It has been three weeks. Three weeks since I’ve consumed a caffeinated beverage namely my morning coffee. This is a very big deal and I’m certainly not thrilled about it. I’ve been playing God by putting myself through a health-related experiment. I was one of those annoying people who would whinge about needing their morning coffee for productivity (you know who they are). It’s almost as annoying as people who go on about giving up caffeine, isn’t it? My friends are still looking at me like I’m some kind of a crazy person. Too be honest, people like me shouldn’t drink caffeine anyway as I’m highly strung plus there have been good results from giving it up.
So is it still weird to make coffee for my tomatoes? Not weird at all-acid-loving tomatoes love coffee grounds! Coffee grounds are full of nitrogen, potassium, potassium, magnesium and copper. Used grounds have a pH of about 6.8 but don’t go overboard and accidentally make the soil too acidic. I just sprinkle them on the soil around my plants now and then or when it looks like they need a coffee hit. You don’t need to get to technical about it. Coffee grounds can also help to repel ants and slugs. My other tomato tips would be to take your tomatoes off the vine when they are just blushed with colour so you can ripen them inside. Keeping the stems attached also keeps them fresher for longer. NEVER keep tomatoes is the fridge, this is blasphemous. Always keep and eat tomatoes at room temperature.
When there is a mega harvest, I always make my grandma’s chutney-I’ve just jazzed it up a bit. It’s a big call but I promise this will be the best tomato chutney you will ever eat ::
H E I R L O O M C H E R R Y T O M A T O C H U T N E Y
1 kg mix of cherry tomatoes
2 long red chillies (I keep seeds in)
2 red onions
1 green apple
3 cloves garlic
1 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1.5 teaspoons mustard powder
1.5 teaspoons curry powder
1.5 cups apple cider vinegar
Chop tomatoes in half and finely dice the chillies, onions, apple and garlic. Throw them and everything else in a pot on medium heat and bring to the boil. Stir until sugar has dissolved then reduce the heat to low and gently simmer for just over an 1 1/2. Keep an eye on it over time and stir occasionally. Spoon while hot into sterilised jars when ready.
This goes well with anything you think it will go with. I particularly enjoy it on scrambled and poached eggs or homemade burgers. And with vintage cheddar.