Wednesday, 27 August 2008

The fruits of our labour

We are currently enjoying a good harvest of courgettes and I found this yummy recipe in Hugh F-W's book - even our non-courgette eaters love it and it goes well either on French bread or as an accompaniment to other things:

1 kilo courgettes, sliced preferably in a magimix or other slicer so they are uniform and fairly thin
3 fat cloves of garlic, crushed
olive oil

Heat about 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the garlic for a couple of minutes. Then add the courgettes and continue to cook over a medium heat for about 20 minutes, stirring most of the time. You want it to cook at a brisk walk and not at a gallop. Just before it starts to brown take it off the heat and serve. DELICIOUS!

I also have a large amount of aubergines at the moment and the family is getting a little tired of eating them; so yesterday I got busy again with the chutney.

As I make it in the bottom (cool) oven I can chop up vegetables one day and then leave it over night to cook. The next day it's all ready to pot up. Given how fast my children eat chutney - have you even thought of eating a chutney other filling except chutney - this seems to be a good way to save hours of stirring in the kitchen.

The next major job will be the apples. Our one apple tree has been here for much longer than us and to most observers is neglected and in need of a really good pruning. To us though it is the bearer of an incredible crop of large apples every year. We daren't give it the drastic pruning it needs in case the shock is too much for it! One day, I dare say, it will succumb to the great big orchard in the sky but for now we will continue to enjoy it.

These apples don't store well as they have so many insects all over them, but they taste delicious in crumble. So each year I stew up the apples and freeze them in one kilo bags for use throughout the year. This year we used the last bag in July so I was very satisfied! Again, I stew them up in the evening - on top of the stove though - and leave them to cool over night. Then they are ready for bagging in the morning and can go straight into the freezer.

Plenty of people told me that keeping a vegetable plot free of weeds would be hard work. Nobody mentionned that using the veg before it went off would also be such hard work. However, the pigs are happy - they get all the peelings from the vegetables and apples : piggy bliss!