Sunday, 23 August 2015

Courgette Fritters

Following on from my last post about grating courgettes, here is a recipe you can make with them – fritters. I didn’t use any of the grated courgettes that I’d frozen because the plants are still churning out more fresh ones. These fritters can be frozen and warmed up in the oven when you need them.
Fritters 1
Fritters 2
Fritters 3

Ingredients Method
4 Courgettes
2 Red onions, chopped
Handful of chopped chives
2 Eggs
130g Plain flour
2 Tbsp corn flour
1 Tsp baking powder
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Grate your courgettes into a bowl, add 1tsp of salt, mix well and leave for 10 minutes. Place courgettes in a tea towel and squeeze out as much moisture as you possibly can.

In a bowl add all the other ingredients, add the squeezed courgettes and mix well.

Heat oil in a frying pan. Add spoonfuls of the mixture, push down to make a patty and fry on each side for approx 3 to 4 minutes. Drain on kitchen paper and serve.

NOTE – I made a 2nd batch, adding chilli flakes for some extra spice.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Grating Courgettes

I’d only turned my back on the veg patch for 2 days and look what I found, loads of plump courgettes and delicious sweet tomatoes. What am I going to do with them all?? Tomatoes are easy, just dice, throw in a bag and pop them in the freezer. But courgettes!!Courgettes 1Freezing courgettes isn’t so easy as they just turn to mush, so off to the internet I went, for a chat with Mr Google. I found a suggestion for grating courgettes, which are then ready for cakes, loaves and fritters. Grate your courgettes into a bowl and for every 1lb (450g) of courgettes add 1tsp of salt, mix well and leave for 10 minutes. Place a big handful in a tea towel and squeeze out as much moisture as you possibly can. Put the squeezed courgettes into a cup measure until full and then tip onto a square of waxed paper. Push down to make a patty, wrap up and pop in the freezer. 1 cup = 1lb un-squeezed courgettes.

NOTE – I used an American cup, but if you don’t have one, the equivalent is 240ml.

Courgettes 2
Courgettes 3

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Ripping out the Kitchen

No offence to anyone with tiled worktops, but we couldn’t bare ours anymore. They were particularly bad, with blue grout and very deep gaps, so deep that I had to clean them with a dustpan and brush or the vacuum on occasions. So a few weeks ago, out they came and it was lovely to see the worktops disappear and taken to the tip. The only thing left after our ripping out session is the sink and a couple of cupboards. We also decided to sell the wood burning stove. It was lovely, but because we’ve bought a range oven and hob we didn’t need it, so we are going to buy a wood burner instead. More pics to follow as we progress.

Kitchen 1

You can just see my last batch of cookies before the oven came out.

Kitchen 2

Roger working out how to remove the tangled gas connections for the hobs.

Kitchen 3

Cupboards out to the corner.

Kitchen 4

That was heavy.

Kitchen 5

Hobs out.

Kitchen 6

Corner cupboard out and the plastering has started.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

What's happening in the Veg Patch

I’ve had a few people ask how our veg patch is doing. Its come a long way since our arrival a year ago but we still have so much to learn. Do you remember how it looked before, if not take a peek here. It was overrun with weeds, bindweed, thistles, nettles, you name it, we had it. But now, we have the fun of picking our own veg, not the weeds and as 6 year old Dax says “lets to go to the shops”. Some things have been more successful than others. We had bolted cabbages and leeks and black broccoli, we planted things too close together, we planted too much of one thing and not enough of another and planted things too late. But the potatoes, carrots, tomatoes and courgettes have been the best veggies and the tomatoes taste so sweet, not bland. We’ve also listened to our neighbours who have lived here all their lives and they don’t bother with cabbages, broccoli or any other greens as they are prone to disease, nor leeks or onions because of the bolting. They focus on beans, potatoes, courgettes, tomatoes, lettuces, melons, carrots, pepper and aubergines. So next year, more veg that does well plus some extras we didn’t try like cucumber, peas and mange-tout . Note to self - don't knock the tomatoes off before they’ve ripened.

Veg Patch 1
Veg Patch 2
Veg Patch 3
Veg Patch 4
Veg Patch 5
Veg Patch 6

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Sweet and Sour Courgettes

Sorry folks but here's another courgette recipe for you all. I wasn't sure about these when I read the recipe at Selmas Table but I’m so glad I made them. They are truly delicious, crunchy with some spice, but not hot and will keep for a couple of months in the fridge. I used two different types of courgettes for my pickles but use whatever you can find. You see the lovely mixing bowl in the background, I managed to break it into 3 large pieces in my sink, not happy as I only bought it just before we came to France :(

Courgette Pickles
Courgette Pickles 1


Ingredients Method
500g Courgettes

1 Red onion

2tbsp sea salt

1tsp Coriander seeds

400ml White wine or cider vinegar

200g White sugar

1/4tsp Turmeric

1/2tsp Chilli flakes

1tsp Fennel seeds
Slice the courgettes in 1/2cm rings, then finely slice the onion. Layer the courgettes and onion in a bowl sprinkling the salt between the layers. Leave in the fridge for 1 hour.

Dry roast the coriander seeds in a dry frying pan for a few minutes until toasted but watch them as they will burn quickly.

Place all the remaining ingredients plus the coriander seeds into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes the leave to cool.

Without rinsing off the salt, layer the courgettes and onions into 2 sterilized jars (the size of my jar above is perfect for the amount of liquid I had).

Pour over the liquid, seal and leave to marinade for 24 hours.

NOTE – The liquid can be used as a delicious salad dressing too.

Monday, 3 August 2015

First Year Nibbles

To say a big Thank You to our neighbours for making our 1st year so special, we invited them round for drinks and nibbles on Saturday evening. The food I’d made all got eaten, but always check the size of your vol-au-vents when you buy them, they were not nibble sized so difficult to eat, crumbs everywhere. Before we moved here, we had been told that French people are reserved and don’t invite people they don’t know well into their homes, but our experience has been the complete opposite. They have make us feel so welcome and have invited us to join them at their homes for a meal and a tipple. We’ve cracked walnuts together, had oil pressed, sewn potatoes and ridden combine harvesters, all these things we would never have done without their invitation and enthusiasm. And its sounds as though there are more experiences to come, harvesting sunflowers and picking grapes are on the agenda. With the excitement and nervousness of the afternoon, the camera got forgotten, so the photos are thin on the ground.

First Year 3
First Year 1
First Year 2
First Year 6
First Year 5