Ever since I was a child I have been used to the concept of seasonal food and dealing with “glut” crops when they are available. Not only did my parents grow their own food they actively foraged the hedgerows for natures bounty. Our diets marched very much in time with the passing of the year. Each glut had its own way of being dealt with – remember this was in the early 1960’s – long before freezers were common household appliances. Beans were sliced and salted down in huge earthenware jars, seasonal fruits were jammed or bottled in Kilner jars. Jams, jellies, chutneys, rumpots and best of all wine and sloe gin.
All this held me in good stead for where and how I live today – I do have the added advantage of a freezer though, thank goodness.
I live in rural Portugal. I have a symbiotic relationship with my neighbours. We have a very old small tractor with very wide tyres which can access places modern machinery cannot. In return for the occasional loan of the tractor, we get free garden produce and eggs most of the year around. This inevitably means dealing with seasonal excesses.
This month has been all about apples – never-ending crates of them. It has been about using them and preserving them. Timely cue for my apple recipes, those of my mother and a call for you to share your favourites with me.