Redefining the Joy of Cooking – Seasonal Cooking {Part 2}

Supporting the rural Farmers

Despite the fact that we manage quite a sized vegetable garden and that we have our own Plum tree, there are so many fruits that are now in season, which we do not have in our garden.

A summer drive out into the country is quite a lovely experience, especially after the good rains in the Eastern Free State. Knowing the area, we are well aware of where the informal vendors gather to sell their produce.

Summertime-is-Yellow-Peach-time-is-Peach-Jam-time. Almost every informal settlement has quite a few fruit trees and especially peach trees. These vendors probably live under the bread line and the revenue from their fruit is much needed. The good thing about buying from them, apart from social responsibility, is that no pesticides are used. The fruit might have a few spots, but they are delicious.

En-route to the roadside market, we noticed that the blue Berries that grow wild in our area, have started ripening and the Rosehip have shed their flowers; the fruit is starting to colour and will probably be ready in March. We’ll be back to harvest what Nature offers us – growing wild along the Road.

The thing about the season, is when the vegetables start ripening, it happens at almost the same time, like tomatoes. Of course there are quite a bit one can do with tomatoes, but sometimes, when the crop is huge and the harvesting frequent, and preserving tomatoes is not all you have to do that day; creative thinking is required. We sundry them for special dishes; we make a really good tomato Salsa which we use for breakfast – that requires quite a few tomatoes-, and we use them fresh in daily salads and we cook pectin.

To cook pectin, we combine the tomatoes with our apples. Our tree usually bears a lot of apples; these are not necessarily beauties and as you should have gathered by now, we don’t use pesticides or harmful chemicals in our garden. The pectin we freeze for later use – once we start cooking jelly, we use a lot of pectin.

And in conclusion, as promised, herewith our update on The Plum Cake, which we now believe we have mastered. We were told to tidy the sides up, but we kind of liked the rough edges. Like they say, the proof of the pudding….it was delicious!

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