Thursday, April 16, 2009

A snippet on chives, and eggs

I love all the happy little rituals of domestic life. In our house, for example, on Sunday morning I'm usually cooking eggs. I do them all sorts of ways – soft-boiled and poached are pretty popular, but scrambled eggs on toast are always a treat, invariably flavoured with a goodly handful of freshly snipped chives from the garden. As I'm in the middle of one of my regular chive-trimming exercises I thought I'd post a few snippets and snaps on this wonderful little oniony herb.

Chives in bloom provide lots of little cool pinky-blue puffs of colour in the garden. This photo was taken last spring, when they tend to flower best, but new flower buds are forming on one of my plants now, in autumn.

Like this one.

I've tried growing chives in the ground but I prefer pots. And I always have at least two pots growing, as I find from time to time that the pots become a bit tangled and messy, and a radical haircut is the best treatment for that. So, while one pot is growing a new hairdo, the other supplies all the flavour we need.

Speaking of other pots, here it is. Nice hairdo, eh? Very Rock Star. However, more by accident than design I have a third pot of chives here, and I guiltily admit to almost forgetting about it entirely, as it was out of sight, swamped by a carnival of zinnias. Once that colourful festival of flowers was over last weekend and the third chives pot was exposed to the full glare of day, it looked a mess, a tangle-haired party animal found in the gutter the morning after. And so it got the treatment on Saturday – full crew-cut down to pot-rim level, followed by a liqud feed of a product which is marketed as 'liquid blood and bone'.

By Sunday afternoon, a lttle more than 24 hours later, the growth spurt was amazing. You can see by the tufts of moss on the potting mix how dire its growing conditions had become. Shame on me!

This morning, Thursday, and the recovery is well underway, even if it does look a little startled at its own rate of growth. All my chives pots get the crew-cut treatment from time to time (as do my two mint plants, which I've blogged about previously here) and it works wonders. That's always the way with herbs. If in doubt or if looking crook, give them a trim.

Having started this blog talking about cooking eggs on quiet Sunday mornings, I thought I'd finish off on the same topic. I don't really think anyone would be interested in how I cook scrambled eggs, other than to say that a handful of freshly snipped chives is a wonderful addition, just before serving on toast.

But I do think it's worthwhile sharing a little egg-poaching discovery that we've made. I know all about the traditional way of poaching eggs in boiling water, but I've always found it a hit-and-miss bore to try to poach four of them that way simultaneously on a lazy Sunday morning, while I'm reading the papers and listening to some music. So, I've always been a sucker for an egg-poacher. We've tried a couple of different products, none which were very good, some terrible. And then I came across these little silicon cups, called Poach Pods, which float serenely on a simmering lake of water (although, unlike the photo below, they work better with a lid on the pan). Pam spotted them in a Red Cross catalogue last year, and they have worked beautifully since day one. And they're the easiest to clean afterwards too. Nothing comes near them. And their website is pretty cool, too.


islandgardener said...

Loved your post -- in fact, I have the very same silicon egg poachers! My fav scrambled egg dish with chives is to add in some cream cheese because it makes it nice and creamy. Delish!

Sheila said...

Your house sounds like someplace I'd like to spend Sunday morning!

Chandramouli S said...

Trimming! That's always a difficult decision. I always am nervous about trimming my plants - fearing they might not grow back. I know my fears are stupid, but reading your posts makes me comfy.

life in a pink fibro said...

I need me some of those poach things. I'm hopeless with the vinegar swirl method and always end up with, um, egg soup!

J said...

I'n not really into gardening but I'm forcing myslef to, for the sake of our backyard. It's nice to discover your world via Weekend Rewind.