R is for… Rambling around

R is for… Rambling around in a Rose garden

It may be August, it may be cloudy and cool, but the roses are in bloom filling the air with their delicious scent, lemon and pink and warm and spicy. I’ve shown you pics from this rose garden at Ashton Court before but these are today’s photos, and even stained with rain the roses are still something special. Click on the photos to see them full size.

R is also for… Relish – something to spice up

your food, to lend extra enjoyment, to make your mouth water. Sometimes I think the relish is the best bit of the meal.

We’ve been eating leftovers for several days now and not really made a proper meal and definitely not had our proper vegetables for a day or two.

Our standby relish is usually made with chopped Red Onions, lime or lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, chopped coriander leaves, sea salt and good quality olive oil, sometimes chillis but not always, all stirred together and left to sit for twenty minutes or so before serving.

In the mix goes whatever else is around, so with this batch we had little tumbling tomatoes from the garden, a pile of fresh coriander, growing well this year for some unknown reason, some cubed courgettes and a few early milky white and crunchy cobnuts that I foraged when I was out with the dogs.

We devoured our relish with some well marbled rib eye steak from Ruby & White, a new butcher/food emporium on Whiteladies Road with a very smart slate/oak/glass interior with friendly, enthusiastic staff, reviewed in The Guardian on Saturday here. All sorts of goodies are on the shelves, Laura Hart‘s lovely bread, marinades and spice mixes put together in the shop and plans for cooking demonstrations in their kitchen to come.

My favourite local beef producer however, is still the Traditional Beef Company who come to the Whiteladies Road Farmers Market on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month. They raise their own cattle and have just won Gold in the 2011 Great Taste Awards.

12 thoughts on “R is for… Rambling around

  1. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

    Really relaxing read, Jo, romantic rambling roses almost make up for the rain!

    Relish a good relish, so we’ll have to give yours a go. And we had an exciting roast last night – inspired by the times you and Gill have mentioned it in the past, I couldn’t pass up the leg of saltbush lamb when I saw it at the markets! Delicious stuff! :)

    1. Joanna Post author

      Saltbush lamb? Is that something like our saltmarsh lamb do you reckon? Sounds good. We had a little roast rump of lamb last night with fresh runner (kidney) beans and newish potatoes and red mustard and lots of salad. And Brian decided he is going to make his own cookies/biscuits, starting with a batch of oatmeal and raisin. Not bad at all!

    1. Joanna Post author

      I do! I have a couple of roses growing but they are on the back trellis and don’t do so well, they need more sun than I offer them and more ground space. I love this rose garden because it is fairly near and has roses up until November if the weather remains mild. In London there is a fantastic rose garden callled Queen Mary’s Rose Garden in the middle of Regents Park, next to the Open Air Theatre.

  2. Yvette

    beautiful rose garden photo’s and a great fresh relish…mmm a great addition of fresh coriander…love the perfume of that relish!

  3. Choclette

    Such beautiful roses – I do so love them. They don’t grow desperately well in Cornwall, but this year they seem to be doing a bit better than normal. I have a beautiful rose that shivers and suffers but just about survives in our shady garden. This year it has managed to produce 4 blooms – a record I think!

    1. Joanna Post author

      That surprises me, I thought everything grew better in Cornwall because the climate is milder. But you’re right they don’t like shade much. In my old house I had one rose in my tiny north east facing yard, which was dark but sheltered and got warmth from the fans from the takeaway shop next door. I grew a rose called Duprez a fleur jaune, from David Austin. It was fantastic and flowered copiously once it got going after a couple of years. David Austin’s site is quite good at recommending roses for particular situations :)

  4. heidi

    I love those big old fashioned roses that are so filled with petals they almost burst open! Cultured tea roses are pretty- but for fragrance and opulence give me these big overstuffed roses everytime!
    Your relish is so colorful- I was thinking to see some cooked and canned green stuff- and then was surprised by the color and range of ingredients in your beautiful FRESH relish- love it!

    1. Joanna Post author

      Me too! I love the old roses I only wish I had loads so I could have a go at making rose syrup, the recipe I was reading said 40 flowers… one day maybe :)

      I guess my ‘relish’ is just a sort of finely chopped up onion salad really, or you might call it a salsa, what’s in a name? It’s a nice way to use up bits and pieces :)

  5. emilysincerely

    oh I do like roses. I had a bunch when we lived in Palm Springs, CA. I dont have any now. I also love lilacs and peonys, but they don’t do well were we live in Texas. Relish. Love your relish. What an easy way to use up bits and pieces. YUM! I have coriander/cilantro growing in the cooler weather here and love the flavor it adds to so many things. A few years ago I made a spicy zucchini relish and canned it. Loved it but had terrible luck with zucchini this summer. Your relish looks so fresh and crisp. Lovely R – can smell it through the computer.

    1. Joanna Post author

      The zucchini this year are all coming either from friends or from the shop, I don’t really have space for them in my little raised bed. We grew one plant last year and it tried to take over completely! Ah that would be wonderful if one could have smell and taste through the computer :D

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