I had forgotten just how busy this time of year is. For even though many crops failed and planted fruit trees have several years until they are productive, there was and is so much still to harvest and preserve.
Windowsill tomatoes are quickly ripening. There was more baby zucchini, baby tomatoes, rhubarb and basil that I brought in at dusk last night. We've been having light frosts, and each day it seems a little more of these plants are dying.
This is my second year of preserving and I have to say it really it is a lot of fun. I haven't bought jam in over a year, as there is always a jar in the pantry. It makes a handy little gift to friends and family, and is always well received. Best of all, it's really not that hard.
We've been picking quinces again from the driveway of the vacant house down the road. Armed with a pram, a trike, and numerous bags and baskets it was a pretty fun outing for all of us. But I fear it may be the last year as the house is about to be leased again. I do miss having all that quince jam and jelly lined up in the pantry. I'm thinking this year I might try quince paste too.
We picked apples from a few more lone trees in the village. Many don't look the best, but they taste sweet and tangy. Miles ahead of the sad supermarket variety.
I've been bulk apple pie making (with a good dose of apple and blackberry jam mixed into the apples) with Nigella's rich shortcrust pastry made with butter and lard.
I kicked off the preserving this week with orange and rhubarb marmalade. Not sure if it was supposed to, but it caramelized beautifully.
So this week you will see me busy in the kitchen, and probably not doing much else in the way of making. Knitting and sewing projects have been pushed aside as I'll be donning that apron until that pantry shelf is full again.
Have a pleasant day all x