Thursday, 6 March 2008

Purple sprouting time

There is absolutely no point in having an allotment unless you are going to show off: so here, without further ado, is my dinner from last night. Lovely purple sprouting broccoli, as fresh as you like, not to mention young and tender. Delicious. There was also some fish and potatoes, but they were merely supporting players in a culinary production where the PSB was the undisputed star.
Mind you, you've got to be patient with purple sprouting. You sow it in about a month's time, which means that it takes up valuable allotment space for 11 months of the year. Some people might consider that a bit of a waste, but when you consider that it is one of the few green crops around at this time of year, and is the prince of vegetables, I reckon that it is a price worth paying. In fact now I come to think of it, March is an undervalued time of year. Not only is the PSB coming into its own, but there are also leeks to be had - my other favourite vegetable. Let's hear it for March!
I wonder if Anita Pallenberg grows purple sprouting. Remember Anita Pallenberg? The ultimate rock chick, she was Brian Jones's girlfriend and then Keith Richards's partner for many years, and made a number of movie appearances including Barbarella and Performance. These days, I read in the Observer recently, she lives in west London and has an allotment in Chiswick. "This is the third year, and I go out there twice a week at least with another girl and it's fun," she told interviewer Lynn Barber. "I've got strawberries, artichokes, leeks, broad beans."
It never occurred to me that my allotment neighbours might include a former rock icon. Perhaps I had better check.
PS There was a lovely mention in Publishing News of my book One Man and His Dig (published on 6 May by Pocket Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster). It said: "He's entertaining, amusing and his chirpy optimism would help anyone staring glumly at their current patch of mud." Which was nice, except that my wife asked when we were going to see a bit more of that chirpy optimism at home. Oh well, you can't please everyone.

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