Supposedly one of the seven deadly sins… I say bring on the gluttony!
These days have been a long time coming and I can already see I have been making HEAPS of mistakes in the veg garden… mostly planting things too close together… even though my veg patch is huge when you plant out the seedlings they look so tiny and innocent that you just cant imagine that not more than a few weeks down the track you’ll be fighting your way into the garden trying to find some space.
Its my first year of having a chance to really grow veggies and after the tiny amount of space at my last home I’ve not really understand how much space veggies need to be able to do their thing… next lot of planting is going to be a whole different kettle of fish.
Well the first glut has been Cucumbers… Sooooo Many Cucumbers… when you see the first ones growing … well Im going to have to say now from my own experience when I saw the first ones growing when those lovely little yellow flowers suddenly turned into little tiny creatures growing the excitement was immense. Then when I picked that first home grown cucumber…. bada and boom… Happy Days… the most amazing cucumber Id ever eaten…packing a big Time CRUNCH and a lot of JUICE… just delicious.
That was a few weeks ago.. things move pretty fast in the world of veggies once they get going theres no stopping them. So I am having to think long and outside the box how to use these guys so none of that goodness goes to waste.
I first started adding just one to my daily fresh home made fruit juice but I wasnt getting through them anywhere near quick enough there was a battle going on the cucumbers were winning. So I thought Id just juice the cucumbers alone… foolishly I also added a lime like I do with lots of other fresh juices… Ill have to fess up the lime didnt go well with the fresh cucumber juice so now me and Mr L are just having a cup of green goodness that is only cucumber and nothing else added. Tastes refreshing, tastes healthy, tastes a lot better than wheatgrass for those who have even been down that route… its not as green as wheatgrass but its green and fresh enough that I can only assume we are getting a daily dose of the good stuff.
So thats one way to use some of the cucumbers but there are HEAPS more that have needed to be used… Idea 2 – Relish !
Who doesnt love a nice spicy relish on a slice of fresh bread with some cold meats or cheese… Yum.. yes please.
I’ve never made relish before but it was pretty simple to do but I thought Id best not go ALL IN just in case I F…d! it up and wasted some of my glut. Luckily it went very smooth and was super easy to make. I really struggle with following an actual recipe and usually just have a bit of a read and then come up with my own version… There are times when this can be an Epic fail… but this wasnt a fail… its actually delicious.
Here’s how I made it… firstly I cut up 5 cucumbers into very thin slices… you can see my cucumbers are mixed sizes but it felt like the right amount for the experiment. I had also been given a choko recently by someone doing some work at our house and I wasnt really sure on cooking it to eat on its own so I also peeled it and sliced it thin. The I put them both in a big plastic bowl and sprinkled over a teaspoon of salt and left in the fridge overnight. I did the same with one brown onion in a separate bowl. the next morning I rinsed off the salt and squeezed out the water from all my veggies that had been salting overnight. I had decided that id do about half the amount of sugar to veggies which worked out to be 380g of veg so I did about 180g of sugar.. just under half the weight of the veggies. Pretty easy process,, simple put the the sugar and water into a saucepan the water was about 3/4 the sugar volume and let it come slowly to a gentle simmer slight boil then I added one teaspoon each – Tumeric – Cumin – Coriander – Ginger – Paprika – Chilli Flakes, a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and about 2 gloves of grated garlic plus some pepper to the sugar syrup then once it started boiling and was getting a bit thick I poured in all the finely cut veggies and let it cook not too violently for about 15 minutes.
You will see the veggies start becoming a bit more wiggly and the syrup starts to thicken up. Then I just let it cool a touch… got my jars all nicely sterilised and poured into the cleaned hot and sterilised jars.
Having so many cucumbers to deal with you start to get a bit stumped… what next… what do I now…
Mr L to the rescue with the next idea.
A lot of BBQs happen at our home.. its a preferred cooking method especially for our meat dinners and seeing as Mr L is a born and raised Afrikaaner BBQ is in the DNA. I was quickly initiated into this world when we spent time living in South Africa in the 1990s.
So he decided to give one the BBQ treatment… sliced in half down the centre.. lashed with some olive oil, paprika and pepper and then duly BBQ’d.
The result… Well It was Crunchy and tasty and a different eating experience Im not going to say OMG it was fabulous but it was tasty and would I have it again… yes I would.. its not an idea for the trash pile to be banished and never mentioned again
We’ve also made tzatziki and had lots of cucumber in salads but I still got these guys to deal with and so many more in the garden still and another load on another shelf in the other fridge. Shame our goats dont like to partake in cucumber but the goats are real fussy. Mr L’s Mum said we should be careful cause the goats will eat any and everything.. not our goats… they didnt even want fresh picked or silver beet from the garden.
That’s the end of the Happy Glut – Part 1 – Cucumbers… may it be the first part of many more gluts to come !