Saturday, 27 October 2012

Green Tomato Chutney

This has been the most wonderful success story for me this year. I bought some date tomatoes from our local farm shop in May and liked the taste so much that I decided to try to grow some myself, from seed. So I dried five seeds from one tomato, planted them in potting soil in an old yoghurt pot and once they were strong enough, planted them outside on the terrace where they could get as much sun as possible.

 These are the same plants about 6 weeks later. I wasn't sure if the bees would do their job this year - in the last two years we had very few tomatoes because the bees were so few and so there was very little pollination. So to help them along I brushed the stamens of the flowers with a fine paintbrush. Whether it was I or the bees or a combination - I don't know...
But whatever, it seemed to do the trick and from that point onwards we had tomatoes galore.

I took advantage of a week off work because of a bad cold, and when I was feeling well enough again, I put the vegetable garden to bed for the winter, harvested the last butternut squash (they tasted marvellous, by the way), cleared away the dead plants - we had our first frost at the beginning of last week, and in readiness for snow, which would arrive today, I brought in three of the tomato plants which still had fruit on them, and have put them in a vacant bedroom (sorry Hannah - only while you're away!) to ripen up the last fruits.

As you can see, after two days inside, one is already beginning to turn red.  With the other unripe green tomatoes, I have made green tomato chutney.

Made with dates, sultanas, onions and coriander seeds which had been in the cupboard far too long, instead of mustard seeds, because I hadn't any. I have to say that it tastes fabulous.

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