I’ve found this an odd semi-Covid year, I’ve also had shingles and it’s taken a long time to get my energy back. I’ve been inspired recently to get doing things again and I have some projects I’ve done that I want to show you. But first on today’s menu, pickled beetroot. I bought a 1kg bag of beetroot from a local shop that had been reduced to 50p and that’s motivation enough to make me think ‘pickled beetroot’ and today I made some.
I found a recipe in an old recipe book.
I made my spiced vinegar with 1 litre of distilled malt vinegar, 1 cinnamon stick, 1tsp black peppercorns, 1/2 tsp whole cloves, 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds, 1 tsp whole all spice 3 bay leaves and 3 tbsp caster sugar. I am going to bottle up the excess vinegar to use for something else along with the leftover spices.
He are my finished jars all ready for Christmas (or sooner) 🙂 I have re-used mayo jars and sterilised them in the oven.
My garden is flourishing, mostly things I haven’t planted, but it’s full of life!
Look at these beans, they are ones that seeded themselves last year and they are magnificent! There are so many bean pods on them. They are one of our favourite vegetables so we are very happy, not quite ready to eat yet though.
These are beans I sowed in the spring, they are doing very well too, so we will have a succession of them through the summer. As you can see we have a few corn poppies around as well.
The green house is looking good, here are aubergines, hot chillies and some sweet red peppers just coming through.
I also have more chillies, and a few tomatoes still to be planted up.
Even though I wasn’t able to tend to my garden as much as I would have liked, it is doing well and I have lots to be greatful for 🙂
As you may know, I always like to get the sowing of broad beans in early. The earlier I sow, the more I can grow and you do need a lot of plants to get a decent portion of beans. The seeds in the paper cup are left over from last year and have been sitting around in the damp, but I’m giving them a chance, you never know. The others I’ve chosen for quantity and they were bought in the autumn when I sowed my first lot straight into the garden.
I have sowed twelve of each and I’m looking forward to the first signs of growth, probably three weeks.
The ones I sowed in November are somewhere near that polytunnel that’s in need of repair (wind damage!). The water has receded now but who can say whether the broad beans will still germinate. I love the anticipation 🙂
I decided insulating the greenhouse would be a good idea, as it means I can start sowing my seeds earlier than usual and I have somewhere to put my geraniums until it’s safe to put them outside.
I decided to do it today as I was feeling the weight of the COVID restrictions and needed to do something that I could get completely absorbed into. I actually discovered that lining a greenhouse on your own needs the use of virtually your whole body, but I managed it.
I have sorted through my seeds already and made a list of what I would like to buy and am now looking forward to the new growing calendar! 🙂
Well we’ve lived in this house with a very large walnut tree in the garden for fifteen years and I’ve never pickled walnuts before. I remember Grandma and Grandad having them at Christmas but being only little I never tried them to see what they tasted like.
So here goes!
Pick them in July. First they need to be tested with a fork to make sure the shell hasn’t started forming. Then put them in a brine for two weeks, changing the brine every three days.
Then lay them out on a tray to dry, they will then turn completely black.
The white dust on them is the dried salt so I rinsed it off before pickling them.
This is the vinegar and spices to be brought to the boil in a pan.
Put the walnuts in sterilised jars and fill up with warm vinegar. I shared the spices between the jars as well
With the kids or on your own we can celebrate food over this strange time of lockdown. You can make pancakes for breakfast, especially at this special time of Easter!
2oz plain flour, 2 eggs and a little milk makes 6-7 small pancakes. Double that for more, halve it if you are on your own (give left overs to the birds) 🙂
I use gram flour as I can’t eat wheat but use any plain flour!
mix it up together with a fork squashing any big lumps, little lumps don’t matter.
Turn on the pan on a high heat and add a tiny bit of oil (we are cooking them not frying them) and spread it out over the pan. You might have to add a little more during cooking all the pancakes but remember a teeny tiny bit!
put a large spoon of mixture into the pan.
Your pancake needs turning over with a spatula as soon as little craters start to appear like the ones I’ve ringed around.
Only leave it like this for a few seconds and then put on a warm plate and make the next one.
Note: When the pan looks like it’s smoking, don’t panic, just turn the pan down a little but not a lot, you need it hot.
Then you can put them on the table with all your chosen toppings 🙂 You can use savoury toppings if you prefer.
Note: in your enthusiasm, don’t forget to move the pan safely of the heat.