Sometimes people ask how I get so much done – the cynical answer is I do everything badly and in a rush. The real answer is more mundane and can be found in this example of what I did on bank-holiday Monday. It rained pretty much all day on Monday. I was exhausted from the weekend and from working every single day, often 12 or more hours a day, throughout the school holidays. I wanted a day off or at least a day pomming around, stopping for an early shower (say at 6), watching a film and then going to bed early, very early.
Let’s see what happened ….. first I made corn pancakes, planned for the pop-up cafe and blogged about them. Then I walked my dog with a friend. After that I went to do a working trials demonstration at the Suffolk Punch Open Day. There weren’t many people there because of the rain so we did the demonstration and then some training. Afterwards I went and looked after a friend’s garden while they were away: watered the greenhouse, picked courgettes etc. This was where I got these beauties from.
It was raining, I was very wet. I got home and basically just wanted to go back to bed, but I thought, as I am wet I might as well go and pick the crab apples from the tree as then I can make jelly. I did that.
Did I stop … no. I decided to make some hedgerow jelly from the blackberries I picked Friday evening and the apples I collected on Saturday. I made two batches – 15 jars.
I then started the crab apple jelly process and made some mujver (see here) with our mountain of courgettes.
I also went and did my bees, worked Kainaat on the sheep, did endless washing, and then started to stuff courgettes. When I looked at the clock it was 8pm – so much for stopping early as I still had to get things ready for work the next day, feed the dog, have a shower, tidy up etc.
The secret to finding time to stuff courgettes then is to work a 12 hour a day on your day off – simple really. If you work 7 days a week and every evening, have no social life, and don’t go away it is possible to have a day job and a small-holding/campsite.
Enough moaning, here is the stuffed courgette recipe – it is good and so is my life. This weekend we have been eating variations on the rice, currants and courgette theme. On Sunday night we had courgette pilav which is absolutely divine (we are eating this once a week at the moment). It is essentially a deconstructed stuffed courgette which makes it quicker to make – this was important on Sunday as I was messing around with my hugelkultur beds until it got dark.
But here is the stuffed courgette recipe from Monday night……
Kabak Dolmasi (stuffed courgettes): courgettes – either globe or normal, onion, 4oz basmati rice, handful of currants, handful of pine nuts, small bunch of mint, half a teaspoon of cinnamon, pinch of cloves and maybe a bit of allspice if you have some, salt and pepper, juice of a lemon or two, olive oil, once tomato (optional). Serves 2.
Gently fry the chopped onion until soft, add in the rice, currants and pinenuts and about 2 tbs of the lemon juice + a little water. Cook gently for 5-7 minutes – the rice should be nearly done, but still have some bite. Add in the mint and spices – season.
Meanwhile hollow out the inside of the courgettes (feed the insides to your hens or keep and add to a soup – don’t through them away!).
Stuff your courgettes with the mix and pack into an oven proof dish with a lid.
Add the remaining lemon juice around the edge with some extra water and olive oil – if you are using normal courgettes the liquid should come up to just below the edge of the courgette, if it is a globe one it will come up about 1 inch maybe. Cut the tomato into four and add in. Put a lid on the dish and cook on about 180C or less for 40 minutes. Check every now and again and baste the courgettes with the liquor.
Serve with cacik – yoghurt mixed with a splash of wine vinegar, some olive oil, crushed garlic, salt and pepper and finely chopped cucumber.
N.B. I forgot to take a photo of the stuffing as I was making it – I just remembered the leftovers. Of course I didn’t throw them out. I cooked it through in a splash more water and kept it for breakfast the next day – how obsessed am I?