What to do with so much produce?

Those people who know me well know that I cannot bear to waste any food that my garden produces. My cooking apple tree and damson trees are laden. So my husband is gathering a tub trug from each every few days and I am freezing it all.  Damsons are easy РI just wash them, drain, bag and freeze. Apples take a bit more effort. An old aunt showed me a simple and not too time consuming way to prepare the fruit:


Peel and slice


Put in water with a bit of salt to preserve colour and prevent browning













Spread out on to a cling film lined baking tray. pop in to freezer.


Leave for about 2 hours until frozen


Break the slices up as you pop them in to a freezer bag.

There you have it…sliced apple that with a quick rinse are ready for pies etc throughout the year until the next harvest ūüôā



Banana cake -gluten free

The perfect way to use up the last, lonely bananas sitting in the fruit bowl looking brown and not remotely appetising.

Prepare an 18cm square tin or 2lb / 900 g loaf tin

Preheat the oven to 150c / Gas 2


170 g gluten-free self-raising flour       140 g butter

100 g light muscovado sugar         4 eggs (3 if not using gf flour)

1 large /2 small ripe bananas – 5/6 slices for the top and the rest mashed (I leave mine quite chunky) or 1 large mashed and 2 split in half for the top of the cake if making a square cake.


Put all the ingredients (except banana) in to a bowl and mix well until smooth. Add the mashed banana and ensure all mixed in. Put the mixture in the prepared tin and place the sliced banana on the surface of the mixture.

Place in the oven and cook on the low heat for about 45 minutes – until the mixture is firming up. Then increase the heat to 180 C / gas mark 4 and cook until a skewer comes out clean – about 1/2 hour.

Turn on to a rack and allow to cool – or eat as a delicious pudding whilst still hot from the oven!


Cranberry salsa

I think the finest meal is one where you have the opportunity to have a multitude of different flavour combinations – probably why I love a roast dinner with all the extra trimmings.

A barbecue is one such opportunity – a plate can be laden with a multitude of little bits of this and that.

This is one such dish.



1 large white onion Рfinely chopped             Zest and juice of 2 limes

1 large green pepper Рfinely chopped          600 g of cranberry sauce

Mint Рlarge handful chopped          Coriander Рlarge handful chopped


Put all the ingredients in to a large bowl and combine thoroughly.


This salsa is perfect with meat, fish and salads – an all round great accompaniment.

I put the salsa in to the empty cranberry sauce jars. It will last for at least a week in the fridge (if not devoured beforehand!)

Happiness is homegrown

I don’t have a very large back garden – about a fifth of an acre¬† – but the space is put to good use. Because the house is up for sale, I haven’t planted the vegetable plot this year…probably should have done as we haven’t sold yet!!¬† The garden has a variety of fruit trees – Victoria Plum, Grenadier Apple, Egremont Russet and James Grieve¬† desert apples, Damson, Bartlett and Conference Pear, Gooseberry, Red / Blackcurrant bushes and Rhubarb. Each year these wonderful plants provide a vast quantity of fruit – so much last year that I had to buy another chest freezer! This year, due to the odd weather, the gooseberry bushes have borne little fruit and the plum tree is clearly resting after a bumper crop last year. However, all other trees are covered in ripening fruit.

The chickens indicated this morning that the red and black currants were ready for picking – red and black juice stained beaks were a real give away!¬† So… half an hour later 2 bowls were filled…still masses left to pick off the laden stems ūüôā


and so begins the making and baking…pies, cakes, puddings, cassis, flavoured vodkas, jams etc.