Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Picking sweet chestnuts

sweet chestnuts Sept 17 (4)

I was in London yesterday and used the opportunity to pick some sweet chestnuts in Crystal Palace Park. They are quite bulky because of the spikey casings on them and heavy gardening gloves are needed to handle them. One large bag produced two large bowls of chestnuts. I will be using them over the next few weeks in various recipes. Watch this space.

sweet chestnuts Sept 17 (1)

sweet chestnuts Sept 17 (3)

Video - quail egg salad

We set ourselves the task of making a meal that contained only ingredients we had produced ourselves or had bartered for. So here is the result - a quail egg salad.

Monday, 18 September 2017

More marrows

marrows Sept 17 2

Another 3 marrows were left outside our gate recently. It looks like more marrow chutney will need to be made (and more curries, more stuffed marrows etc).

Saturday, 16 September 2017

The plum production line no. 2: plum wine

plum puree strained Sept 17

Having boiled up a sack of plums, we put the pulp through a jelly bag to get a liquid which we are now using to make wine. We have 4 demijons brewing away. It will be a few months yet before they are ready to be bottled.

plum juice Sept 17

plum wine Sept 17

Friday, 15 September 2017

The plum production line no. 1 - plum jam

plum jam Sept 17 (2)

We swapped jam for a large amount of plums recently. Sackloads of them! They don't last so most were stoned and then frozen. That left us with one sack to deal with. By then the plums were very ripe and had to be processed. I boiled them all up and then put the pulp through a jelly bag. The resulting liquid is for wine making but the left over pulp was pressed through a sieve to collect a puree. The pulp left over from that had a bit of water added and was reboiled for a couple of hours. This was to extract the maximum pectin from the stones. Following this the pulp was put through a sieve a second time, creating a watery puree high in pectin.

Two litres of this was used to boil up 4 kg of plums from the freezer. 6kg of sugar were added and the result was 21 jars of plum jam.

plum jam Sept 17 (3)

Watch out over the next few weeks for posts on making plum wine, plum ketchup and plum chutney.

Pea soup

pea pod stock Sept 17

We harvested all our peas recently. The pods were boiled up for stock (see photo above) which was then used to make pea soup. It wasn't the green colour we expected but we were quite happy with the results nonetheless.

pea soup Sept 17

Lamb chops

lamb chop Sept 17

We got a reasonable number of chops from the lamb we got in a recent swap so we had a couple grilled for dinner recently. They went especially well with some of our redcurrant jelly.