Jane has been kind enough to write up a ‘diary style’ report in the absence of any activity at the Club.

Over the last month, my life seems to have been taken over  by  ‘food processing’.  I am either tending the vegetable patch, harvesting and preparing fruit and vegetables for storage, cooking up jams and chutneys or searching for recipes that disguise the fact that courgettes are on the menu yet again.  It is wonderful to be finally enjoying the bounty from all the months of labouring but with it comes a feeling that nothing should be wasted.  This self-imposed pressure was once described to me by a friend as ‘produce stress’.   Raspberries, for example:  Despite the fact that I have already made 2 batches of raspberry jam, have frozen more than we can possibly eat, have given away many pounds of them to friends and neighbours and allowed the blackbirds free-reign to eat what they can, every morning there is more ripe fruit waiting to be picked and I am loath to just leave it there. 

I have only been growing vegetables for a few years but it has certainly resulted in some creative cooking.   Who knew that lettuce soup could be so tasty, or that pesto could be made with kale?  In fact the pesto recipe is now a favourite, which is just as well since the tiny kale seeds I planted in March have transformed into a forest of greens. 

Fortunately, I am not alone in my desperate search for recipes to reinvent the same three ingredients, so there is much swapping of ‘tried and tested’ recipes between friends.  Courgette and feta filo pie, beetroot and courgette burgers and courgette and tomato flan, to name but a few.  And you can’t go wrong with cooking up a vat of good old ratatouille to disappear a few more.  Of course, the aim is to store plenty for use in less bountiful months, so this morning I’ll pick today’s raspberries, have a few with my breakfast and contemplate making a third batch of jam.

Jane Cross