Autumn is Here

The last of 2011's tomatoes

Autumn is well and truly here, isn’t it folks? I can’t believe it. Someone said to me this morning that Christmas will be here soon and I suppose they were right.  In fact, some mornings I could be forgiven for thinking that it’s winter already. Yesterday the front page of one of the tabloids claimed that it will snow in October. It sounds crazy but who knows? These days our seasons are all of a muddle.

We were on holiday last week in Norfolk and had a brilliant time in the (miraculous) sunshine there – I’d worried that it would rain all week – but now that we’re back it’s clear that many of the vegetables in the garden are on their way out. Doug has pulled up the sweetcorn which has served its purpose for the year and the tomatoes are starting to get blight. Luckily the ones in the green house are OK at the moment and we’re picking our way through the ones outside which are still edible. We’ve been making lots of roast tomato sauces which I’ve become totally addicted to now. All you do is heat the oven to 180 degrees/gas mark 4, cut up as many tomatoes as will fit in a baking tray, season and throw on some olive oil. Then roast for 45 minutes, remembering to turn halfway through. It’s also nice with some slices of pepper and chilli. We have plenty of these in the green house – especially chillis – which we’re working our way through at the moment. Then serve on some pasta or it’s also really nice as a rich spicy salsa for fajitas. If you have too much then you can freeze it and use it later.

Red hot chillis!

There’s still carrots in our bed and in pots and – naturally – the courgettes are still going. We are struggling to keep up with just the two plants though. I think some major batches of vegetarian chilli could be in the offing. The loose leaf salad is still going strong too and we’ve had some delicious salad selections. We’re not quite sure about the chicory Doug’s growing however. It looks amazing but when we tried it out the other day it had a very strong bitter taste to it. Apparently it’s supposed to get milder the colder the weather gets, though, so we’ll see how it goes. Sadly our fig tree, which is in a pot, fell over while we were on holiday and detached itself from the automatic watering system and isn’t looking too well. Doug gave it a good water and we’re just praying it will make it.

The good news is that Marmalade our Orpington hen has stopped being broody – but only to go through another moult! That girl likes to look her best for Mr Right. So Missy our light Sussex hen is busy keeping the home fires burning on the egg production front. That girl rarely seems to take a day off. We came home to no less than six eggs which my neighbour Nina had kindly saved for us.

Let me know how your own veggies are doing and if you’ve got any good autumn recipes for using up the last of the season’s produce as I’d love to hear them. I feel that with this autumn chill now it may be time to make some soups and casseroles soon. Mmm….now I feel hungry again…
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This entry was posted in Essex, Food from the garden, Green living, Hens, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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