This morning almost felt wintry, so cold in the garden that it seemed unlikely that any more peppers would ripen, the plants drooping and slightly frosted looking. I picked all the green and half-red ones I could find, brought them home, saved the bigger ones to cook over the next few days and pickled the rest using a recipe that worked well last year: I mixed half quantities of white wine vinegar and water – how much depends on how many peppers you have but I made about 500 ml in all, adding two cups of sugar, a couple of bay leaves and some sprigs of rosemary. Once the liquid was boiling I added the peppers and let them simmer for about 10 minutes then packed them into sterilised jars. I wedged the bay leaves and rosemary sprigs on top to stop the peppers rising to the surface when I added the cooking liquid to the jars. The peppers will keep for months like this and, drained with a little olive oil added to them, make a good addition to tapas during the winter.
I sowed broad beans this morning for a spring crop – it’s always good to have started the next year in the garden.