I’ve been neglecting these blogs again. Though my excuse this time is that I’ve been unwell for the past 6 weeks with a chest infection from hell, two courses of anti-biotics, a course of steroids, and almost 6 weeks of continual paracetamol use to try and keep my temperature down. I lost nearly a stone in weight, which I can ill-afford to lose. It was a rough period to say the least. I’m happy to say though that I am definitely over the worst, and the last week has seen my temperature drop to normal, and better ability to breathe. I have COPD, so these chest infections can be quite serious. But I’m good now, and still alive and kicking.
I’ve also been neglecting the garden for much the same reason, and my partner just hasn’t had much time to spend on it either. So, the runner beans have gone to seed and are really stringy, quite unpleasant to eat. But they’re not going to waste, I have been de-poding the beans, for use in soups and stews, I haven’t bothered drying any as yet, just using them as needed. One thing I’ve learnt is that like red kidney beans, runner bean beans need to be boiled fairly fiercely for 10-20 minutes to breakdown potential toxins in the beans. Not sure if these runners are that toxic, but I’m not going to take the risk.
One great success has been the compact carrot variety we grew. They are truly scrumptious, and good sized, lovely washed, topped and tailed and stewed, firm yet soft and really tasty, sweet and earthy.
Potatoes were OK, a couple of kilos in total, and lovely when really fresh from the ground, skins could be gently rubbed off and straight into the pot. Really good.
Now Tomatoes. We planted far too many, and some were planted far to close together, so some suffered from too high humidity, mostly the greenhouse plants, and there was a bit of a rot/blight problem. But careful pruning and thinning out and we are well into a tomato glut. 1 kilo used to make tomato soup, 1.5 kilos to make tomato passata, frozen in ice cube trays to make stock cubes. 1 Kilo to make tomato chutney, turned out really good and tasty. 1 kilo sliced in half, salted, garliced, sprinkled with thyme and roasted gently in an oven for 3-4 hours at 90 C , then turned into a kilner jar and covered in olive oil. There’s several more kilos of tomatoes to find uses for…. we’ll have turned orange by the end of summer!
Big Bertha, ex-tropical storm, has been getting everything very wet for the past 12 hours. Slightly brighter now, and no significant rain for the past 3 hours. A huge clap of thunder this morning, I could feel the floor shake, quite exciting really.
Well, time to wrap up.