Despite the strange summer weather we have had this year. We have managed to grow lots and lots of chillies. We plan to freeze some and dry some for adding to spicy dishes throughout the year.


Pumpkins and Squashes

I have to say our pumpkins were a little disappointing this year. After a head start under cloches they seemed to stop growing quite early on in the season. I am not sure if the mild summer is the cause but we had dead plants and ripe pumpkins ready to pick at the end of August. Our butternut squashes and summer squashes on the other hand have performed quite well.

Tomato Glut!

We kind of went a little overboard with our tomatoes this year. We grew several hanging baskets, several grow bags and several tubs. Far too many for us to eat all in one go. Below is a recipe for making a tomato pasta sauce. We used all cherry tomatoes, both red and yellow so our sauce turned out a little orange rather than red. Its tasty all the same though.


As many tomatoes as you can fit in a tin. Chopped up into halves or quarters
A large onion, chopped
3 Cloves of garlic
Basil and Oregano

Place all the ingredients in a roasting tin with a little olive oil and cook in the oven for about 30-40mins until soft.
Strain off any excess liquid and then blast them in a food processor.
Season if needed.


Our grapes are well on their way to ripening. We are hoping to protect them a bit better this year. Last year we lost the whole lot one morning to cheeky little birds.

New Baby Cookies

My best friend has just given birth to a little baby boy, so I decided to have a go at making some iced cookies to give her as a gift.

New Baby Cookies

I followed this recipe:

Pickled Onions & Beetroot

We decided to try our hand at pickling a few different types of onions. Like our garlic they looked like a few of them were starting to get a little mouldy so we pulled them up early to save what we could and binned the rest.

Here are the results

pickled onions

We made 3 different onion variations: Chilli Shallots, Balsamic Onions, Traditional pickled (red) onions. The picture also shows some pickled beetroot we used a basic pickling recipe for this too.

My favourite is definitely the balsamic onions. The others are ok but maybe a little acidic. Next time I think we will add a little sugar 🙂

Broccoli and Cucumbers

Our latest pickings include Broccoli and Cucumbers…

We are struggling to get our broccoli to have large heads though. There must be some trick to it! But it tastes great all the same 🙂

Courgette and Mushroom Bread

At the weekend I got busy baking a loaf of courgette and mushroom bread. It was very tasty! I recommend it to anyone with a glut of courgettes. I only needed to add half of the amount of recommended water and needed quite a bit more flour whilst kneading. So you might wish to bear that in mind.

Insites Tour 2011

Last week I attended the London leg of the Insites Tour. It was a great evening with some interesting stories/biographies from the speakers and lots of networking. However reflecting back on it now, I am not sure how much I personally took away from the evening. Having been to this, I have decided I think I may favour the normal conference style format with code and design slides/presentations. Does that make me a little geeky? Or maybe i am just greedy and would like a little of both!

A quick pic from my iphone…

Garlic Plaiting

We got a little eager and harvested our garlics too early because we had a couple showing signs of mould. Luckily only a few were affected so the survivors were hung up in the shed to dry out for a couple of weeks. Once they were all dry I plaited them together and here is the final product. Hopefully these will store well for the next few months.

New Camera

Finally I have treated myself to an SLR camera. Ive just brought a brand new Nikon 3100 with a 18-55mm kit lens. I also purchased a 35mm lens at the same time, so I am excited about getting out and taking some new pics!