A very hectic week, on Monday I was given loads of cherry plums, tiny black ones which were very ripe, golden ones that were ripe, and red ones that were a bit less. I've spent the week turning these into a variety of preserves, so they did not go to waste.
The over ripe black ones were used in Amanda's chutney recipe, instead of tomatoes. I think it's worked really well and I have 6 jars in the cupboard to mature, as well as half a jar for immediate eating.
The golden ones were lovely just to eat, but no way were we going to manage them all. I have 2 kg stoned and frozen on trays before bagging, so I can use whatever quantity I want during the winter. They also made a lovely golden plum jam, then, in case we got bored, I put some bruised ginger root, garlic and a chocolate habenero chilli into a bag, and stewed it in with the plums. I lifted it out before adding the sugar, and the jam has a fruity taste, with a hot garlic kick afterwards. I think besides being a good condiment to cold meat and cheese, it will be useful added to stir fries, instead of buying plum sauce.
Emboldened by this success, I used the small red plums to make chilli jam, with one scotch bonnet added to 1kg plums, and a chocolate habanero added to a second kg. Each batch made x 1lb jars of jam, so I now have a cupboard full, though it will soon empty when the boys leave at the end of the summer! A really nice fruity jam with the heat coming in later. A favourite with Matt, so I might see if I can beg a few more plums for another batch.
Last, but not least, I just picked the summer raspberries. They are definitely not such good quality as the earlier ones, but taking them together with the ones I have already frozen, I have enough to use the last of the pectin containing sugar, but this time I'll do 750g fruit, and add 250g of ordinary sugar, as the set was a bit too stiff last time.
I should go to the allotment garden this afternoon to pick stuff, but to be honest, I would just like to feel I have caught up for a while. I must go tomorrow though, as the last visit was Tuesday. Then I picked so many cucumbers that I used a kilo in cucumber relish. The problem was, the recipe called for green tomatoes, so I did sacrifice a few, but I don't want to lose too many. I like the relish, but it isn't sweet enough for the men of the family. I think after the 3 months maturing that is called for, it will have mellowed down, and maybe they will find it more to their taste.
All I had in bowls in the kitchen were tomatoes, but having just gone outside, I found a load of beans so these are now added, ready to go in the fridge. I need to pick the blackberries and blueberries, as well as giving everything a good water, because only the essentials got done yesterday becaues of jam and hospital visiting. I'm afraid to venture outside, as I will see yet another job to do, as well as all the housework that has piled up. Still the dust is very patient, it never gets fed up with sitting around waiting for me!