Friday, 21 August 2009

Cucumber, courgettes & Zeppelins

I have several cucumber plants in the green house and so had rather a glut of them, in all sizes and configurations. There are only so many salads you can put cucumbers in, so I have made 3 batches of Cucumber Pickle which is a recipe which my Mother always used. It is so easy and delicious in cheese sandwiches, in salads etc. The only downside is that the pickle once made, needs to be eaten quite quickly, probably within a month and once opened, refrigerate and use up within a week. I have included the recipe below.

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Cucumber Pickle
3 large cucumbers (or in my case loads of little miss-shapen ones)
3 lge tbsp salt
4 onions
1 pint distilled vinegar (the clear uncoloured vinegar)
6oz sugar
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp mustard seed

Slice cucumbers and onions thinly place in a bowl with the salt. Cover and leave for a few hours. Pour the brine away and rinse the veg well in cold water and then drain.
Heat the vinegar, sugar and seeds in a saucepan and after sugars has dissolved, boil for 3 minutes.
Pack the veg in clean, sterilised jars and cover with the vinegar mixture. Seal the jars when cold. Eat straight away!

Now onto courgettes or if you turn your back for a few minutes they magically turn into what I call Zeppelins. For some unknown reason I ended up with 6 yes 6 courgettes plants! Way too many! As fast as I was cutting the small courgettes, some of the others would lurk behind some big leaves and then the next day proudly lay there, baring all their blooming green fleshyness. I have a little stall outside my garden gate where I can generally sell any surplus produce I have, but to shift lorry loads of Zeppelins is a different matter. After surfing the great web I came across this marvellous recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall for using up surplus squash called Glutney. So far I have made 2 very large batches. The recipe calls for the chutney to be kept for at least 2 months to mature but Nigel couldn’t wait that long and has already polished off a jar. Luckily he likes it otherwise I would be left wondering what to do with all this Zeppelin chutney. The only problem I have now is to find some more empty glass jars for the next batch…………


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