Sunday, 30 August 2009

Pumpkin purée

Well, the 1st batch of the pumpkin is now purée :) I needed 850g for my pumpkin pie recipe so I cooked that much 1st - baked on a low oven shelf at gas 4/180c covered tightly with foil to steam/roast. I was meant to cook it for 30mins but it wasn't totally soft so I gave it another 20mins. Once it was cool I blitzed it in the food processor. Now it is ready for pie making! I won't be making the pie until later in the week so I am going to pop it in the freezer for now, then defrost it over a sieve so it is not too watery. I love the colour of it!

I still have loads of pumpkin flesh left so I am going to steam/roast the rest of it and save it in batches of 500g. I will then decide what to make with it. :)

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Some clearing, rearranging and harvesting

Managed a few hours down the lottie and mainly did weeding. I also moved some stuff around too that was getting swamped by my enormous cosmos and rudbeckia plants. Remembered the camera so a photo-tastic post for you!

spinach is doing well but it has been seriously nibbled! picked loads for my spinach and ricotta lasagne. there is lots left. yummy :)

weeded beds - flowers, herbs and butternut squash. i moved the lady's mantle out from under the cosmos to give it a better chance. i also moved the tree onions and dug out the golden courgettes as they were pretty much done for. i'm pleased the butternut squash pulled through though :)

hooray! the verbena my friend gave me is starting to flower. love these :)

cosmos. just look at it!!

butternut squash starting to perk up and form some fruits :)

the white dry stalks are from the tree onions i have already harvested. it is good to see they are still growing. not tried the onions yet. i was told they are HOT! i moved them out from under the shadow of the cosmos/rudbeckia giants so hopefully they do ok.

pretty rudbeckia. i picked some more for the flat :)

spotted this busy bee on the globe artichoke flower. i love bumblebees, me!

the blueberry still has a few berries on it but the leaves are turning lovely colours so i took this snap.

the sweetcorn is tempting me every time i go to the lottie! not quite ready yet. the taller ones are the babycorn!! the aubergines are still flowering and fruiting.

i dug some leftover spuds out of this patch last weekend. the courgettes are still going strong and the pumpkins are ok. they were looking a bit yellow and sad so i gave them a good water in the hope they perk up. there are still some pumpkins forming.

runner/french/dwarf beans harvested. these are so delish eaten as is :) so sweet!

there are so many runner beans on this frame that they are pulling it over! this is only a few plants too. i will not need more than this next year!!

I also picked some aubergines, some courgettes and the remaining green tomatoes from the shed toms which FINALLY got chucked out! Hooray - I feel liberated.

Prepared pumpkin

So, I managed to harvest one of my pumpkins for me! The other 2 I've harvested so far have gone to a friend and my big bro. I've spent time cutting up the flesh and now I need to cook it to make myself some pumpkin puree. There is a lot of it from just one pumpkin - that is a big pan! I am thinking of making some pumpkin pie, just becasue I've never had it and it sounds good! I hear you can freeze the puree once cooked so I think I will probably do that as I am away Sunday/Monday on a jolly! Maybe I will cook me up a pie next week. The flesh is very pale and smells a little like melon. I will take pics of the mush once it is cooked. Oh, I added a link to my recipes list for pumpkin-related things - prep and recipes.

I am off to the allotment later to see how things are getting on and to do more work. I am going to chuck out the tomatoes in the shed as I have had enough of looking after them and they're not really behaving. A girl can only take so much! I will try to remember the camera this time for more progress photos.

Oh, my spinach is ready to harvest so I think I am going to make a spinach and ricotta lasagne. Found this easy-looking video recipe - also added to my recipe list. I have grown basil from seed so I have that, and I have bay and thyme at the allotment. I will also be able to use the few tommies I have managed to harvest from the shed plants.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

First pumpkins & a catch up

I've been bad and haven't had much time for the allotment. I've been down to harvest but not done much but mow the grass and plan really. I've only had the plot for a few months but already I am thinking of changing my plans. Firstly, I need to get rid of the grass as I am wasting time mowing it when I could be doing something productive. I am thinking more flowers for next year as the ones I have have really brightened up my flat. I need to get some bulbs in now I think so am mulling next year's plan over. I won't bother with brassicas again I think - too much effort and liability! Def want to have lots more peas - a full row or two. Runner beans about the same (about 6 plants) but try some more exciting varieties, maybe a purple one? More pumpkins and squashes - something like 'petit pan' for def and certainly more sweetcorn. I must plant more onions and some garlic for next year and maybe try some fruit trees. Long list but it does sound like a plan doesn't it?!

So, already harvested my very first pumpkins. I don't know what variety they are unfortunately. They are such a gorgeous colour and shape it seems terrible to cut them up! I gave one to a friend of mine who was with me when I bought the tiny weedy looking plants. She was touched I think and blogged about it here. :) The other I gave to my older brother as he's into growing veg but didn't plant pumpkins this year. I have one on the plot almost ready for me to try which I am looking forward to :) The 4 plants I got are going great guns and I have to keep twisting the plant back into the bed, off the path! Think I will get a great crop of them.

Finally, my tomatoes in the shed have started to ripen. I thought they'd stay green forever! I am not doing the whole tomatoes-in-the-shed malarkey again next year. They needed far too much attention. It was like having kids! ha! It also meant I didn't have much workspace in there. My excuse for not sowing as many seeds as I had planned. I am also pleased the chilli plant I bought is producing fruit too. I picked some teeny red ones and some bigger green ones. There are still plenty on the one plant so that was a bit of a good buy. They are now cleaned up and in the freezer for when I need to use them. The sweet peppers are producing too but not quite ready for picking. The tomatoes I had in the plot have all rotted with all the excess rain we've had which is a shame. The cherry toms especially were going great guns. Hey ho. At least they were only cheap reduced-price plants. You win some...

My aubergines were doing well but have been eaten by slugs. There are more coming on so hopefully they won't get so eaten. The 5 plants I have are still flowering so I'm pleased with their progress :) I am still being inundated with courgettes and runner, french and dwarf beans. The sweetcorn is fattening up and I can't wait for that to be ready.

I had planned to spend some time at the allotment this week, clearing out the brassicas and digging up the spuds. However, I have been a social butterfly instead! I am going to go do some work on today. I need to dig! I hope things are going well for you :)

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Coming soon

I will be posting soon, promise! Got some nice photos to share :) Currently suffering mowing blisters - so much grass to mow. Need to dig that out for next year I think!!

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Don't panic!

I am still alive. Not had much allotment-time lately. It has been torrential rain most days. My poor outdoor tomatoes are more or less rotten. :( Too wet. Some things are thriving - namely weeds and grass paths - and sweetcorn and leeks. I have pulled up my red onions and need to harvest all manner of things like beans and courgettes which are prolific! Also need to get round to digging up all the spuds I have left. I did do some weeding in the pouring rain last week and got soaked. Next week is the week for getting my allotment back into some sort of order.