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.


Why I garden... said…
Its good to know that I'm not the only one struggling a bit in the garden. My flowers are doing better than the veg it seems. Some flowers and most of the veg have been slow to grow. Your bread looks really fab and hardy. Kelli
I am so sorry that you have not had nice weather. Don't know what is going on with the weather these days. In one week I experienced an earthquake and a hurricane. Go figure.
Matron said…
I think the lack of sun has been responsible for things just not ripening with me too. But Leo has been picking the ripe tomatoes off the vine, so that might be one reason!
Anna Bee said…
Things very much the same in the middle of the Ireland, though I have had some nice courgettes. And I think I'll be making a courgette and blue cheese soup today, after seeing yours! Some of my upside down tomatoes just gave up on me, which has never happened before, and I have kept mini greenhouses up, normally they get way too hot, this year, it's the only place tomatoes will grow. Thanks for sharing!
Stephanie V said…
It's always interesting how similar the weather in Vancouver is with southern Ireland. Our tomatoes are struggling to ripen as well. The covers have been on at night even though we've been getting some sunny weather this week. I'm eating up my banana now so I can try that trick. I agree - anything is worth trying.
Anonymous said…
Last year I put my unripe tomatoes in the hot water cylinder cupboard they continued to ripen, I think they need heat, but you have to leave the stem at the top on, for them to keep ripening.
Hullo! It's spring here but really it's so wintry...hail, rain!!

I find sticking a banana with anything helps to ripen it. I put avocados, tomatoes etc in with a banana and it helps. Something to do with ethylene and benzene rings!!
Ann said…
Know what you mean, my tomatoes have only been ripe enough for picking for a couple of weeks and that's in my tunnel, not enough sunshine I think.
Peggy, I am sitting here reading these wonderful jam and bread and pickally recipes and as we have not had breakfast, my tummy is growling! It all sounds so yummy! I will HAVE to try some of these recipes! Wow--a cooler summer than usual and difficulty getting your veggies ripe. I am so sorry! Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting! Yep Disney is JUST the place to be a kid again...I have always loved going there so much for thqat very reason! Did you see my plant post? I actually posted something on gardening! You'll have to check it out! :-)
Great tip about the bananas! All my best--


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