This week, courgettes. Lots of them. Lots and lots. A veritable glut, in fact. What an amazing summer for growing stuff. Especially courgettes in the Kelso area, it seems.
Off we went to Londonshire, with flowering courgettes and one or two teeny green pencils. Baby courgettes.
We returned from Londonshire after our holibags and found courgettes the size of marrows. Yes, marrows. Or at least, that’s what they looked like.
In the picture, the small ones on the top are almost normal size, the rest are hee-yew-mong-ous.
I weighed one or two, and they tipped the scales at 3lb, 3.5lb, 4lb. But what to do with this unexpected green bounty?
Cue frenzied Googling. Courgette recipes, courgette drinks, what to do with 30 tonnes of courgettes, that sort of thing.
As a result, we have just tucked into courgette cake at tea-time, which the Young Mistress made for Gamford. How delicious, how moist, how amazingly good courgettes can taste. Especially when they are cake-shaped and slathered in a whole tub of chocolate buttercream with ickle chocolate hearts on top. Yum.
Courgette wine next. Another 50 tonnes of courgettes chopped and boiled in a big pot of water and left to cool.
Once cool, such delights as yeast, orange juice, lemon juice, root ginger and sugar are to be added. Sounds like another yummy courgette winner, until you get to the bottom of the recipe and it states that the result will be drinkable in six months, but will greatly improve after 12. Note to self: make sure and label bottles with ‘Do Not Drink Before 2015’.
Then courgette and parmesan soup, pronounced by the Young Master as his most favourite ever soup ... this week. How fickle are our youth?
Next up will be courgette and cumin soup. And stuffed courgettes. Pan-fried courgettes. Stewed courgettes. Curried courgettes.
This is beginning to sound like a post-Christmas ‘what to do with the leftover turkey’ list. After the next few days chipping away at Courgette Mountain, I am sure it will begin to feel like a ‘what to do with the left-over turkey’ list.
Surely, a single vegetable which can feed a family of six must have some value?
Sadly, you can’t sell them on eBay, or put them as an ‘Offer’ on Freecycle, or otherwise I would. I have tried to offload them on to friends and acquaintances who either a) hate courgettes, as a result of over-exposure to soggy ratatouille as youngsters, or, b) have cupboards full of the things themselves as they have a glut too. And, no, they don’t have any recipes I haven’t already tried. Ho hum.
I have even thought about having a ‘courgette-by’. Inspired by an American gang ‘drive-by’, but without the shooting, of course. This would involve driving along, identifying the ‘victim’, then stopping the car beside them with a reassuring smile (so they don’t think I’m a total fruitloop) and handing out a free – yes, free – courgette. Or maybe two. Or three.
Then I would drive off, probably to the sound of the ‘thwack’ of a courgette thrown in anger against the back windscreen.
At least, I console myself, that by planting my tomato seeds quite late – waaaaay later than recommended on the packet – I feel smug that I have avoided a second glut.
Or is that just my ‘glass half full’ way of looking at the fact that my tomatoes may never, ever ripen? Green tomato chutney, anyone?