A novice's guide to producing his own food

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Glut, my arse

Toby Buckland

Toby Buckland


Gardener’s World, eh? Quite a show. Whenever I see presenter Toby Buckland stroll into view brimming with fake enthusiasm and waving his arms, I want to puke. Still, you got to respect what the man says. He knows his stuff.  

A couple of Fridays ago he opened with something which pulled me up so sharply, I swallowed the little bit of vomit which had just welled up into my mouth. “Isn’t September great?” he gushed, insincerely, “It’s this time of year when your veg patch has really come together, and you suddenly find yourself with a glut of food.”  

What? A glut? Not in my allotment there ain’t. We had a few good meals, but everything was eaten as it ripened. No way could you use the word “glut” to describe any of my harvests.  

Mind you, there was one notable exception – courgettes. There were lots and lots of courgettes. And I mean so many it was becoming a little bit of a problem. From only six plants we’d made ratatouille so often some of the kids were sick of it, and, as an experiment, Sue and I had frozen some completely raw, and some which had been blanched for a minute (the jury is out on which is the best way.)  

But there was still loads left over. What to do? It isn’t the moste versatile of veg. Fortunately, in the genuinely good magazine to accompany Gardener’s World, I found a recipe for a courgette chutney. Problem solved. Time to try my hand a spot of serious cooking.  

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