I had a baking day on Saturday. The weather was terrible with heavy rain but I'd had a good session on the plot the day before, making a start on moving a strawberry bed and setting up a stretch of fence to grow peas or something up. So I didn't feel guilty about staying in all day!
I made two loaves - a chestnut roast (left) using chestnuts we'd collected in the autumn (the same recipe as we had for Christmas Day - see recipe below ) and a chick pea loaf using Shaheen at Allotment 2 Kitchen's recipe (right).
To prepare the chestnuts, I sliced them length ways, boiled for 15 minutes, let cool a little bit then peeled. If you let them cool too much they're harder to peel. When slicing the nuts, I check inside each one to look for grubs (I did have to discard a few nuts because of this). Normally you can tell from the outside, as there's a little hole which is a bit of a give away but sometimes they're hard to spot. I'd kept the nuts in the fridge since we collected them, having read somewhere to keep them in plastic bags (with holes for ventilation) and stored in a single layer. Actually, when I still had loads left they weren't in a single layer (due to space) but seemed to keep ok anyway, with lots of holes in the bags. It's the first year I've tried this, so will definitely do it again.
Some herbs picked from the front yard also went in the chestnut roast - Rosemary and sage (I don't have any thyme).
Shaheen's recipe for chickpea loaf was really easy. I include it here as I did use my own onions and mini greeny-red pepper that was the last on my plant I'd brought indoors (above, with my remaining chillis). You can see my remaining squashes in the background too.
I also made a carrot cake but that didn't involve any home grown or foraged ingredients!
Other things picked this week - I found a few more potatoes! I was forking a bed a bit to temporarily move some strawberry plants into it and discovered these, in good condition too.
And today popped to the plot in my lunch break to pick a bit of chard that went into a curry tonight.
That's me for the week, linking in with Harvest Monday on Daphne's Dandelions
Chestnut Roast recipe (Chestnut, walnut and mushroom nut roast. Serves 4-6)
So we got this recipe from Jan's mum, and not sure exactly where she got it from but the scanned page we have says 'inspired by Rose Eliot and Sarah Brown.' My instructions written below are adapted from the recipe, to cut down on washing up!
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 tsp olive oil
1 red onion finely chopped (I used a normal onion)
1-2 small carrots, grated or finely chopped
200g mushrooms, finely chopped (or in my case, roughly chopped)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
200g chestnut purée or mashed chestnuts
125g walnuts, finely chopped (we used a mixture, and they were roughly chopped, for varied texture, and laziness)
1-2tbsp fresh herbs finely chopped. Eg Rosemary, parsley, sage, thyme
1tbsp tamari or soy sauce (I found this too salty, as the cheese is salty too, so the second time, used half a spoon)
1 cup (100g) grated tasty cheese (We used mature cheddar each time)
1. Grease and line a loaf tin
2. Preheat oven to 200 C
3. Heat oil in large pan and fry onion, celery and carrots for about 5 mins. Add mushrooms and garlic and fry another 5 mins.
4. Turn off, and let it cool a bit (as you're about to add the egg and otherwise it will start cooking). Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
5. Spoon in to the loaf tin and bake for 45-60 mins
6. Let it sit for about 10 mins then turn onto a serving dish
You can adjust the recipe loads of ways eg add chilli, different nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds.