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Eating my greens [Aug. 17th, 2016|08:32 pm]

I spent much of yesterday afternoon in Newcastle, failing at shopping: I caught an early train ahead of the Graphic Novels Reading Group, intending to shop for a couple of impending birthdays, and a pair of gloves for myself. And came home with only a tube of toothpaste (and a library book).

Saturday's shopping was less ambitious - all I wanted was food for the first half of the week - and correspondingly more successful.

Marks & Spencers had the first of the season's greengages. Mostly I resist the temptation to buy fruit from M&S - I buy their unwaxed lemons and their fairtrade bananas, because I know that my favourite greengrocer does not stock these things. Everything else, I wait until I reach the greengrocer - and mostly, I'm rewarded by their having the same thing, cheaper. I wasn't going to risk missing the first greengages, though: I bought two boxes, and they were sweet and plump and ripe.

For once, this was the right decision. The greengrocer didn't have greengages - but they did have huge fleshy globe artichokes, and we had one each for our dinner on Saturday. They were so big, they barely fitted in the largest of the glass saucepans, and I had to keep turning them with a spoon, because I was nervous that otherwise the side that wasn't submerged would not be done. The first few petals are always hard work, but very soon they began to come away easily from the base, and to surrender the tender little fragments of goodness. This is slow food, and we enjoyed it all the way down to the last flimsy purple petals, and then the reward of the solid disk of heart.

When I came to wash up the saucepan next morning, the last drops of the cooking water were not green but pink.

[User Picture]From: klwilliams
2016-08-21 03:14 am (UTC)
I like artichokes. I have no idea what a greengage is.
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2016-08-21 10:14 am (UTC)
A greengage is a plum. The variety is green, even when fully ripe, and was developed by a Mr Gage. I love this fact. In France, they were popularised by Queen Claude, and are consequently known as reines-claudes (and that plural is correct, but only because I looked it up) which is another good name.

Which is probably more than you wanted to know about greengages. But try them if you get the chance, they are very good.
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[User Picture]From: klwilliams
2016-08-21 04:06 pm (UTC)
I love that about the names. I don't think we get them over here, but I'll keep my out (or ask Chaz to).
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