Walnuts, irises, peas….

Over autumn I foraged HEAPS of walnuts, plus my parents gave me a big box….they’ve been drying off for six weeks. I’ve just started cracking into them and they are good, fresh, earthy, delicious. Now I have a happy walnut glut and will be thinking of ways to use walnuts so if you have any good recipes or food combinations, let me know! I started with cake, because…..cake. I made an Alison Holst Date & Walnut Cake recipe, a rich combination of finely chopped dates and walnuts with only two tablespoons of flour! I made ginger icing for it and we devoured it for afternoon tea. It was more like a pudding in consistency….no bad thing!


On Saturday, I bought these irises at the vegetable market and also a twin bunch for my mother who was visiting. When I bought them they were very tightly closed. She took hers back to Taupo. Mine all opened at the same time the next day, hers didn’t open until today! Swamp-plain versus mountain-plain, I guess. What do plants MAKE of being shipped away from their home-terroir? Do they feel it?


Finally, also at the vegetable market I bought this bunch of pea tops. I have a bit of a fetish for pea plants – I love them! Something about those curly little climbing tendrils makes me feel all strange and happy. I hadn’t seen such a thing for sale as a vegetable before. I would be happy to buy them every week!


They taste slightly of pea, but mainly just of chlorophyl, of healthy green. I ate them in sandwiches and threw them into a soup I was making.


I am writing a long, ongoing poem about vegetables in the vegetable garden and the way they grow. It’s an odd project – I’m trying to capture each plants ‘essential nature’ in a short 4-8 line stanza. Why am I doing this? I don’t know…a combination of fun and to get to know the things I grow more intimately? Here is the ‘pea’ stanza:



fragile bright filigree

upwards gentle

spirals intently

tiny hands holding

tender opaque baby

5 responses to “Walnuts, irises, peas….”

  1. Wow. Cake and greens, the perfect balance. My irises are almost done blooming and I’ll miss ’em when they’re gone. Thanks for the inspiration.


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