Keeping Up

Besides the day-to-day picking of fresh vegetables from the garden for the table, there is a lot of work to do at the minute keeping up with the mass harvests that need storing for the winter.

There have been baskets full of the runner beans which keep on cropping, and we pulled up the peas and our late crops of broad beans.

The leaves on this second sowing were succumbing to rust, but fortunately the pods and beans within were untouched; so they were shelled, blanched and put in the freezer, and the plants went into the incinerator rather than onto the compost heap, to prevent the rust overwintering.

I slow roasted several trays of tomatoes; these were sliced in half with each placed cut-side up in the trays and topped with a sliver of garlic and basil, both also from the garden. I drizzled a little olive oil over the trays and put them in the oven at a low temperature for an hour.

Inspired by thelinencat’s tomato puree-making earlier this month, I then pressed the roasted tomatoes through a nylon sieve with a metal spoon, to remove the skins and seeds, resulting in a lovely glossy smooth tomato sauce. I processed the red and yellow tomatoes separately, and decided to freeze the resulting sauces in batches for eating with pasta, or using as the base for stews and chillis in the winter, rather than cooking them further to make thicker purees.

I also took my first plunge into the world of vegetable cakes, and baked a chocolate courgette cake, gluten and dairy free. The result is a surprisingly moist delicious cake with only the barest hint of vegetable about it (betrayed by the occasional green sliver). It is going down very well with King Of The Hill.

While I’m not blessed with his cake-eating metabolism, I must confess I’ve indulged in a few slices too and found it very enjoyable. A most pleasurable way to make an indentation in the mountain of courgettes from the garden.

5 thoughts on “Keeping Up

  1. Great idea to do the yellow and red tomatoes separately, must try that with the next batch and very interested to read about your results with courgette cake as I often mean to try it.

    We are away on holiday so I’m excited/scared to see how the garden has gone on without any attention.

    • Hi Beth,

      I love the colour of the yellow tomato sauce – I somehow wasn’t expecting it to stay so, well, yellow! – and it tasted just as tangy and tomato-ey as the red sauce. Should cheer us up in the winter! Thank you for posting your technique, it worked brilliantly.

      I’ve ummed and ahhed over courgette cakes a bit for the last couple of weeks since we got an oven – there are a lot of recipes out there at the minute and it’s really hard to choose one! Especially as I then have to make them gluten and dairy free for my husband. My mum and dad came to stay a few weeks ago and my mum brought her first courgette cake up with her, modified from a recipe she’d found online. It was with lime and pistachio, with a lime butter icing, and tasted magnificent. I’ll get the recipe from her when I have the chance, and post it up here along with some pics if I can do it justice. Then my mother in law brought over the chocolate courgette recipe that she’d seen last weekend, which was what finally pushed me into giving it a try, and I’m glad I did! Definitely recommend it!

      I hope that you’re having a lovely holiday! Fingers crossed that your garden is in good shape and happy to see you back, it should have had plenty of rain while you’ve been away at least 🙂
      Sara x

  2. You are amazing! Not only with your abundant harvest but all the activity in storing and preserving and freezing. I bet that those baked tomato sauces are gorgeous …and you even found time to make a courgette cake. Just reading your posts makes me feel like a sloth. Please stop!

    Laura x

    • Ah thank you. We have to be organised or we’d waste it all – plus we’re still so excited at finally having a proper hob and oven again! S x

  3. Pingback: Autumn Fruits « Hillwards

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