One of our tomato plants was loaded with large green tomatoes, and as we have a few other plants with ripening tomatoes, I decided to make green tomato relish and green tomato sauce.
Last year I came across an old Women's Weekly book on preserving (the recipes Nana used) so I chose recipes from that book.
I did begin by watching a few YouTube videos on 'modern' green tomato recipes, but having recently re-injured the patella tendon in my right leg, avoiding a trip to the supermarket was important, and besides, I already had everything needed in my pantry and garden for the older recipes.
Apparently with this relish, as opposed to chutney or pickle, the shelf life is not as long, and in our climate its best stored in the fridge. Same with the green tomato sauce. I'll share a bit around and we will use the rest over the next few months.
Once we have red tomatoes in surplus I can make tomato chutney, and red tomato sauce (cause hubby loves tomato sauce).
I also made guava jam, but haven't taken a photo. Never mind, our tree is brimming with a new flush of guavas so I can make a lot more in a month or two. I only found six ripe guavas on the tree for the jam, and decided to eat one of them fresh! They taste like a cross between a passionfruit and a strawberry, and you can eat the skin as well.
We have so many cucumbers. SO MANY, and all from the one abundantly fruitful vine. Last weekend I learned how to make refrigerator pickled cucumbers. Using six cucumbers I now have two 1 litre jars (a litre is almost the same as quart)
Today we will open one jar and enjoy them with salads, as even though this is the last month of our Australian winter, it's very warm and humid in the tropics already. Salads every day are the best meal for cooling yourself down.
I also decided to pickle a jar of carrots...which we'll also open this weekend.
Today I've been outside gathering calendula flowers and herbs to dehydrate.
Herbal teas are a favourite of mine in the afternoon and evening. We have five calendula pots growing around the garden, and now that they are well established and blooming daily it's time to start harvesting the flowers mid-morning to dry...
I lay them out on a light coloured cloth for 30 minutes before they are gently shaken and placed on the dehydrator tray, as when you pick them all these tiny little bugs escape, so a bit of time for them all to fly away is important.
I also picked spearmint, and common mint to dry. In our very hot, humid tropical climate, mint does not do very well as it hates the heat - but in winter and early spring it flourishes. Mint tea is a favourite of mine, with a bit of fresh or dehydrated ginger, so I'm making sure I can still enjoy it through the hot months to come.
Lemon balm is another favourite herb for tea. Made with a bit of ginger and raw local honey, it's medicinal properties are the very best for calming the mind and body, or as a sleep tonic. I always sleep better when I drink this before bedtime.
Lemon balm is a member of the mint family, and will spread and take over a garden just like mint (even more so in my experience) so I grow mint and lemon balm in pots or small raised beds.
My 4yo granddaughter Rafaella always picks the leaves of both herbs and eats them while playing in my garden or watering the plants for me.