Paul - Plot 4
Well the weather today is just awful, with 3 more days of rain forecast. So, time to make use of all those surplus cauliflowers and shallots and get pickling! We love Piccalilli in the Price household so when we were in Padstow a couple of years ago we bought some from Rick Stein's shop. It was delicious and so we hunted down his recipe. You can find the recipe here: Paul's Piccalilli
What better way to spend a rainy Friday than to make it. We prepared all the ingredients and soaked them in salt water yesterday so we were all ready to cook them and combine them into a vinegar and mustard concoction. The whole house smells of vinegar now but the result is 12 gleaming jars of golden goodness. They will have matured to their best in 2 - 3 months if we can wait that long. Just in time for our Bonfire BBQ. So look out for it and spread it on your barbecued sausages. Enjoy!
Jean - Plot 4
Well, I said I would give you an update to my shallot blog from April when my shallot plants looked like weedy spring onions. I planted them in bunches of 5 or 6, but I think next year I will limit the bunches to 4 as a few of them were crowded out. I am pretty pleased with the harvest though and they should last me right through the winter.
A couple of weeks ago we harvested them and left them on the plot on an incline to let the juices flow out so that they would dry ready for storage. Today I brought them home for preparation. First I trimmed the roots and brushed away any dry skin from the bulbs. Then I plaited them ready for hanging. I plait them as you would hair, introducing a new shallot with each crossover. I also do this with my onions. The only thing to do then is to tie them firmly at the top with string ready to hang. I hang one bunch in the kitchen ready to use and the rest in a cool dry place. These will last right into next Spring.
Some people ask why I grow "banana" shallots as opposed to the little round ones. The answer is simple; I am a lazy cook who hates spending hours pealing the fiddly round ones. With the banana varieties pealing is easy. Just take off the top and bottom, make an incision right the way down the length of the shallot and peal back the skin. Shallots pealed in seconds. Happy days!!
Plot holders cogitate and ruminate about allotment life.
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