I’m back in Portugal for a short visit, I was rather hoping for some sun so I could get on with some work on the farm. But as most of the work I wanted to do is weather dependent I have had to abondon my plans for the time being and let the farm get on with what it does best, being organic and making it’s own way.
There are several downed trees, including a magnificent cork oak, a mud slide and two wall collapses.
The vegetable garden, however is quite productive. Before I left in December I planted broad beans, onions and garlic, which are all doing very well. The food left over from last years various plantings is also still doing well, purple sprouting broccoli, carrots, parsnips, leeks, cabbages, asparagus and celery continue to be eaten.
I shall plant some more carrots and parsnips, but not sure how they will fare without watering later on. which currently seems ironic considering it hasn’t really stopped raining here for months.
So, am inventing indoor activities which have so far included clearing the freezers of fruit and turning it into chutney
750g of plums, halved and stoned
2 tsp of dry chilli flakes
1 tsp cinnamon
30g fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tsp salt
usual procedure, bung it all together, cook till you have a set and pour into sterilised jars and seal. Its yummy, even the next day
and cherry chutney
2 1/2 lb cherries
128g diced onion
2 tbsp minced ginger
1/4 tsp mustard seed
1/4 tsp celery seed
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp of dried chilli flakes
1 tsp salt
directions as above
Cooking endless cakes and puddings
sticky toffee pudding
175g dates, but I used figs, cos I didn’t have any dates
1 tsp bi
hot cross buns
and curries, with food from the freezers
potato and spinach curry
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 fresh (or frozen in my case) long red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground cumin
2 x can toms, or loads of frozen ones
2 tbs freshly chopped coriander
cook the potatoes until nearly done and dice them up. cook onion in a bit of oil, then add garlic and spices, stir in the tomatoes and cook for 15 mins. then add the potatoes for another 5 mins. Add the spinach. Thats it, serve with yogurt and another curry…..
250g red lentils
400ml coconut milk
a handful of curry leaves
2 medium chopped tomatoes
1 tsp turmeric
2-3 long pointy green chillies , sliced
2 tsp black mustard seeds
2 onions, one finely chopped, one sliced
Put the lentils, coconut milk, the chopped onion, tomatoes, chillies and turmeric in a pan with 300ml water, season and simmer for 20 minutes, until the lentils are tender.
Fry the sliced onion in 4 tbsp oil until crisp, add the curry leaves (or coriander) and mustard seeds and sizzle together. Dish up