Sunday, 9 August 2009

Garden glut.

That's the trouble with veggie gardening, isn't it? Unless you are the methodical type who sew a few seeds each week for succession, you tend to get a glut. First of all it was peas - and they freeze very well, so no problem there. Then it was broad beans - and they freeze well. Now it is courgettes (zucchini) and they do not freeze well - they come out a bit like strawberries do - little sloppy messes (pink slugs as Nigella calls frozen strawberries). So - if you have a glut of courgettes here is a lovely recipe I can thoroughly recommend. It is roughly based on one of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's but I have simplified it a bit. Do try it - it is scrumptious!

Courgette Pasta Sauce. Chop up your courgettes and saute them very gently in a mixture of olive oil and butter. Keep the heat gentle so that they almost steam and do not brown at all. Now and again lift the lid and give them a bit of a break up with a fork. Meanwhile cook your pasta. When you are almost ready to eat - stir in some grated cheese (parmesan or gruyere are best but quite often I use up cheese scraps I happen to have) and then, still on the gentle heat, pour in enough single cream (you could use yoghourt) to slacken the mixture to pasta sauce consistency. Pour over the drained pasta - and enjoy.
The runner beans are suddenly covered in lovely red flowers - that means that in a couple of weeks there will be another glut - they freeze well so that's alright - but if anyone has a special way with runner beans I am more than willing to try it.

Haymaking going well - the last cut is being baled as I write - still plenty to do but as rain is forecast for tomorrow the farmer is playing safe and getting it all in before he begins on phase two.
If it does rain tomorrow we shall be off to choose the floor tiles for our wet room - the walls are a fawny/pink and we are almost ready for the floor tiles. Today I have washed all the dust sheets so the worst of the dust is over thank goodness.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend.


Reader Wil said...

You have a lot to do in your garden! It all sounds very impressive! I returned from my holiday on Friday, so I must apologize that I haven't visited for some days now. Have a great week!

CHummelKornell said...

How wonderful that you have a good harvest! As for the zucchini (courgettes), we bake a lot of zucchini breads. Rather than bake them all at once since as you said, their harvest seems to always be large, we grate them and measure them in the amounts needed to make the breads and then freeze them in baggies. They still turn out sloppy, but for the breads it really doesn't matter. Baking day is so much less messy as well. Just a suggestion. The zucchini bread is always a welcome addition to a cold, snowy winter.

I love your blog!

steven said...

hello weaver, it's great to have such abundance! i've never preserved or bottle anything - my mum has been so good about that i have never really needed to learn. she just wrote me to say that beets are next!! hurray for me!! have a lovely day and good on the farmer for hauling in all the hay while he can. steven

Pondside said...

I can only imagine a garden glut. The deer did a pretty good job of thinning for us, so there is precious little to harvest. I have high hopes for the new, high fence that The Great Dane has year perhaps we'll be telling you about a glut!

Jane Moxey said...

That's great you're able to freeze so many of your home grown veggies. Here's a link to a yummy recipe for making Zucchini Bread:
I'm sure that would freeze well too:) I just popped "Zucchini Bread" into a Google search and many thousands of recipes showed up!! I love the idea of pre-grating and freezing the zucchini that the second commenter suggested. To my English taste buds, Zucchini Bread tastes more like a tea bread as it's rather sweet. Sort of Zucchini Bara Brith!!
The Farmer is living proof of the old axiom "make hay while the sun shines!"

mrsnesbitt said...

Here are a couple more. The cake is awesome apparantly!

Courgette Loaf

3 eggs
9floz sunflower oil
12oz unrefined caster sugar
12oz courgettes grated
51/2 oz plain flour
51/2 oz buckwheat flour
1tsp baking powder
2tsp bicarb of soda
1tblsp ground cinnamon
6oz rasins
5oz walnuts chopped

pre heat the oven to 180oc/350of/gas 4

grease and line 2, 2lb loaf tins.

put all the ingredients into a bowl, mix, pour into tins, bake for an hour until the loaves are firm and a skewer comes out clean.
Cool slightly before taking out of tins.
If stored in the fridge it will last for 3 weeks.

Courgette & chocolate cake

4 oz butter
6oz SR flour
6 oz sugar
2 eggs
2 heaped tbsp cocoa powder, or more to taste, depending how richly chocolatey you like it
1 medium courgette, grated
milk to mix

Cream butter and sugar well, add beaten eggs, then beat in flour and cocoa, then add grated courgette. Mix to soft dropping consistency with milk, then into prepared loaf tin. Bake in a medium - hot oven approx 40 minutes or so until risen and frim to the touch. Turn out and cool on wire rack. It turns out chocolate coloured with wee green streaks in it

You can ice it on the top with icing of your choice, or split it into 2 or 3 lengthways and sandwich together with chocolate butter icing; even better is Green & Black's chocolate and hazelnut spread.

HelenMWalters said...

It must be lovely to have so many home-grown goodies.

EB said...

The secret is to neglect the plants utterly after mid May. Works a treat [says she through gritted teeth] - that and spread lots of weed-powdre, AKA homemade compost, around every autumn [ditto]....

Heather said...

One of the benefits of a small garden is that I can't grow more than we can cope with. Thankyou for the courgette recipe - I have made Aussie-Jo's Courgette Loaf today and it is very good. Happy tile hunting and hope the hay is safely in.

Unknown said...

Your post made me laugh because only yesterday Barry my husband, had shared this post with me.

It will probably brighten your day as well! Trying to be thankful for an abundant harvest is difficult at times. I had to look up courgettes on google. The Italian family who used to live next door, grew a massive 3 kg. zucchini and gave it to us. We had great difficulty consuming that before it went bad.

Anonymous said...

I was going to give you a recipe for courgette loaf but noticed one from mrsnesbitt. Mine is the same, but instead of raisins and walnuts, I have grated carrott and grated onion. Must try hers.I also have the recipe you mentioned making, but it is under "Sharon's fettucine sauce" in a recipe I wrote out once.I have no idea who Sharon is, but she lives on gastronomically in our house.

Sylvia Ballerini Jewellery said...

Hay & zucchini. You certainly don't have time to sit down and put your feet up, do you Weaver? I enjoy visiting your posts regularly, as you have the most interesting posts. Happy times with all the courgette baking. You have many suggestions to use up your supply. Happy days.

Dominic Rivron said...

Glut? I've got 2 tomatoes and a one weedy little courgette here. I could just about make a spoonful of ratatouille (I might even be able to spell it - or not).

Golden West said...

And we just finished the wallpapering and painting - it felt good to fold the drop cloths and rehang some pictures! It's very satisfying to have order return and bid the chaos adieu.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

That sounds like my kind of food, Weaver! I do love courgettes and pasta too - we'll have to get Girth to make it down at the Gleeful & Greedy Restaurant!

Amy said...

Vege gardening - yes I"m in a glut. With winter here right now not alot is happening - about the only things growing is celery and rainbow silverbeet. I'm looking forward to spring them I can't plant lots more.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Brilliant recipes - thank you so much - shall make them all - there are courgettes everywhere! Poor Pondside with the deer and Dominic with low returns - sorry about that weedy courgette - come round here for some!
Building work progressing slowly as the builder is now involved with Grouse shooting and the day after tomorrow is The Glorious Twelfth.

Michala Gyetvai (Kayla coo) said...

I love courgettes so I'm going to give these recipies a try.
Thank you very much.x

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

Great post and so agree about the gluts. At the moment I am up to my neck in chard, which I do love but am beginning to drown in.

BT said...

Oh I will point Jim in the direction of your courgette recipe, ours are beginning to turn into marrows! We had some in a delicious chicken curry he made tonight. Courgettes on toast anyone? We had lots of peas and french beans and the runner beans are covered in red flowers like yours! We have had one picking and they were gorgeous.

Your dust has almost gone? I'm so jealous. I've given up cleaning the Welsh Dresser, it's just a waste of time!

Bob said...

Hi Weaver. Glad to hear the haymaking is going okay. Haymaking is the thing I miss most about farming. I guess it stems back to when we were kids, haymaking was a fun time. The scent of the hay, the warm sun and picnics. There was always this frantic rush of activity yet at the same time everyone was relaxed and happy. Farmyards have a reputation as smelly places but when the barns are full of new hay its a smelly place anyone would be hard pushed to beat. Bob.

Arija said...

Pat what you call courgetteand we cal zucchini can convert beautifully into bread and butter pickle and becom a winter treat. From two plants I have supplied the whole village and still had some turn into marrows that we fed to the chooocks. There are also various recipes for cake which freezes well, as well as quiche.
Steamed or just par-boilded green beans make a great summer salad, hot or cold, with a little very thinly sliced white onion and tossed with your favourite vinegrette.