Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Winter capers

Last autumn, Michelle at From Seed to Table in California very kindly sent me some caper seeds which I sowed, according to her instructions, and overwintered in a cold place (outside the bathroom window, which gets no sun at all in winter). In spring I brought them out into the warm, but not too hot, sun and waited for them to germinate. Four good plants were the result – two Tuscan and two Croatian – thanks, Michelle! Unfortunately, I had to leave them with a friend when I had to go away unexpectedly during the summer and they were left in a very windy place. Two of the plants did not survive this ‘holiday’ and, worse still, the survivors were taken out of the container identifying them, so I am not sure whether I now have one of each, or two of one variety or the other. But the good news is that these two survivors are looking very healthy – here they are enjoying the sun on the balcony today:

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I saved some of the seeds Michelle sent me last year and have sowed some more, which are now overwintering on the bathroom windowsill with some other seeds sent to me by another virtual friend, a blipper rather than a blogger this time, who lives in Tuscany.

Clams

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On Saturday we bought these wonderful clams from the coquillage van and cooked them very simply, heating them in olive oil, chopped garlic and parsley until all the shells opened. The flavour was really delicious. It was a very cold morning and the man who sold them said that even the salt water was freezing in Bouzigues early in the day, which must mean that the temperature was minus 6 degrees C. Since then it has warmed up quite a lot, although it’s so clear today that I expect the temperature will drop near zero tonight.

5 comments:

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

The clams look so good, I miss sea food when I am in the UK as I cannot afford it here! We had snow this morning, but this afternoon the sky is blue and the sun is trying hard to melt everything. Strange weather. Diane

michelle said...

It's a little difficult to tell from a photo, but I'm guessing that you have one of each variety. The Croatian plants tend to have an oval leaf and the main stems zig zag a bit, which looks like the plant on the right. The plant on the left looks like it has the rounder leaves and straighter stems of the Italian variety. Congratulations on your caper propagating success!

Jan said...

Oh dear, I expect the pots blew over and the plants fell out, but at least you've got two survivors!

chaiselongue said...

Thanks, Michelle. I hardly dared confess to you what had happened!

michelle said...

You wouldn't believe how many caper plants have perished at my hands! And now that you know how to grow them from seed you'll be able to grow as many as you want...