We’re still getting quite a few end of season crops from the kitchen garden, but I’ve just put the last fresh tomatoes of the year on top of a pizza, along with the last red Romano sweet pepper. They were delicious, far better than anything you can buy in a shop, and I’ll miss scoffing them.
Having said that, there are still orange, chocolate and yellow sweet peppers on the remaining plants, and I’m saving a couple of them to brighten up salads over the festive season. There’s also home made sugo and other tomato sauces in the freezer to tide us over some of the colder months.
We have started using up some of the freezer contents now, including a portion of roasted mixed vegetables, some green beans, and about half of the courgettes. It’s more interesting than endless frozen peas anyway.
Fresh fruit in December
Also in preparation for the festivities, I’ve frozen a couple of handfuls of fresh raspberries, just in case the weather turns and we don’t get anything else from the canes outside. They’ve frozen well on a tray, and been transferred into a small pot so they don’t get squashed by anything else in the freezer, and they’ll be used in drinks and maybe a trifle in due course.
I’ve also strained off the tarragon vinegar, raspberry liqueur, and the blackberry brandy I was infusing. They’ve all fared well in taste tests, but most of it’s been put aside for Christmas week. I think the raspberry liqueur is going to be used to make a special version of Kir Royale, in place of Chambord, with some sparkling wine and a drop of orange bitters. Bring it on!
Salad days are still here
It’s time to finish off some of the Palla Rossa radicchio in a hearty salad, as it might not be able to cope with heavy frosts. It’s bitter, so it needs to be mixed with some grated carrot, or have a sweeter dressing. I’m going to mix in some baby choi sum and mizuna as well.
I’m also going to harvest at least some of the Jerusalem artichokes this weekend, although the rest will probably store nicely in their potato grow bag. They’re earmarked for a warm salad, and perhaps a casserole along with some bought root vegetables. Must try not to eat the whole lot, so there’s something left to start next year’s batch off with.
There are also a few goodies I’m holding back on, so they’re there for Christmas week and beyond:
- the last chilli peppers (all Numex Twilight)
- the first brussels sprouts
- baby leeks
- baby parsnips
- winter chard
- winter leaf beet
We’ll also be having pea shoots, cress and radish microgreens from the windowsill, for fresh flavours when it’s midwintery outside.
What are you picking from your plot? Are you growing any wintery crops this December?