Plot Notes

A personal journal, open for the world to read, recording the progress of a novice allotmenteer on his allotment.

Weed it and reap.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Pumpkin Harvest

We brought in our pumpkin harvest this week. The girls have had fun designing their Jack O' Lanterns and I have enjoyed helping them carve out the pumpkins. I am not a big fan of the way that Hallowe'en has become commercialised over the last decade or so but with pumpkin seeds costing only a few pence and with the pumpkins not needing much care and attention on the allotment I can have no complaints at our home-grown efforts. In fact I quite like them.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Chillin' Out

I have been really pleased with my chilli crop. I'll certainly grow chillies again next year. I have had a bumper crop. I have got a bag of chillies in the freezer, a box full in the fridge and two air-tight jars of chillies on the kitchen shelf. There are others drying out on the window cill and still quite a few yet to be harvested.

I have been having fresh chillies from the greenhouse with virtually every meal since early Summer. I love them in a cheese sandwich or chopped into a bit of salad. They don't half spice up a Sunday roast when you have a couple of them sliced up and sprinkled into the gravy.

Best of all I like chilli dumplings. Make a chilli con carne in the usual way with minced beef, onions, tomatoes,  kidney beans and anything else you feel like throwing in to it. But, instead of serving it in the usual way with a portion of rice try my patented chilli dumpling serving suggestion.

While the chilli is simmering away in a big saucepan make up some dumplings with suet, plain flour and a dash of water or milk. Add a few freshly chopped chillies into the dumpling mix and then roll up as many golf ball size dumplings as you think you can eat (they are quite filling). Drop the dumplings into the chilli con carne and let them simmer for about 20 minutes before serving. They make a refreshing change from bland old rice and a dumpling is much too boring without a bit of chilli heat.