Sunday, 26 August 2012

An Abundance of Courgettes (Zucchini) and Haricots (Beans)

Despite not feeling quite myself over the past week, (see last post), the garden has been unrelenting in its production of more and more tomatoes, beans and courgettes!!  There were potatoes to be dug as well!! Consequently, the produce needed to be sorted out fairly quickly, otherwise I would have had too much to cope with if the harvesting and preservation fell behind!. I guess the bottling process distracts me from the shingles!!  For many great ideas for surplus courgettes, see HERE .This is a great link with masses of ideas. 

I am, however, very thankful that my  efforts over the growing season have been so well rewarded with loads of vegetables, over a spring and summer of very difficult and extreme weather conditions.

Because I have only a small deep freeze, the easy "freezing" way out was not available to me, so I have been bottling more and more!!  Thankfully, I had a good supply of jars, with plenty still in reserve  for vegetables still to come.

Because we have had carpenters in (lots of noise and another post), I have been making courgette cake (two kinds) as an accompaniment to their numerous cups of coffee.  Both recipes were very popular and the suggestion was that while the courgettes last, they might just move in!!  As the recipes are on my cookery site and I am feeling a bit lazy, I will give you the links for these recipes, so you can follow them there if they take your fancy.










Back to the pickled beans ......  I brought the pickling liquid mixture, left from the courgettes, to the boil,  and added the haricot beans, washed, top and tailed and cut in half. The mixture was then brought back to the boil and bottled immediately. In France, these beans are called haricots verts, but  you would probably know them as French green beans. 

I experimented with this last year and the result, although I say it myself, was fantastic!  The beans seem to shrink a little in the bottle, but when we came to eat them, I simply put the drained beans in fresh water and brought them to the boil.  Drain and serve hot; they were delicious and slightly crunchy, just how we love them. You could probably just make up the pickle mixture for the beans alone, but I have always used it for the two recipes - courgettes and beans.

Pickled Beans (see above)


I made these last year and we thoroughly enjoyed them last winter, so I made some more!!!


Finally, I just liked these clouds that were in front of the sun the other evening.


 
See also - My Life Before Charente updated  August 26 2012 


122 comments:

  1. The cakes look amazing Diane:) I hope you are feeling much better!
    ~Anne

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    1. Anne I am up and down, but yes I think I do feel a bit better, thanks for asking. Those cakes are just wonderful, they are lovely and moist :-) Take care Diane

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  2. You have a lot of unique recipes for using courgettes, most of these I have never heard about or seen before. You will have a lot of great meals this winter.

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    1. Michel coming from you I am glad that my ideas are unique :-) We should not starve this winter :-) Keep well Diane

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  3. Oh, I know what you mean about courgettes. My plants did nothing for months and have gone crazy in the last four or five weeks. I've made cakes, chutneys and cooked them in so many ways. I haven't tried the courgette and ginger jam yet, but, if I can find the time, then that may be next. I hope you're feeling better or, at least, that you're on the way to feeling better.

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    1. Phil for every courgette I use I seem to pick another two! The jam is wonderful, but I have no idea how it would work with different sugar to what I use, hopefully you have something similar. Yes I think there is some improvement, but the Dr has warned me it could be months rather than weeks! Have a good week Diane

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  4. The cakes look divine. I hope you are now feeling better. Canning can be hot and tiring work when you aren't feeling well. Hugs. xx

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    1. Joyful those cakes are just brilliant, we do not eat a lot of cake but we are hooked on these - better watch those scales. Thankfully it has cooled a little so the bottling is not quite s stressful, also I do feel a slight improvement, I think! Have a good day Diane

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  5. Great ideas for courgettes....I wish I'd known all of these while still in France.
    Here you can't get a decent courgette for love or money so, despite my memories or nightmares of courgettes seemingly advancing in hordes on my kitchen, I'm sending for seeds and growing my own again!

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    1. Fly with no freezer space I just had to come up with ideas! The cake is very special, lovely and moist yum yum. Hope you get your seeds OK, if any problems let me know and I will send you some. Bonne journée, Diane

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  6. i am canning tomorrow! not as much as you though! wonderful stuff!!!

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    1. Jaz I seem to have been bottling for weeks but it is not really that long, it just feels like it! Enjoy your canning. Diane

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    1. Rosaria I hope that they are of some use, the cake is particularly good. Have a great day Diane

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  8. Well, I've made courgette bread and courgette cookies, so why not courgette cake? I'm sure your carpenters greatly appreciated your efforts. Glad you are on the mend.

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    1. Marjie now I have not tried bread yet, next on the list. If it is any where near as good as the cake we will love it. Yes I do feel a bit better, but the Dr says recovery will probably be months rather than weeks :-( Enjoy your day. Diane

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  9. I LOVE pickled green beans! And those other chutneys look delish. So jealous of all your produce. Hope you are feeling a little better.

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    1. We really enjoyed the pickled beans this past winter. Living as you do it is not easy to have produce on your door step, but look at all the other advantages you do have. Keep well. Diane

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  10. Wow, you've got enough to last the winter season! I love your sky shot!

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    1. chubskulit yes no going hungry this coming winter LOL. Have a great week Diane

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  11. I've been away and have missed following...sounds like you have been VERY busy! I'm sending my daughter the link to the chocolate version...her first garden in Oregon is FULL of zucchini (from a volunteer plant!).

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    1. Deb I am sure your daughter will love the chocolate cake it is very yummy :-) Watch those scales!! Take care Diane

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  12. Hi Diane, good to see you back. Hope you've fully recover.

    Your cake look good, texture very moist. I think the lemon look delicious. Your pickled and courgette look awesome. Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures.

    Have a nice day, warm regards to you.

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    1. Amelia recovery is slow but I hope that I am heading in the right direction. The cakes are almost too tasty, I must stop making so many! Have a wonderful week, take care Diane

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  13. I like the idea of the cakes. They look moist and delicious!

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    1. Gaynor the cakes are amazing, we do not eat much cake but we are hooked on these. Now we must limit how much we eat or we will break the bathroom scales LOL Have a great week Diane

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  14. I have also a lot of zucchninis this year, thanks for inspirations! I have never tried such jam

    Blog about life and travelling
    Blog about cooking

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    1. Ola I have had to think of as many ideas as possible. Neighbours just throw them on the compost heap when they have too many, what a waste! Have a good day Diane

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  15. So glad to hear you are feeling better. I've thought of you often. Looks like you are going to enjoy a lot of vegetables this winter.
    Sam

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    1. Sam I do feel better but I am not thinking too far ahead as the Dr says it could be a couple of months so......
      Yep no shortage of vegetables this winter, I have not weighed the potatoes but hopefully they will store well, there are plenty:-) Hope you are well Diane

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  16. HA! I'm going to be posting about courgettes this week too! It goes to show how overrun we get by them that they are on our minds so much that we have to blog about them :)

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    1. Sara Louise LOL Yes, they have taken over my life in the last few weeks. I have also been bottling tomatoes this week, we are overrun for the moment but it will not last :-) Take care Diane

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  17. Hello! What a lovely blog you have. I found you via LindyLouMac :) Who knew you could do so many things with courgettes?? The chocolate cake looks incredible. Here in Puglia the most popular thing to do seems to be to grill them and serve as an antipasto. So good! Happy to have found your blog, am now following you :) Amy (sunshineandtomatoes.blogspot.it)

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    1. amy lucinda thanks for the visit and very kind comment. With the number of courgettes I have I had to think further afield, the chocolate cake is very yummy :-) Thanks for following Diane

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  18. golly i envy your stamina and ability to grow and pickle your own veggies especially when you are sick. I'm going to check out the lemon cake as we have plenty f those growing. The pickled beans sound delicious. not sure what a courgette is. Is it what we call a Zucchini?

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    1. diane b there really was not a lot of choice. If I had not bottled we would have been throwing away and then we would have missed out on our winter supply! I did actually put Zucchini in brackets after Courgette in the heading :-) Keep well Diane

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    2. I must have been half asleep when I made this comment. The punctuation and grammar makes me squirm and then not noticing that you had Zucchini in the title. Sounds like we have lemon cakes growing when I meant lemons.

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  19. I am glad that you are at least well enough to have done a tremendous amount of work. There was a time when I did all this too, but I've grown lazy in my old age. Besides, there were few vegetables in the garden this year, what with all the rain and the lack of sun.

    What a fantastic store cupboard you must have!

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    1. Friko, Nigel is saying that he is going to have to put up a whole lot more shelves this year for all the bottles.... They should keep us going for a bit anyway. Diane

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  20. Hi Diane, I hope you are still on the mend as I write this. The comments box crashed and ate my last comment so I hope this one works! I'm very impressed with the way you have created so many different ways of using your courgettes. I used to grow them as well and know how prolific they can be. I know from personal experience how delicious your chutneys are and I'm sure these will be no exception. x

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    1. Froggy, yep I think I am mending slowly LOL. I had trouble yesterday putting replies on my blog so who knows what goes on sometimes! We had grilled courgettes tonight just cooked with a little paprika and they were yummy as well. As my courgettes are the round ones, rather than the long ones you get nice size slices. Keep well Diane x

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  21. Goodness me you have had a successful season with the vegetables and as you say all the work is taking your mind off the shingles. I do hope you feel better soon, you seem to have had a rough time health wise recently.

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    1. Linda at least I know that the shingles will eventually go (I hope), I am beginning to wonder about the cough!! Yes after such a bad beginning the vegetables are doing well. I just hope it stays warm for a while as the chillies and peppers are still behind! Have a good day Diane

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  22. All of your veg puts ours to shame. Our veg has not been successful this year. We've put it down to the awful weather we've had this year. Roger says, when are we coming to dinner?? :) x

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    1. Kerry give me a choice of a couple of dates and I will make a plan :-) Our vegetables are much later than normal, the weather has certainly set things back a lot. Take care Diane xx

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  23. ... mmmm, I'll have to check-out your recipes sometime ... as soon as I start growing things ...

    I do hope that you return to good health soon Diane.

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    1. Graham let me know when you start growing things and I will pop over and help you get going. I need an excuse to visit Namibia LOL. When I win the lottery I will be on my way with no excuse ;-) Take care Diane

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  24. Glad to here that you have had such a bountiful harvest from your garden. All of your ideas sure look yummy. Will have to look at your cake recipes. Have a great week and get better soon.

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    1. Horst I am surprised that we have so much in the garden after the very late start. I just hope winter does not start too early so we manage to get the full crop of tomatoes, peppers and chillies which are very late. Those cake recipes are very yummy :-) Have a good day Diane

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  25. HI DIANE, I FORGOT TO SAY VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY ON THE OTHER POST. I HOPE YOU'RE DOING BETTER, I SEE YOU CAN'T STOP WORKING AS YOUR GARDEN KEEPS PRODUCING ITS FRUITS, THAT'S SUMMER! TAKE CARE MY DEAR,

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    1. Pamela I cannot waste food so I just have to try and keep up with it all! There is some improvement in the shingles but I am told it will take time so I will just have to wait. Thanks for the birthday wishes. Diane

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  26. Even with your heat, it is wonderful that you have had an abundant crop. So glad that you added the last photo...just beautiful.

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    1. backroadjournal it has meant lots of watering with the high heat but it seems to have paid off. I also loved that last photo but then I always love pictures of the sky :-) Take care Diane

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  27. So many great ideas for zucchini overload. I used to take the giants and seed and puree them and freeze it and use it like pumpkin! It made a tasty pie!

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    1. lostpastremembered now if only I had deep freeze space that would make my life so easy!! Diane!

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  28. I've never tried these cakes and they look delicious!

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    1. JM they come highly recommended :-) Keep well Diane

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  29. Hi Diane .. it sounds like the carpenters love your cakes ... but the produce from the garden is just amazing. I'd love to learn to bottle veggies - perhaps next year ... However it sounds like trying to keep up with nature is doing you some good and as you say taking your mind off those dreaded shingles ... I hope that eases sometime relatively soon ..
    Cheers Hilary

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    1. Hilary sorry for the late reply but for some unknown reason your comment went into spam and I only just discovered it!! Bottling is easy, I did not have a clue before I came to France, trial and error in the first year sorted me out very quickly :-) The shingles is improving, but it is bad first thing when I wake up in the morning. The Dr has said it could take a couple of months so..... Keep well Diane

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  30. Your chocolate cake look so good, and like to see how you enjoy in winter with all these pickles .

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    1. Sonia that chocolate cake is excellent, if you are a chocolate lover as I am...... Keep well Diane

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  31. You have done really well with your garden produce this year.
    I hope you are feeling a lot better now -it certainly hasn't stopped you from being busy.

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    1. Ellie I seem to have good days and bad days. Early in the morning is also not very good but I think I am slowly on the mend. The bottling has gone well despite the weather and not feeling so good :-) Have a good day Diane

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  32. Oh Diane! I'm so sorry you have the shingles - and in your mouth - how horrid - sending lots of love and best wishes for a very quick recovery. You seem to be keeping up with your garden though! wonderful recipes :))
    Mary x

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    1. Mary Mum's kitchen, Keeping up with the garden was difficult during the high temperatures but now it is cooling down it is much easier. As for shingles in the mouth I would not wish it on anyone! Keep well and thanks for the comment Diane

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  33. yum! Love that last picture!

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    1. Tina I also liked that last photo, there are though very few sky photos I do not like :-) Enjoy your day, Diane

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  34. I know zucchini are versatile but I've never tried making a chocolate cake with them! Hope you are feeling better.

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    1. Niall and Antoinette, there is one big problem with the chocolate cake - we could not stop eating it :-) There is some improvement re the shingles, first thing in the morning is not good but it does feel better later on. Take care Diane

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  35. the pickled beans sounds like something nice to eat and your courgette cakes look beautiful too! i guess you are in a better mood now that you are baking for the carpentars! keep well, diane!

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    1. lena the pickled beans are very yummy as are the cakes. Cooking extra for the carpenters was easy and a good way to reduce the number of courgettes!!
      Have a good day Diane

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  36. Replies
    1. Hélène very definitely happy carpenters, they have put their order in for Monday morning LOL. Diane

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  37. I never knew that courgettes are so veristile!
    And what lucky carpenters!
    I hope you are feeling better now!
    Take care
    Red

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    1. Boye by Red, neither did I but one you have dozens (100s'!) then you start finding different ways to use them :-) Health wise up and down, but I think maybe slowly on the up :-))

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  38. its such a nice blog to provides info
    hope more people discover your blog because you really know what you’re talking about. Can’t wait to read more from you!
    for more plz visit
    debt management plan

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    1. James thanks for the visit and the comment Have a good day Diane

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  39. It is fortunate you are so busy with conserve bottling and recipes!
    It drives your mind off efficiently from the pain which I hope is turning into hardly more than uncomfort...
    Well done, Diane!
    Cheers and keep well!

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    1. Noushka, yes the bottling certainly keeps my mind off the shingles!! At least I can talk again though the inner cheeks are still a bit painful. Nigel's peace has gone now I can talk once more LOL. Diane xx

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  40. All this while not feeling well? You are amazing! Hope you are doing better... even during the deep of the night which is always the worse time when one feels unwell! :)

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    1. Ann not really a lot of choice, what has to be done must be done, but it does distract me! I have been getting up between 1 and 2 a.m. to get a warm drink to try and sleep, but then I do not want to get up in the morning. Sunday we have our local Bric-a-Brac (car boot sale) 5 a.m. start :-((
      Hopefully this year it will be dry, last year it rained most of the day and it was 'orrible!! Something hopefully to blog about. Have a wonderful weekend Diane

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  41. ilove cougettes Diane hope you feeling better and have a nice weekend:)

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    1. Gloria I also love courgettes but sometimes you can have too much of a good thing!! Take care Diane

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  42. This is great diversion from the shingles, Diane! Everything looks great and I can see why the workers want to move in, to have a good supply of cake! I do hope you are feeling better now! I just learned this morning that my daughter-in-law has the shingles, around her waist. She's only 32! Take care and have a good weekend!

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    1. Pam please give your daughter-in-law my sympathies. I think mine is improving but it is driving me mad in the inner ear. At first it was only the left side but now the right side is annoying me!! The inner cheeks and tongue have improved though not right yet The workers have said they will be back first thing Monday morning :-)) Keep well Diane

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  43. Looks like you have put the spare courgettes to great use, particularly in that cake..it looks delicious! I must try the combination with chocolate I've heard a lot about it.

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    1. Brittany both cakes were quite delicious. They are much moister than usual cake which we all thought made them much nicer. Worth making them I can assure you. Have a good Sunday Diane

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  44. Just wishing you a great weekend!

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    1. chubskulit thanks so much, hope that you have a good week Diane

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  45. Wow You do so many things with your courgette. The courgette lemon cake sounds good. I would love to have a piece.

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    1. Quay Po Cooks it was really delicious and very easy to make. Have a great week Diane

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  46. Wow! So many great things to do with zucchini... YUM! The cloud photo is beautiful.

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    1. It is amazing just how much you can do with courgette, the list seems endless... I also love those clouds :-) Diane

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  47. These cakes look delicious andi admire you for bottling your vegetables . Nothing to waste, great job.

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    1. Nothing gets wasted in this house :-) The cakes were excellent., Take care Diane

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  48. What wonderful recipes. I am always trying to do different things with my zucchini. It comes in so fast, I am afraid of losing it..in winter, I am so proud of saving it all..in many different ways.
    Thank you for your recipes, they sound wonderful..will have to try them.
    Hope you are feeling much better..know you are in my thoughts..
    Have a great week..xoCarolyn/Rosebud

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    1. Carolyn, I don't think we have ever had such prolific courgettes as this year, but nothing is wasted. One day I think I am better and the next I am down but I am sure that eventually it will all come right! Keep well Diane

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  49. me too I am tempted by having a try at the courgette lemon..
    chocolate and courgette just do not seem to marry well to me, but that might be my 'belgium'ness , ha ha !

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    1. Chocolate and courgette seems to be be a great combination so I am told and if this cake has anything to say about it I have to agree. It was just amazing. Keep well Diane

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  50. DEAR DIANE, HOPE YOU'RE DOING BETTER, I KNOW FROM MY HUSBAND SHINGLES CAN BE VERY PAINFUL, TAKE CARE AND GET WELL SOON . BIG HUGS

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    1. Thanks Pamela, I just feel very miserable at present, some days not too bad and other days very down but it will go in time and I will feel better again I am sure. The cough it still irritating me as well so...... Hope that all is well with you Diane

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  51. Quelle chance d'avoir un jardin aussi riche. Plein de produits gourmands pour l'hiver.
    Un gâteau plein de saveurs qui me plait beaucoup.
    A bientôt

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    1. Nadji, nous sommes chanceux. Le jardin est bonne malgré la météo. Les gâteaux sont délicieux. Bonne journée. A bientôt. Diane

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  52. Diane, you have been busy, even though you are under the weather !!
    Our courgette seeds did not germinate this year, even in the greenhouse, the spring was so cold, so I am envious of your harvest.

    That courgette lemon cake looks wonderful, must try that one. Hope you continue to feel better. Jean xx

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    1. Jean I wish I could send you some, we still have masses!! They must be coming to an end though very soon. Both cakes were very good but I think the chocolate was our favourite. Take care Diane

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  53. Hello Diane,
    What a lot of delicious food. You make me hungry with this all. I think the Lemon Cake will be tast very well with a cup of cappuccino,..hhmmmm...!!
    Very nice to make this all.

    Many greetings,
    Marco



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    1. Marco just pop over and I will make you a lemon cake :-) We also have cappuccino at the ready. Keep well Diane

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  54. Mmmm those cakes looks lovely, I had courgette and carrot cake the other day, that was good. You have certainly been busy with the pickling. Glad you are feeling better. xx

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    1. Karen I will try courgette and carrot as I like courgette cake and I also like carrot cake, the combination sounds good! I will be quite glad when the veg comes to a close I think I am beginning to look like a bottle LOL. Take care Diane

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  55. Hello Diane. I haven't had time to post on my Paris blog, but felt like coming to you for my little France fix. Since I last visited you've been busy - having a birthday, feeling unwell, planting, harvesting and bottling. Go!! Those pictures made me drool. I hope it all tastes as good as it looks!

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    1. Denise there has been a lot going on and with not feeling 100% my blogging is slow!! The cakes are very yum yum and if the bottled goodies are as good as they were last year I will be very happy. Have a good day and take care Diane

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  56. Looks like you've been a busy bee keeping up with all those zucchini and green beans!

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    1. Peggy busier than I would have liked to have been with not feeling well but we will appreciate it all during winter :-) Take care Diane

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  57. I made your Courgette Lemon Cake this afternoon - Oh my, dear Diane, oh my. I've already had 2 slices for dessert!

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    1. Michelle great to hear from you. The cake is not easy to stop eating and if you like chocolate the other one is even harder LOL. I hope that you are well, take care Hugs Diane xx

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  58. I am waiting for spring now, I want courgettes too!

    Ciao
    Alessandra

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    1. Alessandra, wish I could move South in the next couple of months!! My ideal would be France from April until October and then Southern Africa from November until May - wishful thinking unless I win the Euro Millions!! I would then not have to bottle food for winter LOL. Have a good day Diane

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  59. Diane you are so amazing. I know you have not been well, and yet you have done so much in the way of preserving your vegetables for winter. What a worthwhile enterprise, as a vegetarian I live on veggies but I must say I have neither the time or patience to do this sort of thing. Perhaps if I didn't live alone? I also want to tell you how much I love the "new" panorama at the top of your blog X

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    1. Dolly if I lived alone I would probably be vegetarian at home, much simpler, but Nigel loves meat (so do I at times) but we both love fish so....... I am not convinced about the new header photo but it was the best I had for a change. Will look around and see what else I can see to take :-)Diane

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  60. Glad you're at least getting well to post something. I enjoy pickling but have yet tried pickling beans so far. Thanks for sharing it.
    Hope everything went well on your side.
    Kristy

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  61. Kristy the pickled beans are quite delicious. If you have an abundance of them this is better I think than freezing. I am on the mend slowly! Take care Diane

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  62. I've had a decent crop of cougettes and pumpkins, I wouldnt say an abundance, but I've been making my soups ready for the cold Brittany winter,

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