Friday, 27 March 2015

Chutneys and piccalilli

Some of my spiced chutneys and piccalilli made last year from produce from our own garden and foraging. From left to right: spiced marrow and bean chutney; spiced damson; hot chilli and tomato relish; piccalilli. The flavours have definitely merged and matured over the past few months but I think I overdid the onion seed in the marrow chutney. The hotness has leached into the chutney, which now has a hell of a kick to it!

We have enough jars of these and other chutneys to last well into the autumn when the next production cycle begins.

The bread is homemade sourdough, which I am now making on a regular basis. Every loaf is different mainly because I am experimenting with different combinations of flour (white, spelt, rye) and varying degrees of "stickiness", but also because I am trying different ways of baking the loaf. This one turned out rather flat because the dough was a bit too wet. Nevertheless, it tastes great and makes wonderful toast.

Taken as part of the Flickr photo group Challenge Friday, #‎cf15‬, theme spice.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

My rosemary bush has died

My poor old rosemary bush has finally given up the ghost. It is a bit old - about 20 years - but has thrived in this spot, which is not ideal, to the extent that it required regular pruning.

It's in semi shade and although the ground drains well it gets the run off from the shed roof. For the last two years there has also been a vigorous comfrey plant growing behind the bush and in the autumn I have simply left the leaves to rot back into the ground. So too much nitrogen might be a contributing factor. I have two small rosemary plants from cuttings but won't plant them here in case of disease. One I'll put in a pot and the other I'll put at the front of the house where it is sunny and dry.

I've decided to apply my recent permaculture training to help me decide what should be planted in this area in its place. Expect to be bored by sketches, photos and outline plans in the near future!