165. Early harvests

by | Jun 21, 2018 | Bulgarian life, Food & recipes, Gardening bore | 2 comments

The garden is ramping up and feeding us regularly, despite last week’s epic storms. In fact, we’ve eaten (small) beetroot, (even smaller) courgettes and (lots of) tomatoes from the garden every day this week.


Our early Latah tomatoes, and spoils from the first basil pruning
of the year (chopping off the tips makes for bushier plants).


I’ve also made some strawberry jam with our strawberries, and frozen some sour cherries to make pies later in the year. Turns out we have three or four small sour cherry trees up the back of our garden, on the hill, that I didn’t even know were there. I rarely venture into the very far corner of the garden – it’s so hilly and uneven that with my vertigo and clinical clumsiness I’m likely to break my neck – so that area still throws up the odd edible surprise.


Sour cherries and green walnuts.


It looks like we’re in for a good walnut year. One of our trees is so loaded, the branches are almost weighed down to eye level (and we’re talking about big, mature trees here), but at least that made it easy to pick some of the unripe walnuts earlier last week. Why did we do that? For booze, dear reader, BOOZE!

Thanks to a hot tip from friends, we’re trying our hand at Nocino, an Italian walnut liquor, made from unripe green walnuts, vodka and spices. I’ve never had it before, but I’m told it tastes a bit like a spicy sherry. (Handy, seeing as Kaufland has stopped selling sherry, thereby ruining my blissful slide into middle age.)


Chop, chop, chop.


Taken immediately after filling the jar. It’s since turned a very dark,
witches-brew green. Which I’m sure is normal??


Now we just leave the jar and wait for several months. It should be ready in time for Christmas.

In other booze news, we’ve got lots of grapes on the vines this year and a decent crop of apples ripening on the trees, so fingers crossed we’ll have wine, cider AND liquor to get trollied on this winter.

If this all seems a bit idyllic and boastful, keep in mind that we’re still having regular storms (bringing with them almost daily power cuts). We had three days without internet at the weekend because of a cable problem. And we currently have ants invading the kitchen. Ain’t rural life fun?


  1. Mark Shaw

    I will have to have a go at that nocino when we move to BG. I don’t suppose ASDA will have too many unripened walnuts for sale here. I have however got my cherry vodka on the go at the moment which will be ready in September, just enough time to drink it before we move in December (read all the cherry vodka gone by the 4th September).

  2. Auntie Bulgaria

    Like the sound of cherry vodka. Sounds like someone's going to have a fun early September! Good luck with your move in December. You're brave aren't you, moving out in the winter?!


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