Asparagus is probably the most popular spring-time vegetable. However, as one might imagine, there are other vegetables coming into season at this time of the year. After all, we don’t live exclusively on asparagus in the way that the Irish in the nineteenth-century lived, almost comically so, on a diet composed almost entirely of potatoes. The subject of this post, purple sprouting broccoli, is one of the most interesting of the current seasonal treats. This rather attractive vegetable, or brassica to be more precise, is beautiful both inside and out. In my opinion, purple sprouting broccoli is a far more interesting ingredient than asparagus in both its taste and appearance. This variety of broccoli is also, as it happens, far cheaper than asparagus. Indeed, it works out at a little less than half the price.

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 One of the main advantages that accompany a cast-iron pan is its innate ability to be tossed willy-nilly into an oven without incurring considerable damage. Without such an implement one has to, when making a frittata or something similar, go through an occasionally embarrassing egg-flipping process. As such, it is clear that once one has received such a useful gift one is obliged to put it through its frittata-making paces. This must seem like incredibly old, and thus ironic, news to the skillet veterans out there. However, for a novice, such as me, it is proving emotionally difficult to come to terms with how rapidly such an item can become entirely indispensable.

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As predicted, the weather here has become remarkably warm and jolly unseasonable. One would, at this time of the year, expect one’s breath to be made visible by a late-spring chill. However, as this paragraph begins to takes shape, my eyes find themselves met with a sky of unbridled blue. We appear to have skipped spring entirely and charged head-first into summer – perhaps June will become the new winter. We shall yet join the Australians in having my namesake, jolly ol’ St. Nick, presented with a surf board and speedos, rather than coat and gloves.

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