Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Plum jam

Yesterday I made up a batch of plum jam. I bought the plums locally from a lady up the road who sells them by the roadside every summer. Sorry I didn't get a photo of plums prior to making the jam, but the skins and flesh were a deep purple colour.

Our trees are too young to produce fruit just yet, but I look forward to the day that they do!

I used the recipe out of my favourite cookbook, A New Zealand Country Harvest Cookbook, by Gilian Painter:

Lots of lovely plum jam
I think this recipe is particularly good as by counting the plums prior to cooking and then the stones as you boil up the jam, you can be confident that you won't crunch on a stone when you eat it!
The jam set very well and tastes delicious.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Peaches to die for!

Peach 'Blackboy'
Today we enjoyed the first peach from one of our 'Blackboy' trees. If you're not familiar with this variety, I can assure you it tastes as good as it looks! Hopefully we'll enjoy many more.

This was definitely on my mind today (see Rhonda's blog for this regular post).

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A day at the beach

This morning I took D out to the beach (Waipu Cove) and met up with some of his Playcentre buddies. We all had such a great time, it was so beautiful. We all went beach combing to find various objects and then explored rock pools and dipping in the water.
Checking out the surf

Rock pools galore

A shelly cove to explore

Fun climbing on the rocks
Big gnarly pohutukawa tree
The 'treasures'  we found

I found this interesting ?bulb skeleton  

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Photos of various fruit and veg

I've been 'raving on' about the Brandywine Pink tomatoes that I've almost forgotten to mention some of the other tomatoes in the garden..!

Out of the other tomatoes I planted (see list here), 'Black Krim' which is also a beefsteak, is producing pretty well and is another great tasting meaty tomato:

Here is the inside of the Banana melon, which we're enjoying plenty of at the moment:
Banana melon
 And the watermelon:
'Rapid Red' watermelon

The first peach off variety 'Spring Red'. The flesh is an unusual colour, but it was perfectly ripe, and boy was it delicious!
Oh the joys of summertime.

The flesh inside was a greenish white

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Freezing some of the corn harvest

I tackled this job today. I used my corn stripping gadget which has a long wide serrated blade at the back and a plastic clip-on front for collecting the corn (and measuring it should you desire).

With 'Oxo' corn stripper

Blanching the corn

1st chilling in ice cold water

2nd chilling in fresh ice-cold water
Draining on tea towel
Taking the kernels off the cobs and into freezer bag

All ready to freeze!
I got 1.2kgs of kernels from my 20 cobs which I'm happy with. The corn we planted this year is a mix of Florida Supersweet,
Xtra Tender Kernel F1 and Golden Extra Sweet. Not sure which is which here though sorry! Mostly it's grown very well, a few of the cobs have been 'mutant', with the kernels covering only part of the cob.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A little harvest

A selection of veg from the garden last night:

We've got corn, zucchini (of course!), my first eggplant/aubergine 'Long Purple' (a bit on the small side), a chilli (Hungarian Hot Wax), some cocktail tomatoes, some Aunt Ruby's German Green tomatoes, and some basil.

The Aunt Ruby's German Green tomatoes are stripy on the outside but green on the inside. They didn't do all that well, so I probably won't grow them next year.

I re-boiled the tomato sauce this morning, and added some cornflour to thicken. I ended up with 2 less bottles but it is a bit thicker now which is good.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tomato sauce time

Finally I got enough ripe tomatoes and the time to make my tomato sauce! Similarly to Laura over at Our Wee Farm I loosely based my recipe on a combination of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's recipe that I actually found at The Paupered Chef and this tomato sauce recipe that I had in my recipe collection. It's just fantastic to be able to harvest these great big juicy ripe Brandywine Pinks. They will definitely be featuring in the garden next year.

So we start off with 6kgs worth of tomatoes:

Ingredients at the ready

Pressing the tomatoes and onion through the sieve
I found this process easier by whizzing it in the food processor first (post photo)

The pressed/sieve juice with added vinegar, sugar
and spices goes back in the pan

After much bubbling it's thick thicker!

So 6kgs of fruit produced 11 1/2 300g bottles - several hours later..
But hey, it's delicious!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

We're currently harvesting.....

Banana melons and watermelon
 The Banana melons weighed in at around 2kgs each. The watermelon was more that 5kgs.

Here's a selection of veg from the garden. From clockwise top left:
Brandywine tomatoes
French beans, green and purple (they cook up green)
Maori pototoes (Urenika)
Strawberries (doing really well, we're getting lots again)
Green Sausage tomatoes, stripy green and yellow outside, green inside
Yellow 'Peach' tomatoes - their skin is a bit furry!
Rua potatoes

Yesterday G picked a few kilos of the Brandywines so I will be onto making sauce in the very near future!

We're also getting lots of corn. Tea tonight was corn fritters, with fried Brandywine tomatoes, avocado, and tomato chutney, followed by Banana melon...YUM!