Thursday, 26 July 2012

Time for an update

...not that there is much to say.  My life is plodding along nicely.   I'm avoiding trips out at the moment because it's far too hot.

Mr A has been working at a hotel hamam in Yalikavak for the past week.  It's not been a good season so far, jobwise.  He has been here, there and everywhere for the past few months.  He has worked and not been paid.  He has had promises that his accommodation would be paid for...and it hasn't.  As a result, money has been going out rather than coming in.

So far with the current job, although he isn't earning a great deal, he has accommodation and food.  The downside is that he hasn't managed to come home since he started, because it costs too much in petrol.

While he is away I have responsibility for the garden....not good.   I haven't a clue what to do with it, so I'm sticking to watering everything.  This causes me a great deal of discomfort because in spite of covering myself in clothes and insect repellent, I am still being bitten unmercifully.

 We have had a good crop of tomatoes and I have sun-dried some.  Actually that's not completely true.  I started them off in the sun but they attracted too many insects, so I finished them off in the oven.  I have now bottled them in olive oil and garlic.  I have also made a large quantity of tomato sauce, with peppers, onions and garlic, and stored this in jars.

I did experiment with preserving them in vinegar. I only did 3 jars, which is just as well because they don't look good so I may have to dispose of them.

I now have a pretty impressive store cupboard containing all the above, along with apricot jam, plum jam, green tomato chutney and spicy apricot chutney.

We have an abundence of grapes and I am thinking about making grape juice...if anyone has tried this, I would appreciate some tips please.

I am eagerly waiting for the figs to ripen.  I love fresh figs, and I also intend to make lots of fig jam.

So that's my life at the moment.   Looking forward to cooler weather, and also to my visit to see Stella, Billy and Jimi in September.

14 comments:

  1. Well done you for preserving anything in that heat.
    Good luck for Mr call me Indomitable Ayak.

    Are the locals just immune to bites or do they go around with some bush stuck in their trousers to keep off the biting things?
    Keep cool.

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    1. Rosie I think the locals must be immune. I thought I had also become immune over the years but this year is particularly bad xx

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  2. Glad to hear things are settled Ayak, although with Mr A away so much things must be tough. The bottling projects sound good. I am starting to think I will get into that, having now watched my new garden in France nearly through a whole growing season. My small experiments with aubergines, courgettes, peppers and tomatoes have all been successful, and I too am waiting for ripening figs, and wondering what to do with 40 vines worth of grapes which have now started to ripen. Take care, Janice x

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    1. Hi Janice. It's very satisfying seeing all our preserves isn't it? If you discover a way of using your grapes, please let me know xx

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  3. We are also having a little mini heatwave. You would smile because I know its nothing like the heat you must be experiencing.

    You are clever with the bottling and pickling. Surely its the taste that matters not so much the looks. Taste the pickled tomatoes before ditching them.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

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    1. Maggie..not very clever I can assure you..it's all trial and error. Tasted the pickled tomatoes this morning...yuk...ditched!! xxx

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  4. In heat like that and with those virulent mozzies you deserve a medal to be out in the garden.
    If you have sweet eating grapes, then try my old neighbour's trick.
    She used to cut them so that the stem had a crook to it, if you see what I mean, but only bunches which were perfect. Then she would dip the stems in a water bucket over night, dry them off and cover them in a thick coating of wax at which point they would keep into the winter in a cool room.

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    1. That's an interesting way of preserving them Fly. I think I could do that. I have a job lot of candles which I could use. Now to find a cool room...that could be difficult!

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  5. It all sounds pretty impressive to me Ayak xx

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    1. Thankyou greygirl...I do my best!

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  6. Wow....sure proud of you doing all this preserving and especially in this HOT weather....they all sound delicious. I'm only going to do some peach, apricot, plums and red pepper preserves this year...as I do every year.
    Hope all goes well with Mr. Ayak and you get to see him....
    BUGS!!!! oh that would keep me locked up all day.....it's bringing them out here also with this heat wave, finally got a sprinkling of rain last night.Don't have to drag the hose around and water the plants in the planters.....I don't have any tomatoes this year but my geraniums, and all sorts of annuals are over flowing in the iron urns....b/c my husband waters every night.

    Have a great day....and I'm sending you some special blessings.

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    1. Thankyou Erica. I hate the bugs but can't let the garden dry out so I persevere. I love geraniums. I don't have any in the garden this year but I hope Mr A will get some for next year xx

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  7. Having had a mnii-heatwave here this week, I don't know how you achieve what you do in your terrible heat, Ayak. You deserve a medal for doing all that preserving and watering. Sorry to hear that times are still so hard for Mr A. I think he deserves a medal for perseverance too.

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    1. It's so hot in the kitchen anyway Perpetua, I hardly notice the difference when I'm cooking!

      As for Mr A...well I'm pretty much used to the ups and downs of his working life now!

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