Thursday, August 24, 2006

What a day! Weather wise and other wise.

I have just spent two hours looking for something that I have put away safely so that it did not get damaged, and I can not for the life of me find it. It is so irritating. We only have a small home – and I keep it tidy too – so why can’t I find this package. Grrrr

Best get my detective onto it tomorrow – maybe he has moved things around!

Well as the most horrendous weather stopped any outside work, I set too on doing things that kept me mainly indoors.

I am pleased to announce that the courgette mountain is now well and truly finished – but the squash mountain is in full swing.

Too good to waste – too many to eat right now – we would be sick to the teeth if we had them every day!

The solution – to make veggie burgers – a variation of the Greek recipe I featured earlier.

As usual I did a bulk amount using, different varieties of squash, potatoes, green tomatoes, onions, carrot, and seasonings, flour, rusk instead of breadcrumbs, and eggs.

We had some for lunch to try them out as you can see. (Two each is far too many, we could hardly move after eating that plateful of homemade sausages and freshly picked beans too). No potatoes - they are in the burgers, we are trying to eat sensibly. I also roasted them instead of frying them and it worked a treat. I had a big dollop of tomato ketchup with mine - just for the colour combination of course - it did look pretty though. I like colourful things to eat.

If anyone wants the recipe let me know and I will post it. I weighed things this time, instead of just throwing it all in!

I tackled a pile of little yellow pear tomatoes – cut them in half, removed the seeds, then put them in my food drier which is out in the studio.

I want to make some jars of sun dried tomatoes for presents – what else?

When I went back in to check on them earlier this evening, the room smelt just wonderful of tomatoes in the sunshine – now there’s a surprise. I think that for ones as presents I should wait and use the bigger varieties. In olive oil, the yellow ones might not show up so well. So the batch that I have done, I put on for a bit longer and got dried tomatoes. I am going to dry some green ones too – the big ones – so they will take up less space and I can use them not only in all sorts of recipes, but also to make some stock bags with some other veg – another idea I had – whether it will work or not I have no idea.

In between doing all the above, I made two batches of jam totalling 8 lbs. That may not sound like much, but it is when you are preparing it, and standing stirring and watching it, then bottling it. Worth all the effort though.

The first batch I made was a mixture – again one I threw together – as so long as you have the right ratio of fruit to sugars, then it doesn’t seem to matter which fruit you use – and if they are low in pectin you can just cut up a lemon and add a tablespoonful or so of juice.

First off was elderberry, blackberry, and apple, spiced with cinnamon. I read about it last night and posted the recipe on The Potting Shed forum (link on the right). In the book it was Spiced Blackberry Jam, but again, the ratios apply to that as well.

I have to say that it smelt wonderful, and reminded me of a trip to USA with some friends which coincided with my December birthday. We of course went to a shopping Mall, to get Christmas presents for everyone, and the smell of ‘Christmas’ spices wafted out of a fantastic little kitchen craft shop. They had all sorts of Christmas food for sale, and were dishing out hot drinks. (Nice how an aroma can transport you back to somewhere or remind you of someone.)

I bought a pot stand which was a hand made craft item. It was a ‘sausage’ of Christmas material filled with something like bean bag filling and wrapped into a Cumberland sausage shape to form a flat mat. It had Christmas spices in it, so when you stood something hot on it, the air was filled with the spicy smell. I still have it actually – and it is still doing it’s stuff.

- Off on a tangent again! Now where was I – ah yes the spiced jam. I made four pounds finished weight, and put some into those little jars you get in hotels at breakfast. Someone gave me half a dozen and I knew they would come in handy.

My son and daughter in law and baby are off to Japan later in the year, and her parents like the preserves I make, so I want to do a variety of small jars of all sorts; large jars being too heavy and liable to break.

This afternoon I made just over four pounds of blackberry and apple jam. I made it so that the blackberries appear all through the jam, some whole.

Poor Pat thought that the ones I had left were for an apple and blackberry crumble! Tish – we are supposed to be losing some pounds. (Don’t tell him that I sampled the jam from the preserving pan, just before I washed it.) Well I had too didn’t I? – I couldn’t risk giving it away untested now could I.

That is how I know that the spiced jam is wicked!


  1. Anonymous1:55 pm

    Please post your veggie burger recipe !!!!!!!! Love your blog - I too have hens, greenhouses and an allotment (oh and a husband, children and misc animals!) The burgers look and sound great and another way to get extra veggies into the family - honestly, I dont know where I go wrong - I make chutney, jam, cook from scratch etc etc and still my husband and children prefer the taste of "shop bought stuff" - especially bread - how can anyone prefer shop bought sliced bread!!! Still I dont give up because I know its healthier for them! Love, Ali

  2. Lynne1:56 pm

    I must be doing something wrong..I tried to get your recipe for that yummy jam from the Potting Shed Forum but I can't find it! (operator error i'm sure) I've got lots of lovely brambles and the recipe sounded just perfick...

    I love your recipes, be great if you had a list of them all on the one place on your site..then i could try them all! I think it's fabulous how you make things and freeze them too. I'm new to this so hoping to leran lots from you.

  3. Lynne1:58 pm

    Oops..I do know how to spell "learn" honest....

  4. lynne it is posted in the 'preserving and curing' section here
    But I will post it my blog tonight, and also the veggie one as soon as I can.

    The new blog lets you catogorise things which I will do as I go along - but with hundreds of pages, I don't have the time right now to go through every one just yet. Busy time of the year for me.


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