Thursday 31 August 2023

Take Self-Basting Turkeys

...I mean, how can a headless dead bird cover itself with butter? Food has such crazy names - fish do not have fingers, cod do not have loins, there is no meat in a cauliflower steak - and marrows do not have bones

But everyone knows what you mean when you speak of these things. Walking back from the post box [My August Cross Stitch is winging it's way to Sussex!] I noticed someone had left an item on their gatepost.
A large marrow. FREE. But I left it for someone else. My uncle would not eat marrow, he did not like the feel of it in his mouth. Dad never liked the stuffed marrow they were fed in WW2. My Mum never cooked it. But my brother presented me with a large marrow a few weeks ago. He was given it, the day before his holiday, so decided to pass it on to us.
In the past I have tried various recipes to use this fruit - it is basically a courgette with pretensions - bloated and watery. 
I've made Meera's borani,Nigel's stuffed marrow rings and a marrow tea loaf, as well as marrow lemon curd. 
This year I made Tom Hunt's marrow and ginger jam from his July "Waste Not Food" column in the Guardian.
I used stem ginger because I had some in the bottom of a jar which I wanted to use up. Tom says to chop the lemon finely, I cut it into quite  small dice. And I used sugar not honey. The lemony jam is more akin to a thick cut marmalade- and it is - as Tom suggests - brilliant on toast and crumpets. 
I have yet to use some as topping for a sponge pudding [but very soon, when the weather gets cooler...] Bob was very surprised as he had fully expected the finished product to be a lurid shade of green. 
Rev Rachael, the village vicar, mentioned she loved marrow jam the other day. So I gave her a jar - and she promptly responded with a bag of apples from her tree! Village life is wonderful sometimes.
I do think that 'marrow and ginger' sounds a bit like a Farrow and Ball paint suggestion though.
Have you any good recipes for surplus marrows? **
And why do so many gardeners grow them, if they don't want to eat them?

**Kezzie mentions a recipe below- here is the link





30 comments:

  1. 'Miss Read' describes having to bury marrows 'as big as babies' in the garden after dark, when kind villagers kept leaving them in the porch for her and she couldn't manage to eat them or make any more jam with them

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    1. Garrison Keillor writes about generous neighbours in Lake Wobegon who ALL have surplus tomatoes which nobody wans. They go out after dark, and residents wake to find "bags of Christian tomatoes" on their doorsteps.
      Are there any other examples of "night time glut disposal" in literature do you think?

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    2. Garrison also talked about that summer was the only time people locked their cars. Otherwise, when they returned, there would be a lots of courgette/zucchini gifted to them.
      I would welcome a bag of homegrown tomatoes. ~ skye

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  2. Its similar with the over-abundance each year with courgettes. One plant is usually enough but to sow one seed is a bit of a risk so you sow another as an insurance policy. And one for luck. Yellow ones look nice mixed with the green, so another three go in. As it happens all germinate and begin to flourish and its a shame to compost healthy plants that can't be given away so they all get planted out...

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    1. I will try growing my own courgettes from. seed next year - thanks for the suggestion about yellow ones.

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  3. We’re going on holiday tomorrow and I will pick every courgette bigger than my little finger from my three plants to take with us, but if I come back to a marrow or three I will definitely give Tom’s recipe a whirl. Is it nearly time for a steamed sponge pudding? Sarah in Sussex

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    1. End of September will be start of sponge pudding season. But I may make them in individual portions this year. It will be easier to manage the calories. Much as I love my large pudding bowl, we both frequently give in and have second helpings (and then decide there's no point in keeping it, so have another bowl for supper)

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  4. I also don’t like the texture of marrows and would be like Miss Read if I received any. Apples would be very welcome as I like eating them in any form. Catriona

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    1. Apples always welcome, eaters or cookers

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  5. I remember making narrow and ginger jam at school, many years ago. My Dad grew marrows, it's the only veg I would not eat. Wonder whether I could do a doorstep courgette drop :-)

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    1. I'm sure if I tried such surreptitious generosity, I'd be spotted by the late night village dog walkers...

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  6. How are you doing your labels? Dymo? Loads of apples going from all different sources here and I scored a couple of yellow courgettes from my old work this week, where I've been ensconced in the kitchen slaving over the Aga for most of this month, topping up their supply of jams and jellies for the larder! My neighbour gave me some Tom Thumb tomatoes yesterday, from her greenhouse. They were so delish!I've had zilch success with anything much this year, let alone growing marrows!Some folks round my village leave boxes of apples out on the pavement with help yourself signs attached. You've got to be quick to get any!

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    1. We have a Brother P Touch label maker, which I love. I think Bob got the yellow tape for labelling some audio equipment and now we're using it up. I prefer the "black on white" or " coloured on clear" tapes myself!

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  7. The problem with marrows is that one minute they are a perfectly acceptable courgette, and then without warning they become a huge marrow. You have to catch them in the act.

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    1. You are so right! I think Sarah in Sussex (above) is very brave to go away and leave her courgettes, I suspect they may go wild in her absence!

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  8. I'm not a fan of courgettes or marrow, I e had to politely refuse a few. Now I think of it, no one here seems to grow rhubarb, we were often given it in other places.

    My favourite strange food is "outdoor reared pork sausages" :-)
    Lynn P

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    1. We had a friend who would wrap bundles of rhubarb in newspaper, and leave them at the door of the chapel with a sign "For REGULAR churchgoers" I like the sausages [do they go with free range eggs?]

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  9. I've had several courgettes turn into marrows. I just treat them as courgettes and use them in the same way. Courgette fritters are good. I'll whatsapp you Anna Jones' excellent recipe! Kx

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    1. Thank you Kezzie, just picked up the recipe. It looks tasty.

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  10. Every year we overdo the courgette propagation - it's exactly as Philip in above comments said. :-) And yes, turn your back for a moment and you have a ginormous marrow!
    Nobody round our neck of the woods wants marrows so I lay them to rest on the compost heap and feel thankful for all our homegrown veg, I'll especially miss the tomatoes when they come to an end any time now.
    Alison in Wales x

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    1. I still have lots of tomatoes, as yet unripe!

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  11. I cannot imagine that there is any nutritional value in those giant marrows. I hope I am wrong. I love zucchini, up to about 9 or 10 inches long tops! JanF

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    1. They are mostly water I think! But courgettes/zucchini are a different matter, they have flavour

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  12. I don't think that many small growers actually mean to grow marrows but you turn your back for what feels like half a day and that sweet little courgette you were about to pick has suddenly turned into two-ton Bertha. And suddenly jams, stews, stuffed items and anything else you can think of to sling the mild tasting flesh into is on the menu.

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    1. I am definitely a Small Grower. I will attempt courgettes next year, and eat them whilst they are tiny and tender

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    2. I say that every year .....

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  13. A very funny post, Angela.
    Your "fish fingers" would be "fish sticks" over here. Marrow bones would mean beef bones with marrow inside, because we don't have courgettes and marrows, here, only zucchini! I still have zucchini in the freezer from the summer of 2021, when I planted 14 zucchini seeds and all 14 not only germinated, but, produce tons of zucchini! I remember we picked some 130+ zucchini and some of them weighed in at 5 lbs.! Last year, I planted 6 zucchini seeds and 3 germinated, only one plant produced any zucchini and there were a total of two tiny, sun-scorched zucchini, which was really disappointing. I gave away bags of zucchini to anyone who'd take them and made chutney with some of them and zucchini bread. Your jam sounds good, too.

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  14. 不How crazy ro have hundreds of zucchini one year and two tiny ones the next! We have crab sticks in the UK - but they contain less than 2% crab!

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