|The Elderflower (from dried), just before the yeast is added to start fermentation!|
The local birds on the plot have now found the feeders we put up on the grapevine arbour, its quiet amazing to watch them at work! The foliage each side of the feeders is a dual plum tree we got last week from Parkers, its been 'tied' to the upright until the crops that are in the bed its heading for are removed!
The courgettes are still producing in quantity, and the greenhouse and polytunnel tomatoes are the best I've ever seen! Peppers and chillies are fab, the brassicas once again are good, and please, dont mention the beans!!
And as I said, the greenhouse and polytunnel toms are the best Ive ever seen whilst we've been growing! This was just 1 days harvest, and we've probably got about the same again to come every 3 or 4 days for the next few weeks! 70lb of ripe beefsteak and standard tomatoes was the harvest I took off the plot here!
So, with harvesting 70lb of ripe tomatoes from the plot a few days ago (and with many more still to come), we've been able to get lots of pasta sauces made (tomatoes, cabbge and courgette with some herbs and garlic, reduced and then bagged for the freezer), but we are fast running out of room in all 3 of our freezers, so I've been processing our harvests into sauces that can be kept in the cupboard (once they have been sterilized in a boiling water batch for 30 mins).
After being asked for a few of them on the Grapevine (GYO forum), I thought I'd share them with you here, in the hopes they may allow you to make use of the tomato glut!
Roasted at least 4lb of toms in hot oven for 30 mins (brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and black pepper)
Let them cool, meanwhile lightly fry 2 large onions and a whole bulb of garlic in a large pan (until translucent)
Remove the toms from the juice and add whole to onion pan. Heat to boiling.
Add 200ml vinegar, 450grams sugar, allspice (teaspoon), coriander (1/2 tsp), basil (1/4 teaspoon), cayenne pepper (teaspoon), a dash of worcestershire sauce, a dash of balsamic vinegar, more black pepper and salt to tast and boil for 30 mins.
Once cooked to a consistency you like, put into a food blender and blitz it all todether!
Prep your jars, put ketchup into jars and place in water bath to sterilize for 30 mins before sealing!
Sweet Chilli Sauce
Sweet Chilli Sauce (borrowed from Galloping Gourmets)
1 kg of peeled chopped de-seeded tomatoes - brilliant if you have a glut, as we have!
A head of garlic - from the garden of course
8 large red chillies - ours were 'hot cayenne'
About two table spoons of grated fresh ginger
4 Tbs of Nam Pla (Thai fish sauce - available in most supermarkets)
200ml or vinegar (I used red wine vinegar for this but apparently any works)
First put your tomatoes in a blender (after peeling, deseeding and rough chopping)
Then take a sharp knife and peel your ginger. It should be juicy and moist not hard and woody.
Grate or finely chop the ginger
Take the garlic and peel all the cloves. Put the garlic and ginger in the blender
Chop up the chillies, seeds and all, leaving the stalks - make sure you wear gloves for this!
Add all this to the tomatoes and blitz to a puree in a processor -
Add the 4 tablespoons of fish sauce
Then add all this mixture into a big pan
Then add 600g of sugar and 200ml red wine vinegar
Stir well and bring to a boil
Lower to a simmer. A small froth or scum will form - skim this off and discard
Maintain the simmer stirring occasionally for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes put 6 half pint jars in the oven to warm for another 15 minutes - keep stirring and skimming the sauce
When the sauce has thickened and reduced, pour into the jars; seal and label.
This sauce is hotter than the commercial stuff so adjust to your taste. Leave for a month to mature - be ready for Christmas in plenty of time and will keep for at least six months.
I hope you found the recipes of interest, and perhaps of use to deal with (what I hope is for all) the tomato glut!
Anyhows, onto the latest balance sheet update!
Balance Sheet Update - 14th September 2010
Total Veg Plot Costs 2010
Rent + Subs for 2 full plots £100
Seed Spuds £20
Onion Sets £6
Chicken Manure Pellets £8
Plastic 'wannabe' Polytunnel £61
Bamboo Canes £8
Flower Plants £28
Scaffolding Boards £100
Watering Cans £8
Soft Fruits £16
Arbour materials £ 40
Cold Frames (2) £30 (1/2 price at Argos)
Birdfeeders (for arbour) £10
Total Costs £ 504
Next years costs have already started, £59.50 for seeds (Wyevales sale), £7 for onion sets (3 varieties, 200+ sets in total), £12 for dual plum tree, so a total spend for 2011 of £88.50 so far, with only rent and subs + seed spuds to come (should be a total of £120 ish to add), so unless we decide to undertake any large projects on the plot, next year should be a relatively inexpensive one!
Total Veg Plot Harvests 2010
Rhubarb £ 35
Fartichokes £ 4
Volunteer Spuds £15
First Early Spuds £15
Second Early spuds £20
Broad Beans £60
French Beans £100
Red Onions £20
White Onions £50
Runner Beans £70
Chard / Spinach £2
Total Veg Plot Harvests £ 1083
So, a total nett profit of £ 579 so far this year, with a large amount of harvests still to come!
Hope your crops are proving bountiful, and your harvests are big ones! Thanks for reading, more updates at the weekend (hopefully)!