I just noticed that at exactly this time last year I was posting about using up abundance! Well, this is because we are mid summer and this is the time I am most likely to get free or cheap fruit and some vegies too (and if I'm lucky a box of tomatoes!)
It is a big chance to fill shelves with jam, make pies, stewed or poached fruit, cakes, muffins etc to supply us all through winter. Plus enjoy fresh fruit, smoothies, salads and pavlova covered in fruits! The thing is making the most of it! It is a huge opportunity to save and help the rest of the year.
The downside is it all usually comes at once in large quantities. And I never say no if offered fruit or the chance to harvest fruit from a tree. Wild horses couldn't keep me away!
I know this season comes at different times as many ladies are reading from the US. And not everyone gets free fruit, it might be more a case of when things are at their very best price for the year or an amazing special. But when it is an abundant season and free things might come our way make the most of it!
There are a few things we can do to be ready. All year I save up jars. Also foil trays and boxes or anything else that might be good for packaging cooking. And knowing this time is coming I try and use up things in the freezer and clean and tidy it so I can fit as much in there as possible.
On Friday I posted a picture of some peaches we have. I had three buckets of peaches and I have a bucket of plums coming this week. I also have zucchini and spinach.
The peaches were not quite ripe. To keep an eye on them I spread them out on platters on the dining room table. They ripen faster than you think and if you turn your back they end up wasted. So each day I pick out the ones that have ripened.
We are eating fresh peaches just as they are. But if I didn't use them up in other ways we wouldn't get through them. I gave Chloe and Lucy a dozen each as well. Knowing I have plums coming I want to get the peaches made into things or I will be under a mountain of fruit. (good problem to have though...)
Yesterday I made peach cake. This is delicious and so quick and easy. This recipe will use up stone fruits. I have used plums, nectarines and peaches all perfectly in this. And you can cover the top of the cake as thinly or thickly with fruit depending on how much you want to use up. The recipe is here... Use up fresh fruit cake. This is how it looked. I served slices with cream drizzled over. And I made a spare as a gift for today and also several to freeze. In winter these are so handy.
Today I poached some peaches. I just wash them and fill a saucepan. Add a cup of sugar and some vanilla extract. (that is optional) Cover. Bring to a thumping boil and turn off. The residual heat will do the rest. Served with ice cream, cream or custard these are amazing. And I fill some containers with these and pop them into the freezer.
Another easy desert to use up stone fruit is a cobbler... The recipe is here here. In my old post I made it with apricots. This time I am using peaches and later in the week I will probably use plums. Plums look lovely as the pie is deep pink! This is a chance to be able to give lovely pies away as well as freeze some for during the year.
My go to pie to use up vegies or leftovers such as ham, cheeses, eggs etc is either Impossible Pie or Zucchini Slice. Both seem to thrive on variations according to what you have. Plus no pastry to make!
Impossible Pie is just wonderful. I usually serve it with a relish and salad. I never call it impossible pie. I call it something like "Spinach and Sun Dried Tomato Tart"or something I make up according to the ingredients I have. Sounds fancier :) When Chloe was little she declared she didn't like quiche. After that I called it egg and bacon pie. She ate that quite happily! So there is a lot of power in the name!
The ingredients are
2 cups of milk or cream or evaporated milk or any combination of these.
1/2 cup flour. Really just about any flour will do.
Wizz these together.
Place your added ingredients into a well oiled pie dish. These can be-
one or two chopped and fried up onion,
sun dried tomatoes, spinach,
roast sweet potato or pumpkin
cheeses... grated, left overs chopped up, crumbled feta,
sliced tomato, cherry tomatoes, sliced zucchini or grated zucchini...
anything you think that sounds good... I have to say roast pumpkin and feta is a good combination.
Any combination of any of these! The whole point is to use things up! I really add a lot of ingredients.
Pour over your eggy mix and bake in a med. oven until puffed and golden, about an hour or a bit less, keep an eye on it.
Serve warm but once cold it is lovely for lunch boxes.
The other use it up special is zucchini slice.
The basic recipe is -
An onion or two, fried,
a little ham or bacon or sun dried tomato,
chives or parsley,
a tub of ricotta cheese (500g)
1 cup SR flour.
1 large zucchini grated. (or about three smaller)
Mix your wet ingredients. Then stir in your onion, ham, grated zucchini etc.
(You can add spinach instead of the zucchini).
Pour into a lined (use non stick baking paper) baking dish or roasting pan.
Bake 45 mins in medium oven. It will plump up and be light golden and look a little like a souffle.
This cuts into lovely thick wedges. Serve with salad and relish. Also wonderful for lunch boxes.
My aunt phoned me tonight and I have plums to collect! So I will post what I do with them later and also my easy jam making recipe. I still have about 4 dozen peaches...
My husbands lunch box for tomorrow has "Spinach and Sun Dried Tomato Tart" and Zucchini Slice with salad, piece of Peach cake and a fresh peach. :)
What a nice start to the week! I hope to make the most of what ever comes my way as long as produce is coming in. Sometimes I have ended up with a huge amount of something and I have had to search for suggestions. If I have an ingredient and not enough ideas I use Taste.com where you can type in your ingredient and it gives you a huge selection of ideas. There are many sites that do that but I used Taste as all the recipes I have ever tried have been very good.
Have a wonderful week full of abundance and good things! xxx
The little birds...
If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.
Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.