Visiting a green-fingered friend of mine over the weekend I came away with an armful of her surplus vegetables. It set me thinking what do people do with the seasonal gluts from their gardening? So I asked around to see what my colleagues here at Suttons are getting up to with their excess produce.
We are obviously all friendly folks here as giving our gluts away to friends, family and neighbours were all popular choices but we have also been busy in the kitchen.
Chutney has been made, particularly popular is Runner Bean or the more unusual Sweet Red Onion & Runner Bean.
Everyone has also been blanching and freezing Runner Beans ready for Christmas dinner – ideal for Broad Beans too.
Pickle shallots ready for Christmas, same for Gherkins and, of course, Onions.
We have plenty of uses for Tomatoes. Freeze them on trays, put into plastic bags and then when making soups and stews just pop them in as they are. If you want to eat them now, a tomato soup is easy and tasty. Or bring a taste of Italy or Mexico into your life by making copious amounts of Garlic and Tomato Bruschetta and Hot Salsa, a great way of using up Tomato Tumbler. Making Ratatouille is also popular either to eat straight away or to freeze and eat later. One person makes Tomato Jam – sounds peculiar but I am assured that it tastes delicious!
Several people have Chilli gluts and are drying them for use later. One very industrious person made curry paste, but did say it wasn’t really worth the effort!
Plums are being turned into jam, jam and more jam…. And when you have exhausted your jam jars and your friends refuse to take any more, then just leave them on the trees and give the birds a treat!
And finally we are all getting the forgotten juicer from the cupboard and making delicious and healthy drinks.
Thanks to Lis, Brian, Fran, Dawn, Anita, Pam, Rufus, Julie and Glen for all their suggestions.