I posted a picture of my vegetable garden to instagram the other day and a friend commented on how amazing it looked. Thanks I replied, I've been working really hard and I've been rewarded. Even when I spent most of my weekend turning this bounty into products that will last over the year and was fairly exhausted at the end, I still felt that glow of success. This food is my trophy for a job well done. I'd spent my winter building compost and putting together these growing beds and my plants reflected this effort. Happy days !!
Not only did I press 25kg of apples into juice, added yeast and got the fermenting magic happening for a batch of cider on the weekend, I also weaved some preserving magic on tomatoes and onions. I just love the dehydrated basil tomatoes so made some more of those. Another love I have is the onion salt I make. Basically you grab some onions, spring onions, chives and garlic, whiz it all up then dehydrate. Then you whiz it again along with some salt and I add a bit of seaweed for an extra nutrient boost. Makes great flavouring for all sorts of savoury treats. With my first ever eggplant harvest I made a batch of caponata. I had to use some zucchini in this as well as I didn't have quite enough eggplant. It was absolutely delicious! Will certainly be making this one again!!
I have been parking my tomatoes in the freezer to process at a later date but thought I should make a start at getting some into the cupboard. The freezer ones can wait for another day as I still have plenty ripening that I can use now. I remove the skins by putting the tomatoes into the oven for a bit then the skins pull off easily. Once in jars I water bath them for around 45 mins to create a shelf stable product. I also made a few jars of tomato soup and preserved this in the water bath also.
Other items on my kitchen to do list that I ticked off included a batch of vegetable stock paste, loaf of bread, zucchini slice, vegetable juice and of course another jar of fermented salsa. After a busy time in the kitchen I'm looking forward to getting back outside again!