Courgette glut?

It’s that time in the allotment year when, if you are lucky, you have a glut of courgettes.   These summer squash are incredibly versatile and can be used in savory and sweet dishes.

Here’s a few of my favourite courgette recipes:

If you want to try something a bit different, below is my favourite courgette loaf cake recipe.

Courgette cake (cuts into 10-12 slices).

60g raisins (or pecans/walnuts)

180g golden caster sugar

185ml light olive oil

3 eggs

280g plain flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

pinch of ground nutmeg

380g courgettes coarsely grated

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (Gas 4). Butter a 12 x 4 inch loaf tin.

Method

Beat the sugar with the oil and vanilla until smooth and then add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition. Keep on beating until you have a thick, yet light and fluffy batter. Sift in the flower, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add a pinch of salt and the courgettes, several good grinds of black pepper and the lemon zest and fold together well. Gently stir the raisins into the the batter.

Scrape the batter into the tin and bake for 55-60 mins (it took me 75 mins) until a skewer poked into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Leave the tin on a rack to cool for 10 minutes before turning the loaf out onto the rack to cool.

Serve warm or at room temperature, buttered if you like. Well wrapped up, this stays moist and soft for days and it toasts well even after it’s lost its moistness.

Note: If using walnuts or pecans toast them in the oven first by spreading them on a baking tray and heating them in the oven until they are just crisp and lightly roasted then remove them and allow to cool. Then coarsely chop them before stirring into the batter.

Seedy Sunday – 15 March 2020

It’s that time again! Learn how to sow seeds and help us start plants for sale at our Open Day on Sunday 17 May.

showing seeds being sown

Bring along any spare seeds (and seedlings) that you would like to swap for something else. You never know what new varieties you might discover!

Linda and Tony will also be available to provide horticultural advice.

And there will be tea and cake available!

Wreaths, reindeers and rent

Today was our festive rent day and wreath making workshop.  Thank you to all our members who came along to pay their rent and sign their new tenancy agreement.

Members enjoyed mulled wine, spiced apple punch, tea and coffee.  There was also a gluten free squidgy chocolate log, a traditional Christmas cake, delicious Cherry and pecan chocolate brownies (recipe below), mince pies and festive nibbles.

Jars of honey mustard, plum jam and plum chutney were sold in decorated bags- a perfect Christmas present.

The children enjoyed making a herd of reindeers decorated with glitter glue and pompom noses.

Later members made beautiful seasonal wreaths and bunches of greenery using willow and foliage from around the site.

A lot of Christmas trees also went to their new homes.  There are still plenty left if you would like to buy one.

Committee members will also be on site next weekend to collect any outstanding rents.

 

Here’s the recipe for Jane’s cherry and pecan chocolate brownies.

It was based on Jamie Oliver’s cherry brownie recipe, but fresh cherries have been swapped for tinned (and more were used) and soft light brown sugar was used instead of caster sugar.

For one large traybake, i doubled the amounts of the original recipe. So, per tray:
250g unsalted butter
270g 70% dark chocolate
220g tinned cherries, drained of syrup (this was one tin)
90g roasted pecans
450g light soft brown sugar
110g cocoa powder
150g plain flour
Half a teaspoon baking powder
6 large eggs, beaten
90g milk chocolate, broken into pieces.

The method:
Toast pecans in oven for 10 mins.
Melt the butter & dark chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water (gently).
Take off the heat & add the chopped cherries and pecans.
In a separate bowl,  mix flour, cocoa powder,  baking powder and sugar.
Add this to the melted chocolate/butter mixture & stir to combine.
Beat the eggs & mix in to the other ingredients.
Add the chopped milk chocolate.
Pour into your tray & bake for 25-30 minutes – 180 degrees for 20 mins then 160 degrees for 10 minutes.
Leave to cool before cutting into squares & dusting with icing sugar.