It might not be perfect but it is food.
In the supermarket you see row after row, bag after bag of perfectly formed identical apples, cucumbers, courgettes etc and so many folk think that this is how food grows, The farmer plants the seed and up pops this perfect specimen of goodness. What they don't realise to get this little bit of perfection there are pesticides involved, insecticides used, there is wastage on a MASSIVE scale of all the fruits and vegetables that did not attain the level of perfection required of them.
Homegrown on the other hand means you eat what you grow and you make the best of every fruit or vegetable you harvest and that is what I am doing at the moment. Yes, the pesky rabbits ate all the tops to the onions and garlic but that doesn't mean the much too small onions and bitty in some cases half formed garlic that I had to pull up before they rotted in the ground are inedible, on the contrary the onions are blow your socks off strong and the garlic is the mildest creamiest garlic I have ever tasted.
Making full use of a marrow sized courgette I made a pan full of 'soup' the other day.
First roasting the vegetables slowly in the simmering oven of the Aga to bring out the flavour. The arty shot above with the rosemary draped over the vegetables is not how you put it in the oven, you should always push your rosemary under the vegetables so it can impart it's flavor before the heat of the oven zaps it too much, if you do want it on top make sure you drizzle lots of olive oil on it first.
Once roasted the vegetables were tipped into my biggest pan and were joined by a couple of tins of tomatoes, a tin of butter beans (I HATE butter beans as they are, but added to a soup or sauce they add a buttery creaminess that I love), and big squirt each of garlic and tomato pastes. The homegrown garlic added the mild rich flavour and the tubed garlic the strength of flavour.
It was all brought to the boil and then put back in the oven to simmer long and slow, it was an easy days preserving work, leaving me time to get on with other things.
Once out of the oven it was quickly blitzed with a stick blender in the pan, and then ladled into four two person portions and two one person portions, one I ate for my lunch before taking this photo to check I had the flavour just right :-)
Of course it's not just soup!!
Because I left it thick and rich it can be used as a pasta sauce, a pizza topping, anything in fact that you would normally open a jar of bought-in sauce for, but served as it is or diluted slightly it will make a few meals of deliciously warming soup. And with the weather most definitely taking a turn for the chillier it could be coming back out of the freezer before too long.
So I'm all for using up everything I harvest and I don't mind one little bit if my onions are tiny and fiidly, my garlic falls apart because it's outer skin didn't develop on all the bulbs, that my courgette is masquarading as a marrow or that my tomatoes are every shape and every colour under the sun. It's all food and damn fine tasting food at that.