There are times in life when fortune, Mother Nature and a benevolent green fingered neighbour will drop a huge great marrow in your lap. And you in your gratitude will say ‘ouch, please don’t drop big vegetables on me’ and then smile sweetly.
It is a very good thing to circulate home grown vegetation among your friends, family and mortal enemies, I have always said so, but when it comes to the mighty marrow one can’t help but read something more than simple generosity behind the eyes of your benefactor. There is a desperate, unspoken cry of ‘help me there’re taking over’ from anyone who pushes a two tone green oblong into your startled arms. Oh sure, there’re all fun and jolly japes to grow, but when you get down the serious business of actually eating the things, well, that becomes quite the task, not least because there is so very much of a marrow, and who wants to eat it for breakfast lunch and dinner for all of autumn?
There was a period of my life- I call it my cucurbitaceae phase- where marrows featured very heavily. It as the fault of an overburdened neighbour of a friend who had bitten off more than he could chew by cultivating these demonic cucumbers, consequently the veggies where passed on regularly and my Mum continually made then into ratatouille (a dish I am not overly fond of), and that is all I seemed to eat through that whole waking gourmet nightmare.
Dear readers, I as put off them.
And yet, even the most deep help disagreements with vegetables can be resolved, as I learned to my own satisfaction after being given a marrow from Elinor’s Dad.
SPICED MARROW SOUP
3 cloves of garlic
3 sticks of celery
A load of marrow
1 heaped teaspoon of curry paste (I used jalfrezi)
Finley chop the onion and sweat in a little oil until soft. Add in the chopped garlic, carrot and celery and the curry paste and fry off a little more to release the spicy flavour. Throw in the peeled and chopped potatoes and marrow and cover with stock. Boil continually until everything is soft, blend, season and serve.
Note; I served mine with homemade cheese scones which went down very well.