An allotment supper

Ages ago, my friend Jo and I concocted a plan. A project. We called it Sage & Thrift. It was all about wanting to build a community around living slowly and seasonally. We wanted to share, rather than buy things. To gather people together to eat, talk, create and celebrate.

For a variety of reasons, some because of other pressures, some of which are the same ones as I wrote about here, the project came to an end and we never managed to live out some of our most passionately dreamt ideas. Although, I do still hold the twitter account and web domain name so one day it might come to life in another form…

But this week, we had supper on the allotment and it all came flooding back.

We’ve been working on our new plot for less than a year, and it’s been a challenge to fit it in amongst work, parenting and the busy-ness of everyday life, but we’ve stuck it out and we’re finally starting to reap the rewards. Jo has just taken on a plot next to ours and is beginning to work her way through a tangle of weeds and making the most of the over-grown raspberry canes that are fruiting like crazy.

What I’ve always wanted was the opportunity to gather people together. To be generous with our food and be grateful for a feeling of abundance. With Jo newly working the plot next to us, it’s becoming the perfect way to simply bring that dream to life. No project, no great plan. Just a quick “shall we cook on the allotment?” was all it took. We brought crockery from the kitchen (we use enamelware and Opinel knives for everyday, which means we can happily chuck them into a basket) and Jo brought her pan and stove.

Digging up potatoes from our plot and giving them a quick wash, we sliced and sautéd them in a frying pan with red onions. Salad gifted from another allotment holder, salmon from our new sustainable fishmongers and herbs from Jo’s garden all came together. Anointed with the world’s best garlic mayonnaise (from The Garlic Farm, also my favourite place for garlic bulbs for growing) it was the perfect meal with the perfect company.

Allotment, wicker basket full of cooking utensils and it's time for a home grown supper!

Grow your own and cooking on the allotment is lots of fun

Picking and eating food straight from the allotment is joyful.

cooking on the allotment

An allotment supper using home grown produce

And so it struck me. This is what Sage & Thrift was all about. This is what we wanted to make happen. And how simple it can be, when you’re not really looking for it.  Thursday nights will hopefully be allotment supper nights now. It’s brought the plot to life in a way that was missing before. And, like every character in an Enid Blyton book seems to have said at some point, food tastes so much better when it’s eaten outdoors…

10 Responses to An allotment supper

  1. Heather says:

    Hello! I’ve recently discovered your blog, it looks like an interesting read here. Your meal looks lovely, I might have to buy some salmon now and garlic mayonnaise, wow! but I imagine outdoors with friends, so much nicer. Enjoy.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hello there! Thank you so much for your lovely comment. Sorry it’s taken me so long to reply -I’m surrounded by packing chaos. The salmon and garlic mayo was lovely – we’re definitely going to do it again!

  2. Inspired!
    I love this so much, wish I lived closer and I could join.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Maybe we’ll have to set something up so you can join us one time? It would be lovely to have you there. Or you could set up your own little group on your plot – it’s a really lovely thing to do x

  3. Amy says:

    This genuinely sounds like a dream come true. What a gorgeous mid-week treat 🙂

    I find myself more and more drawn to growing my own food. There are some allotments right by my bus stop (is this where yours are?!) and I love watching their progress. I always wonder about who has the one closest to the stop. My friend has just taken over a rather overgrown allotment over the other side of Leeds, so maybe she’ll let me practice on hers!

    Amy recently posted…Rhubarb & Elderflower Vodka FizzMy Profile

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hello! My allotment is on the Gledhow Valley Road site, by the side that’s on Harrogate Road, so it could well be the ones you see… I highly recommend giving it a try. I have a half plot and Jo just has a quarter sized plot at the moment – which is a great size to ease yourself into it and still manage work, and a social life too! You’ll have to come and visit us one day too – perhaps next time we eat down there 🙂

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  5. Mummy Plum says:

    Love this post. It sounds just so divine, friends making a simple meal from home grown fayre. Love the fabulous photos too, they give a reals sense of what it would have been like to be there with you.

  6. How satisfying! I really love this – there is nothing more soul calming than the generosity of eating together eh? x
    Mel Wiggins recently posted…Womanhood, Motherhood & Coming AliveMy Profile

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