Every grower of vegetables will know about gluts. One moment you are anxiously waiting for your new crop, watching every day to see if you can pick something, cherishing your tiny carrots, your courgette flowers, your nascent beans, and bringing them to the table with butter and due ceremony. The next you are staring at vast piles of cucumber, yet more courgettes, tomatoes by the bucketload, beans which turn from tasty and tender tiddlers to huge coarse monsters overnight.
I can see it can be overwhelming to have baskets of produce coming into the kitchen which you can scarcely use before the replacement basket is sitting accusingly on the worktop, but I love a good glut. Principally this is because I love chutneys and preserves and the whole process of producing shelves of shining jars which will keep you company through the winter.
Just now I am planning a week of preserving (not this week, we are having our strictly no jobs, go out, have fun, pretend you are on holiday week but next week). There are spiced pickled runner beans to be made, and pickled green beans with garlic, both guaranteed to convert the most determined bean hater. There is a courgette chutney, sweet and spicy, and soon there will be a marrow and fresh ginger jam for the courgettes which got away while my back was turned attending to beans. We don't have apples yet, maybe another week or so, but we do have a huge onion crop and we also have cucumbers growing practically as you watch them in the greenhouse. For those I am going to make Thane Prince's Bread and Butter Pickle from her lovely Jams and Chutneys book.
I just need to get out to the shop for malt and cider vinegars and brown sugar and to have a few sweet, sharp and spicy hours in the kitchen.