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Adventures in Preserving: insert your own hilarious jam pun here

Posted by on Wednesday 15 September 2010 in cooking, growing, preserving, wild food | 4 comments

I had yesterday largely away off work/from my computer in order to catch up on my preserving.

As I tweeted last night:

Today I’ve made 5.5lbs of spicy marrow chutney, 3lbs of marrow & chilli jam, 4lbs of blackberry & apple jam, & 3lbs of spicy plum chutney.

Also made 3lbs of ratatouille & 2 giant marrow cakes. All using stuff from the garden; recipes for everything to follow on the blog soon!

And as I added this morning:

I have a blister on my hand from hacking up all the marrow yesterday. It’s like when I got a blister from too much spinning. I’m hardcore!

All the courgettes/marrow were from the garden – I used five out of six of the marrows I harvested the other day, and had collected 2.5lbs of courgettes for the ratatouille. The ratatouille also included tomatoes from the garden.

The spicy plum chutney was made from the remainder of the plums from the tree outside the kitchen, the ones that are either wild plums or cherry plum but either way, tasty plums. And the blackberries are from the field next door to our house. (Both fruits had been frozen for a couple of weeks but needed to come out to make room for the ratatouille and marrow cakes.)

I was truly exhausted by the end of the cooking session and when I count it in jars, it doesn’t feel like I’ve got a lot to show for all the work – but when I think that along with the last batch I made, it’ll more than fulfil our jam & chutney needs for a year, it feels like a lot more worthwhile.

Some of the recipes I kinda made up on the fly, others I tweaked from existing recipes – I’ll post them all with my modifications over the next week or so — let me know if you have any preference for ones to see first!

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Using up the glut: Marrow cake recipe

Posted by on Monday 19 July 2010 in cooking, growing, recipes | 23 comments

In my previous post about saving marrow/courgette seeds, I mentioned that the marrow I had was just going from ripe to overripe. I had no particular plans to eat the marrow – we like courgettes a lot but thought, since the variety was billed as a courgette, it would be tasteless as a marrow. I was happy just using it as a seed nursery – but when I’d stripped out the seeds, it seemed a waste to throw it in the compost. If the chickens liked courgettes/marrows, I’d have given it to them but they’re strangely fussy birds so I was left with pounds and pounds of edible flesh.

I test fried a slice and judged it to be alright – not as flavourful as its younger siblings but certainly not bad. Tough skin though – edible but tough, so that had to go. I used half of it to make a cheesy-bacony comfort food bake thing (a variation on this recipe from the Indy but with mixed cheese – parmesan and jarlsberg – because that’s all we had in and also goats cheese makes me gip) – I had some on its own last night and we’ll have the rest tonight with pork chops in a tomatoey sauce. The other half, I used to make a marrow/courgette cake.

Marrow cake/courgette cake recipe

1 large egg (I used 2 medium ones since our girls aren’t laying truly large yet)
200g of caster sugar
100g of melted butter
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
300g of courgette/marrow, coarse grated

300g of self-raising flour
75g of finely chopped nuts
1tsp of cinnamon
1tsp of baking powder

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