The trials and tribulations of a life of leisure...


Saturday, October 09, 2010

Autumn Harvests

So a week has gone by since I took Paul to the airport.

I would like to say we (the dogs and I) have settled into a routine. But between my bridge exploits and Paul's it hasn't quite worked out yet. Unfortunately for Paul his team has now been knocked out of the Rosenblum Cup in Philadelphia but it was exciting while it lasted, and I may get to bed at a reasonable time from now on.

I have managed a sort of morning routine. Let the dogs out the back (luckily it hasn't been raining), coffee, dog walk and then caterpillar control. I think I have got them almost under control now - only 30ish the last couple of days.

With autumn in full swing I am now sorting out the back garden.

Two more rows of potatoes dug up and a sack filled.

Herb patch weeded. A few self-seeded extras found - a lot of baby thymes, chives and even a cabbage has found its way in there!

Major runner bean picking sessions - 3 pounds given to Margaret and slightly more to Penny. Potentially still quite a lot to come but may be a race against time for them before the weather gets worse.

The purple beans are finally coming to an end - another couple of bags in the freezer. Soon be time to pull them out.

The later sown peas although producing a few pods are not producing peas so their time has also come and gone.

The lettuces that had gone to seed have been pulled out.

Pickling onions dug up this morning and laid out on the chicken wire covering the f-t-b-t-b in an optimistic hope of them drying/ripening. I think I probably should have done this last week...

I have at last had to admit defeat on the tomatoes.

Not only are they not ripening but I noticed a few were rotting and maybe the first signs of blight. So I have now picked all that looked okay - five and three quarter pounds of green tomatoes. I need to get the plants out, hopefully tomorrow in one of the promised sunny spells.

I have put a lot of them on a tray on one of the window sills in the sunroom in the hope that they may ripen indoors. The rest were earmarked for green tomato chutney.

Recipe selected.

Ingredients gathered and weighed.

Onions chopped and set simmering in vinegar.

Tomatoes chopped.

Apples chopped.

Spice bag made - chilies, mustard seeds, cardamom seeds and black peppercorns.

All thrown in with a crushed clove of garlic.

Stirred until sugar dissolved and then brought to a simmer.

And simmered. And stirred. And simmered. And stirred.

About an hour and a half.

I find it very hard to know when chutney is ready - no simple test unlike jam.

Anyway I decided that was long enough and the jars were filled.

And I can always try again with the rest of the tomatoes if they stubbornly stay green...

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