The giant of the harvest festival is best fried or grilled and tossed in marinade I am not a churchgoer – my visits falling very much into hatch, match and dispatch – yet I find a peep through an open church door irresistible. The most memorable was one into the now deconsecrated St Mary’s in Knightwick, Worcestershire, where, aged 12, I spotted the windowsills and altar festooned with jam-jars of spiky dahlias and pots of greengage jam. There were plums and pumpkins in glowing ochre, too, and vast green and white marrows from villagers’ gardens and allotments. A scene of humble abundance. I am not averse to finding the occasional marrow in the vegetable rack. I suspect I buy them out of nostalgia rather than any thought of good eating. The vast green zeppelin then sits around until guilt finally gets the better of me and I take the knife to it. I have a soft spot for the blandness of a marrow hidden under a blanket of decent cheese sauce. A good enough supper if you can remember to add cloves, onion and bay to the sauce as well as a snowy mountain of grated pecorino. I sometimes peel them and cut the flesh into small cubes, cooking them in a shallow pan on the hob with chubby, fennel-seed sausages from the deli. As the sausages burnish in the heat, they offer up a sticky, deeply savoury goo in which to cook the marrow.
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