateful for any lemons.

Apparently his family don't want the lemons. That, IMHO, is because they are far too busy eating nasty sweeties and burgers, and sugared yoghurt and other absolute garbage. Each to their own, though. But Partner did say, "Nada más limones ahora. Luego sí."

José is obviously going good at the moment. I asked him about planting chillies a few days ago and he said "Now, now." Actually, he said "Ya, ya."

But did I get round to doing it? Of course not, too busy doing nothing.

Today he collared me. Not about chillies though. He hasn't lived next-door to me to know that unless he appears with plants I am highly unlikely to do anything.

So he produced the coleus plantlets. Pointed out which plant pot I should use, how much compost to put in the pot, wasn't sure about the dubious provenance of my very chic British stuff, and gave me some of his. After the coleus it was onto the basil (albahaca).

Nice tidy plants in their new pots in the shade

This is not large-leaved Italian stuff to stick on your mozzarella and tomato salad. No, this is tiny leaved fragrant basil grown purely for scent. Apart from in my house where it does get used for cooking. There were clearly no chillli plantlets coming from José so I chucked a few seeds in a pot from a dried chilli hanging up and we will see what happens. A good morning. I like to play in the garden.

Last year's gloriously out of control basil plant -
But those flowers will make great seeds

And José so likes to tell me what to do. Although he is always secretly disappointed that he has to deal with me. He can't understand why Partner doesn't do the growing stuff. Here in Spain, women do the cleaning and the dross jobs. Men do the clever creative things. Dream on José but thanks for the plants and the lemons, as ever.

And just to finish. I did an alcachofa (artichoke) recipe a while back and thought I should have posted a piccy of the choke inside, and then the choke taken out. You can leave them in when the artichokes are young and there is hardly any choke, but when they are older you will end up with a mouthful of disgusting fur. At your peril.

Furry stuff to cut out on the left, and de-furred on the right
Maybe I should take this again in better light


Frasypoo said...

Hi Kate
That basil is the same type that the Hindus consider a holy is supposed to be great for tummy aches,we used to eat them raw

Balboa & Mommy said...

Oh, I wish it was spring so I could start gardening again.

Looking at the lemons reminded me of the time I wanted use lemons as a centerpiece for my dining room table. WELL.... I got lazy and soon the beautiful lemson in the vase became ugly smelly things.... oh I'm so bad.... sorry for ranting.

Frayspoo, thanks for the tip on tummy aches and basil, I will have to try that.


Peanut said...

Oh how I wish someone would give me a crap load of lemons. But i can understand not being able to use them all.

Ferndoggle said...

What I wouldn't give for a bushel full of lemons! Make Lemonade! (too Cliché ...I know)

I'm lucky if I get 2 flippin' tomatoes in the summer. Still, I plant them every year...

Frasypoo said...

Hi Kate,
Phillipa Gregory has a fictitious spin on history and I have enjoyed her books so far.I have checked out 5 from the library and will ahve history coming out of every pore!
PS:Thats was a few hundreds of dollars contributed to my road to citizenship.My husband estimates it closer to 5000 dollars!Says I am the most expensive thing he has invested in!!!!

Jeannie! said...

I once grew basil from seed in a large pot in the conservatory.

Bearing in mind it was grown in Scotland, it did amazingly.

Everytime anyone came into the house they admired the wonderful scent.

Except my sainted mother, who thought it was a weird smell. She was of the generation that "did not do herbs"!!!!!!!

oh what I could do with some lovely fresh lemons, instead of the crap lemons we get here, all dried up and horrid.

you are so lucky...........!

Jeannie in stormy Scotland xxxx

dog lover said...

Oh, free lemons!! What a great thing not to have to pay about one Euro for ONE lemon!!

I miss artichokes! They are one of my favorite veggies, but I haven't found any fresh ones here (in Japan). Only pickled ones. Not the same!

Love your piccys!

Dog lover