As I’ve been growing more and more of my own produce I have come to love finding interesting ways to make the most of the inevitable glut of one thing or another. Obviously the the most basic way of preserving many vegetables is by simply freezing them and I have been doing that. I have quite a supply of beans in the freezer currently and I did have broadbeans, but they have since been used. Not all vegetables are suitable for this treatment and there are often way more exciting things to be done with them to preserve their goodness to be enjoyed in the middle of winter.
Sadly, I was a little neglectful of my corn and let the last few cobs sit too long on the stalks so that they dried out and were beyond eating. If only I had have picked them all before going away and frozen the excess. Oh well, we did enjoy quite a few lovely fresh sweet corn cobs (I think we had ten and I gave some away, which is pretty good from about 12 plants). Next year I will stagger the planting a bit and plant more seeds in total so the crop doesn’t all come at once and we can enjoy fresh corn for longer.
What I did do before we went away was pull out the remaining beetroot and the last remaining carrots. The beetroot went into Liz’s beetroot and date chutney. Oh what a fabulous colour, I can’t wait to open it. I think Liz mentioned it was good on sausages (or did I dream this?), other than that I’m not sure how I’ll use the rest but rest assured it won’t go to waste.
At the same time I was experiencing a glut of tomatoes – isn’t that what every kitchen gardener dreams of – but unfortunately it was only cherry tomatoes I’ve been harvesting. My large varieties have not done much at all so far this year, very disappointing. Anyway, I did a bit of research and found this recipe for cherry tomato relish. I adapted it a bit and made it to bottle rather than a small quantity to eat straight away. In the end I had two jars full which should see us through the time when we run out of last year’s green tomato pickle (which I found a lonely jar of lost at the back of the pantry) and when I make this year’s batch.
I’m looking forward to adding the green tomato pickle to my store cupboard later in the year. In general I get my green tomatoes from the rouge tomato plants that come up all over the garden in the most unlikely places. I give them no attention whatsoever and because they usually come up late the fruit often doesn’t ripen so are perfect for pickle making. It looks like this year will be no different with three rambling plants growing under the pergola receiving so little sun it amazes me just how well they’re doing, lots of fruit and lots more flowers. As well as several other plants in more conducive areas for fruit production.
And I just thought I would add a little piece of advice on a completely different note at the end here. I speak from experience when I say don’t let your toddler sneakily share a blood plum with a nine month old baby.