La Chatte Gitane (or The Gypsy Cat) was the name we chose for our cottage in France at the time. We chose it while on the road, moving house the first time round, from Ireland to France with 2 dogs and 7 cats in the car.
This blog began its insignificant life as a recipe book for friends and family who would ask me repeatedly for a recipe of this, that and the other.
Since then it has taken many different directions, like we did and like gypsies tend to do. Sometimes making a U-turn and revisiting familiar roads and taking a break when necessary.
You'll find recipes here, but also musings about the places we've called home, the gardens that we've established, not always successfully, the homes we've improved and the environments we've lived in. Currently, after yet another stint in Ireland, we're back in France @ Le Mas d'Ayen

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Of Squashes, Pumpkins, Cukes and Broad Beans

There is a lot of movement, but not all are doing well. Harumph !

The list
Squash, Courgettes and Pumpkins

Courgette Yellow Zucchini : Very attractive bright yellow courgettes with a slightly different flavour ro green varieties.
Black Beauty : Dark green cylindrical fruit up to 20 cm in length. Ideal for slicing and freezing.
I've grown both of these before and they give good crops

Squash Tuffy : Delicious acorn squash for baking, with sweet yellow flesh. Black-green thick ribbed skin. Not very promising that only one out of 10 seeds has germinated so far.
Squash Futsu : Small slightly ribbed fruit with brown-orange skin, weighing up to 1 kg
Squash Butterbush : Squat, fleshy, butternut flavoured fruit on compact plants, suitable for growing in pots. Looks a lot like a butternut squash but much smaller.

Pumpkin Rouge vif D'Etampes : Excellent flavour and grows well in acid soils. They vary in size, up to 18 kg are a possibility. I've had these before - albeit in France - and they are tasty buggers. Here's hoping for some success in Ireland too.

Broad Bean Express Eleonora : Strong hardy plants providing mild, sweet beans which are good for freezing. I've never had much luck with broad beans as they seem to attract black aphids like there is no tomorrow. Wait and see.

Cucumber Crystal Lemon : Delicious pale round fruit. Pick when 9 - 12 cm in diameter. They've been a favourite of mine for a long time as they do well in cooler climes.

Yesterday morning I got a nice surprise in the post.
More seeds. I knew at the back of my mind that some seeds were missing from my order, but I assumed I had just forgotten to order them. And I didn't go and cross check the delivery bill wit my order list.

I thought this Cucamelon sounded interesting to try. But due to lack of greenhouse it'll have to be homed in the kitchen in a pot. 

You'd think we have a veggie plot as large as a football pitch. We haven't. ;)

Patricia xxx...x


  1. Lovely selection of squashes, I shall be interested to see how they get on for you xx

    1. Hm, yeah. Fingers crossed.
      I've always had a fascination for squashes and pumpkins. The colours, shapes and of course taste.

  2. my garden at present is the patio door area in our kitchen! lol your way a head of me with your planting

    1. I knew why I wanted so many windows and so much counter space in the kitchen. It truly is like a greenhouse in here.

  3. Found you again! I had to set up all over with a new email. You've been so busy and all those seeds! I hope they work out for you. I'm not growing anything this year. We have such a small area and are plagued with cats. The kitchen windowledge herbs will have to do for now. X

    1. Glad you're here, Jules !
      The cat plague we have are from our own three cats. I have to cover all the seed trays indoors or I'll have nothing to show for all my hard work, but soil spread everywhere. :-/


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