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

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Autumn already?

The weather has turned Autumnal this week with cold nights and crisp mornings.
Inside seems to be following the same pattern as the round of Autumnal preserving gets under way trying to make good use of fruit and veg that will 'go off' if left. So often my cooking hinges around what I have available - no where more so than when it comes to making chutneys and marmalades.

I started with green tomatoes that had to be cleared from blight-stricken plants. They had no hope of ripening and were best used quickly. They were all shapes and sizes - 'normal' moneymakers, cherry tomatoes, large Roma plum-shaped and small Poire Jaunes - all mixed together with chillies and ginger for Green Tomato Chutney from Hilaire Walden's Sensational Preserves.

Green Tomato Chutney - quite hot!

Next for the pot was an overgrown courgette. My courgette marmalade recipe is loosely based on one for pumpkin and has become something I make most years.
The chopped courgette is cooked slightly then soaked overnight with lemon husks and skins, frozen leftovers from baking and such.

Nest morning comes the slow task of cutting the lemons into strips..

...then boiling up.

courgette and lemon marmalade

Lastly (for now) I turned my attention to the ripe tomatoes coming mainly from my parents' greenhouse plants. These could have been frozen quite easily but my freezer is starting to feel full. Last year I had my first real success with making and keeping passata so I thought I'd try again. For this first batch I decided to add some chillies for a bit of heat.
The tomatoes are cooked, sieved and bottled. Then the bottles are heated up for 10 mins and left to cool - at this point the lids should seal with a popping sound. One bottle worked properly first time; the other took several attempts and eventually I had to change the lid to be sure of a seal!

1 comment:

  1. we make green tomato pickles but I've never made the chuntney, and i have also never made the marmalade of which you write, both sound wonderful, I buy passata all the time, it would be wonderful to make it, as long as a seal was made, wouldn't want to poison everyone!!!!You have been very busy, it looks like it must have been a good tomato year for you!