Monday 3 October 2011

Warm Weather

A couple of weeks ago I thought I was going to have to deal with kilos of green tomatoes... and no matter what recipe I try I really do not like green tomato chutney. Then all of a sudden we have record temperatures for October and instead I've had a glut of super ripe tomatoes. These plum tomatoes were grown from seeds that we brought back from an Italian market last year.

As a result we had several tomato based meals last week (if you follow the link, I substitute the single cream for 1/2 pint double cream and it easily serves six). But tomorrow I'm going away and there were still lots of tomatoes left. Now I'm pretty certain my menfolk are not going to cook anything from scratch involving fresh produce while I'm away. In fact I'm pretty sure they are not going to cook anything that doesn't involve a trip to the freezer. So today I've been turning tomatoes into chilli jam which we'll eat with fishcakes when I get back. It's pretty good in cheese sandwiches too!

Other cooking this weekend has meant a birthday cake...

Because my youngest man is 19 today.
Happy birthday Jake!
This unseasonal weather has meant that this is the first time we've ever  celebrated his birthday by eating outside!

Now if you'll excuse me, I must dash and finish my packing because I'm off to St. Ives in the morning to teach at a residential school for the West Country Embroiderers. I'll tell you all about it when I get back next week.


  1. Happy birthday Jake x we're celebrating a bithday here too - Amy's 12th. That is one fine looking cake (is it coffee and walnut? that's my favourite). The weather has been strange - wonderful but out of characyer for this time of year - my strawberry plants are confused and are flowering again. Your tomatoes look wonderful Gina - proper big, fat, juicy italian ones - delicious! Good luck in St Ives, looking forward to hearing all about your cornish adventure! xxx

  2. Ooh, that's a lovely looking cake! I just got back form a three week trip and returned to some very ripe and wrinkled tomatoes that were green when I left. Used up a bunch for soup. I haven't put any up for the winter because we go south every year. I just put a little package in the mail for you today. I hope it reaches you by the 28th. Its kind of funny and guaranteed to be different than all the other donations.
    xoxo Kim

  3. I still have loads of green tomatoes so I guess it's chutney for us!

  4. Happy Birthday Jake! That's a fine looking cake. I'm afraid it would have been a bit soggy if you had eaten it outside here as the Indian summer missed us out!!
    Enjoy St Ives. :)
    Vivienne x

  5. Firstly, Happy Birthday to Jake! Yummy looking cake, bet it's all gone now!

    Have a good trip down to my neck of the woods. Be warned, weather very mixed - lots of fog and sea mists (with bursts of sunshine in between. Are you staying in St Ives?

  6. What a delicious cake - with proper icing that covers all available surfaces! Happy birthday Jake!

  7. Happy Birthday to Jake! I feel a bit like I know him after reading all your blog posts The chilli jam sounds like a good idea as I found a jungle of red tomatoes in my green house yesterday - after nearly pulling them up a week ago. So a lucky escape there! Enjoy St Ives.

  8. Another one who was salivating whilst checking out that icing! ;O)

    Have a wonderful time at St Ives!

  9. Happy Birthday Jake - your cake looks delicious.
    Years ago, on a trip to France, we had the most wonderful green tomato conserve. I think it might have had oranges in it and I tried to recapture the flavour but never quite managed it. There must be a good recipe out there somewhere.
    Hope your plum tomatoes retain their fantastic Italian flavour. What a treat to be going to St.Ives. Better pack some warm layers - just in case the temperature plummets.

  10. What a super weekend for a birthday celebration outside - cake looked gorgeous. I bet those tomatoes have a fantastic flavour - too good for a chutney

  11. Happy Birthday Jake! Your cake looked marvellous, I'm sure you will have enjoyed it.

    Have fun in the West Country Gina.

  12. Happy Birthday Jake! This year, all those with early October birthdays will remember it as 'the one when it was really hot', I'm sure.

    And after thinking I would not get a single ripe tomato, mine have gone too! Hooray.

  13. Fab looking cake for the birthday boy - it certainly will be one to remember.
    Have a good St Ives trip.

  14. Wow .. i've always been suspicious of Italian seeds - thogh often tempted to buy them there - because I didn't think they would grow well here ... I shall think again and collect some during my next trip! Hope your baby boy had a great b/day! :)

  15. Yummy looking cake, hope the birthday celebrations went well and have fun in St. Ives.

  16. Fancy celebrating an October birthday outdoors definately not the norm. Happy Birthday Jake, the cake looks scrumptious.
    Enjoy your time in StIves.

  17. My tomatoes are very sluggish at the moment, we seem to be getting about 4 ripe ones a week and have a ton of green ones left!! My friend came a visiting the other day and was most impressed with my cuboid plum tomatoes , very handy for sandwiches :)
    twiggy x


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