Preserving the summer: sweet chilies in oil, pumpkins galore and multicoloured jams…….


Crisp mornings, inky black nights and grey-sky-rainy days signal that the summer is well and truly over. Fortunately the vibrant colours of a bountiful harvest offer some solace and during a visit to a local farm pumpkins galore remind me of the harvest festivals of my childhood which has an immensely cheering effect.

fountainPumpkin cart


In addition my new found love of making jam (apricot, nectarine, lemon and blueberry and plums to date) allows me to bottle the summer magically in neatly labelled jam jars. And adding my efforts to the culinary treasures given us by “Nonna di Giulia” makes me feel content as I connect with an older, slower world.IMG_0789Treasures from Apulia: bottles of tomato sauce, 120kgs of tomatoes are turned into tomato sauce every summer, which involves, getting up at 4am…. a recurring theme…homemade eggplant and tuna “spread” for bruschetta,  sweet sun-dried peppers in olive oil and other staples – melons, pasta flour, bread, frise, taralli, wine, chili plants and of course olive oil:IMG_0763

Preserving fruits and chilies is immensely satisfying and while I stir I envision being in an old farmhouse with a flower garden full of lupines and delphiniums, a vegetable patch, and a musty storage cellar with rough stone walls and an earthen floor………for now a visit to our local farm will have to suffice…

Pumpkins and flowers


11 thoughts on “Preserving the summer: sweet chilies in oil, pumpkins galore and multicoloured jams…….

  1. 120kg of toms? That’s a factory! Actually, tomatoes are something I’ve yet to try bottling. Partly as the quality of toms here isn’t so good. And if they are they’re worth eating raw. Anyway, isn’t making jam just one of the best things? Have only made 4 types so far, with 1 more to do. Although, nectarine and black grapes might be on the cards 🙂

    • 120kgs it’s a lot isn’t it – it’s a dying generation remind me of my granny – up at 5am – garden, embroider, tend the sick, tend the church altar, bottle tomatoes, pickle vegetables, I’m exhausted just thinking about it. But the sauce itself is amazing, so I am glad I have a source! Making jam is wonderful – I love it too – am planning on making pumpkin jam soon, following a recipe from Apulia!

  2. nothing is more enjoyable – takes about 30 minutes tops and makes you feel like a virtuous domestic goddess type person as you store away those jam jars, went through my freezer last night transforming all the poor left behind fruit into jam 🙂 – oh and you can give it away too !

  3. I love the way you live… It reminds me of living back on the farm and how we could all live… so simply and abundantly… do you eat everything you make or do you give it away or sell it… Enjoy every moment… and thanks for sharing… Barbara

    • you make me laugh 🙂 – having spent the majority of my time in the last years in business lounges, in planes, or in underground meeting rooms, often not knowing what time of day it was, which time zone I was in or even the season, I too am enjoying living with the season and preserving things the old way. I love to have friends over, and I like to give things away, doubles my pleasure first in the making second in the sharing!

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