Thursday, 30 September 2010
Sometime back I put out a call on this blog for courgette recipes. Now I can report that the last of the courgettes have been turned into a fantastic cake by me (I used this great Nigel Slater recipe), and into chutney by my husband.
The cake, as you can see, was not a pretty one, but it was quite delicious; although it doesn't do a lot to enhance the reputation of courgettes, as not even the keenest courgette-hater would be able to detect the presence of green vegetables in amongst all the lovely nuts and raisins.
The chutney is a different matter altogether. In the same way my husband is not the biggest fan of courgettes, I'm not a fan of chutneys (except mango, with a good curry). I admit this could be a long held prejudice that has its roots in cheese and branston pickle school sandwiches which I liked even less than school rice pudding. However, I have been converted to a good rice pud in the last year, so perhaps this homegrown, lovingly crafted, home-made chutney will have the same effect. The chutney is maturing currently, so I will keep you posted on that one.
Meanwhile the last bean is hanging on to save for next year's seed; the last three green tomatoes are ripening on the windowsill; chillis and peppers have been picked, the aubergines have long since gone into ratatouilles, the basil into pesto. I can't believe it's all over for another year.
Thursday, 23 September 2010
Sunday, 12 September 2010
There have been three barren years leading up to this momentous event - one fruit the first year, then a few promising small fruits in the second year were abducted by the neighbourhood squirrel. So I am quite surprised that this year they have made it through a season and look and taste like real pears. And there has been such a good turnout of fruit that I have quite profligately left two to rot - I missed their falling, so the wasps had already started to attack them. The question is what to do with the rest of them? 22 in total, to be precise - which I think qualifies as a bumper crop.
They need to ripen a little off the tree, and will store for a month or so in a cool dark place, but I can't get the image of a pear tarte tatin out of my mind. Pears poached in red wine are also a favourite pudding. But I'd like to try preserving some - I remember my grandmother preserving peaches in Italy and I'm sure the same alcoholic method can be applied to pears. I found some good, if slightly cursory recipes here, but I'd love any tried-and-tested suggestions.
The almost-a-punnet's worth of blueberries is a much easier proposition - blueberry pancakes. No contest.