Thursday, 4 October 2012

No sloe

Today I went for a long walk around Miskin. This time last year I picked loads of sloes and made fabulous sloe gin with them, there were so many to be picked. This year there are none. The only one I found was all dried up and fell off the hawthorn bush as I approached to take this photo.

Where have all the sloes gone? 

Nigel Slater's green tomato chutney

Continuing the green tomato recipe theme...this morning I made Nigel Slater's tomato chutney

It smells lovely, and made nine little jars of chutney. It was very easy, and quick to make, not too many ingredients. Just going to leave it now for at least a month before it's ready. 

some of the many green tomatoes left in the greenhouse

the red tomatoes from the garden!

cooking away

a perfect pair

A katy apple from Dad's garden, and a tiny gardener's delight tomato from Grainy's garden. 

Monday, 1 October 2012

Lush - green tomato soup

Just made this Green Tomato soup from a recipe I found here, and boy, it was good! I really recommend it. 

I added some purple sage from the garden: 

And used gungo peas (the sort used in Jamaican rice and peas). I also added brown rice, and some cayenne pepper from the garden. 

Very very tasty, one of the best soups I've made!

Lots of other green tomato recipes to try here

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Good tomato, bad tomato

Good tomato:

Still getting red tomatoes, about 4 a day, but only the smaller ones (cherry and gardener's delight)

Bad tomato:

Not had a single san marzano go red, some haven't grown properly - I think because of underwatering this one in particular:

Here's a moneymaker, and below a cherry tomato going brown on the vine, I think because the temperature's dropping and the stems are going brown before the tomatoes get chance to ripen. 

So the hunt is on for green tomato recipes! Like the Nigel Slater chicken recipe I tried last week.

Nigel Slater's Baked chicken with tomatoes and olives

This recipe from Nigel Slater's new Kitchen Diaries book uses green tomatoes. Good news, I've got plenty of them in the garden! The recipe's here if you'd like to try it too. It made enough for 4 people, so  Steve & I ate it two nights in a row, it was even better the next day as the sauce went lovely and thick. 

green Moneymaker toms

Grainy's garden garlic

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Drying lavender

On the weekend we had a lovely sunny afternoon, and I decided to dead head and trim back my lavender plants. I picked off the dried heads and separated them from their stems. 

I plan to make some little lavender pillows with them for Christmas. In the meantime I've put the pot of lavender flowers in my bedroom, such a beautiful smell that helps me to relax and sleep well. 

Here's a little tutorial on how to make lavender pillows from pretty fabrics. 

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Patiently waiting for the tomatoes to turn red

The temperature's dropping and autumn's around the corner. I have plenty of green tomatoes on the vine, so it's a race against time to see if they turn red, otherwise they're destined to be turned into green tomato chutney like Monty Dons did this year. 

But some are turning red, and I'm enjoying every single one. Here's my biggest harvest so far:

moneymaker tomatoes 
gardeners delight tomatoes 
san marzano 
red cherry

To let the sun get to the tomatoes, I've cut back lots of the big leaves. 

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Sag aloo with potatoes, garlic & cayenne chilly from the garden

Today I made sag aloo - from the recipe in Rick Stein's book Far Eastern Odyssey - Potatoes and spinach with cumin and mustard seeds. Here are the ingredients I used from the garden: 

And here's the result. Very tasty. 

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Jalapeño Frittata

I didn't have any success with my jalapeno chillies this year, but my dad did. He gave me 12 lovely peppers (thanks Dad!), and I've been looking for a recipe to use them. Here they are:


I decided to try the Jalapeno Frittata recipe from Lisa's Kitchen blog. It uses 12 chillies. This seemed an awful lot, especially as when I tried a bit raw it was super spicy. So I only used 8 chillies. 

I needn't have worried though, as Lisa says in the recipe, once they're baked with cheese and eggs they're not hot at all. 

The frittata was really tasty, very satisfying, and really quick and simple to make. We ate it with some green beans, and lettuce and onion salad from the garden.

I harvested the rest of my potatoes yesterday, the Pentland Javelins. Not a massive crop, but they grew well, there's lots of big potatoes. Might use the rest of the jalapenos and make a sag aloo (potato and spinach curry) with these potatoes.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Miskin Manor and gardens

Today I went with Mum and Dad and Steve to Miskin Manor for afternoon tea. It's only round the corner from our house, but I've never been before. 

We enjoyed the tea and sandwiches and cakes, and then went for a stroll in the lovely gardens. Here are  some pictures, and the many types of dalias.