Saturday, 31 October 2015


I love sauerkraut. It tastes delicious, is so easy to make and you can play around with the veg mix to get different flavours. I started this batch of sauerkraut about 8 days ago and included red cabbage, white cabbage, celeriac, carrots and some caraway seeds. This is my favourite mix at the moment.The only disappointing aspect about it is that you lose the individual colours of the vegetables and everything becomes pink but it's a sacrifice I can live with.

To keep the vegetables submerged under the brine while they are fermenting I place a whole cabbage leaf on top and a clean small jar filled with water on top of that (not easy to see in the photo on the left)

If you want to try making sauerkraut yourself, Sandor Katz explains the process in his video Fermenting Vegetables with Sandor Katz - YouTube


Warning: If you make sauerkraut in jars do not screw down the lids too tightly. The gas produced by the fermentation can cause the jar to explode. I make my sauerkraut in Ravenhead red top kilner jars. These have a glass lid that sits on top of the jar and is held in place by the plastic ring. When I have filled the jar I screw down the lid completely and then undo it by 2 turns. This allows the glass lid to move enough to let out the gas produced by the fermentation. These jars are no longer produced by Kilner but can be found second hand on eBay.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Last tomatoes of the year

The weather is still relatively but we have had a couple of cold nights and a touch of frost. The foliage on the tomatoes is starting to die back so I decided to pick the remaining tomatoes. With the batch I picked a few weeks ago we should have enough to last through to early December.

Many of the tomatoes are green: some will ripen, some will not, The green ones are delicious simply fried or mixed with green lentils and spices, so they definitely will not go to waste (I am not that keen on green tomato chutney). The Tomato Book published by Simpson's Seeds has a good section on green tomato recipes. As well as recipes the book offers good advice on growing tomatoes and saving seed. It is no longer available from Simpson's but there are some second hand copies on Amazon.

At the same time I found another decent sized squash hidden underneath some leaves. It's the green stripey one to the right of the tomatoes in the photo. I also managed to gather a few beans and some small yellow courgettes but it does look as though that is the last of those crops.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

20th September 2015, Harvest and lunch

Today's harvest from the garden. The yellow courgette, which had been hiding underneath a mass of leaves, is more like a marrow in size but was still delicious. The yellow courgettes have been truly prolific this year.The other veg I gathered are swiss chard, runner beans, hungarian wax pepper and a long thin hot chilli (can't remember the name and the label as gone AWOL)

For lunch we had spiced chicken with some of today's veg harvest. The veg mix included the last of the squash that had been picked a couple of weeks ago. See the entry under 7th September on the Harvests 2015 page for a photo of the beast. I have been told by friends that it is a non-orange skinned form of pumpkin. Whatever it is it was delicious and we have another one sitting in the kitchen ready to be eaten.