Everyone’s into the Good Life these days, which means a glut of produce from your own or your friends’ gardens. But what to do with it all?
Peel, core and chop, stew lightly in a little sugar and water, divide into freezer tubs or bags and freeze for use in pies throughout winter. Use cookers and eaters – just use less sugar in the eaters.
Peel and quarter, simmer 2-4 mins in water and a little sugar, drain and pack into sterilised Kilner jars. Fill with brandy, seal and set aside for Christmas.
Wash, halve and stone, pat dry and lay on trays in the freezer. Once frozen, pack into freezer bags and use for pies, crumbles and smoothies or baked and served with honey and a dollop of ricotta.
Put 1½ cups/mugs malt vinegar, 1 cup/mug beetroot water, 1 cup/mug brown sugar and 1 tsp salt in a pan, boil for 10 mins, cool and pour over cooked sliced beetroot in sterilised jars. Seal and use
Put halved/quartered tomatoes in a roasting tin with a good drizzle of olive oil, peeled garlic cloves and diced red onion and roast at 140C/Gas 3 for about 40 mins. Set aside to cool, whizz in a food processor until smooth. Freeze in batches in freezer bags/boxes to use as a base sauce for curries or Italian dishes.
Cut into chips, soak for 20 mins in cold water, rinse, pat dry, cook in batches in a deep fat fryer on high 2-3 mins. Cool, freeze in a single layer on trays, store in bags in the freezer and bake from frozen.
Cut into 4cm deep rounds, scoop out seeds, brush with olive oil, place on a greased baking tray and stuff with chilli or a vegetable coconut curry and roast on 180C/Gas 4 for 20-30 mins.
Wash whole berries and spread on tea towels to dry, freeze on trays, then put in bags and use in crumbles, smoothies etc.
9. Pickling onions
Sarson’s recipe for 2kg pickling onions says layer peeled onions in a bowl, sprinkling each layer with salt, cover and leave overnight. In a pan, put 600ml malt vinegar, 25g salt, 100g granulated sugar, 10 peppercorns, 2tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp coriander seeds and 2 bay leaves, bring to a boil, remove from heat, leave to infuse. Rinse onions, pat dry, pack in sterilised jars, pour over pickling mix and leave for 6 weeks.
Trim, dice and wash thoroughly, lay on kitchen paper and pat dry, then freeze spread on trays. When frozen, decant into bags and use throughout the winter.