It has been sometime now since I last posted a new recipe on this blog. In fact it has been 10 months. During this intervening period I have been unusually busy. As I have said previously, I am essentially a retired engineer. A production engineer in general and an automotive engine buyer in particular. After we moved to Italy, over 11 years ago, I continued to do short term contracts around Europe, and then about 3 years ago I thought that I had finally retired. But it would seem that other people had different ideas. True I do have skills, and there is a demand for those skills. In the last year I have worked near Venice, Lyon, Cologne and Basildon. It has all been very interesting work and rewarding in all manner of ways, but I do miss being at home in my own social orbit and doing homey things. I am now looking forward to a period of relative calm, when I can scheme, cook, preserve and store things for the winter and spring to come. On the weather front, this last year has been disastrous for our region, with a 4 month drought last autumn followed by a 3 month drought in the spring this year. Since then it has been quite rainy, and I don’t mean gentle rain either. Rain that has beaten most of the peaches from the tree in our garden, or destroyed most of the tomato plants. And if that was not enough, a deer managed to get into one of our other gardens and ate just about everything above ground. Broad beans, runner beans, leeks and 3 apple trees were among the casualties.