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Free food

incorporating Recipes and Cooking
Rhyd6
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Free food

#164701

Postby Rhyd6 » September 6th, 2018, 4:28 pm

Have picked loads of field mushrooms over the last few days. Have had some fried in butter with hot crusty bed and made plenty of mushroom soup for the freezer. We're off for a couple of weeks holiday on Sat. but when we get back it'll be time for jam and chutney making. I love the autumn.

R6

UncleEbenezer
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Re: Free food

#164722

Postby UncleEbenezer » September 6th, 2018, 6:09 pm

Sadly I lack confidence to pick mushrooms, having heard of the extreme toxicity of many species that could be confused with the edible ones. Which is a shame: some (swedish) family members are/were expert, and I met many mushroomers out in Italy when our paths crossed as I gathered the autumn's chestnuts.

I should be gorging on blackberries right now, but they've been so early they're now well past their best: there are a fair few that still taste good but they now have a gritty texture. Brings home just how desperate I was in 2003 when I was still out there gathering the shrivelled relics into the second half of November!

Minor treat: I got a handful of plums from a new self-seeded sapling in the garden. I recognise them from those I used to get from a branch of the much-overgrown hedge before next door cut it down a couple of years back!

Most substantial seasonal treat, apples from the community orchard. Nice taste, but somehow a more starchy feel than a typical supermarket apple (the french linguistic association with spuds springs to mind). One variety there are little red ones where not just the skin but the flesh throughout is a dark wine colour. The last bunch I picked from there made a fantastic crumble combined with garden blackberries, while others have been eaten fresh or juiced and drunk. And I've only ever collected windfalls from there: if I wander along after a bit of rough weather, I can gather those with an entirely clear conscience.

And the garlic given to me by my friend is a revelation! Could garlic be the next strong flavour to go the way of chillies in gaining consumer interest in different varieties?

Rhyd6
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Re: Free food

#164737

Postby Rhyd6 » September 6th, 2018, 7:29 pm

I've never heard of red apples where the flesh is also red. Must look out for them, one of the highlights of our holiday in Norfolk last year was visiting an apple farm which specialised in rare types of apple. It was wonderful to taste all the different flavours but no red ones alas. We've got russetts and Worcester permains in the orchard along with three crab apples but as they've seeded from goodness knows where I don't knnow the varieties. They do, however, make excellent crab apple jelly. We had a fantastic harvest of cherries both the morello for eating and the native red/gold cherries (like the sort you used to see on ladies hats years ago). I've frozen both sorts and have used some to make a thick sort of cordial to pour over ice cream and cheesecake. We've got several pear trees, the pears are small and are known locally as harvest pears but don't know if that is the correct name. They're as hard as nails when first picked but gradually soften up when they're stored. Mum used to bottle all types of fruit but I must admit I find freezing much, much easier.
Enjoy your foraging.

R6

johnstevens77
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Re: Free food

#164774

Postby johnstevens77 » September 6th, 2018, 10:08 pm

We picked 12.5 kgs blackberries from our favourite patch over two 1.5 hour sessions at the end of July/early August. Mind you, I had done a reconnaissance a week beforehand to assess the situation and to clear access through the 6' nettles and thistles with my Stihl headgtrimmer! We made jelly and gin and froze the rest for later in the year. Also free, from the neighbour, lots of leeks that I made into puree and froze for winter soups and carrots as they have a surplus, making carrot halwa this weekend. From our garden, but not free because we had to work to produce, we had 3 kgs blackcurrants, 10 kgs redcurrants, a kg gooseberries, and, so far maybe 10kgs damsons and plums. The soft fruit was made into jelly and frozen; the plums and damsons were bottled, eaten, and made into damson gin. Last week we made rhubarb and ginger jam but we had to buy the ginger of course. Then there are our 6 apple trees. I have maybe 6 preserving jars of puree made from windfalls/wormy apples and two 1kg jars of bottled ones at the moment but we haven't really started harvesting the apples yet, we have 3 well laden trees to go. The autumn fruiting raspberries are still producing but apart from 1 jar of jam we are eating those. The conference pear trees did not do well at all this year, only 7 pears from two trees. Last year we made 3 1kg bottles ate some and gave a lot away and they were delicious. Sloes are looking scarce again this year, maybe I shall have to go further afield for those to make sloe gin.

Making raspberry tart for lunch tomorrow.

I use an old high dome Prestige pressure cooker for sterilising/preserving.

sg31
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Re: Free food

#165359

Postby sg31 » September 9th, 2018, 6:04 pm

I'm envious of your abilities to store the seasons produce. I an in the process of building a fruit garden but as we are having to spend a lot of time sorting out the house and main garden I've not had much time to get things organised

I'm hoping to get a lot more done this winter. 3 dwarf cherry trees, a couple of plums and blackcurrants are definitely planned.

Maybe next year or the year after I will be asking for advice on storing what we produce.

Rhyd6
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Re: Free food

#165532

Postby Rhyd6 » September 10th, 2018, 5:33 pm

sq31 keep plugging away. My GGGGGRANDFATHER started our garden though as he was also the local blacksmith/edge tool maker I rather think his sons and daughters, of which there were many, (16 lived) did most of the work. I don't do a lot these days. we've let some of our friends and neighbours use the bottom field as allotments and as they're younger and fitter than me I gratefully accept any surplus on offer, though I must say I'm beginning to sympathise with Simsqu re courgettes :D

R6

88V8
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Re: Free food

#166455

Postby 88V8 » September 14th, 2018, 8:42 pm

Our James Grieve got carefully murdered late last year - by me - and responded with some huge fruit.
They were very early. Unfortunately, many had brown splodges beneath the skin which have spread about a quarter inch into the flesh, no holes and no associated insects so no idea of the cause, and checking the filing cabinet in which we store them, we found today that some had actually split like overwatered tomatoes. Never seen an apple split in store before.

Our cooker has little fruit, but last year it must have produced half a ton so it's having a rest. Out other eating apple - red flesh - has a nugatory crop, usually a cwt or more.

Plums were feeble this year. Currants, black, red, white, all good. Wineberries good, and they are obligingly seeding themselves into various places where we would not have thought to plant them. Grapes hopeless, nothing new there.

Tomatoes good, the best flavour from a bizarre pendant plant called Tumbling Tom. No blight.
Raspberries red and yellow, still cropping well.

Bramble blackberries from the garden, about three pounds per day, and continuing. Freezers stuffed.

Fruit and veg went well this year. No total failures, nothing much got eaten by wildlife. We might even get some decent sweetcorn, they are protected by an anti-badger stockade, although I noticed sweetcorn last week only 59p in Waitrose, oh well.

V8

bungeejumper
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Re: Free food

#166516

Postby bungeejumper » September 15th, 2018, 9:08 am

88V8 wrote:Our James Grieve got carefully murdered late last year - by me - and responded with some huge fruit.
They were very early. Unfortunately, many had brown splodges beneath the skin which have spread about a quarter inch into the flesh, no holes and no associated insects so no idea of the cause, and checking the filing cabinet in which we store them, we found today that some had actually split like overwatered tomatoes. Never seen an apple split in store before.

Our James Grieve tree is one of the few which we completely pick, because the fruit are so wonderful. (Our orchard is 130 years old, and most of the ancient varieties are hardly worth cooking with, let alone munching for the pleasure of it. They tended to be favoured for their keeping qualities rather than their flavour. Aaah, such was the daily normality in the days before you could pop down to Tescos for some Chilean Granny Smith....)

In fact we find that James Grieve doesn't keep particularly well - we pick it in September, and by December it's lost its texture and gone a bit mushy. But what a fabulous apple. One year, however, we had brown splodges of the kind that 88V8 describes - and the fruit also refused to separate from the tree, because the abscission layer (spelling?) in the stalk hadn't formed correctly. It was caused by magnesium deficiency. A dose of Epsom salts (seriously!) fixed the tree, which has fruited perfectly ever since. :)

Fruit and veg went well this year. No total failures, nothing much got eaten by wildlife. We might even get some decent sweetcorn, they are protected by an anti-badger stockade, although I noticed sweetcorn last week only 59p in Waitrose, oh well.

Best ever year for my sweetcorn. Thirty huge cobs, most of them around 10 inches long, and the flavour is superb. I blanch them for five minutes and then freeze them. They stay wonderful at least until the spring - much better tasting than the 'fresh' ones in the supermarket. But speed is important. The Americans say that once you've picked a corn cob you're supposed to run back to the farmhouse to eat it, not walk.

The only problem I've had this year is that the blackbirds have figured out how to break into the cobs as soon as they ripen, so the last inch of the leaf sheath tends to get ripped up as they forage for the goodies underneath. Can't say I begrudge them their feast, though, because nine tenths of the cob is left for us.

Apologies for diverging into Natural World territory. :lol: Climbing French beans spectacular (and a particularly wonderful taste and texture), tomatoes abundant and really excellent. Courgettes disappointing, onions tiny because of drought, pumpkins growing huge, enough chillies dried now to keep me going for five years.

BJ

88V8
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Re: Free food

#166624

Postby 88V8 » September 15th, 2018, 10:55 pm

bungeejumper wrote:Our James Grieve tree is one of the few which we completely pick, because the fruit are so wonderful. (Our orchard is 130 years old, and most of the ancient varieties are hardly worth cooking with, let alone munching for the pleasure of it. ... we find that James Grieve doesn't keep particularly well - we pick it in September, and by December it's lost its texture and gone a bit mushy. But what a fabulous apple. One year, however, we had brown splodges of the kind that 88V8 describes - and the fruit also refused to separate from the tree, because the abscission layer (spelling?) in the stalk hadn't formed correctly. It was caused by magnesium deficiency. A dose of Epsom salts (seriously!) fixed the tree...


Thankyou, I shall try that.

Ours never keep, as you say they go mushy but this year they are a disaster. We have fruit 4" diameter, with scarcely a mouthful salvable.
Not all bad; in an attempt to save what we can, they have migrated into hot dishes.
Usually, we eat them solo, or I like them with cheddar cheese, this evening though they featured sliced and roasted with pork chops, and in a mixed veg stir-fry. Their sweetness lends them to cooking. Lightly cooking, they soon disintegrate.
Give it a try.

V8

Skotch
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Re: Free food

#167947

Postby Skotch » September 21st, 2018, 3:23 pm

UncleEbenezer wrote:Sadly I lack confidence to pick mushrooms, having heard of the extreme toxicity of many species that could be confused with the edible ones. Which is a shame: some (swedish) family members are/were expert, and I met many mushroomers out in Italy when our paths crossed as I gathered the autumn's chestnuts.


I think it was Terry Pratchett that wrote All mushrooms are edible, though some only once


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