Thursday, February 13, 2014

Food, food, food......

Winter is a lovely month for us. The earth cellar, the cupboards and the freezers are full and I have a lot more time to cook up some wonderful and interesting dinners!

The photo above shows the inside of our earth cellar. On the left in yellow boxes are potatoes. 6 different varieties. There are leeks in a bucket in the front, you can just see the tops. Behind the leeks are swedes and turnips. Boxes of carrots, beetroot and parsnips. The stack of blue boxes are my seed potatoes for next year. We have red and white cabbage, sugar beet and fodder beet..... we will not starve!
Here is the earth cellar from the outside. When we got here the wooden timbers on the roof had rotted, we just replaced the wooden part and put the old metal roofing sheets back on. We hope to build a better porch at some point.....

In the earth cellar we also have a stash of wine and beer... the wines we have are birch sap, nectarine with redcurrant, and blackcurrant.

The carrots, beetroot and parsnips are stored in peat. There is some dodgy looking mould on one of the boxes but the veg will be fine! Cardboard is not the best material to use as the cellar is very humid and the boxes go all squishy!!

I have picked out the best seed potatoes and stored them in separately labelled trays. Soon I will be putting them out into egg boxes ready for spring!!

Some bags of compost are stored in the corner. This keeps them from freezing. I do not like buying the compost, the long term plan is to try and make my own seed compost, but I like the idea of having minimum weed seeds!!

A humidity meter.... it says it is tropical!!!

The temperature is about 2..... a little warmer would be better but this is fine. We do not heat it. It naturally regulates itself over the year.

This year we have seen a mouse explosion.... my new bucket trap has caught nothing yet. There is peanut butter around the can which rotates around an axle....

Yesterday, the red cabbages outer leaves had built up a layer of slime. This actually preserves them and keeps them moist. Underneath they still look wonderful....and taste good! I keep the roots on as I have had success with this method of storing, however I have just been reading about storing them in sawdust....

In the corner are the remains of my sugar and fodder beets which the sheep have been eating.

Inside the house we have a lovely cupboard full of colourful veg.... Here is the long description of the photo below:
On the top row there are bottled tomatoes.
Next row down from the left, dried aubergines, dried mushrooms, tomatoes in big jars, tomatoes in small jars, dried tomatoes, dried peppers, bottled beetroot, dried mint, dried broccoli, dried courgette, peppers in oil, dried apples, more dried peppers and beans in salt.
3rd row down, pasta sauces, tomato salsa, bottled leaf beet, sweetcorn, beetroot, peas, beans, tomato purée, sliced green tomatoes, chickpeas (not grown ourselves but useful to have ready cooked!) and on the right home made baked beans. (we did grow the cannelloni beans!)
Bottom row, Tomato soup, bottled pears, apple sauce, apple pieces, gooseberries, sweetcorn and a box of empty jars ready for filling!

In the kitchen we have another cupboard!!! But with slightly different contents. Here is the contents of the picture below:

Top row from left; marrow and ginger jam, apple and cinnamon jam, sweet chilli sauce, blackcurrant jam, green tomato jam, mixed tomato chutney, marrow butter, a sort of Branston pickle, raspberry and blackcurrant jam and a mock lemon curd made from marrows!
2nd row; Green tomato jam, chilli sauce, a wonderful piccalilli (will make a lot more next year), chutneys and cucumber relish.
Bottom row; a different chutney (forgot to label them all, oops), green tomato chilli salsa, raspberry and blackcurrant jam and blackcurrant chilli sauce and sweet chilli sauce. The boxes contain jams which I sell sometimes...... blackcurrant and lemon scented geranium is a lovely one but there is also a selection of the above mentioned jams!
On top of the cupboard are a variety of pumpkins. This summer we even got some butternut squashes....delicious!

In one of the other kitchen cupboards we have a supply of blackcurrant cordials, canned pork, canned chicken and canned stock. Tomatoes in oil, raspberries in vodka. I also buy bulk bags of raisins, icing powder, dried apricots and currants. There is also a bag of the wonderful flour produced in the village.

In another cupboard I have more canned pork meat along with some canned pork bone stock with a lot of meat bits! Hidden away are some canned meatballs in a red wine sauce..... :-)

We have made a few jars of salted beans, which take a lot of soaking to remove the saltiness but are wonderful. Some dried medicinal herbs: eyebright and elder leaves. There is also the remains of the surprisingly tasty green tomato crisps!

The pepper plants did not like the really cold room next door, but the fruits have lasted well and we are still picking peppers and chillies, in February! Maybe, the plants will come back with some warmth..... There is also a tray of herbs, sage, thyme and marjoram.

And I have not even shown you the freezers...... all 4 of them! Anyone for dinner....???!!!!????

1 comment:

  1. Whew !!!! I can't believe what you have managed to do. Absolutely wonderful. We think you are pretty remarkable - yes please, we would love to come to dinner. Well done. I did make some damson jam last year - does that count?! Love x


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