Jane's Delicious Garden Blog

My book is born

Posted in Garden Diary by Jane Griffiths on the February 18th, 2009

An advance copy of my book arrived via courier yesterday morning. I have received many stages of the book via the same courier but none as exciting as this. This was it. This was the end result of sixteen months of work. From its genesis as a script for a DVD, it became the biggest word doc I have on my laptop. Those 85 000 words morphed into pages which had to be proofed and reproofed. Then came the design stage. I had to move my head away from writing about vegetables to drawing them. And more photographs were required. I have taken hundreds of photographs already of my garden, but sections of the book needed specific pics. Some required hours of setting up, others needed hours of patience. Some were just caught. Culling the best photos from the thousands that Keith and I have taken over the last year was a huge job.Then the first black and white proof pages arrived via courier, I was overwhelmed at how beautiful they looked. These had to be proofed and reproofed so back and fore they went between Jo’burg and Cape Town. My first idea of what the final book would look like was the pdf file with the (nearly) final version. But nothing really prepared me for opening (I ripped it open!) the envelope yesterday and holding my book in my hands. Part of me can’t believe that this is what I did. It is beautiful beyond anything I could have imagined when I first started writing all those months ago. So we are drinking champagne tonight to celebrate its arrival and launch into the world.


Posted in Garden Diary by Jane Griffiths on the February 4th, 2009

I noticed yesterday that the birch leaves are already yellow and dropping. The walnuts too are starting to split their luscious green sheaths, a sign of changing seasons. The thick green outer layer starts shrivelling away into a black skin, revealing the warm brown wrinkled walnut inside. The dogs love walnuts and patiently, with much crunching and spitting, they extract the nuts, leaving behind a sharp little pile of walnut shell for unwary bare feet.


We emptied and sieved the compost yesterday – filled 16 bags. Ready to feed the soil for autumn and winter.

The smell of compost is one of my favourites – such an earthy, rich fertile smell. Maybe I should invent a compost perfume. . .

The one that got away

Posted in Garden Diary by Jane Griffiths on the February 4th, 2009

No matter how diligently I harvest my marrows, there is always one monster that manages to hide and by the time I find it, it’s the size of baseball bat. Or else I discover a busily expanding football of a gemsquash, camouflaged in the shadows. These beasts are usually more watery than their younger brethren but there are ways of maximising their taste and flavour. Stuffed and baked, they are delicious. Simply cut them half, scoop out the pithy seeded centre, leaving a firm shell. Add a tasty filling such as crispy pancetta mixed with tomatoes, basil, breadcrumbs and a little olive oil and spices. Pack the filling in firmly, mounding it above the squash. Brush with olive oil and bake at 180 for about half an hour. They can be wrapped in foil and done on a braai. Try shredding monster squash and adding it to bread mixes or muffins before baking. Shredded squash makes a great base for any pasta sauce too. Yum.

Here is a pic of some of my summer harvest . . .pict0262.JPG