Busy, busy as usual but last Sunday I spent the day with the lovely Marina making just whatever took our fancy. We started off, as usual, with coffee and biscuits and a 'chat' - well - I talked mostly and poor Marina had to listen!
We started off by prepping the ingredients for Courgette & Mint Relish which had to be left in salt to draw out the water. Then we cooked up some blackcurrants and left them to drip through a jelly bag ready for some cordial after lunch and the-e-e-n boom, boom BOOM - we made some lovely Raspberry Jam. More to go through the principles of jam making than anything else.
By then it was one o'clock and very much time for a welcome lunch break, we tried some Lime Cordial and some Limoncello to fortify us for the afternoon session!
I devised this recipe when Trev and I were married, six years ago. We were having a lamb roast and my WI were providing salads and new potatoes - so the classic mint sauce wouldn't really have been suitable. This was a variation to that and proved so popular it is still one of my best sellers today. It is a great answer to the perennial problem of what to do with all of the courgettes - along with Ratatouille Chutney it is a very tasty preserve to make and keep for some of those Christmas buffet parties, and to be reminded of Summer.
ingredients for Tomato Ketchup
Its that time of year isn't it? Even with the weird seasons this year there is still the glut of courgettes and tomatoes to deal with. What do you do with yours? I have a couple of favourite recipes and I have put them onto the recipe site so that you can try them if you fancy them. Of course, there is my best courgettes recipe of all time, which I devised when Trev and I got married - not as an idle pastime you understand, but to go with the lamb roast plus new potatoes and salads we were having. The by now legendary Courgette and Mint Relish has been a popular favourite ever since. Like everything courgette based, it doesn't look stunning but it more than makes up for that with flavour. Anyway, that doesn't help with the tomatoes. So the two recipes I have been making this week, amongst others, is Ratatouille Chutney and Tomato Ketchup. Now, the chutney is as the name implies - a sort of pickled ratatouille and it is absolutely perfect stirred through pasta for a light lunch or supper. Grate some parmesan over and it really packs a punch. The tomato ketchup looks nothing like its commercial counterpart - a sort of pinky brown colour it is absolutely delicious. One grateful mother told me she counts it as one of her son's 5-a-day because it has so many vegetable ingredients as well as the tomatoes. I love it and add it in to other dishes as an ingredient - its not just for pouring. Try them and see what you think.
I am trying now to get really organised for The Big Feastival which is coming up fast. My list seems to get longer and longer even though I have done quite a lot of it - there is always more to add on. Come and say 'hello' if you are going to be there - we are in the Market Stalls area in the Little Dudes part of the park - I will be making jam over the two days so would love to have a chat. We are also going the The Taste of the West Awards to do a spot of judging and then Welwyn Garden City to talk to the Allotments Association there. Early September is The World Jampionships in Dundee so an aerial view of Rosie & Trev would show us zooming all over the country! Golly.
What news of The Chix I hear you cry? All doing well, getting some feathers back although they look like burst cushions at the moment. Around four eggs a day from six birds which is more than I expected. They lie out in the sunshine and spread their wings to sunbathe which is how they get some of their vitamins - only problem is they only have the ribs of their wings with no feathery bits so they look like a collapsed umbrella with no cover! They are soooo happy though, scratting about, digging, digging, digging. I'll take some more pics when they have their feathers back.
The BBC News put out on Twitter today that it has been the biggest and bestest ( not their exact words ) blackcurrant harvest for a generation so make sure you grab plenty for jams and cordials before they finish.