I have had a quiet day today - have been researching some recipes for future posts and generally having a wander around, lurking and mooching and enjoying myself after a busy week at work, as well as doing the washing and some general tidying i.e. putting some of my numerous books back on their respective shelves.
However I did go to the veg shop today primarily to get a new sack of potatoes and also a tray of eggs as I was out of both. The potatoes are Wilja not a long keeping potato, but I am only ever happiest when I have a sack of spuds (£6.75 a sack) in as you can always get a meal in a hurry with the aid of the humble potato. (Like tonight's tea - fried egg and home made chips [I always save the vinegar from pickled onions and use it occasionally on chips to give a spicy lift] served with bread and butter. Went down a treat. Perhaps we are a bit odd but we only like home made chips! We do eat them very occasionally from the fish and chip shop but never really enjoy them. Next week I am after a large net of onions, in readiness for preparing a lot of chutney and probably also make some soup if this damp weather goes on for much longer. Home made soups are soothing for the soul and literally a meal in themselves.
However, I did buy some other bits and bobs including the sweetcorn which was 3 cobs for £1 so I bought £4 worth i.e. 12 cobs, three of which are already used up. Last year I bought a gadget a sweetcorn stripper so I intend to use this and put the sweetcorn kernels into the freezer. OH is rather partial to chicken and sweetcorn soup so I think this will be where this is going to end up being used.
I didn't buy that much for me today - still quite a bit. We eat a lot of fresh veg and fruit. However I did come away with 1.5 kg of Fiorelli pears to make some more bottled pears, and 4lb of purple plums, and some Nectarines yet again I am going to bottle both of these for the winter store. I also intend to do some sugar plums out of the plums for the Christmas sweetmeat plate as detailed how to do on the Victorian Farm Christmas website. It will be something different for the table and I have a beautiful square cut glass tray which is ideal for serving crystallised fruits home made sweetmeats, like fudge etc on.
I have also bought 5 kiwi fruit. I intend to have a go a drying these. I also bought some more apples to put in with some more bottled blackberries and I have picked another 3lb of blackberries from the garden this afternoon in between the rain showers. I have beetroot soaking in the sink ready for preserving. Not sure what recipe I am going to use for this though yet.
However, I was having my usual natter to the Veg Shop owners and I was asking about Victoria Plums - the signs are that its not going to be a good harvest this year as the frosts hit the blossom and then the rains haven't come when they are needed. That added together with the fact that trees tend to have a really good year and then a rest year - its not looking promising. Unfortunately, we forget that the weather has a massive impact on what is grown. Whereupon we used to get regular amounts of rain, we tend to be getting it all at once at the moment. Our weather patterns seem to be changing.
I also need to get a few fresh chillis as I have a new to me recipe to try - have had the recipe for a little while just not got round to making it yet, its a blackberry chutney. I also have a recipe for cherry tomatoes to try out - semi dried ones that you store in oil in the fridge. OH is very partial to these too but they do cost an arm and a leg.
So over the next few days I have the following to do:-
Bottle plums in syrup [3 large kilner bottles prepared ]
Bottle Nectarines in syrup
Bottle Pears in syrup
Bottle Blackberry and apples in syrup
Make some Crunchy Apple Sauce
Bottle Apples in Syrup
Bottle Cherry Tomatoes in brine
Preserve Beetroot [done]
Dry some more apples
I also have some pears and apples to add to the Rhumptopf
Make Plum Sorbet
And Bob Flowerdew's Plumple (a plum and apple spread)
There are still lots of things I would like to do I have a penchant for making some home made pesto and freezing this, together with some mushroom duxelle freezing in the individual ice cube trays and just taking the mixture out as is required. I would also like to make some cassis and some blackcurrant cordial (home made Ribena).
Tomorrow we are being taken out to lunch by my Mum - my brother and family are also going. Its sort of a delayed celebration for my mum's transplant and also the fact that my nephew at 16 has just attained an A level I.T. exam - grade B - 2 years earlier than he should have - but he is at an excellent school and is hoping to return to do further A levels in September as long as his grades are good enough. At the moment he wants to be a Doctor So really well done we are all very proud of him.
As usual so much to do so little time to do it.
Catch you all later