Are these the smallest radishes ever grown??
My crop this year has been sad :( over crowding I think!
Although I just read that the leaves are edible so the whole lot is going in my juice in the morning!
Are these the smallest radishes ever grown??
It’s chutney time again people!!!
I love this time of year, planning out all the Xmas gifts and goodies! One of my favourite parts is making Xmas Chutney.
I save chutney making to only once a year as if I made it any more than that I would be the size of my house due to over consumption of cheese and crackers!
It’s nice to know that for two weeks of the year, me and my love can sit on the living room floor with a tray full of cheese, meats, crackers, red wine and spicy fruit chutney!
I made a slight alteration to my recipe from last year, I added more chilli!!
We are on a crazy chilli kick at the moment and it had to be done!
I used red tomatoes instead of red and green and unfortunately they were bought from the grocers as my crop this year failed miserably :( I’ve put that down to the move as I dont think my veggies liked it too much.
I also added ground cloves, nutmeg and cider vinegar and the dried fruit was mixed rather than just sultana.
Anyway, my chutney is made, jarred and labeled and sitting waiting for the third week of December!
Roll on Christmas!!!
I had my wisdom tooth taken out on Thursday and since then I’ve been feeling pretty bad!
I underestimated the pain and decided I would be fine to go into work on Friday! What a mistake!
I lasted about 3.5 hours but once my eye started drooping due to the pain I gave up and headed home.
Other than sleeping and eating mush…..
(awesome mushy food made by my love!)
….I’ve been doing not much more so today I decided to cheer myself up by baking a carrot cake. I don’t need to do any talking during baking which is perfect as it huuuurts!!
I saw this carrot cake last week on a local food blog I’ve been following and thought it looked perfect.
The main reason I was looking at baking a cake was to celebrate my love’s success over at daysarenumbers.net for scoring a film screening in Scala Forever’s ‘Russell Forever‘ season.
They will be showing Savage Messiah at the Montpelier at 3pm on Friday 16th March if anyone is a Ken Russell fan!
So here is the result!!
I think I’ll have to mush it all up to get it in my mouth but it will be worth it!
I got so many tomatoes from my crop this year as even though the snails had got to them I was still left with a huge heap of both red and green ones that I just knew chutney was the way to go!!
I love chutney on pretty much anything! It is so nice smothered on a crusty bread roll with some strong cheddar cheese, or used as a dip for popadoms or crisps, or with left over Xmas dinner….. Mmmmmm
So the other day I set about putting together a recipe that would work with the quantity of tomatoes I was left with.
This is what I came up with!
Ive not yet tasted it since I jarred it up but it was tasting pretty good in the pan! Roll on Xmas so I can get these opened!
I’ve added quite a bit of chilli to give my chutney a kick but you can remove this if you don’t like the spice.
Also any dried fruit can be used instead or as well as the sultanas.
900g toms red/green
3 apples (I used Cox and Braeburn)
70g sultanas (any dried fruit will do)
250g light muscovado sugar
400ml white wine vinegar (any vinegar will do)
1″ ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
3 small red chilli de-seeded (optional)
1 small red chilli with seeds (optional)
Roughly chop all of the green tomatoes, onions and apples and chillies
Add all of the remaining ingredients plus the chopped fruit and veg (except the red tomatoes) to the pan and turn the heat on medium.
Cook for about 20 mins, stirring well, whilst roughly chopping your red tomatoes.
Add the red tomatoes to the pan and bring to a simmer.
Continue to simmer for approx three and a half hours until completely reduced.
And that’s it!
Now for the jarring process.
This always scares me a little as I never want to ruin what I have made!
The steps I follow are:
1: use metal topped, screw lid jars (jam jars are perfect)
2: wash them in hot soapy water
3: rinse in clean hot water
4: place in the oven at gas mark 1 for up to an hour to dry.
5: remove them from the oven immediately before pouring the boiling hot chutney in to them.
6: take care when pouring/spooning and fill to almost the top.
7: wipe away any leakage.
8: cover the top of the chutney with a wax paper circle just slightly bigger than the top of the jar.
9: place plastic over the top, immediately wrap an elastic band around the plastic and screw on the lid.
10: leave to cool.
Store in a cool dry place until opened then store in the fridge.
I hear that the longer you leave your chutney the better it will taste so this is where the patience comes in!
Add some labels and your chutney is ready to enjoy or to give away as Xmas gifts!
It’s been all Adventures in Cooking the last few days and it all started with my rogue garden. I think I’ve mentioned here before (and if not here, then on Twitter) that I had originally decided to let the garden ‘fallow’ this year.
As I’m a container gardener, the soil I use becomes depleted of nutrients after a couple of years. However, getting rid of the soil is a bit of a mission. The council won’t accept soil in its garden waste programme. Short of lugging it up to Telegraph Hill, pot by pot, the soil I’ve got is the soil I’m stuck with. So I figured, I’d follow the wisdom of the ages and leave it. Letting it grow up with weeds for a season or two seems somewhat counter-intuitive, but it goes a long way to regenerating the soil’s health.
So I let the weeds take over. They billowed up in a raucous cacophony of colour and foliage and fairly tumbled over the edges of each container. It helps, I think, that we had such great weather throughout the spring and so many long intermittent spells of intense sun then heavy rainfall throughout the early summer.
In mid- July, I finally decided I would help it all along by prepping for autumn and the winter months with some rich manure. For a city girl born and bred, I LOVE manure. It reminds me of the moors around my grandparents’ home in Yorkshire, of running around Norfolk as a child and of weeks away holidaying in farmhouses in Ontario.
I didn’t bother to take pictures of ‘before’ when I started to clear away some of the weeds, which is such a shame really. To my complete surprise, my garden has been secretly doing just fine without me. Under the weeds, potatoes, strawberries, salad leaves, vast fields of oregano and several unexpected onions have been flourishing! Who knew?!
Lou had given me some hand-reared tomato plants for my birthday, which I had been growing on my kitchen windowsill. As soon as I saw how healthy my garden really was, I quickly transplanted them and they’re doing really well, too.
Coupled with a greenhouse-grown tomato plant, I’ve already harvested about two pounds of tomatoes, and that is what we had for dinner Friday night: slow-roasted garlicky tomato and olives with conchiglia, on a layer of freshly foraged salad leaves. Delicious!