Thursday, August 28, 2008

Slaving over a hot stove

The Pickle Factory is in full swing once again chez Moog.

First off, I returned from Mother-in-law's on Sunday with a 5lb bag of frozen plums from her friend's garden - free :)

A trip to the forest on Monday yielded a couple of pounds of blackberries - free :)


Together these freebies yielded 10 jars of jam and just cost me about £2.50 for the sugar.


This morning the Moog woke me (but oddly not Moogsdad who carried on snoring!) at 5.40am with a bout of woofage.

After a cuppa and half an hour with a good book I wandered into the garden.

The slugs have been making free with my tomatoes so drastic action was required.

All the dangly down tomatoes - mostly green ones - that were most in danger of sluggery were picked and well washed.

Result - 3lbs green tomatoes - almost free (cost of a few teeny plug plants) :)

A third of them were reasonable and are now on the windowsill ripening. The other two thirds were duly chopped and turned into 8 jars of green tomato chutney.


Having gotten my pickling mojo I then moved on to a 50p marrow from the farm shop - which yielded 5 1/2 jars of yummy Marrow and Ginger chutney.

You will notice the rather motley selection of jars I used. I have been so tempted to buy some of the pretty jars available from this ebay shop but talked myself out of it in the interests of being green!!

In amongst the pickling action a wee bit of baking got done too - one to eat and one to freeze.



With all this lovely inspiration that I bought home from the library yesterday I daresay there will be plenty more kitchen fun to be had.


I also picked this up at the Works yesterday for a fiver and am looking forward to trying out some of the yumminess within.


I can feel the first hint of autumn in the air and I'm looking forward to the change of seasons....not that we'll notice it after the awful summer we've had!!


I love autumn. We get the forest back after the summer hoards have gone. Long walks with the Moog are in order...and hopefully some foraging for some more free food....I have a yearning to make sloe gin...can't imagine why.....


The chickens have gone into full production too.


For the first time yesterday all four girls laid - Minx was so excited that she managed to drop one of the eggs!


Here's today's offering :)

Bless their fluffy little drawers :)



I found these two chaps whilst tomato harvesting:

'Quick...hide...or she'll turn you into chutney!!!'

xxxx

28 comments:

wonderwoman said...

my god, you leave me breathless with all this activity - how on earth do you find the time!! i have never made chutney but hubby wishes i would! we have a huge and i mean HUGE marrow that i had mostly just left and forgot about! your chickens looks great, mine are looking a bit bedraggled with some feathers missing - is this the moult? i must find a chicken site and read up!
xx

twiggypeasticks said...

Wow you've been so busy, I'm very impressed. I had my first ever foray into preserves/relishes etc last week with some chilli jam. I think I'm going to make some chutney next with my mountain of green tomatoes. We're using our bread machine every day now, I think I might need to make myself some bigger trousers :) I think you're right, Autumn is round the corner and I have an urge to make things and hoard them!
Twiggy x

Lucy Locket-Pocket said...

Oh WOW!!!!!

You've done loads and it all looks so delish!

Typing this one handed so it wont be an epic comment - but seriously, I'm mega impressed with your pickle factory - straight out of the Good Life!

Locket xxxx

Jane said...

Wow you've been busy. I'm busy sewing at the moment but then got stuck so came blogging whilst my brain worked out the problem. Dreadful jolly summer - hope autumn is better, typical just as we go back to school. Jane x

silverpebble said...

Goodness gracious, great jars of Hugh Fearnley-style moogy jam! That is some serious industry! Do you have six arms or are you actually quite scary and shout at your ingredients to make themselves into tasty things QUICKLY otherwise they go in the compost? Ugh, I think I'm talking nonsense, but then, I was up at 5.30. Boo.

silverpebble said...

BTW, those tomatoes are straight out of That's Life. Fab

trashalou said...

oh! must go and sit down now. tired just hearing this.

Working Mom Knits said...

Very, very impressed with all your doings!

(and also find myself wondering 1) what is marrow, and 2) why is LLP typing one-handed?)

Julie said...

Phew! I was worried then! I thought you had a 50lb marrow! I love the sound of dangly down tomatoes but what were the others doing? I've made green tomato chutney once but my nan used to make oodles of chutneys and jams every year. Very impressed with all the industry! And the bread looks delicious.

JuliaB said...

I love autumn too, it'smy favourtite season. My chicks still aren't laying - Eggy laid about 4 then stopped ... i think they have worms. Treatment tomorrow. I'm not very impressed with the supplier at all. xx

Thimbleanna said...

You know, that could be a pic of you and Lucy there at the end! How impressive -- what a great load of canning you've been doing! Yum Yum!!!

LOUISE said...

Lesley, I am almost out of breath reading through your post. I can't believe how you have made all this stuff in such a short time. I do love Jimmy Doherty, but dump the books, you don't need them, you should write one yourself. I like Nigella, but she must lose her title, you should take over the crown as domestic goddess. I agree those chickens have got fluffy drawers! x

Ali said...

Lordy, you're a one woman food factory! I'm still hoping more of my toms might ripen on the plant. Am I sorely mistaken?

Jackie said...

Lovely chutney and jam. Hello. I am having a find new blogs night.I read what you said about the summer and I agree..coupled with the lack of holiday in our life. then I find your mamma Mia post and must tell you that, once, we were on that very beach. Sigh. I don't think we'll be swimming in any sea this year.

Jodie said...

far out ! The dog wakes you up , and you manage to get all that done. I would have just yelled at the dog and gone back to bed. You are the domestic goddess of the week!

Gina said...

You have totally exhausted me with all that wonderful domestic activity in the kitchen. I go through spells of pickle and chutney making but then no one eats it and it stays in the cupboard for years!
I love your chooks!

French Knots said...

What a wonderful, productive and satisfying day! You'll have a larder full of goodies for the winter.
I took that Jamie book back to the library this week after renewing it about 4 times! There's so many tasty recipes, which are you going to make?

dottycookie said...

I'm worn out just reading about it!

I do make bread and I go through phasesof jam and chutney making but since I'm the only one who eats it I rather gave up on that.

And as for autumn - do you think we'll get one, or will it just be snowing by next week?

Katy said...

Good God..I feel supremely useless after looking at all that. I shall hang my head in shame....

Leanne said...

I am amazed by your productiveness. Yum plum and blackberry jam if I didn't live so far away I would be round for scones which I'm sure you could just whip up.

est said...

hmm.. all the jam and cooking really makes me hungry!lol

Rachael Rabbit said...

So productive - both in your growing skills and your chutney making skills! My garden has been an utter disaster this year - and not a slug to blame for it.

monda-loves said...

Lesley you are so industrious - you remind me of Barbara from The Good Life - in a nice way of course :o)

My mum used to make green tomato chutney, and it was always my fave - and the longer you keep it the better it gets. I think I had one jar for about 5 years and it was still fab when I eventually opened it - I was gutted when I finished the jar.

Monda
x

Jennie said...

whoa how productive are you!! I want to come to your house for warm bread and chutney!!
your girls are doing so well with their laying. I am very jealous.
I love Autumn, I am fed up of Summer or lack of it.

silverpebble said...

Was just telling Mr P about your That's Life tommies and he says those funny nose-shaped pointy bits bits have creepy crawlies in them and you should throw them in the compost immediately! I'm worried you now have insect protein in your chutneys, but then, Mr P has sometimes been known to wind up the ladies. Worth the risk? Not sure....

Michaela said...

I have been promised some green tomatoes from a neighbour, so am looking forward to trying some chutney. I love making home-preserves, they're what my mum calls a 'stress-buster'. There's something so lovely about seeing jars of home-made stuff that hasn't cost much!

Charlie P said...

Heh heh heh- tomatoes with noses :) Please tell me that this was not just one DAY's work and that you made all these scrummy things over a week. The bread looks fab- I've been meaning to make some since the first episode of Hairy Bakers. Mmmm...

Bethany Hissong said...

You are DEFINITELY my urban homesteading hero!!