Autumn kitchen

I’m always in two minds about this time of year – one the one hand, I hate the days getting shorter and the reduced opportunities for walks with the dogs, but on the other these couple of months are always associated with happy times in the kitchen, as I preserve the harvest (mine and that of others). So, I am choosing to concentrate on the positives and spend time enjoying the abundance.

I went and bought lots of lovely vegetables – many locally produced – on Friday and have spent the past couple of days combining these with some home-grown produce to make passata, delicious soups and a second batch of sweet, hot chilli sauce. This year has been particularly good for chillies in the limery: I grew lemon drop, trifetti, Trinidad perfume, red and purple jalapenos and hot cayenne. In total, I’ve harvested approximately 2kg, but I haven’t kept track exactly, as I often pick a few to use immediately. Anyway, there’s more than 1.6kg in the freezer, we’ve eaten lots and each batch of chilli sauce uses 100g. In addition, there are still some yet to ripen in the limery and also there are the outdoor ones to bring inside.

Since we are close to ScrapHappy day, I do want to point out the use of “scraps” in my soup-making. Whenever we have meat bones, I boil them up to make stock, then freeze this in blocks. I never use a stock cube or stock powder, I just use my frozen stock and add whatever herbs and spices I fancy. On the bottom left above, you can see two blocks of lamb stock added to the chopped and lightly fried vegetables that became leek and potato soup.

And so, my freezer is filling up nicely – soup, chillies and little blocks of passata, as well as stock and roasted peppers from earlier on in the year – all ready to fend off the winter blues.

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9 Comments

  1. A full freezer is a wonderous thing!

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    • It really is. I especially like having a selection of soups so I can choose whatever I fancy at lunch time …so far I’ve got leek & potato, spicy roasted pepper and sweet potato & squash. I think I’ll do a couple more varieties and then my ‘soup drawer’ will be full and will keep me going for a while.

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  2. Such good planning and prepping! I am not so organized . . . . but I do understand the tension of wanting the warm days to last and still looking forward to the homey comforts of winter.

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  3. I’m with you on the soups. I never chuck out bones or liquid I’ve cooked meat in, leftover curry sauce or vegies. Some of my most memorable soups have resulted!

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  4. I’m totally with you on a full freezer but The Management whinge about not being able to find things. I blame ‘man eyes’ 😂

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    • I’m trying to have a sort out (without emptying the lot) – I’ve allocated a shelf to home made ‘ready meals’, a drawer to soup and one to meat and one to fruit, but after that it all gets a bit random… we have a big freezer and a fridge-freezer, so there’s quite a lot of space to organise.

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  5. Ooh, love a little sweet chilli sauce.

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