For me, there is a reassurance and a comfort that comes with Christmas dinner traditions.
You know that, like them or loathe them, brussels sprouts will be served (and I, for the record, love them), while you will always clear a special spot on your plate for the yuletide favourite that are roasties.
My Da, though, couldn’t help but ask the question as he saw the spuds being peeled yesterday:
“Are ye making roast potatoes?” says he.
As if it would be Christmas dinner without.
Let’s face it, I am a bad tomato farmer.
I don’t know why that should be – I mean, tomatoes and potatoes are family. Be that as it may, the tomato branch of the clan comes in for the poor relation treatment in my garden. I never pinch out the tomatoey side shoots as they develop, even though I know I should. As a result, my tomato plants invariably end up an unruly mess, largely neglected and, because I grow them out of doors in an Irish summer, the harvest is, at best, decidedly green in colour.
Spud's green tomatoes
So what’s with the rhubarb, you may well ask, it being well past rhubarb season hereabouts.
I had every reason to ponder this mighty vegetable today because I spent the afternoon excavating the roots of my one over-large rhubarb plant, splitting it into 4 and replanting the newly separated roots. In time, this will mean a lot more rhubarb in my garden, though it may take 15 months or so before the rhubarb recovers fully from the split. Knowing that I will have less rhubarb next year has made me all nostalgic for the rhubarb treats we were able to whip up during this years long season: stewed rhubarb with ginger, rhubarb crumble, rhubarb polenta cake, rhubarb almond torte. All but memories now.