Summer harvests.

Our home-grown cucumbers and tomatoes are coming thick and fast to feature in the latest cooking demonstration of classic Mediterranean recipes: ratatouille and a chilled fresh gazpacho soup .   This version of ratatouille, rich with tomatoes, courgettes and aubergines, was chopped small with some additional tiny chunks of chorizo to top pasta for a super seasonal meal.   When contemplating a glut of 11 cucumbers, the gazpacho recipe was modified into a delicious fresh cucumber soup

The relentless crop of French beans are trimmed, par-cooked with a little water in the microwave and, once drained, dressed with vinaigrette which is absorbed as they cool.

Apples are falling off the trees.   We are madly making fruit juice with the special Scandinavian steamer that virtually pasteurises the juice.   The hot juice goes into plastic (water) bottles that collapse with the temperature and virtually vacuum pack the contents.   Result: the juice lasts for at least a year!   The alternative is filling 5 litre Bag-in-boxes which, again, last a year.   Good to drink, use to make granola, fruit salads and other dishes.   When the blackberries arrive, they get steamed with the apples too for a delicious alternative juice.

Damsons are next in-line and now is the perfect time to prune the tree too.   The expert tells me that good pruning should reduce the tree or shrub by a third, starting with Dead, Diseased, Damaged and Crossing branches.   A good way with all stone-fruit trees is to cut out a whole branch to make harvesting easier and start the pruning at the same time.

Next, more chillies, peppers, pears, cucumbers … and so it goes on.

The next free on-line cooking demo features gluten-free frangipane, studded with fresh raspberries to serve with a scoop of the raspberry ice-cream.   Quick, simple and delicious.   Join us live at 1030 on Monday 12 September, just sign up for free at: https://frangipane-dessert-baking-blind.eventbrite.co.uk

Hear about my Baking Blind adventures and key cooking equipment at St Mary’s Stadium (Southampton).  I’ll be talking at 1415 on Wednesday 28 September as part of the Open Sight Eye Contact exhibition.

Register for free at: https://OSHEyeContactExpo2022.eventbrite.co.uk.

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