The fruit just keeps coming. I have made redcurrant jelly, gooseberry and thyme jelly and gooseberry jam. As you can see above, I use improvised methods for straining my jelly (I am on my last few muslin clothes bought when my eldest son was born – he is now 4 – let me stress, all clean and new and never used to mop up baby goo). I have to leave little notes to my husband (who frequently returns home form work very late) not to move, prod or squeeze the jelly bag so the juice stays clear. I am pleased with my jam/jelly/chutney cupboard at the moment, I know not to make too much of anything as it’s usually me who eats it, with the exception of jam where the boys help me out.
The garden has been throwing up more courgettes than we can eat. The four plants are plenty for us as a family and have grown well in their potato grow bags. I am pleased I decided to grow yellow and green as they look very pretty together. Tonight for dinner we are having spaghetti with courgette, mint and feta which is one of my favourite simple dishes. It’s pretty easy, you slice and fry the courgettes in oil, so that they get a bit of colour but still have a bit of bite (if i am feelign lazy, I toss them in olive oil, lay them on a tray and bake in a very hot oven for a few minutes) then toss with warm cooked pasta and a little feta and sliced mint. Season well and squeeze over some lemon. Sounds boring but really tastes scrummy.
I dug up the last of the new potatoes last week as the tops were looking a bit shabby. They keep well if you leave them to dry for a few minutes in the sun/wind and then put them in the fridge, with the soil still on and wash when needed. We had family here for dinner last night and I cooked Sarah Raven’s recipe for smashed new potatoes which went down a treat. It gave me an opportunity to roast a whole head of the new garlic to then be squeezed out into a paste and added to the potatoes. It’s still a bit green but can happily be used at this stage. I also cooked her tomato focaccia bread with some of the just ready cherry tomatoes (sungold), I really recommend her book ‘Sarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook’ it has some great recipes.
Other things going well in the garden at the moment are shallots, red onions, spring onions, carrots, the fantastic sputnik like kohlrabi (which I have yet to cook), beetroot and the first of the tomatoes. All in all a pretty productive time.