An Indian summer brought us almost to the end of April and then we lurched headlong into a week of dismal weather and everyone caught colds.
Yes, at least it rained and softened up that back lawn. And seedlings are growing - rocket, beans, broccoli. We are halfway through the pumpkins. They'll stretch into spring if we don't go wild with pumpkin soup over winter. Apparently they store better on their sides if you can get them to sit that way, a fact for which I am indebted to Mr Peter Cundall, currently writing Australia's best gardening column:
"Strangely enough, I never tasted pumpkin until I came to Australia in 1950. I remember sitting at a table with a group of other Poms, all soldiers recruited in Britain, when we noticed what looked like great lumps of carrot sitting on our plates. It was, of course, steamed pumpkin, but it was a profound culture shock for all of us when we took our first mouthful, expecting the taste of carrots."
An early example of Pom-baiting, perhaps. Now he's growing some of the best in the land and telling us how to grow them. A Pom's revenge.
It was cold and late. I'd been working. I hate working late and I hate cold weather. I needed something that wouldn't take forever. There was a pack of Da Vinci tri-colour pasta - tagliatelli - in the pantry and a leek sausage from Elli's Deli in the freezer. I thought they were called loukanika, but Mr. W. Pedia tells me that this name refers, strictly speaking, to the Greek sausages that contain orange peel (also stocked at Elli's). Further information provided by Mr. Pedia, an exceptionally knowledgeable person, revealed that the leek sausages are often known as Macedonian sausage. A Greek or a Macedonian might like to enlighten. Or not.
Pasta with leek sausage.
Cook pasta. Place frozen sausage in cold water and bring to boil, then simmer.
Cook six sliced button mushrooms on low heat in a pot with a tight-fitting lid until they sweat and give off their juice. Add two tablespoons of cream to this and reduce slightly.
Chop two spring onions into rounds. Slice cooked sausage into half-inch rounds, drain pasta, place sausage on pasta, pour creamy mushrooms over, sprinkle with crunchy green onions. Add flaked parmesan.