16 October 2012

Puddles and clouds

That's our lot in life right now. It's been raining for more than two weeks. All told, 2012 will be remembered as the year of weather extremes. Want cold? You got it. Want dry? Wet? Windy? Well, at least we haven't been bored.

It's raining again this morning. Yesterday, we got the day off as far as falling rain was concerned, but we had plenty on the ground from the weekend deluge. Tomorrow's forecast: wind and rain — much worse than today, according to the weather woman on TéléMatin. Life goes on.

Yesterday we pulled most of the vegetable garden out. We got a few more red or almost-red tomatoes, and we got a bucket full of green ones. Any ideas? We also picked about a dozen small, hard eggplants. I hope they're ripe enough to cook — there's only one way to find out.

The garden plots were a muddy mess but the job is done. And not a moment too soon. Of course, the collard greens and Swiss chard are thriving — their only enemies right now are snails and slugs. They too are thriving.

The gardening contractor we've hired sent out a two-man crew yesterday afternoon to start the job of trimming that long tall hedge. They got about half the job done before darkness fell, and they said they'd be back this morning at 8:00 — rain or shine. It's rain.


  1. Ken, try a green tomato chutney... this is a British standard... the climate = green tomatoes in spades more often than not.

    3 pounds Green toms [chopped], 3 red peppers [for a bit of colour], 1 pound each sliced onions, cooking or sweet apples [weighed after peeling, coring and slicing], Sultanas and brown [or cane] sugar [add another quarter pound of sugar if using real cooking apples such as Bramleys]. One and a half British pints of Cider vinegar. 2oz mustard seed. 2 oz salt. One large root of root Ginger, well chopped... about a quarter pound. A quarter tea-spoon Cayenne pepper [or a fresh one, bruised] completes the ingredients.
    Method: Hurl the lot into a large pan [I use a 9 litre marmite] and simmer slowly for 2 to 3 hours until thick. Turn into jars. Seal

    Apologies for the English measure... I've been using this recipe for the last 30 years from a book published in '71.

    I now also have many variations on the theme... but this is the basic.
    I shall be making "Old Blighty" Chutney from our green toms today... after a bit of chainsaw work on our woodpile.

    Hav fun!

  2. A spare 'e' [insert where needed!]
    Blogger please let us edit!!

  3. Green tomato relish, pickled green tomatoes, or, of course, the Southern favorite, fried green tomatoes.

  4. Thanks Margaret, I'll have to look for a green tomato relish recipe. That sounds good. In past years, I've made green tomato ketchup (okay, but not great — I could probably improve it) and of course fried green tomatoes.

    Tim, no problem with English measures. Our house is bi- or even tri-graduated, if you know what I mean. (U.S. and English measures are different in minor details.) We don't eat much chutney, though.

  5. I'd be leaving the green ones for a month in a box. Almost all of mine have turned red eventually.

  6. Picadilli -- green tomatoes and cabbage. Fine with ham, cold cuts and more.

  7. Picadilli -- green tomatoes and cabbage. Fine with ham, cold cuts and more.

  8. Fried Green Tomatoes at the....French House? Doesn't work at all, but I guess you know what I am alluding to.

    Didn't you do the hedge last year..........and the year before. It was rather a job and a half.

  9. Did you ever try that recipe for green tomato jam that Annie gave me years ago? I never had a chance to try myself. Too bad because it is delicious.

  10. Callie must need a very thorough
    shower after a romp out in those

    Can't imagine not liking chutney.
    Wonderful with all kinds of
    meat and poultry.

  11. Green tomatoes and bell peppers with red pepper flakes with sugar and vinegar make a simple relish that is delicious with black eyed peas.

    Glad the hedge guys are taking care of business.

  12. I'm intrigued by all of these ideas for green tomatoes. Hmm.

    Susan, did yours that turned red actually taste goo, too?

  13. Judy, I wondered the same thing about the box-ripened tomatoes. A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned the idea to the bread lady. She said: "...but they never taste as good ripened that way..." I've done it before, but I can't really remember.

  14. Sheila, I didn't say I didn't like chutney. Just that we never seem to find the occasion to eat it. Kind of cooking we do, I guess.

  15. CHM, no, I didn't try that recipe. I need to look for it. I'm sure it's on my computer somewhere.

  16. CHM, found the recipe immediately. I'll try it:

    Confiture de tomates vertes

    5 pounds of green tomatoes
    4 pounds of sugar
    rind of 1 lemon
    juice of 1 lemon

    Cut the tomatoes in half and squeeze the seeds, then cut the halves into thin slices. Put them into a large glass or china bowl and sprinkle with the sugar. Allow to marinate for 24 hours.

    The next day, cook the tomatoes over a low flame in a heavy pot with the lemon juice and lemon rind for 2 hours. Stir from time to time with a wooden spoon.

  17. Evelyn, thanks, that does sound good, with black-eyed peas or other beans. I'll try that too.


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