Saturday, 5 January 2013

Chilli Oil, Garlic Mayo and Winter Growth Update

Well, I have not updated this as regularly as I expected, as there has not been as much progress in the onions, lettuce and broccoli.

In the intervening period I have been considering the growing plans for the coming year and getting frustrated at the length of the winter; it feels like I have been unable to grow anything for about two years now!

My lovely other half has, however, had a fruitful winter making use of the remaining chillis and some of the garlic (I have SO much garlic I hope to not have to buy any this year, and will definitely be growing more, but that's another blog) to make Chilli Oil and Garlic Mayo.

Starting to slice up the lovely red chillis

One split chilli, look at all those lovely hot seeds

Chop chop chop chop....

... and dropping the chopped chilli into the olve oil.

Chillis nestled in the bottom of the bottle.

My dried garlic, ready for preparation

Mmmm garlicy goodness

Peeling them under water as they are very strong and made her eyes water :D

Shaving the garlic into very thin slices...

... and mixing it into the, already garlic, mayo to make even MORE garlic mayo

So there you are, a couple of ways to make use of your produce.

A couple of final things to say about it; I did try and dry the chillis out by spreading them out on an oven tray and then putting them in with the oven on very low (about 50 degrees) but I don't think I left them in for long enough as they still got a bit moldy, which is why we decided to put them into oil to preserve them. I will try again with drying some shop bought ones, and report back on what I have learned.

The garlic I also dried in this way and it appears to have been done for long enough; I left it in for about two hours or so...

Anyway, to the MOST exciting part of my update; all the seeds that I planted before christmas have started showing! I am so very very excited. I thought I'd lost the lettuce at least, as in the summer months it sprouts very quickly indeed, but when I went to take pics for this blog of the broccoli, I noticed that both the red onion and the lettuce are showing.

So, here are the pictures:

Lettuce showing tiny seedlings; four out of the five seeds are showing :)

Onion spikes; it looks like a lot of the onions seeds have sprouted which is excellent news. It will be interesting when they develop as I may need to re-pot them to ensure a large harvest.

Last but not least the broccoli. This started showing before Christmas but I didn't get my camera out because I am a lazy sod. It looks like most of the seeds that I planted have also sprouted with these as well.

So, as you can see, my year has started with some very heartening success. I am now champing at the bit to get into the rest of my planting.

As you will know (if you are a regular reader of this blog) I have moved to a house with a small yard and no earth based garden to speak of. Today I also took a tape measure into this yard so I can make a plan of how many pots and planters I can fit in, while allowing space for the punch bag, and a space to eat outside in the summer.

I also plan on planting some flowers to encourage bees to visit so they can work hard for me to pollenise all my my plants.

So there you are, I'm back in the saddle and more excited even than last year.

With the way food prices are going to go this year, why don't you get a couple of planters and throw some seeds into some soil; you could find it saves you loads of money, and also provides you fun throughout the year.

Get involved.

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