Little starts back at school this week. During the school holidays he's learned to swim unaided, has been allowed to start cooking HOT things (it's okay we had the emergency services on standby) he's even had a few golf lessons with a pro. I know, I know, how to ruin a good walk, the shame of it...
Small starts school for the first time this month too. I cried and cried when Little started school. I'm guessing there'll be a few tears this time too. Does every mum feel like that? I always feel like I've lost part of me when the holidays end. The end of an era, both children will be at school. There's possibilities of me working - this will be an immense shock to the system. There's still the possibility of a dog too, though I'm realising that this could be a mistake if I am going to be working....
Veg Patch News: We're still getting strawberries every day. The blueberries had all gone by the time we returned from an extended trip to Spain. We got one apple from the little fledgling tree that was planted earlier in the year - we shared it between the four of us! The carrots are delicious! The potatoes are great, though they've all got something called scab. Sounds and looks disgusting but it's only on the skin and once you peel them they're superb. Definitely a case of beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We threw away over 5 kilos of green tomatoes yesterday - they'd all succumbed to blight. This was after darling hubs had made copious amounts of delicious green tomato chutney. It's such a horrible feeling when so much hard work and effort has gone into planting your own veg to have it fail. Still I'm hoping the pumpkins are going to be a winner and that the corn grows a tiny bit more. We've also put some radishes and lettuce in which germinated within 4 days, the lettuce should be ready within the week.
Spicy Green Tomato Chutney (makes approx 8 or 9 x 250g jars).
1 kilo Green Tomatoes, washed and chopped
500g Dark Brown Soft Sugar
1 kilo Onions, peeled and finely sliced.
Handful of dried apricots, chopped
1 litre Malt Vinegar
1 inch Fresh Ginger, peeled and finely grated
Seeds from 10 Green Cardamon Pods (gently crush the pods and remove the seeds)
2 teaspoons Mild Chilli Powder
2 piri piri chillis, finely sliced
2 tablespoons of salt
We placed all the ingredients in a very large, heavy based Le Creuset saucepan, brought it up to the boil and then turned down to simmer for 1.5 hours. It still seemed a little runny so we let it simmer for a further 30 minutes. On tasting Hubs also felt it needed a little more sugar, so he added some light brown soft sugar (approx 3 tablespoons) and a little more chilli powder. Decant into sterlised jars, we did this by putting them in a warm oven for about an hour (we forgot about them), best to look up how to sterilise jars properly as we're no experts here and botulism is a serious thing, cover and leave to cool before putting a lid on.
You can play with the seasonings. Add cumin maybe, or more chilli or don't put the chilli in. We like things with a kick, hence adding more part way through cooking. It's excellent served with a mature cheddar & wholemeal crusty bread - speaking from immediate experience...
Getting tomato blight feels like the dementors from Harry Potter have arrived, slowly seeping into your thoughts, sucking the happiness and soul out of you. Should you get tomato blight , google it and learn all sorts of horrible crabby facts. My lovely friend Fiona is always good for these sorts of things, try her post here, which has some links to other sites too.. Ensure you dispose of the infected plants using special chemical biohazard suits, do not under any circumstances touch it with your real human hands as touching other things could then spread the disease. Dispose of the soil they were grown in, again carefully and without infecting the land around you, you could try calling some bio-hazard company or possibly the goverment. Do this as quickly possible and then hit the gin. It's the only cure to restore happy thoughts or soul after having a very large cry that is!
Tomato blight looks like this!