Summer fruit and veg are wonderful; they encourage us to eat colourful, wholesome food.
If you know how to preserve the summer’s harvest, you can carry that right through the winter months. Here’s a few ideas to get you started.
Mangoes get so cheap over summer; some farmer’s markets will sell overripe ones for a dollar or less each. Buy as many as you can while they’re available for a low price, cut them up and put them into snaplock bags for freezing. That way, you’ll be able to have mangoes in your desserts and smoothies right through the year.
Tomato sauce, tomato chutney, tomato relish…if you’ve got malt vinegar, sugar and seasonings, you’re on your way to a winter full of fantastic condiments. You can also sun dry your own tomatoes – ideal for adding flavour to pasta dishes when you’re in the thick of winter and craving comfort food.
If you can manage to resist eating every single punnet raw, berries (and cherries) can be made into cordial, to be added to plain soda when you want something cold and summery outside of the summer months. Annabel Langbein’s recipe is particularly good; six cups of sugar, three cups of water, one cup of lemon juice, one tablespoon of citric acid and three to four cups of berries, boil everything and strain. It sounds like a lot of sugar, but this cordial is so concentrated that you’d only need a tiny splash per glass of soda or water.
4. Peaches and Apples
Peaches and apples can be peeled, stewed and frozen to be used in baking, or heated and eaten on their own as dessert.
Make your own raisins and sultanas by leaving dry grapes on tray in full sunlight, covered by a cloth to protect them from damp and insects.