Friday, 26 September 2014
Kooky melons: bumper cucamelon harvest
As with lots of people who live in London - not complaining! - we have a pretty small garden, which is all decking and gravel. But I am really keen on growing as much as possible to use in the kitchen. (My planting rule: if I can't eat it, it's not coming in!) And so I all about maximising yield and minimising space, in pots.
One day earlier this year I got home to find a promotional free gift from Sutton's Seeds on the doormat with two cucamelon plant plugs. I had never heard of cucamelons - looking like a melon, but tasting like a cucumber - but in a pot they went. The leaflet said they were easy to grow, and they were right, so now I have a lot of cucamelons! They are a recommended addition to a gin & tonic, but not even my fondness for a g&t could keep up with these little guys.
Thankfully, I found James Wong's site actually has a pickling recipe, so I decided to try a variant on that with some ingredients that I had to hand. I followed all the same preparatory steps as in the instructions, but instead of pepper corns and dill, I added to the jar:
- lightly crushed coriander seeds;
- a large red chilli, sliced in half (also from the garden); and
- topped it all up with cider vinegar.
It says this will be good to go in one week, but I'd like to save it for a treat with cold meat leftovers on Boxing Day!