I took on an allotment because I enjoyed the process of growing; the hard labour of digging (although I’m over that now) through to the creative planning of what to grow, when and where.  It is a process that has been mostly successful, the seeds become plants that produce food to eat.

I confess that I was less ready for that element of allotmenting.  I’m a proficient cook, but I’m more at the survival end of the spectrum.  It’s not something I find much joy in; it’s something to be done to fill up growing boys – something must have worked because now they’re grown.

Anyway, over the years I’ve been confronted with various gluts that have sent me to Google seeking ways to process, store and serve.  Gradually I’ve become more confident, I can’t yet boast a 100 recipes for courgettes and cucumbers but I’ve enough to share a few with you.

I will get around to adding a new tab at the top of the page, something obvious like ‘plot recipes’ so please share your ideas for naming the tab.

I’ve been a bit less constrained this year and have eaten mostly veg based meals.  I thought I’d share a few with you – let me know what you think and please share your go-to plot recipes.

Earlier this year, I become intrigued with the idea of edible flowers.  I tried tulips stuffed with cheese and a green salad ‘seasoned’ with dandelion and rosemary petals. The rosemary flowers were amazing, very intense rosemary flavour.  The dandelions couldn’t compete but added a gentle peppery background.  I grew a few trays of pea shoots, which were lovely, well worth the effort.  The tulips had no particular flavour and the petals were tough.  Much better in the vase.  I grew dianthus to eat as it is supposed to taste like cloves but it doesn’t – more like brassica.

More conventional edible flowers this year will be nasturtium and calendula.

I discovered two things about courgettes this year.  Yellow varieties are much sweeter and the flowers gently tossed in spaghetti makes a fantastic supper.  Also picking the flowers with baby courgettes is a cunning way to keep the glut at bay.

This was the first year I grew sugar snap peas; delicious and definitely one to keep on the seed list.  I also discovered the pods that had stayed on the plant too long worked well cooked and mashed in pea and mint hummus.  No pictures but I’ll post the recipe.

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The cucumbers were amazing this year, armfuls of fruit from only two plants.  Even more than Billy could manage.  I remembered my sweet and sour cucumber pickle recipe.  The only dilemma is how to slice the cucumber; chunks, polite slices, chunky slices, long quarters, something else…

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And finally, my first glut recipe was fruit muffins.  Started out with blueberry, then adapted for raspberry and white chocolate and this year rhubarb and almond as well as a carrot, cumin, raisin combo.  I confess the cumin should have been cinnamon but the jars are very similar…

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What are your favourite ways to cook your plot produce?

 

 

Allotment Life: digging, harvesting and other stuff