marmalade

It’s that time of year again.

Last year I made three batches (16 jars) of marmalade, of which I have one jar left. It’s the first time ever I’ve managed to supply myself for a whole year! Hoping for similar success in 2022 …

large bowl of Seville oranges, some lemons, jamjars etc on table

seasonal food …

Having failed to make parkin in time for Halloween, I’ve just managed to make some for Guy Fawkes night (it needs a minimum of 3 days to mature – a week would be better). Sadly, it doesn’t all quite fit in the tin … I guess I’ll be compelled to nibble on the surplus.

tin of parkin, with 3 squares left over

brrrr ….

As I’m mid-terrace, with my garden surrounded on all sides by similar, there’s enough warmth to have (barely) avoided the frost many people have had this morning. Still, it’s time to evict the courgettes and do a bit of tidying.

Four fingerlings of yellow courgettes might just give me an 80g portion once they’re topped and tailed. The leftover green courgette – now marrow sized – is going in the fridge and waiting for inspiration to strike me!

4 finger yellow courgettes on scale showing 93g

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4 finger yellow courgettes and a massive green marrow-sized one

tail end in the garden

The yellow courgettes (“Shooting Star”) are doing their best to struggle on gamely, though they’re reduced to finger-sized fruit. It took 3 of them to make up an 80-gram veg portion! There are still flowers, though I doubt they’ll come to anything …. might do a stuffed flower at some point, though.
(teaspoon for scale)

3 tiny yellow courgettes, on table, with a teaspoon

go figs!

I never really believed that I’d get two crops a year from my fig tree – but it does look as though at least a few of this year’s figlets will indeed ripen (in addition to the early crop, which has only just finished). They’re small – I should probably have thinned them out considerably – but still …

Yay! Go figs!

small, nearly ripe, Brown Turkey fig.

blight …

Glorious hot sunshine for our annual holiday on the Norfolk Broads. Sadly, when I got home, there were signs of blight on the Black Russian tomatoes – I suspect they got heat- and water- stressed so were vulnerable. Oh, well, they’re now safely disposed of, and any worthwhile fruit have been turned into Green Tomato Chutney.

green tomatoes getting chopped

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chutney in saucepan, before cooking for three hours

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four jars of dark-brown chutney

fig !

The first home-grown fig of the year – there are several still in the process of ripening. One of my favourite fruit!

It’s only the second year the 4-year-old tree has fruited (last year was 3 figs). Grown outdoors, in a pot (well, half of an old plastic dustbin!), against a south-facing brick wall.

ripe fig cut in half, on plate

toms

This morning, there are distinct signs that the tomatoes have finally started thinking about ripening! It’s been a very late year. This variety is “Bloody Butcher” (the first time I’ve grown it), which was supposed to be much earlier than the Black Russian I also grow.

The “Pink Brandywine” that’s this year’s experiment is either exceedingly behindhand or just plain not doing well, sadly.

"Bloody Butcher" tomato blushed orange

garden bits

I don’t have enough space to grow strawberries to pick a bowl-full, but throughout the summer there are usually one or two to provide a glorious mouthful as I wander up the garden. It’s a “day-neutral” variety called “Toscana”.

Elsewhere, the first of the “Brown Turkey” figs is starting to show signs of ripening – fingers crossed! They’re certainly among my top three favourite fruit.

strawberry flower and fruit .

fig showing signs of ripening