Paddocks pantry – from plot to plate

Great year for apples. The pigs who are lucky enough to be in the orchard at this period have developed a regime of waking up having their pellets taking a drink then sitting under the trees waiting for apple drop. One caught one on the head and the other in the mouth.
Have been trying to respect all our produce by drying, storing, making jam, freezing, pickling – it means so much more when you grow the stuff. I was so proud of my store until Frank pointed out that I rarely eat Jam and do I really think we will go through 20 jars of chilli and apple jam. Trust Frank to point out the obvious.

We also had the good old glut of courgette – even the animals groaned when they saw me arrive courgette, well marrow, under arm.

Medlar Jam next week. Have two over laden Medlar trees and determined not to let this fruit got to waste. Frank reckons I have spent more on buying preserving jars than I would have spent on jam and pickles for years!

Then to apple juice. Then trying to perfect cooking and preserving chestnuts. Spent three hours yesterday getting the chestnut casing out of an alpacas hair. Definitely a bad hair day.

Finding it really time consuming this growing and using your own produce enterprise but the feeling of earthy satisfaction to eat off the back of your own labour is magic.

The small and taste of freshly picked carrot, leak and onion – really does taste like food should. A simple carrot – grew black, orange, yellow and green can feel like a feast. We serve eggs no older than 3 days and now I only like to serve vegetables picked that same day and typically less than 2 hours before cooking.

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