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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Preserving Time

Posted by Bel
from Spiral Garden

Summer and Autumn for us bring abundance from the garden that Spring and Winter don't offer.  Sometimes, we have TOO much.  And we can't give produce away because everyone else has TOO much!

One of my favourite fruits are in in abundance right now - passionfruit.  I love to eat them straight from the shell, in smoothies and iceblocks, as cordial or jam, in cakes and icing...  For information and recipes, see this post.  We have several types of passionfruit vines planted, including some planted by birds (which are the most productive)!



It's also choko season.  I've written on the co-op blog about these versatile and under-rated vegetables (fruit?) before, here.

 

We have an early harvest of pumpkin (squash).  Some of them are Kent pumpkins from last season's vines, and some are enormous bugle pumpkins.  Since this is my favourite vegetable, I have no trouble using up pumpkins!  I wrote a bit more about this vegetable here.

 

We're also enjoying couple of gluts I haven't written about before...  Chilli is the first one, and what we haven't used in cooking I have put into the first batch of sweet chilli sauce.  I just used a basic recipe from my Thermomix cookbook, and it's a little runny but tastes and smells exactly like sweet chilli sauce should!  There are so many recipes online, if you have excess chillis just do a search until you find one containing ingredients you have at hand.  Mine contained chillis, water, rice wine vinegar, garlic, raw sugar, salt.  Next time I'll try a little cornflour to thicken the sauce. Our bush is still laden with chillis, so I will get to try a few different recipes.  My 12 year old son loves this sauce!

 

Also in abundance are mangoes.  Not from my own trees, but they do grow about 40km from here!  Where we live, the winters are too cold...  With the excess mangoes I will probably dry them.  It's time to get that dehydrator out because we'll do some herbs (too hard to air-dry in our summer rainy season) and also some bananas when those are ripe.  Dried fruit is such a handy snack for kids when we go out in the car.  I love drying my own because I know that nothing has been added and the fruit is fresh and organic!

 

What is in abundance where you live right now?  What are some of your favourite recipes to use and preserve these harvests?


11 comments:

Frogdancer said...

ooo! I just bought a thermomix and became a consultant today. Must try that recipe.

Bel said...

Frogdancer, there's one on the http://www.forumthermomix.com site that is apparently really good! It has sultanas and ginger. I'm going to try it next.

Kirsty @ Bowerbird Blue said...

lots of preserves happening at our house, raspberries are the fruit of the day. your chillies and mangoes look amazing.

quinn said...

Passionfruit...yum!!!
Years ago when I worked in Puerto Rico, I became addicted to passionfruit (parcha) juice - especially when mixed with the local rum. That was 2 decades ago, but friends from that time still call me "the parcha lady" :)

Linda Woodrow said...

Chilis are one of the few things I preserve, and chili jam is my favourite way. If you add a pectin source - I go for lemons usually, but a bit later in the year when they start to come into season in bulk - you can make it thicken without cornflour or gum. Otherwise it's the same basic ingredients - vinegar, sugar, salt, chilis, and I usually put in some ginger and garlic too.

Bel said...

Oooh, raspberries. We had wild ones fruiting in December, but they never make it back to the kitchen. Kids! Linda, thanks for sharing that, I will make it today. I've just been out and picked a bucket of chillis, some passionfruit, green beans, eggplant, tomatoes and of course collected today's eggs. AND I counted the baby chickens! We're up to 10 hatched this week so far!

Teresa said...

I'm so jealous you have local mangoes. They're one of my favorite fruits, but definitely an indulgence here in New England. And my husband, who grew up in the Caribbean, would love to grow bananas--again, not an option here.

Then again, I don't imagine you get apples and blueberries as readily as we do. :-)

Bel said...

Teresa, we can grow tropical apples, and they are just about like a 'real' apple from down south where it's cold. :) Not a huge tree yet, and only small crops, but it's so delightful to grow our own apples. I wish I could put in more trees! I do believe people can grow blueberries here, but again, not bucket-loads. :) Mulberries are much easier for me!
Linda, I made chilli jam! It's HOT. Quinn, I'm thinking of juicing some passionfruit. ;)

margot1257 said...

Wow, Bel, when I read your title, my first thought was "Boy, what a great idea to preserve time! Wonder how she does it?" Then I read further and realized my error. But....if you do ever figure it out, I'd love for you to share the technique! :)

Cameron said...

There's nothing in season here now, I'm in Ontario :(

Root veggies, root veggies, and even more root veggies...

Bel said...

LOL Margot! I did it on purpose! Cameron, perfect time to plan your Spring garden then?