Sunday, 12 July 2015

Perhaps We’ve Planted Too Many

We’ve been asked by a few people - “How many courgettes plants do you have"?”. When I answer about 15, there have been a few gasps. You’re mad, they say, you will be living on them for months. But when you sew your seeds you have no idea how many will grow, but they all did and now the plants are huge. One thing we have learnt is that we planted them to close together plus they are smothering the peppers and beans, so a bit of trimming has been required. What's nice is that they're all different so hopefully we wont get bored with them. We’ve been given lots of recipes from a friend to help us along, plus I’ve made courgette chutney, courgette gratin, cooked them on the BBQ and given some to friends. If anyone has yummy recipes to share, I’d love to try them.

Courgettes 1 Courgettes 2

17 comments:

  1. My Courgette Pickle which is quite yummy -
    ½ litre white wine vinegar
    3 ½ cups sugar
    1 packet of pickling spice mix (I used South African).In a muslin bag, You may have to make up your own here!
    Put into a stainless steel pan and bring to the boil.

    Then add

    8 cups of chopped courgette (about 1 cm square)
    2 cups of sliced onions
    1 cup sliced peppers

    Simmer for 10 minutes. The hot jars are tightly packed with the cooked vegetables and then filled to overflowing with the boiling vinegar liquid. The lids are screwed tight, and the sticky overflow liquid is washed off with hot water. The lid may need re-tightened as the jar cools down. Label and date. Delicious, quick and easy.

    They also make great soup. Courgette and fennel is particularly good.

    I only have 3 plants and we are overrun :-) Enjoy Diane

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    1. N.B. The extra liquid left can be used for another batch or I have used it doe pickling beans in. D xx

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    2. Thanks for the recipe, will give that a go as I have all the ingredients including the pickling spice x

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  2. Errr? FIFTEEN PLANTS???....
    I thought that our six plants were a little OTT.
    You need the following book:
    "What will I do with all those courgettes?" by Elaine Borish....
    174 pages of courgette recipes...
    £7.95
    [ http://www.amazon.co.uk/What-Will-All-Those-Courgettes/dp/0952488159 ]

    Our copy is very well thumbed...
    but, please, don't hang any on our gate!!

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    1. My darling wife's Chocolate Courgette Cake is also a good way of getting rid of two medium ones...

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    2. Thank you for this book, sounds exactly what I need. I have a recipe for the cake which I must try. Currently I have a plum loaf in the oven, trying to use up my glut of those :)

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    3. When we had the builders here I was making a courgette cake every day, they just gobbled it up, but not good for the waist line!

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    4. My mum makes courgette cake and its delicious. Trying to be good about the calories, so will make it in moderation x

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    5. Reading Vera's comment...
      we also dehydrate the courgettes and yellow crooknecks...
      they make fabulous "crisps"...
      just the thing to bring out at apero time.

      Also, do a puree and dehydrate that into a leather... again a good, healthy snack...
      that puree can be raw or cooked... seasoned or unseasoned... with or without additions like chopped-up, dehydrated tomatoes, peppers, onion or shallots, etc.
      Nice to chew on French route marches... desolé, randonées!!

      And looking more closely at the first picture, one of those isn't a courgette...
      the onion shaped one is a potimarron... an onion squash... let them grow as they want...
      they ramble, and should be a deep orange when ready... will keep until Christmas... and is very tasty roasted.

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    6. Lots of mentions about dehydrating here, but don't you need a special machine for that?

      You're quite right, we have a potimaron which I picked too early but I will leave the rest alone until they are bigger. These were seeds from a plant our neighbour gave us, so very pleased they've grown.

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    7. You need a dehydrator...
      ours is an American design made by Excalibur...
      it came from the UK dealer, based near us when we lived in Yorkshire...
      I think Vera's is the same make...
      but keep an eye open... Lidl do them regularly, and so do Bricomarché...
      but I'd more likely trust the Lidl one...
      however, if you are so inclined, there are loads of DIY versions on the internet...
      including solar powered versions... just heat, no electrix involved.

      Basically they are a low-wattage heater, a fan to move the air across the element and a timer...
      The machines are more easily controlled, but I've seen a design that used a fan heater going into a wooden box... and using a pinger timer to remind you to check...
      very simple... but that suggested buying the trays from Excalibur and designed the box to those dimensions.

      And "canning" is 'simples' here in France as every brico carries a very good range of Le Parfait jars, seals and lids... at less than half the price Lakeland Plastics charges in the UK!!
      And again, loads of recipes on t'interweb!
      Tim

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    8. Thank you for all this information. I think I'm more likely to go down the canning route as I would make more things in jars. Just a question. I was very lazy labeling my courgette seeds, a lesson learned for next year, but which one do you think is the potimaron, the yellow ones or the one on the right? Thanks.

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    9. The one at the back that looks like a small onion, Kerry...
      we grow Ook-itchy-curry [real name Ochiki kuri]...
      the other yellow one, if it came off the same plant, is the same...
      but it just doesn't look it... the way the stalk joins to the fruit is wrong, to me...The first pic is two zuccini/zuchini type, two pattypan... picked at the right size! But worry not, if one or two escape, they are wonderful stuffed...
      the strange yellow one... not a courgette... could grow into something immense...
      the onion squash [potimarron] at the top...
      then there is the one on the right... not at all sure...
      were these seed you were give, "saved" seed or excess from packets?
      If the former, it could be a strange cross... the skin says Iceball courgette... the shape doesn't!
      Iceball looks like a pale Rond de Nice... if it cooked and looked and tasted like a courgette... it is probably a courgette...
      but, it could just as easily come out as a pumpkin / squash! They all cross fertilize like mad...
      not that that matters... we saved some seed that had been grown next to somthing else....
      got a wonderfully tasty "dirigible" shaped one with gold ends!

      Pic two shows three Lebanese-type courgettes... possibly Précoce Marachaire... wonderfully tasty....
      and two standard zuchini type...
      hope that helps,
      Tim

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    10. Wow thanks Tim, you know your courgettes. All the seeds were bought except for the Potimaron which was given to us by our neighbour. Both the yellow ones are from the same plant but I can see now that the shape is different. I'm going to leave this plant alone and see what happens.
      I remembered that I'd kept the original packet to store the potimaron seeds and it has pictures on the front. It's a packet of 6 different seeds and all have come up except the Golden Zucchini which is like the long green one we all know but yellow. I also had a packet of Custard White pattypans which look amazing and as you say, perfect for stuffing plus some squash seeds but nothing seems to be growing that looks like a squash shape.
      I didn't know about cross pollination and my plants are close together, so some might turnout interesting.
      This is our first year of growing courgettes and we have learnt a lot, don't grow so many, label them properly and give them more space :)

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  3. I put our courgette harvest into the dehydrator for winter use. I never have a glut of anything because I either put it into canning jars or dehydrate it, with the animals getting their share along the way! fifteen plants would seem about right for us, but we have only nine this year!




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    1. No animals to share ours with but friends are happy to take some. No dehydrator or canner for me but I will be freezing some for soup in the winter x

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