Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Lets get preserving

Its this time of year where harvesting is fully underway and a time of stocking up those cupboards for the cold winter months that will be with us before long.

Admittedly my little patio veg plot hasn't done amazingly, but it wasn't all bad, and to be fair i didn't have to fork out for salad during the summer, as i had that by the pot load, If you've put off growing things for fear it won't work, the "come back again salad leafs" are fool proof, they grow pretty quickly from seed and you'll have enough leafs for decent sized salads, my only tip: leave it a day or two for the plant to have a chance to grow some more leaves for picking.

Last September i bought a Raspberry plant, it was only £2 something, a bargain compared to how much you pay out for the berries, It bore a few berries but started on a big growth spurt where its now got 3 main stems? so its really leafy and a lovely shade of green, and I've been surprised to see it fruiting again, not many but enough to scatter in my porridge, and there was enough on Saturday to pop in my croissant.

I'm also growing a pumpkin, that was a surprise! i must have saved a seed from pumpkin carving last year and forgotten all about it, now that's a tricky plant! maybe because i put it in a pot and it would rather the freedom to crawl along the ground, unfortunately i don't yet have the space to do that.

I'd also planted chillies and peppers, but due to the very cold start to the sowing season, mine are still miles away from being where they "should" be at this time. I was hoping to make Nigellas Chilli Jam from my own garden, but alas i had to go and buy them. On the plus side last week i got given kilo of tomatoes from my Mr's aunt who owns an alloment. So i turned that into Tomato Chutney. Something so rewarding turing home grown goods, into something that you can keep stored. these two preserves will go perfectly for a night of wines, cheese and crackers! mind you the Mr said that he's quite like the tomatoe chutney toppped on a buger.

So if you'd like to try your hand at presvering- again if you've been put off these two recipes are nice and easy to get you started.

Nigellas Chilli Jam

Tomatoe chutney - found on BBC Good Food


  • 500g red onions, finely sliced
  • 1kg tomato, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 red chilli, chopped (optional)
  • 4 cm piece ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 250g brown sugar
  • 150ml red wine vinegar
  • 5 cardamom seeds
  • ½ tsp paprika

    Tip all the ingredients into a large heavy-based pan and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring frequently. Simmer for 1 hr, then bring to a gentle boil so that the mixture turns dark, jammy and shiny. Place into sterilised jars and allow to cool before covering. Will keep for 6 weeks.

    I've been blackberry picking also and i shall be turning those into a jam along side apple and cinnamon, a perfect combination for Yule.Should be interesting as i've not made a fruit jam before.

    Happy October!!!!

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