a busy domestic blog of knitting, sewing and all kinds of needlecrafts, cooking my garden produce and preserving it

Friday, 30 September 2011

Lemon and Courgette Marmalade

I've had a lot of spare, super-sized courgettes over summer (particularly after a fortnight's absence for holidays) and I'm a firm believer in putting what I have to good use rather than letting it go to waste. Looking through old compilations of recipes and seeing how marrows were used, inspired me to try jams with courgettes. The courgette and pineapple jam was okay but not great, so I decided to adapt one I use for pumpkins -

2lb courgettes - peeled and chopped, I was using very large ones of 3 inches diameter
3 lemons - chopped very finely, I usually cut them into strips and after the first boiling cut really thinly using scissors
1 3/4 pints water

Place these into a preserving pan and boil till the courgettes can be broken down with a potato masher.
Remove from heat.
Add 2lb sugar and leave to stand for 24 hours.

Next day, boil rapidly to setting point.

This makes a wonderful lemony marmalade that for once actually looks like one too.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Autumn makes #1 - New Hat

Don't think I knocked this up after posting about Autumn plans - it's actually a re-make of my daughter's hat. It's no longer her style of thing and the ribbing was cracked, but it seemed such a pity to throw it away.

I didn't have any of the original red wool for the ribbing so it's been re-done in blue - and slightly larger to fit my head!
Seeing it on, daughter actually said "It doesn't look too bad" - high praise!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Autumn plans

We're now more or less settled back into the school term routine and, after a lazy feeling summer, I want to tackle my 'to do' list.

There seems to be an endless round of harvesting and preserving at the moment as each new glut arrives. Courgettes and runner beans have been dealt with now and I'm moving on to green tomatoes - we have LOTS - and then apples. I started to clear out the fruit in the freezer this week and made 8 jars of redcurrant and raspberry jam - there's the potential for a lot more left though.

It's time though to tackle all the jobs and projects that have been neglected -
- to finish the summer weight cotton cardigan while it's still warm enough to wear it
- to rework the edging on an old beret to make it large enough to fit me
- to mend those old jumpers that have holes - and have been waiting since last winter
- to go through my recent knitting books and actually plan to make something
- to stop hoarding scraps of material and start to put them together as patchwork
- to act on all the ideas I had for art or craft projects, inspired by the artists I met on holiday

The guiding principle is to be Stop hoarding and planning and get on with making! We'll see how I get on before Christmas....

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

The many uses of courgettes!

We've had an unusual courgette glut this summer - and some have grown too large for the title 'courgette'. Having eaten them in pasta sauces, curries, stir fries, roast with honey or balsamic vinegar, disguised in muffins and cake and frozen lots in the hope that they'll not be too watery and limp, I decided to move on to chutney and marmalade.
Back in July I made some jam with pineapple and a small batch of chutney based on the recipe I use for gooseberries.
I've recently been experimenting with a lemon flavoured courgette marmalade and another batch of chutney slightly different due to a lack of certain ingredients in the cupboard! The marmalade had turned out really well, very lemony and much better than the pineapple variety. Not sure about the chutney as I think I added too much cinnamon and it smells rather like mincemeat!