I have to admit, towards the end of October, garden vegetables were pretty thin. There was still some chard and kale, but everything else was just about done. I really rationed the last few onions and garlic to make them stretch! And I opened up a few jars of preserved veg to tide us over till the end of the month.
I have quite a lot of preserves, though not enough to feed us through winter sadly. Still, there is enough to add some flavor and texture to meals. Here's what we've eaten so far:
Small jar of pickled mixed garden veg
This was made in August and contained runner beans, zuccini, onion and garlic. I chopped the veg, packed it into small sterilized jars, and poured over boiling hot spiced malt vinegar (random spices from the cupboard--I think whole coriander seed was involved). I opened this jar to add to a pork stir fry in October. The plain pickled veg was pretty tart, but cooked with the stir fry was very nice, and I couldn't tell it apart from regular cooked veg. Result: 5*
Jar of one dozen pickled eggs
This was made in September. I wish I had used our own eggs for this but they're actually bought ones (come on chickens, get going!). I boiled the eggs, shelled them, and packed them in the same manner as the pickled mixed veg. The six year old has been very excited to try them--it was the first time for both of us. He proclaimed them delicious, and the husband agreed they were good. I'm not entirely sure I like them, but the husband assures me I'll love them by the end of the jar. Result: 3*
Two jars of green tomato salsa
This was also made in September, and I ended up buying onions for it as I was desperate to preserve the green tomatoes before they went moldy with blight. It also contained storebought peppers (sweet and hot). The whole family really enjoyed it with cheese on scrambled eggs. Result: 5*
Half jar of salted runner beans
I put away three 1L jars of salted runner beans, starting in August. Whenever I picked a big handful of them, I'd set aside the most tender beans for salting: I chopped them fairly small, and added them to the jar with a good covering of salt in between each 1/2-1 inch layer. It took about two weeks to fill a liter jar bit by bit, and once filled I just put the jar in the cupboard with the rest of the preserves. To use, open it up, take the required amount of beans out and soak in cold water for two hours. I used them in a stew and a curry and they tasted nice: not too salty (although cooked plainly without a sauce they would probably still taste salty). Result: 5*
Still to come: pickled zuccini, apple chutney, green tomato relish, dried chard leaves, dried peas, pickled rhubarb. I'll report back here on the results!