Sunday, 10 July 2011

Things to do

I hit the veg shop big time yesterday.  Its been a while since I have been able to get quite a good selection for a good price.  I love fresh veg and fruit and I am always conscious of putting something up for the winter months.  Some for eating now some for a rainy day.  But its not only that I love being able to bring something a little different to the table.

Anyway I managed to acquire the following:

Sweet Peppers  I bought a couple of bags of these as they were in the reduced basket at 50 pence a bag and these will go into the freezer once prepared to add to stir fries, chicken casseroles etc through the winter months.  These will be quite easily dealt with.  I have also found a recipe for pickled peppers which I am anxious to try.

Tomatoes  These were approx 1 kg for £1 - will roast these and make some more roasted tomato base for the store cupboard can never have too much of this its something that I use an awful lot of either as the sauce for home made lasagne or as a base for a home made hearty tomato soup - or on pizza.  This is an ingredient I use weekly and something I always look out for. In the weeks to come I also hope to acquire some more of these to make home made ketchup.

Pineapple I am going to make some pineapple and apple jelly.  A useful resource as it  can be used in stir fries and also on toast or tarts or in cakes. 

Mangoes  The first batch of Mango Chutney I am very chuffed with - reminds me of Branston Pickle.  OH though when I initially showed him the first batch got a little sniffy saying that it wasn't proper Mango Chutney.  So I am looking for a more Asian inspired recipe this time round to satisfy OH.  So another batch but to a different recipe will be made soon.  Will post up the recipe I used for the first batch shortly.

Beetroot  I do love fresh cooked beetroot with salad in the summer. It has so much flavour.  I also have a scuttle full to pickle for the winter months.  Whether fresh or pickled it always goes down well in this household and I have a rather nice Apple and Beetroot Chutney recipe to make too.  I love the colour of this vegetable in the winter months it is so cheerful alongside that of pickled red cabbage.  Especially when everything is so drab.  Goes well with winter salads.  No doubt I shall belong to the purple hand brigade later on.

Black Plums  These were reduced to £1 a kg so I intend to make some plum and apple jam for toast, tarts, cakes annd puddings.  A Good all round jam that goes a long way. Another week if I am lucky enough to find plums I will make some plum wine.   I also want to make some plum jelly too as this is good on toast and in stir fries.   Will have to keep my eyes peeled.

Bramley Apples : To use in jellies and in chutneys.  For the past couple of weeks I have been buing a kilo, a week - they always come in useful and they can also be bottled so will not go to waste at all.  Or you can puree them and bottle them or freeze them down for puddings and sauces.  There is a lot you can do with the humble apple.  Apple puffs or pasties with a little mixed peel or dried fruit and cinnamon and a little hot custard  a quick filling pudding.  Need not cost a lot just time and effort making  - as with so much cooking.

Pears  I have managed to acquire quite a few pears, primarily for bottling  in syrup, but also to probably pickle some and also mull and bottle in cider.  I also have a recipe for them using saffron which I have not tried before.

White British Onions  These always go in a lot of my preserves i.e. in Chutneys but I also need some more onion marmalade as we are quite heavy on the usage of this.

English Strawberries  I bought two punnets of these for puddings over the weekend. There is nothing nicer than fresh English Strawberries in season - a simple pud and one of my favourites just served with cream or a flavoured cream.

Coconuts  I bought two of these yesterday - it bought back memories.  My Dad used to treat us to these when we were small and we always used to drink the coconut water which was highly sweet and then eat the fresh coconut.  It was a real treat and a lovely memory from the past.  We only opened one yesterday and I have another one to go.  I have used a potato peeler to finely slice some of the coconut and have it drying for use in decorating cakes etc during the winter months.  Think it might also go well in some of my home made muesli.  Will let you know if that is a success or not.  

Vegetables i.e. cabbabe, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots for use with Sunday dinner. 

I always look for fruit that is on offer or in the bargain basket and if I don't see what I am after I ask and usually my Greengrocer tries to get things in where they can.  They are usually very good about this.  They also have a 50 pence bargain basket for things that are slightly past their best but which are still usable.  They also have "baskets" of fruit usually at £1 a large basket of things that they need to get rid of before its past its best so it does not end up in the 50p basket  - bulk items like bananas, pears, plums, tomatoes etc.  and this is where I get the bulk of my items from.
So I think perhaps I had better get on and make use of all the precious bounty that has come my way I have lots to do.

Hope you have a good day.

Catch you soon.




  1. You're certainly going to be busy! I love that you bottle things and imagine rows of stored goodies ready for use :o)
    Happy preserving...

  2. My immediate reaction was exactly what Rose put in her comment:) You'll have a nice full larder ready for winter anyway.


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