If I only had a garden with sunshine and room for a vegetable patch, life would be blissful, but alas I don’t and that is that. An allotment plot also would be a huge responsibility for me but I do indeed enjoy the spoils of those who labour hard, home growing.
It does however puzzle me that all these efforts once fulfilled express such huge amazement at the quantity that is produced with little forward planning on what to do with it all. Perhaps sharing with a neighbour or giving it away is one remedy. Surely however the growing plan should also include storage and production for sustained supply during the future period. Tomato Sauces, Sauces, Pickles or simply freezing or drying. Some storage methods work better than others and have to be tried. Whether it be in boxes of moist sand for roots – or if you are salting as we used to do with runner beans. You must surely also have a collection of recipes ready at hand for pickling and bottling with containers ready and waiting.
Good Kitchen management and planning is as always essential. Of course you don’t have to grow, but can take advantage of farm shops and bulk buy produce for preserving yourselves when prices are keen and advantageous. Sitting in the garden on a summers day preparing produce can be a great past time and of course the labours enjoyed later in the year. This can be a good way to occupy young little people during holiday times.
So with a surplus on hand the produce arrived and here is my use of Courgettes courtesy of BBC Good Food.
Courgette & Orange Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
For the cake
(no need to peel them)
200g soft brown sugar
125ml sunflower oil
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
grated zest 1 orange
1 tsp vanilla extract
300g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
for the frosting
200g full-fat cream cheese
100g icing sugar, sifted
good grating of orange zest
- Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Lightly oil and line a 1kg loaf tin with a strip of baking parchment. Finely grate the courgettes, then squeeze out as much liquid as you can with your hands (too much will make the cake soggy).
- Stir the courgettes with the sugar, sunflower oil, eggs, orange zest, vanilla and sultanas, then fold in the flour and baking powder until they disappear, but don’t overmix.
- Scrape the mixture into the tin and bake for 50 mins until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.
- Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese with the icing sugar (don’t overbeat as this can make the mixture too soft), then chill. Spread over the cooled cake, scatter with the zest and chill until ready to serve. Will keep for a week in the fridge.