Sunday, 5 September 2010

It's been a Pickle of a week....

Right then, the food shop is done, the washing is on so now I can Blog and himself can play war on his play station! (too be fair he had been building me beautiful shelves in a alcove all day)
I have been a busy bee this past week, work has been busy as usual especially with the BH Monday.
On BH Monday Gav and I went to our local Pick Your Own to see what they had left for the season and boy were we surprised. Raspberry's were still available so we had a punnet of them. The poor damsons had been all blown off the bushes except a few that were well hidden so I had a bag of them too now in the freezer waiting for a later date. Plums galore, I walked through the rows of trees picking different variety's and filling a huge bag. Then a spin round the farm shop for more goodies, and so reasonable too.
I was soo inspired by my morning out that I cam home and decided to make this.

I got a new toy last Sunday in Home Sense, a mandolin!!
They have always scared me before as you do hear horror stories about people chopping their fingers off with them.
But I bit the bullet and decided enough grating was enough, so now I can slice and shred as much as I like (with the finger guard obviously!!)
I pull the beetroot from the garden and still have some left in the ground to make another batch. Yummy.
On Wednesday my friend Alison from work brought me in 2 HUGE courgettes from her allotment.
I found a fab recipe for pickled courgette on the Internet and set to work Wednesday night with one courgette.
Here are the results.

They are thinly sliced with the mandolin along with shalotts from the farm shop & they are in a cider vinegar, mustard & chili solution.
On Thursday I found out that there are some apple trees in the grounds at work, so off I went scrumping in my lunch break!!!
I got a small haul as it looked like they had seen visitors recently.
Will be going back soon with a stick to get some of the higher fruit.
Friday evening I decided that the plums from the PYO really needed something doing to them so I decide to make Ruby Plum & Apple Chutney.
I started buy chopping & stoning all the plums.

Then I pealed & chopped all the apples from my scrumping mission.
I also added some figs that had been reduced in the super market, red onions, sultanas, garlic, ginger, spices, brown sugar & red wine vinegar and lastly some ruby port!!!
Oh my house smelt like Christmas.

My trusty preserving pan has had a busy week too.

I have to say I made my recipe up, and just let it cook for a really long time until it was thick enough to pot.

It thickened up really well, if I haven't made a certain type of pickle or chutney before I do use a recipe.
I used recipes for both the Beetroot & Courgette pickles.

I have loads more chutney & pickle recipes left to make.
I have decided to make all the Christmas Presents this year, be it hand cooked or handmade.
Friends & family seam really pleased with the idea.
I have some pickling onions in soak at the moment and I will pickle them tomorrow.
What are you pickling, Jamming or preserving at the moment??
Have a great week.

PS. Thanks for all the lovely comments on my hair cut xxx


Lisa said...

I bet it did smell delicious in your home this week!
I haven't made a thing. Got some blackberries and intend to make blackberry and oat bars with them.
Lisa x

Kelly said...

Yummy!! I bet your friends and family will be looking forward to some of those homemade treats!!!
Such a nice idea! You could perhaps make hampers with your pickles and jams and some crackers and cheese!! I'd love that!!!

Sarah said...

Wow you certainly have been a busy bee. I just love all your preserves. Aren't they fun to make? Handmade presents are great to give as long as you give yourself plenty of time. They seem more loving and thoughtful than shop bought ones. Hopefully you will receive some handmade ones too.

Elizabeths Attic said...

Thank you for your comment and oh what a lovely week you must have had with all those lovely pickles and stuff. Perhaps you should think about a give away of one of your jars - I want to be first in line please, pretty please if you do.
Have a happy week
Beverley x

Caroline B said...

I've never made savoury preserves...perhaps I should have a go! I'm waiting to go back to work today to gather damsons from the orchard there & make (more!) jam.

KC'sCourt! said...

It all looks very yummy
Julie xxxxx

topchelseagirl said...

You have been productive. I bet your house smelt devine. I'd be really pleased to receive a homemade present such as these. x

Floss said...

That looks wonderful! We have a load in the fridge (after b and apple crumble, b and autumn fruit preserves and b and nectarine fruit salad at breakfast) so I may have to have a go at this too! Thanks for putting my giveaway in your sidebar.

Louise said...

Wow, you've been busy. I have rather a lot of jam at the moment (even after passing some on to friends and family) and am tempted to put some on a table outside (as we live next to a popular footpath) and asking people to swop a jar for one of their's. My husband thinks the neighbours will kill themselves laughing though!
P.S. I'm having a giveaway over at my blog - please pop over if you'd like to join in.

Blender said...

The plum and apple chutney sounds really nice. I have done some pickled beetroot two weeks ago. It turned out really well. I just put raw beetroot cut in pieces into a jar, poured over it cooled down water with salt and sugar and left it standing on a windowsill for 2 weeks. It turned out very nice.

Now I have some plums waiting to be preserved one way or the other. Haven't decided what to do with them yet though.

♥coco rose♥ said...

PRESERVE POTTY!!!!! How fantastic! Loved this post Sophie! I too am planning to make pickles, chutneys and jams for christmas presents. The general concensus from my family is that they would like homemade this, boy are they going to get it!!!! I adore beetroot so would love to know how the chutney is with that! Have a fab week! xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Pink Milk said...

Hi Sophie.

I loved this post. You have been busy! Hmmm, cold roast pork with pickles and chutneys - one of my faves! So, I'll be around for supper at about 6pm then!! ;-)