Sunday, 28 September 2014

A Week Away

After spending the past week in Dorset I was intrigued as to what I would find in the garden when I got home. I had been slightly regretting booking a week away at such a crucial harvest time. With the weather being as warm as it has there was a real chance plants would bolt, dry out or over-ripen in the time I was gone.

To my delight I came home to a polytunnel full of perfectly ripe tomatoes

Before leaving I picked every fruit that was anywhere near ripe in the hope that this would leave only green tomatoes which should take at least a week to ripen fully. It had worked and I was presented with a glut of Gardeners delight, Alicante and Sungolds.

One thing I have found this Summer is that the polytunnel is surprisingly effective at keeping the water in and the soil moist. Despite the heat in the day when it cools at night all of the condensation drips back down watering the plants at the best time of all. If I had been at home I probably wouldn't have watered inside the polytunnel more than twice in a week anyway.

With this amount of tomatoes on my hands theer was only one thing for it, roast tomato sauce!

Hugely versatile and a great base to so many dishes, this sauce is a must for anyone with a large quantity of tomatoes. It freezes very well so it's always worth having a batch in the freezer whether the tomatoes are home grown or shop bought.

With the tomatoes chopped in half and placed cut side up on a couple of large roasting tins, I added a generous pinch of salt and pepper, plenty of thyme and oregano and some very roughly chopped garlic. This was put in a medium oven for around forty five minutes.

Once passed through a sieve with the back of a spoon the sauce is ready to go. With a deep, rich flavour it's a perfect pairing with pasta, on it's own or with any number of other things added to the mix.

In other garden news the fennel did bolt which I'm not too concerned about. It's great for attract the last of the bees and any remaining butterflies. There's only few bulbs left in so I'm happy to leave them in flower for another few weeks.

Also in the polytunnel I have managed to grow my first few chilli plants, Cayenne peppers to be exact. With no experience of growing these before it is certainly something I'll be diversifying on next year. I'll have to wait a little while longer before I have any peppers big enough to harvest but progress at the moment is certainly encouraging.

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