I have been neglecting other areas of this blog to focus on showing you what I have been cooking from the allotment. Everything has been more or less harvested, the weather is getting cold again, so our days there are not as many as during the summer. Anyway, the other Glen suggested I make aubergine/melongene fritters.  I cut this vegetable into circles, then coated them in egg, flour and breadcrumbs and then fried. Lovely tasting, although next time I would add more seasoning to the uncooked aubergine.

So I have decided to celebrate the colour yellow today. All these of course came from the allotment. The roasted corn was truly tasty and so simple to achieve, one  of my favourites as a child. The marigold flower  provided such beauty amongst the masses of green plants.     Finally, we have a beautiful yellow sweet, sweet tomato.                                                                                                                                                     Three yellows providing lots of life to the allotment.


I am amazed as to the truly beautiful colours and different shapes of foliage and flowers that could be seen on the allotment. This is the flower of the artichoke. I initially thought it was a flower on its own. The colours, shape and texture seen, simply sensational.



Tomato sauce, sadly, I must admit to simply being a consumer of tomato sauces and ketchup without given much thought to the making of these.  Well, until now. I have made my first ever tomato sauce, and it is so simple to make. These lovely tomatoes were put to blitz in a blender, then poured in a sauce pan and reduced in quantity. Tomato holds a large amount of water.

As I was making the sauce, I kept thinking  I am wasting my precious tomatoes. Eventually, it looked as the image above and it tastes delicious as well. What I do like about making this sauce is I was able to control the final taste, putting the amount of spices, onions, garlic, ginger,lime juice and sugar as I wanted. Will try again next year, maybe try tomato ketchup.

Roasted Parsnip                                                                                                                            Parsnip Soup                                                                                         White Rose                                                                                                                                                          

So this is where we are at now, from bonfire night to planting the winter onions and garlic. I never thought one planted at this time of the year, but there you go. Very interested to see how these will grow. Apparently, one harvests in the spring. Will keep you posted. To my surprise chard and leek also can survive the winter, look how healthy they look.

Cabbage Rice                                                                                                             Coleslaw                                                                                                                       Cabbage

Aubergine Fritters                                                                                                     Aubergine coated in breadcrumbs                                                                             Aubergine

The chard is also doing well                                                                      Winter onions and garlic                                                                             Allotment at present

As you can see, something  possibly slugs have been having a feast at this aubergine and cabbage. We planted 14 cabbage plants but only this one on the right has survived.  Thinking cap on for next year.To be honest, I am not a great cabbage fan but who knows I may have a change of heart after tasting this one from the allotment. Every vegetable tastes different when grown on the allotment, beautifully different.

Parsnips                                                                                                                        Parsnips                                                                                                                  Parsnips Chips

Aubergine                                                                                                        Cabbage                                                                                                               Cabbage

I have never really cooked parsnips before, well until today. This is vegetable I have seen many times in the grocery, but have never really taken notice of it. Ade in his usual generous way, gave these two to Glen and I. His advise was to make chips/fries. He further said, "When you eat this, you will plant it next year"

The fries were absolutely delicious! There is this beautiful slightly sweet taste and dare I say, taste almost like regular potato chips or even better.

We planted 14 cabbage plants and was able to reap only one, this one. I would be the first to admit that cabbage was not on my list of favourites. I cannot even remember the last time I ate this vegetable.

Well, Glen reaped it, and I would admit it was sitting in the fridge for a few days. I thought it would be a shame not to try using it. One of the recipes I thought about was coleslaw, which was made using carrots and chillies. It actually tasted quite lovely.

Then I decided to make cabbage rice, yes, this is a recipe I saw my sister making a few years ago. Shredded cabbage was sauteed in a small amount of butter, then I added homemade tomato paste ( Yes, I have been trying out different things, what an adventure!)  and a little vegetable stock to enhance the taste.
It tasted wonderfully, I will definitely be cooking this again. In my wildest dreams, I never thought having this allotment would take me along this journey of discovery.

So, it is harvest time. All the hard work is finally resulting in beautiful edible food. The other Glen is in charge, I do as instructed, learning as I go along. We did not plant these peppers, they were given to us by one of our neighbours. This is one of the good things about the allotment, the sharing of fruits and vegetables. It is in some ways sad to see everything go brown and dwindle away, but of course, it is the cycle of things.

And of course roasted parsnip and parsnip soup. All absolutely delicious! Ade, you were right, we are now converts and would certainly be planting parsnips next year. 

We know you admire the flowers on this website, so I have taken a photo today of this white rose, as a way of saying thank you.

I wanted to show you all what the allotment looks like at present. As you can see, there are variations of brown in the corn to that of green in the butternut squash. Glen is thinking about clearing the site soon. Others on the allotment have done this already, so we are certainly behind.

The butternut squash is bravely going on producing more and more little ones. Sadly, I believe as the coldness draws in, they would dwindle away.‚Äč

What an experience this allotment has been, this our first year. From preparing the soil, planting, nurturing and finally cooking the rewards. Now the cycle starts again and I am excited.

Roasted Corn                                                                                                                 Marigold Flower                                                                                                         Tomato

Bonfire Night- 5/11/2016 - Burning all                                                   The turning over of the soil to start anew                                              Leeks apparently survive over the winter - Growing well

This delicious soup is made from butternut squash, sweetpepper, baby potatoes, tomatoes, all from the allotment. So proud! The other vegetables of carrots, apples and onions were shop bought. These were then oven roasted, then pureed. Cayenne pepper was then added to give this soup a spicy dimension.  This was a truly buttery and sumptuous  soup. 

Growing vegetables on this allotment has pushed me to wanting to try different recipes, which I shall be certainly sharing with you. 

   The Allotment                                                                                                          Butternut Squash                                                                                                 Butternut Squash