Tag Archives: pickles

Kindle Promotion: One day left!!!

There is only one day left to get e-versions of both books at 99 pence!

Just think of all the courgettes and things that are now in full scale glut.

Both books contains recipes and ideas that might prevent you from going slightly too doolally and lobbing courgettes and beans as far as you can. If you ever wanted to make your own jams, jellies, pickles and preserves you can find some potentially useful nugges that I have learned from experiments.

You can find links on the blog: right hand side, or you can go click on the page that says books above.

Once the countdown deal is over, both books will revert to their pre-promotion prices. So go have a butchers and share far and wide.

Preserving Prep: stashing jars


Since last year’s preserving and pickling experiments, I have been on the scrounge for empty jam and sauce jars. I have been collecting them from the house kitchen, friends and colleagues. Not knowing, how many I had actually stuffed into Dad’s shed. Ma has been telling me that there were quite a few that were stashed, and I should probably want to check how many. I have been very fortunate, that a dear friend of my is currently weaning one of her lovely kids. So this has meant that I have been able to freecycle her baby food jars. Some of them have lids, some don’t. Not too worried about that, as I have been using cling film to seal in contents. Tidied up Dad’s shed and stashed nearly hundred of the baby food jars. There are about thirty other miscellaneous jars also stored there. Turns out I have quite a few, and I still want to collect more. To get me started last year, I did buy some ‘proper’ jars and these were used quite well. Even had labels on, with the figure holding carrots-you know the one, the avatar on the blog. That is my brand! Have had a look into trade marking it, so the is a firm idea of what the blog and allotment experiments are all about. (And yes, that is apparently what I look like too). A perfectly unique image, created by the same artist in residence who last year planted potatoes and tulips, remember him?

It’s not quite you know, the Del Boy traders thing yet. I know that using baby food jars is okay for small scale preserving that might be for home, family and colleagues. Less so, If this was all a small business enterprise and I was selling commercially. I know that there are rules and regulations about packaging too. All will be looked into, should this ever get off the ground as it were.

That is the dream though, to marry up Psychology, counselling, allotmenteering with preserving and pickling. One day!

Big Allotment Challenge 2015: Epi five

This week’s episode was going to get my attention on two counts. The first, Okra. The second, pickles and preserves. This week, I was not going to focus on the perfect veg idea. I can understand how that is basis for the show bench and the idea of a village show. But with the okra, I wasn’t bothered about how this quirky, beautifully ugly vegetable could be presented on the show bench. I can only imagine the oohs and ahhs, should it be presented on a local fete.

I like okra, my mother likes Okra. It is one of the many vegetables that falls into her ‘Indian/Asian’ veg maxim. That is her main rule that goes with the plot. I should grow ‘Indian/Asian’ veg, and that’s about it. That’s why we have lots of spinach and fenugreek. Not to mention turnips and things, as well as garlic. Fruit is less asian/indian, but I am hoping that the gooseberries will clinch it as Amlas,

Learning that okra seed should be soaked for twenty four hours was very very useful. I’m glad that was mentioned, and that made sense to my mum when I regaled her about how that had been done on the show. Soaking of seeds, placing the seeds into the heated prop. Then to transfer at the six leaf stage into a big 25cm pot. This was good advice. Seeing the half a dozen plants in the greenhouses of the contestants, felt real. Okay, they have heated greenhouses and not poly tunnels. But there was context, there was technique and guidance. I did feel that I genuinely learned something here, that I wouldn’t have otherwise encountered. I had given up somewhat on the idea of growing Okra, but would definitely think about growing them again. Definitely not about the judgement on the show bench. You know if people grew straight forward simple things on the allotment, things would be very boring. Kudos for the show presenting a crop that wouldn’t ordinarily be on the box.

I have no comment to make about the floo’ers. Again, I wasn’t concentrating on this. So sorry about that!

Pickles and preserves. As you are aware, I am somewhat biased with these. It took me a while to appreciate them, and to be able to use my own crops. I love Thane Prince and her ability to keep it real. She does mention taste, she is quite clear about what she expects. Above all, Thane Prince advocates using your crops, and being creative. Two central ideas, when you are trying to make the most of the produce that you grow. Someone needs to give Thane Prince her own TV show. Would be epic and a whole new generation of preservers and picklers would be inspired. Think that’s a cue for Thane and the lovely Nigel slater to work together.