The lettuce and potato diet

I have discovered that there are a number of things that I can grow really well in my garden: lettuce, potatoes and courgettes amongst them. Tomatoes I don’t seem to be able to have much success with, but I’m a dab hand with peppers. Of course I do grow other crops and this year it looks like parsnips and shallots are going to be a roaring success, plus the runner beans are doing well, not to mention the raspberries. But so far, what we have mostly been eating is lettuce. I have delayed harvesting potatoes in order to maximise yield and because lovely local Pembrokeshire new potatoes have been readily available, but once the last kilo in the cupboard is eaten up, our own harvest will commence.

Lettuce in an old strawberry planter

Lettuce in an old strawberry planter

This year I have grown three varieties of lettuce: Flashy butter oak (a firm favourite from the Real Seed people), Forellenschluss (which means ‘speckled trout’; these seeds came all the way from Australia) and Red deer tongue (which may become my all-time favourite as it’s prolific and so crunchy). To add variety, we also eat blood-veined sorrel (a perennial) and various brassicas (there’s a nice self-seeded mustard currently doing well and adding a kick to our salads). I’m really not keen on supermarket lettuce out of a bag, but ours is always fresh from the garden – no packaging, no food miles and no chemicals.

Potatoes doing well

Potatoes doing well

This abundance has led to many of our meals in the past few weeks comprising boiled new potatoes, freshly picked lettuce and some form of protein… last night smoked trout, the night before Glamorgan sausages and one night last week simply boiled egg – seven minutes so that the white is hard, but the yolk is still slightly runny. In all cases, served with homemade mayonnaise. Until recently, I bought ready-made mayonnaise, but I have now decided to add this to the increasing list of things I will try to make from scratch. When I made it years ago I used a food processor and struggled to get it to thicken, but now I have an old-fashioned Kenwood Chef (actually I’ve had it for three years!) and fresh eggs, it turns out that I can (literally) whip up a batch in double-quick time. No only that, but I can thin it using my homemade apple scrap vinegar, so there’s an extra “no food miles” ingredient’

Anyway, tonight things are going to change as the ‘great courgette harvest’ begins… perhaps served with potatoes…?

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  1. How perfectly wonderful! I love your lettuce varieties and can understand why you are keeping your meals simple when you have ingredients as fresh and tasty as your home grown potatoes and salad.
    I did not grow any potatoes this year because they always seem to get blight, even the first earlies, but yesterday I found a few baby ones which had grown from last years plants.Like you, I will be having them for supper with salad just made crisper by the rain.

    • The rain has now arrived here – most welcome as the water butts were getting empty. I seem to have potatoes in all my vegetable beds now – clearly I’m just rubbish at completely harvesting them each year (and I always think I’m being so careful!)

  2. Now I can see what you meant about the abundance in your garden, Jan – it all looks wonderful! Well done you on the home-made mayonnaise front, too – that’s something I’ve never attempted to make myself 🙂

    Do give Max a big hug from us both, won’t you? 🙂

  3. I’m very impressed with your lettuce performance. Ours have not been so great, although the rocket is magnificent. Trouble is, the Husband doesn’t much care for rocket… I’m hoping my spuds will be as prolific as yours, but that’s a long way off…

  4. hmmm, potatoes, lettuce and boiled eggs: my favorite food and we are kindred spirits when it comes to home made simple and so good.

  5. Don’t suppose you’d mind sharing the mayo recipe? I’ve never got home-made mayo to work very well…. but then I haven’t had home-made eggs to try it on before either. Think it will work with duck eggs?
    And may garden is quite a way behind, we’re very shaded so it takes a bit longer! Shouldn’t be long to potatoes though. And despite the shade lots of the lettuces have bolted.

  6. ourworldheritagebe

     /  June 27, 2014

    Love your vegetable garden! It looks great 🙂

  7. Zucchini and potatoes is amazing. I LOVE spuds. They are my “if you could only take one food with you to a desert island” pick every…single…time 🙂 I love them so much I actually resemble a spud. 🙂


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