A clumsy title, I know. But what else can you say?In times of plenty, it is worth thinking about how you might preserve what you have. There's nothing nicer than a home made pizza with your own toppings and additives.
We started our own wine last night. It's only January but the grapes are nearly ready. And we wont have time in a few weeks, so it is now or never. Its a hot day and a hot night. Conditions are not perfect, but we are going to have to try.
Our grapes shade the fences so that our vegie patch doesn't get too hot. We would prefer to have waited til morning to pick, but circumstances were that they were going to be picked now or not at all.
We made a starter yeast by mixing up some brewer's yeast, some fresh grape juice, a little of the wine and sediment from a bottle from last year and let that 'brew' while we harvested.
We are not talking about huge quantities here. We picked 4 20 litre buckets. I crushed them with my own feet, and we removed the stalks by hand. Into the fermenter with the starter mix, sealed tight and we now wait for it to gurgle away.
It's a work in progress.
Our summer garden is over and we've had to remove the straggling plants.
This time of year always raises the question of what to do with all the produce.
Our chillis are dealt with quite easily. I picke them, cut the stalks off and then put them in the kitchen whizz. I add enough white wine vinegar to allow it to make a a rough paste. I am quite happy with it remaining chunky, but this will also depend on how hot your chillies are. The hotter the chillies, the finer you will want the paste. When you are happy with the paste, spoon it into clean jars.
I used to pour oil on the top to seal - there is no need to heat seal - but lately don't even do that. Just put the jar into the fridge and there is your supply of chilli for the long winter months.
And the capsicums are an easy 'save' as well. Trim them of their stalks and clean out the seeds. Cut into manageable size chunks, and lightly brish with oil. Grill the chucks until they have some of the characterisitcs of being chargrilled. Put into clean jars with olive oil and garlic and seal. These chunks are fabulous on pizza with a little proscuitto and some olives.