The Garden Haul Comes In.

Interrupting the recipes for a quick update on the garden foods.

Well, we’re not quite there yet. Beans are not yet ripe, neither are tomatoes. Still got plenty of greens to harvest, as well as around 4/5 of the potatoes. The carrots and beets and turnips could do with another growth spurt too. But both in preparation for moving and because things ripen at different speeds, a load of stuff has already been coming in.

The raspberry bushes. Not actually “ours”. Wild-seeded.

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Raspberry, strawberry and blackcurrant jam prep.

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This year’s attempt at restocking the jam supplies. Got blackberry jam to make soon, then elderberry jam and apple sauce. Hopefully plum jams, but we don’t grow our own so that depends on overstock from neighbours.

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Just a little peek into the top of our bag of frozen blackberries. Pretty much every time I’ve gone out, I’ve been picking early blackberries and freezing them. The picture doesn’t show it well, but the bag has around 1.5-2L of blackberries in it. They will need rinsing from frozen, defrosting gently, adding to however many fresh ones I can gather as September advances, then stewing down for more jams!

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The very last batch of rhubarb. Probably going to be a tart, or maybe a sweet sauce for topping a flan. Now’s time to move the plant roots into pots, to move down to our new place, ready to plant out next Spring.

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Around 1/10 of the potatoes, because we ate half of this batch before I took a photo. Digging them up 1/5 at a time, starting with the shallow ones, to prevent parasites and rot from getting them first. They’re possibly the starchiest potatoes I have ever had. 😀

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And finally some of the greens we are growing. No pesticides, so a bit nibbled, but fine to eat.

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Here are some fresh greens, early beans and herbs being prepped for a stew.

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In short, the garden is serving us well this year.

Sadly my pea plants were not as robust as the beans, though, and produced only a handful of pods before succumbing to the sun during my week of absence. There’s always next year, though!

 

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Time-Saver: Microwave Jam.

Yup. Jam. In the microwave.

This is brilliant for several reasons. Firstly, it lets you easily use a small haul of fruit that you don’t want to eat raw, for example due to bitterness or dryness. Secondly, it takes no time at all: it means you can make a small amount of jam without feeling like you wasted the time cooking and washing-up. Thirdly, it’s delicious.

I made it because I wanted to see if it could be done and also had some crabapples, wild raspberries that were a little dry and early blackberries.

So here’s the recipe.

Ingredients:

-fruit

-30g of sugar to every 100g of fruit

-any spices you may want

Utensils:

-1 small microwaveable bowl

-1 fork

-handheld blender (optional)

Recipe:

1: Mash or blend the fruit in the bowl.

2: Add the sugar, stir.

3: Microwave on the defrost setting. Keep an eye on it. It will probably take 10min for anything under 500g, but it could take less depending on your microwave!

4: When the fruit juices are looking syrupy and thick, but still pour confusingly easily, place the bowl in the fridge. Maybe let it cool first if you made a lot, so as to not disturb your fridge temperature.

5: Serve.

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