Shark Fin Melon and Toad In The Hole

The cabbage I picked today

I was very pleased with a cabbage that I picked today.  It has taken a long time to grow.  In May I had nearly given up with most of my cabbages, as the flea beetle had virtually distroyed them.

This week I have been concentrating on an overgrown patch on my allotment plot number two, which is next to my ‘leaf mould’ area.

It was overgrown with brambles and weeds and I had already cut it back in the spring, with the intention of sorting it out a few weeks later.  This unfortunately never happened and this was the result.

That will teach me to do half a job!

After a morning of working hard, I managed to clear the brambles and weeds and I put a covering of weed suppressant, to stop them from growing back.

I was very pleased with the result.  The plan for this area is that eventually it will have another poly-tunnel on it, that’s when we finally manage to save up for one.

I re-used the weed suppressant that I already had around my large plum tree, on my fourth allotment plot.  It was used to kill all the couch grass around the tree by leaving it in place, since the spring.  It has done it’s job brilliantly.

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This year I have been growing one or two unusual things.  One of the things is a ‘Shark Fin Melon’.

The ‘Garden Organic Team’ from Ryton visited Eco house in May and told us about some exotic plants to try and grow and even gave us some free seeds.

I planted the Shark Fin Melon seed in May, underneath a half cut plastic bottle and hoped for the best.  Though I have had loads of foliage growing (it’s quite a monster), I have only just found the fruit growing on it, probably due to the rotten summer we have had.  However, if I keep my fingers crossed, we may have a good autumn, (or am I wishing too much there) and it may still have time to grow.

There are details about the Shark Fin Melon here.

Shark Fin Melon

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Following on from my post on Friday regarding child poverty, (which you can read here), I have decided to post some more cheap and easy family recipes.

I think a lot of people will make these simple meals anyway, so I apologise to you, but if I help just one person who doesn’t cook, to feed their family more cheaply, then I will have achieved my aim.

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Toad in the Hole

(to feed a family of four, with good sized portions)

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100 Grams Plain Flour

2 Eggs

300ml Of Milk

8 Sausages

2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

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Preheat your oven Gas Mark 7 / 220C / 425F

Grill the sausages until nearly cooked.

While the sausages are cooking, pour the oil into a large shallow tin and put in the oven for at least 10 minutes, so the oil is piping hot (this is the secret to a good Yorkshire pudding)

Put the milk, flour and eggs into a bowl and whisk with a hand blender until thoroughly mixed together.

When the sausages are nearly cooked, put into the hot oil and immediately pour the batter over them.

Cook for approximately 25 -30 minutes.

Toad In The Hole

I’ve worked out that the Toad in the Hole cost me just £1.16 to make.  So it’s another very cheap meal for a family of four.

Tonight I served it with home-grown vegetables and gravy, but it is equally nice with mashed potatoes and a tin of baked beans.

Today’s Harvest

Thank you for reading my blog today.

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17 thoughts on “Shark Fin Melon and Toad In The Hole

  1. I have never made Toad in the Hole like this before! To us, Toad in the Hole is taking a piece of bread, tearing a hole out of the middle of it, chucking it in a frying pan of butter, and cracking an egg in the middle of it! Once one side is done, flip it, wait about 20 seconds and then serve. I am going to have to try yours!
    Love your harvest — are they mulberries? My cabbage isn’t doing too good either. Its leafy, but no heart (har har! ) But there is plenty of them!!
    The shark fin Melon looks interesting. I have not been having much luck with my seeds these last couple of months (have to go and BUY my eggplant, capsicup and chillie seedlings!!!!) so I am going to file this under interesting and try again when my confidence is a wee bit better 😛

    • I didn’t realise it until today, but I think that the toad in the hole that I made is a english recipe. I didn’t realise people make it differently.
      The berries in the picture are blackberries. I’ve frozen them to use another day.

      • Yes the spikes are really nasty when you prick yourself on them, but worth it when you get the fruit. You can buy thornless blackberry plants now, but my plants at the allotment were there when I took the plot over, so I can’t see the point in digging them up, especially when the fruit is so good anyway. I’m just careful when picking them lol

      • I just boil them up with sugar till they are runny, then I sift them through a stocking toe, then I reduce them till they are thick. I will do the ol’ drop on a spoon if the freezer for a few seconds routine to see if it has jammed properly before I jar it up.
        Sometimes they get apples cooked up with them, occasionally pears, though the jam is not as sweet with pears as it is with apples.
        But I do not get access to enough to want to jam them very often. Usually its straight from hand to mouth, LOL!!

  2. I too am growing shark fin melon. My fruit were slow to set but now (8 Oct) I have about 9 large melons on the one plant. I have picked 2 and these weigh nearly 4.5kg each.

    Now I am searching for recipes. Most SFM soup recipes seem to include pork ribs, chicken or scallops or even all three. I am a vegetarian and want to know how to get the flavour of this interesting vegetable without all this meat protein added. Any ideas?

    • That is spooky…I picked mine tonight as I was worried about frost. I haven’t a clue what to do with them, so I’m going to do some research. I’ll try and think of a vegetarian option.

      I’ll weigh mine too, but I’ve only got 3 of them…your plant did well didn’t it. Did you get the seeds from Garden Organic?

      • Yes, I got the seeds from GO. I have already taken the plunge today and sliced about a third of one melon. Peeled it and cut it into small chunks, I added some chopped carrots and onion and a tin of sweetcorn and plenty of water. Brought to the boil and then simmered for over an hour. The result was surprisingly tasty, served with my own home baked ciabatta and an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dip.

        let me know how you get on.

      • That sounds really nice. I’ve read it’s nice if you mix with other vegetables.

        Do you grow any heritage varieties? I grew Waldeck tomatoes this year, but I wasn’t too impressed?

      • Yes, every year I request some heritsge seeds. Successful ones are:

        Giant Italian plum tomato. A good number of lovely tasting fruit of a good size.
        Climbing french bean Bridgwater.
        Achocha. These are very prolific and it is easy to save seed each year.

        I also take part in the Garden organic trials and besides the Shark’s fin melon I grew the 4 anonymous varieties in the blight trials this year. None of which can match my favourite Black Cherry, although that of course is a greenhouse variety.

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