In addition to the mock-capers, I’ve been pickling, jamming and dehydrating other things to store for the months ahead.
I’ve used a similar simple liquor – without adding chilli this time – to short-term-pickle some of the Crystal Lemon cucumbers (again, stored in the fridge to be on the safe side)…
My mum gave me a bucket of Victoria plums, which I halved, stoned, and froze until I had time to make some jam. I love plum jam. I’m also pretty pleased with the elderberry jelly (one batch didn’t fully set, but I’ve decided that will be nice dribbled on pancakes or ice cream).
The dehydrator is taking centre stage on the kitchen table this month. I started it off drying a glut of courgettes. Courgettes never freeze well, in my opinion, hogging freezer space and defrosting into a watery slime.
It’s amazing how many dried courgettes you can get into a Tupperware box. I was very pleased with the apples and tomatoes I dried last year, so I’m looking forward to seeing how courgettes shape-up once rehydrated mid-winter. (You might spot my attempt at making courgette crisps, inspired by some online enthusiasts… Hmm, I’m not sure I’d recommend them…)
Last year I had a fantastic harvest of celery, grown under the runner beans. This year I planted the beans closer together and the celery got completely engulfed. I ended up with stringy, thin stalks that aren’t very palatable. Instead, I’ve decided to turn it into celery salt. I dehydrated the stalks and leaves and then whizzed them up with some course sea salt. A pinch of that, sprinkled into soups and casseroles, or a Bloody Mary, could be very nice indeed.