’tis that time of year when loads of stuff is ready all at once and produce can’t be frozen and dealt with later, it needs dealing with now…….with careful planning and liaising with other half, i don’t get to spend all day cooped up at home tied to the cooker, but just enough time to feel like i’ve achieved something signifcant and nothing has gone to waste. Obviously all this happens in between wifely duties and brush cutting our entire farm, painting weather board and twisting my ankle
The grapes have been ready off and on for a while so everyday I have been making at least 6 if not more bottles of grape juice. This year I have more white than red, the white also seem to be ready before the red, so I’ve made about 48 litres of white and only 12 of red so far.
It will be a long process as all the grapes on the farm are ready at different times, which is very helpful of them actually, cos I don’t want to make 50 litres of juice all at once..
The black figs are ready now too,
so I’ve been making fig marmalade again (Marmellata di Fichi), it is well worth making at least 6 jars a year, I picked about a kilo and half of figs and made four medium sized jars,
I also used my own lemons this year which is fantastic
Pingo de mel or drop of honey (green figs)
are ready when they produce what looks like a drop of honey from their tip, hence the name…they rarely make it back to the kitchen as they are my favourite and luckily we have two highly productive trees, but if they do make it back I make figs preserved in lemon syrup to have later on in the year either wih meats, cheeses or they can be turned into numerous puddings………
in the winter of 2011 with the help of a friend I pruned our fig trees so last year they didn’t produce, this year they are, next year am hoping even more, and now the figs are accessible……..
Then there’s all the apples and quinces
all put togther with some other hedgrow fruits and a touch of piri piri should make a very acceptable jelly for cold winter nights and christmas hampers
and lastly my favourite, chilli jam