Monday, 7 September 2015

The start of Autumn

There is one meal which, for me, signals the start of Autumn.   My father used to grow very large vegetable marrows and mother used to store them throughout the winter under the pantry shelf hanging in string bags from hooks.   They kept very well.   But she always kept one for a meal right at the beginning of the season, and we had a stuffed marrow.   I still do it every year and I still use my mother's recipe.   It is one of my very favourite meals, not least because it conjures up happy memories of my childhood.

We don't grow them, but I happened to spot one in the supermarket the other day.   We had it for lunch on Sunday, with broad beans from our garden (my mother always did the two together) and followed it with the last of our raspberries with vanilla ice cream.

If anyone wants to try it - here is my mother's recipe:

6 good quality sausages, skins removed. Diced pancetta.
1 good sized onion.
a good quantity of chopped sage, thyme and parsley.
Vegetable marrow.

Chop the onion small and gently fry it in a little olive oil until it is cooked.   Mix with the sausage and pancetta - best to do  with your hands to get it all well mixed together.   Then add the herbs and do the same, so that you have a good mix.

Slice the marrow into thick slices, discarding the ends.   Peel and core.   Lay in a non stick tin and stuff each one with a generous handful of the sausage mix

Cook in a hot oven (as I use the Aga I can't really say temperatures), but it is important to get the sausage mixture cooked thoroughly.   The marrow will take care of itself.

These rings are good eaten hot or cold.


14 comments:

A Heron's View said...

That food speaks to my stomach Pat, can I invite myself over for supper d'you think
please, pretty please ?

Joanne Noragon said...

This is very like a dish my mother made, all winter, only with the heavier squashes like acorn or butternut. I suppose you cannot keep good flavors apart.

Cro Magnon said...

My courgettes were a mess this year.... the seeds that said they were 'non running', ran. As a result I now have a huge patch of giant half-hidden marrows. I tried giving some slices to the horses but they turned their noses up. I think I may wizz-up some chunks into my 'Compost Soup'.

Heather said...

I remember stuffed marrow from my childhood but we have never grown them as they take up too much room. I have only stuffed overlarge courgettes after slicing them longways. Both were very tasty.
As for raspberries - they are the best soft fruit - delicious.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

I usually grow some courgettes and allow one or two to grow into marrows for the very dish which you enjoy. Much as I like stuffed marrow it seems that this year the slugs and snails liked the young plants even more and completely destroyed them.

Rachel said...

You folk in Lincolnshire were so exotic Weave having pancetta, in the 1930s. We only had bacon scraps in Norfolk and had to cut the rind off. And we still do.

thelma said...

I remember stuffed marrows, not sure if I am a fan of them, but stuffing courgettes is much simpler.

Gwil W said...

Yesterday in the park I saw the first of the meadow saffrons. Always the first flowers of autumn hereabouts.

Twiglet said...

Yes that takes me back to my childhood - Dad always grew the most wonderful veg and it was so easy to pop into the garden and pick something fresh for a meal. Mum wasn't a brilliant cook but stuffed marrow was easy and went a long way.

Countryside Tales said...

I wish I'd known you love them. We had lots here and only managed to give one away! x

The History Anorak said...

Dad grew marrows. Huge ones. And mum always stuffed them with a mince mixture. By the end of winter we were all heartily sick of them - including mum - so she used to make jam with the ones we could'nt face eating as a veg.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Rachel - as you quite rightly pointed out - in my mother's day she would have used chopped up bacon (we had our own pig each year) - I substitute pancetta as it is easy to buy and use.
History Anorak - mum used to make marrow jam too - I used to love it - haven't tasted it for years. My father loved steamed marrow and white sauce, which tasted of absolutely othing.
Thanks for calling everyone.

Midmarsh John said...

Sausages and raspberries, great, but you can have my share of marrow.

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

Love stuffed marrow, my mother was a dab hand at that before arthritis rendered her a bit stiff with a knife.