I never thought I would say this but yesterday I was trying to find more recipes to use our figs. My fig tree has been in the corner of our back garden for at least 20 years. I bought it as very small and planted it very carefully, following the instructions. I’m sure the tree is paying back now. It has been giving us fruit for the past number of years but this year – something else altogether.

We went to Edinburgh last week for a few days to celebrate our 47th wedding anniversary. Came back Saturday late afternoon so on Sunday I got down to some serious gardening work.

Pick the figs – easy now as I have one of those clever gadgets, a basket on a long pole. I bought it a few years ago and it is worth its weight in gold. I have a number of the attachments but this one I love. The result was amazing – 3 kilos of lovely ripe figs.

What to make? I made some chutney in the past but this time I found a different recipe, this chutney is thick and dark, full of the taste of figs. I think they just need a bit of spice, no other strong ingredients and I am happy.


Next lot of fruit came from the allotment. The autumn raspberries are doing very well too and I’m sure they’re paying back for the hard work – a number of bags of horse manure, grass cuttings and pruning. I picked 2 kilos of them and there was no question as what to do with them – jam.


I tried to grow tomatoes in the past but never had much luck. This year I decided to go for outdoor varieties and put them all on the allotment. The majority are in my biggest net cage and whatever plants were left I put them in one of my raised beds. That way they get a bit of protection from the wind. And again – fantasic harvest. The varieties are mainly plum tomatoes and some quite unusual ones, like ‘Red pear’ or ‘Ox heart’.

It is nice to have my kind of problem – what do I do with all the vegetables? With the tomatoes I bottled some, chopped with garlic and rosemary but this time I had so many I had to use another method. Why not passata? I found a very good recipe and it doesn’t waste anything – no need to discard the skins, all is liquidised.

Last but not least – I had some figs left after making the chutney and as a chance would have it, I found a delicious recipe in Saturday’s Guardian. The combination of figs and red wine was just too good to ignore.

All in all – a very good result and it’ll feed us over the winter.


There was an emergency also – I managed to run out of Kilner jars! As I had to go shopping anyway I stocked up – 13 jars (everything the supermarket had on the shelf!)


That’ll keep me going for a while, I hope.


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