Monday, September 12, 2011

Well Preserved

This pic was not even taken when I began this post! I was working on the computer when I happened to glance outside ,to see my plastic greenhouse lurching over to one side.We have the remnants of hurricane Katia sweeping the country today,while it is making landfall up the west and NW coastline we are getting some strong gusts of up to 90 klm and hour.
I went out to try to save the greenhouse but instead ran in for the scissors and cut off any tomatoes still on the plants as some of them had been broken and bent over.The uprights of the greenhouse had come apart so trying to set it right in this wind is a no go, time to take it down for the winter I think!
The hens are staying in the comfort of the hen house just looking out, they obviously do not like getting their feathers ruffled!

I had an idea to try making Piccalilli as we had lots of side shoots from our Broccoli, something which has benefited from the funny summer weather.
I remembered Matron had made it last year and found the recipe on her previous blog posts but matron has now brought it forward to a new post.
I had scribbled down the recipe and it turned out fine as I thought, it was all packed into jars but I thought the sauce was a bit on the watery side.
Some time later I turned over the piece of paper I had written it on and found the legend return to heat and stir until sauce thickens!
I mulled it over and decided to strain the sauce from the 3 jars then returned it to the heat and it thickened up nicely!Poured the sauce back into the jars and it looks and tastes OK so all was not lost.

Some tomatoes ripening on the windowsill with a banana decaying which has ripened them in a few days.
I am going to have to begin eating an awful lot of bananas to ripen what tomatoes I salvaged today!

The net total of our onion harvest, we have been pulling and using quite a few, especially ones which had started going to seed.There are shallots which are varying in size,some which I may use for pickling as they are very small.these will be put into net bags to store for as long as they last

More baking, a courgette,apple and cheese bread which was lovely, it stayed moist and tasty but it only lasted a day or two anyway it was so nice.

Courgette & Apple Bread
275grm/10oz Odlums SR Wholemeal Flour
175grm/6oz coarsely grated courgette
1 eating apple
2 eggs
4 tbls Olive Oil
50grm/2oz Cheddar cheese grated
salt & pepper
Using the all in one method put all ingredients into mixing bowl and stir until combined.Transfer to a greased loaf tin .
bake in a preheated oven 200%C, 400%F,gas 6 for 20 mins
Reduce temp to 180%C,350%F, Gas 4 for a further 20 mins
I had to leave it in for longer, maybe my oven!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

End of Nonexistant Summer?!

I am finding it very hard to motivate myself to blog at the moment!We have come to the end of the summer season and looking back we are still waiting for it to happen.We have officially had the coldest summer on record and growing veg has been a real challenge this year.
This time last year we were looking for ways to use up our tomatoes which were ripening at an alarming rate.
I read a number of articles and readers letters especially in Garden News that banana skins help tomatoes to ripen, at this stage we will try anything!

Some of the cooking done over the last few weeks using produce from the plot.
Broad bean, chive and smoked salmon bread, lovely but very filling.Would be good for a picnic or a starter with a salad.

Our cauliflowers are developing heads at last ,not very big but who's complaining?I planted 6, 2 of them had tiny heads which turned a pinkish colour, hardly from the sun?!

Courgette and blue cheese soup with bacon and cheese scones.
Jam making has been ongoing, sometime ago matron gave a recipe for easy Strawberry jam.The fruit is left overnight with equal amounts of jam sugar and some lemon juice and cooked the next day.It worked out beautifully for strawberry and raspberry as they need very little boiling to reach setting point which means the fruit stays red and there are large pieces of fruit in the jam.
I then tried it on blackcurrant, plum and gooseberry and it works just as well for all of them.
Broad beans and peas have been frozen and beetroot has been cooked and put into jars.
I did not exactly pickle it just cooked (I prefer to wrap in tinfoil and roast in the end of the oven while cooking another dish) 3 or 4 at a time and sliced into jars with red wine vinegar to be used immediately.
Aldi our local discount store has had jars of pickling vinegar quite reasonably so I will use that for the next lot.