17th September 2012 – Autumn Cometh

I left Chris last Thursday with the vast majority of his roof done. Every stop had been pulled out and then some to get the job  complete, but the thirteen hour days payed off.

Back home things are distinctly autumnal and clearly I am not alone in feeling the change. My inbox is awash with foraging course enquires and every weekend from early October to early November is now pretty much booked. I enjoy the fresh mornings, they fill me with a boyish enthusiasm as I think of the pleasures ahead; mushroom harvesting, waiting for graylag geese beneath a harvest moon, ferreting, roost shooting and many besides. Despite the dismal start to the gardening year, our hard work and perseverance prevailed in the end. We have eaten well from the vegi patch throughout the summer, filled the freezer ready for the hungry gap early next spring and now the next generation of crops have begun. A harvest festival display of squashes are heaped on the picnic table drying, red splodged borlotti bean pods hang among the withering vines and primrose yellow leaves of the dying plants and the smooth red cabbage hearts look fit to burst  from the tired summer foliage. We have lost much produce to disease and animals, but another year passes without the need to buy vegetables and that to me is success.

My parents left for Oz this morning and last night we ate a final meal together before there departure, the recipe for which is worth remembering.

Roast vegetable pilaf topped with zesty Orange pork

Em likened the texture more to a risotto, as the sweet roasted squash lends a creamy richness to the dish, but the warm spices, interacting with citrus  flavours definitely puts the meal somewhere on the other side of the Med for me.


cubed winter squash                                                                                                                                                                                                      diced onion                                                                                                                                                                                                                        garlic roughly chopped                                                                                                                                                                                                   plumb tomatoes roughly chopped                                                                                                                                                                           courgettes cut into chunks                                                                                                                                                                                             ground cumin                                                                                                                                                                                                                   ground coriander                                                                                                                                                                                                           paprika                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 seasoning                                                                                                                                                                                                                           vegetable oil

pork loin sliced and hammered out (chop eyes removed from chops and hammered out)                                                                paprika                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Orange zest                                                                                                                                                                                                                        seasoning

cooked rice


  1. Place all the ingredients from the first group into a large baking tray, mix and put into a hot oven. Roast, carefully turning the vegetables periodically for about one and a half hours.
  2. Coat the pork with paprika, zest and seasoning and put to one side.
  3. When the vegetables are cooked and ‘dry’ i.e all the liquor from their cooking has evaporated, fold them into the cooked rice.
  4. Flash fry the pork in a hot pan until just cooked through, slice and arrange on the vegetable pilaf.

Sweet Lightning and other squashes

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