Saturday, 31 January 2009

Busy Saturday

With temps predicted to be in the 40s again today we were up early to clean the gutters before the sun rose above the trees and started heating up the roof. At 6:30am when we went out to get started it was already 26 degrees. The breeze was cool-ish, but alas didn't stay that way for long.

By 9am we'd finished what we wanted to do outside and retreated inside. I spent much of the remainder of the day in and out of the kitchen. Jerry bought me 20kg of sauce tomatoes (seconds) at the fruit and veg market on Friday, and they needed to be processed. I also had 2kg each of peaches, nectarines and plums to do something with. Yesterday I salted about a kg of courgettes (zucchini) to make pickled courgette so I had to make the spiced vinegar for that too.

Yes, it is mental to be in the kitchen on a day like today, but alas, it had to be done. Luckily there is an openable skylight in the kitchen so I could let some of the hot air out earlier in the day.

By the end of the day I had:
  • canned 8 1 litre jars of chopped tomatoes,
  • canned 8 jars (about 5L) of tomato stock (just the cooking water for the tomatoes with bits of pulp - great for using in casseroles etc...waste not, want not!)
  • made 5 jars of plum jam
  • roasted and pureed about 4 kg of tomatoes - will probably turn that into tomato paste tomorrow
  • finished off the pickled courgettes - 3 jars
  • a loaf of sourdough rye bread rising to go in the oven later



And I'll be doing it all again tomorrow, as there's another 10kg of tomatoes, and the peaches and nectarines to do something with! But right now I think I have earned my glass of wine and a nice sit down with a good book!

2 comments:

TheCrone said...

Ohhh have you got a recipe for your pickled courgettes? I am on the lookout for a good one :)

Just discovered your blog via Scarecrow; off to snoop some more!

Margo said...

Hi Crone - thanks for stopping by!

I used the guidelines for pickling in Marguerite Patten's excellent Jam, Preserves and Chutney handbook (a birthday present - thanks Lucy!!). I sliced and salted the courgettes and left for 24hr. Then I rinsed well a few times and left to drain. For the vinegar I used malt - about 600ml - and a teaspoon of peppercorns and a few bay leaves. Boil for 15 mins (or until it tastes good to you), then pack the courgettes into sterilised jars, and pour over the strained vinegar and seal. Voila!

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