Purslane, is commonly mistaken for a weed. An annual, it grows all over the place in any freshly turned soil, covering the ground with its fleshy succulent stems and leaves. excellent raw in salads, but can also be stir fried, cooked and used similarly to spinach and used to enhance stews. It grows quickly here and freezes well.
Good King Henry, I think that is its common English name, Chenopodium, another annual weed that grows in prolific numbers in freshly turned soil. Frequently eaten in a mixed salad or green garnish, though have yet to discover other uses. Just take the fresh young leaves as the old ones become a little tough. Apparently it is the most common ‘weed’ in the world and its seeds are known as Quinoa, used as a grain that is popular for those with a wheat intolerance.
St Johns Wort is everywhere in the house, hanging up to dry, lying out on tables, steeping in oil or alcohol in jars and bottles.
Walnut wine is a local favourite. Not a wine in the true sense of the word, rather an alcoholic infusion. Immature nuts are harvested before their insides are completely formed and there is no hard shell. These are dropped into a concoction of white wine, eau de vie, sugar, a few spices, perhaps an orange, depending on the local recipe that is followed, and the whole thing is left to do its thing for at least 40 days. The resultant speciality is a potent tipple with distinctive colour and flavour that is sure to bring enthusiastic discussion amongst those who have prepared their own brew.
Harvest early before the heat of the day, then leave produce in the cool and the shade until they are needed or process immediately if they are to be preserved in any way. Plants recharge themselves overnight and are full of moisture and flavour in the morning. Exposure to the sun lessens the intensity of the flavoursome volatile oils and starts to dry out fruits and vegetables. Many will be softer in the afternoon after a morning in the heat of a of bright sun and will be more easily damaged than something harvested plump and fresh after a cool night.
Only save as much as you need until next season, especially in the freezer. Here there is masses of frozen garden produce to eat before the new seasons crop comes on line. I have a horrible feeling that I will be tiring of green beans just as the new ones become ready to pick, ditto tomatoes, though, at least the new ones will suit a salad rather than a sauce or stew. I have absolutely no idea what the 20 bags of chestnuts will be used for and the next harvest will be in about 3 months, they really are a winter food. A bit of creative cooking is going to be needed during the next few weeks I feel.