Monday, 6 July 2015

Harvest Monday - saskatoons

A quick round up of the harvests as I'm feeling rather pooped tonight...
Basil and rocket to make a pesto
With toasted walnuts and olive oil added
Looks a bit grim...
But tastes real good, here with goats cheese And sourdough bread
I put the rest of the pesto into a jar and covered with oil to preserve it, and stored in the fridge
Ok, not a harvest of mine but these were so nice I had to share. I worked at the Royal Norfolk Show on a stand last week and in my lunch break paid a visit to the food hall. Full of local produce, this lovely selection of tomatoes were from Cornerways, who use a reclaimed heat from a factory next door to warm the greenhouses. These were only £3 (reduced from £5) and the first tomatoes I've bought for months.
They were very sweet and a yummy snack. It's made me want to try and grow different varieties.
I had my first proper courgette harvest this week, hopefully the first of many
More rocket, with the infamous Squashage rolls, Mmm.
Another good fruit week, but now pretty much the strawbs have ended, this is from earlier in the week when there were still quite a few. Plus some redcurrants (I've picked a couple more tubs of these too, jan's mum helped pick one day - they were visiting this weekend). The eagle- eyed will see the first raspberries, which since this piccie have speeded up ripening. I need to tie them in a bit better to make them easier to harvest, they're flopping all over the place. I do love raspberries though!
I thought I'd try to make a strawberry leather, because the lean-to gets really hot and we had a bit of a heat wave. It's just strawb whizzed with some lemon juice
Spread thinly on baking parchment
Covered with muslin. I didn't get the weights right first and the material dipped into the fruit, oopsie
Well, after two days it had dried around the edges but not in the middle, so I ate the dried bits and scraped some of the soft fruit off too then composted the rest so a bit of a fail. I've tried to do it in the oven before but can't get a low enough temp, even with the door open, so the edges burnt. I'll have to think of some other way of doing it though I prob won't try again this year.
The two thin layers of leather didn't use up much of the strawb mush so I added the rhubarb from last week, cooked it down a bit, whizzed it up and froze for later use.
Here's the promised saskatoons (purple berries) nice and plump. These two tubs were from last night, I'll probably need to head out tomorrow and pick some more before the birdies get them, it's been quite rainy inbetween the sun, so hopefully things will come on nicely

Ah, I nearly forgot, there have also been a few pods of delicious peas that haven't made it into the house for photographing. A little treat.

Linking in with Harvest Monday on Daphne's Dandelions



  1. You've inspired me to get out there and pick some basil for pesto - looks delish! And those tomatoes are lovely & what a deal!

    That's too bad about the fruit leather. Instead of spreading it in one big piece, maybe if you did strips on the parchment it would dry more evenly & be fully done after a couple of days? I've never made fruit leather myself, so really have no clue, but figured I would throw that out there.

    1. Thanks Margaret, we've still got a couple of toms left, it's been great having them in sandwiches too....making me wonder when my own will be ready.
      Hmm, good idea with the strips of leather. One problem I had was trying to get an even thickness though so not sure if it might be tricky to do thin strips. Having said that, I think this was quite a wet mixture, last time I did it in an autumn with apples added to other fruit and reduced the thickness on the hob first. These strawbs were just whizzed up raw.
      The general guide is 8-12 hours on a really low heat, I guess maybe I didn't get that much continuous heat across the two days, it's shady in the morning and evening, plus the mixture was wet.

  2. Ooh, I'd love to make a good fruit leather, but not so easy it seems (plus I don't really grow much of my own fruit!). Your basil looks so perfect right now .. mine is already going yellow and dry from too much sun.

    1. Hi Susie, well it's meant to be really easy to make a fruit leather, I just made it look tricky! Fan ovens are supposed to be good for getting an even temp, our oven is quite old and variable. And it seems weird using an oven with the door open, wasting heat and resources, which is why I thought I'd try using the sun, maybe I just need a more open spot. The shed on the allotment gets really hot but it's too messy! Mixtures of fruit are nice so maybe if a local market has some you could get a variety? It doesn't actually take much fruit as it's so thin.
      Some of my basil's starting to get a bit tired, probably needs a feed or just ditching. I have some more seedlings sown recently to replace them though :D

  3. Look at all your fruit, it just keeps rolling in. Amazing. I'm jealous of your courgettes, all my seeds failed to germinate.

    Your box of different tomatoes looks great, there's so many varieties of tomatoes I'm always trying to grow new ones.

    1. Thanks Phoung, there's more fruit to come, I just need chance to pick it :) luckily currants and gooseberries keep quite well on the bush even when they're ripe for a while.
      Ah, shame about your courgettes. I've lost quite a few squash plants, gherkins and cukes. They were nice and healthy but then got slugged. I haven't had chance to get to the plot since Sunday, and it's been rainy and sunny, so I wonder what sized courgettes await me tomorrow!

  4. I've never tried making fruit leather. My mom used to do it all the time when I was growing up, but her oven went low enough. Your currants look so beautiful. I've still got to go and pick the rest of mine. Right now it is too hot to go outside, so it will have to wait.

    1. Ah, you should have a go at leather Daphne, hopefully it's an inherited skill :) the one I did in the oven a couple of years ago was really tasty, just a shame it burnt round the edges. I think it was a mixture of soft fruits frozen earlier in the summer plus apples and some spare jam as a bit of sweetener.
      We've had a hot spell but today has turned rather chilly, I even had to wear three layers this evening. I'm hoping t pick some more fruit tomorrow, the rasps should be getting into full swing now, plus redcurrants, black currants and gooseberries. Gulp, they'll takes ages to pick!

  5. What do saskatoons taste of?

    1. Hmm, difficult to describe sue, a bit like blueberry with a kind of dry texture? They get really sweet if you let them get really dark and ripe but then there's the risk the birdies will get them. I picked some more today after not being down for a few days and there were quite a few good dark ones