Saturday 25 September 2010


I'm gathering and processing crops and feeling a bit like 'Er-Down-Under, the character in Laurie Lee's book, "Cider with Rosie." For breakfast I'm eating raspberries. The canes are old, so it is not a very prolific crop.

The same cannot be said for my ruby chard. Any ideas what to do with it all?

I've made some grape juice, but it's rather sharp and cannot compare to our tasty apple.

The squash skins are being hardened off ready for winter storage.

And, hush, don't tell the squirrels, but the walnuts are ripening!

(With the dog on daylight hours squirrel patrol.)

The cold nights are bringing the courgettes to a close. In last Sunday's newspaper a feature writer on gardening was bemoaning what to do with a courgette that had become a marrow. She put it outside her gate with a 'take me' sign on it and was surprised when it had gone within the hour. She's getting paid to write! Hand the job over to me and I'll tell her what to do with a marrow!

The following recipe came from a Canadian friend. It states, 'one medium sized zucchini'. What measurement is that, exactly? I just cram in the veg - all the courgettes/zucchini in the photograph went into my cake.

Debbie's Zucchini Nut Loaf

8 oz self raising flour mixed with
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
half a teaspoon each of salt, baking powder, baking soda and ground nutmeg
6 oz sugar
1 unpeeled medium sized zucchini
1 egg
1 fluid oz sunflower oil
1 lemon, zest and juice
2 oz chopped walnuts

Beat together sugar, zucchini and egg, add oil and lemon.
Stir in flour and spices.
Fold in nuts.
bake in a loaf tin  for approx, 50 minutes gas mark 4.

Keep it for a day or so before eating to let the flavours develop.

                                                        'Er-Down-Under and 'Er-Up-Atop
Illustrations copyright Rosemary Murphy.


  1. Rosemary,
    That illustration is gorgeous! I'm EXTREMELY impressed!! Secondly, the zucchini bread is almost as beautiful. I've never seen such a loaf pan. I remember my mother leaving zucchini on the vine until they were almost a meter long (okay, I exaggerate) but she could have used such a large pan for all the bread loafs she made.

  2. Thank you, kind sir. The illustrations atop 'roses round the door' and 'ponds and pools' are also mine. The girl by the pool is my very patient younger daughter, who has often obligingly modeled for me.
    (She also bought Himself, the breadmaker, an expanding loaf tin that might have been helpful for your mother's zucchini!)

  3. Yes, I agree, wonderful illustrations! Thank you also for the recipe, I love savory breads, biscuits and muffins.

  4. Dear Connie Lou, although there is plenty of vegetable in the recipe, it actually tastes quite sweet and I would more accurately describe it as cake. (Which is why I like it!)

  5. Dear Rosemary, How delicious that cake looks and, I am sure, tastes. It certainly makes a change from Ratatouille which I could eat for ever alongside most things so I too should never tire of courgettes.

    Your illustrations are so beautifully done.The attention to detail is exceptional and they certainly have a 'fairy tale' quality to them. You are certainly talented and, must, I am certain have endless patience.

  6. Dear Edith, yes, I too sing the praises of ratatouille, hot, cold, freezing well and good with so many foods. I always have cartons of it in the freezer, labeled, 'RAT' !

  7. Very impressive artwork! Totally agree about the marrow too. We enjoyed stuffed marrow the other day (veggie version!)The marrow was suppled by Kim's brother.

  8. The apple juice looks wonderful!!!
    I too am putting up squash for the winter.
    Your walnut secret is safe with me. I hope you get a lot before the squirrels do.
    I'm filing your bread recipe in hopes of giving it a try soon. It sure looks delicious.

  9. Oh yes, your artwork is brilliant too! What I especially like is the way all the elements are connected - by shape, colour and meaning, great!

  10. dearest rosemary,

    is there no end to your talents? the bread looks so yummy. what is oven mark 4? you brits are so funny.


  11. Dear Janet, mark 4 is for a gas oven. I cook with an old Aga, brought with us from our previous home, so for me it's just a choice of bottom, middle or top of the oven, or leaving the door slightly ajar, therefore I'm not too clear myself!