Sunday, 30 August 2009

Plum Cake

I found this very seasonal recipe this morning, and thought I would share it with you. As there were still lots of plums in the orchard yesterday, and I picked a whole bag with the help of Moss. I thought this made a change from jams & chutneys.

I adapted it and made one with apricots, which worked really well. We ate some warm cake tonight with vanilla ice cream! It's simple to make and tastes lovely. I added half dried cranberries & half currants to the plum one.

Please click on the link for the full recipe http://www.allotment.org.uk/recipe/74/recipe-for-fresh-plum-cake

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Pickled Chillies

I was given a whole punnet of home grown purple chillies this week. So I decided to make a jar of pickled chillies. Here is the simple recipe I found on the net.

This receipe is for approx 900g of chillies.

Soak the chillies overnight in the brine mixture, as it helps to keep the chillies crisper. Cover the chillies with the brine in a bowl, and place a plate to keep them submerged

Brine : 3 cups water, 1 cup pickling salt (I use rock salt)

Next day make up the pickling solution as follows.

Pickling solution: 3 cups white wine vinegar, 3 cups water, 3 teaspoons pickling salt

Remove the chillies from the brine, wash and dry. Put a small hole into each one to stop them floating to the top of the jar!

In a saucepan combine the water, vinegar and salt. I added pickling spice and bay leaves at this stage. Bring this to the boil and then pour over the chillies. remove any trapped bubbles. That's it, how simple!
Store for 4 to 6 weeks in a cool, dark place before eating.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

spiced plum & ginger chutney

I had some plums left over so I made a batch of spiced plum & ginger chutney. Here is a link to the recipe http://www.tesco.com/todayattesco/cookbook/archive/recipe_116.shtml It turned out to be really tasty, although you can't really tell for 4 weeks until it has matured.

I took Moss for a walk this evening, and manged to catch up with Lisa. We collected another bag, but I did stop to eat some on the way! They are so delicious eaten straight from the tree. I plan to take some to work tomorrow, being my first day back for over a week. It's sad when holidays have to come to an end.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Ripe toms at last!

I picked some ripe tomatoes today and three cucumbers. They are an odd shape (cues), but they taste really good! I gave the veg patch a bit of tidy, as I hadn't touched it since just before our little break. It's amazing how much everything has grown, including my new rows of spinach I put in just before I went on holiday. Nice to see something new growing there and filling in the bare batch where the onions were. The drawf French beans I put in from my cheap packet from Netto are doing better than my climbing ones. I don't think I will bother with them next year. If you are not at home to pick them every day they stop producing. I picked so many large beans today, I don't care for them much! The Butternut squash plant has produced 4 fruits so far, and is going mad and flowering everywhere. I've never grown one before, so I hope I actually get to eat something from it.

The good weather is set to stay for a few more days, so that will be good. Enjoy your weekend. Amanda x

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Iwade Plum & Port Jam!


The plums in the orchard at the end of my road, are ready a week early this year. So I took the dog out for a walk and collected 6lbs of plums. I only needed 4lbs for the jam, and have kept the rest to make something else on Friday. They are lovely Victoria plums, very pink/red in colour and delicous made into jam. I added some port this time, to give it some warmth! I managed to get 9 jars this time, using an assortment of jars I've been collecting. I bought some pretty material and have made jam pot covers. I will give these as presents, as I have a lot of birthdays coming up in Sept. But I'll probably keep some jars for us, as I've just used up my last jar from last year.

I have found a great recipe on the Tesco web site for spiced plum and ginger chutney. I'll probably make that on Friday, once I have picked another bag full. I'll let you know how I get on. Amanda x

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

I'm back and fully refreshed!


We got back from our camping trip in Dorset this afternoon. I have fallen in love with Dorset, and can't wait to go back! We only stayed for 5 days (4 nights) but it was so relaxing. I even read a book, well almost finished it in the garden this afternoon. As luck would have it, we brought the sunshine back to Kent. Not sure just how long it will last, but it was good to get all the washing done and out of the way! Here is a photo off all three of us waiting for our mackeral fishing trip in Weymouth harbour! I caught loads, we had 8.5Lbs when we got off the boat. Jack & Ian caught some too (he he). It was brilliant! I would recommend it to everyone. Line caught to BBQ in under 2 hrs, now that's the way to eat fish. Ian taught Jack how to gut a fish, and we sat outside the tent eating them with bread and salad. Yummy


Saturday, 1 August 2009



What with the weather and being busy at work, I haven't had much time in the garden recently. I have been eating French beans, courgettes, cucumbers. Thanks to Anne for the wonderful cucumber plants, I have eaten 3 large cues, and they taste just wonderful. I have a few other plants that are producing some smaller cues, and these are in my small pop up frame by the back door. They seem to like it in there with the shelter and sun (when we get any!). My peppers that Anne gave me have now turned red, they look so cheerful underplanted with my marigolds.

Some toms have started to ripen, the Totem ones I bought in a garden centre. Some of my tumbling toms looked a bit raggly so I had to take them out. Next year I plan to just grow them in the veg patch, rather than in pots.They dry out to much.

Enjoy your weekend, whatever you get up to. Amanda x