It’s been a party marathon

I haven’t blogged for the last couple of days (and I miss it). It seems like the silly season has set upon me all at once with 3 Christmas parties and 1 puppy party in a few days. In amongst all of that I have made apricot jam, plum sauce, gingerbread biscuits, spring cleaned a…

Swedish gingerbread

Ingredients 125g butter 3 tblspns golden syrup 1/2 cup sugar (I use raw) Grated lemon rind from 1 whole lemon 2 heaped teaspoons ground ginger (I add even more) 1/2 teaspoon bi-carb soda

Relishing time with the blister-in-law

My sister-in-law Rose is the nicest sister-in-law you could ask for. I am actually very surprised that my brother managed to woo her – seeing all he was capable of with me and my sisters involved experimenting on scientific theories involving electric charges.

Rose’s Tomato Relish

Ingredients 1 heaped tablespoon cloves 1 heaped tablespoon black peppercorns 2 heaped tablespoons whole allspice 1 bay leaf 5kg chopped tomatoes, roughly chopped 6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped 1 tablespoon ground ginger 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 30g salt 600ml white-wine vinegar (we didn’t have any and just used white vinegar) 1kg white sugar (you can…

Picking cherry plums

A member of my permaculture group, Jenny, offered some of her cherry plums for the picking yesterday, so this morning we found ourselves in Diamond Creek bright and early. Today is forecast to be 39 degrees C, so we tried to beat the heat. I have never picked plums before (not that it’s difficult), nor…

Making yoghurt all comes down to culture

Yoghurt takes 6-12 hours to set, so I find making it overnight is ideal. The yoghurt in this photo took 12 hours (or I went to bed and didn’t look at it for 12 hours), and was not made with any milk powder. I make yoghurt to fill a 1 litre Jalna yoghurt container. Yoghurt…

Have we lost confidence to do things by ourselves?

One of my closest friends Anna dropped by the other day and amongst other things we discussed why most of us are lured into buying ‘ready made’ products and solutions. Anna and I have been friends for a long time, and we have both made heavy use of modern day solutions – especially when we…

I won’t NEVER ever eat a broad bean…..unless

When I was a child Dad grew most of our vegetables in community garden plots by the Tullamarine freeway. Being Dutch (and having lived through a recession in Europe after World War 2) Dad was highly affected in his formative years with a lack of food. This translated into the following sorts of behaviours (some…

Hamming it up for Xmas

I have eaten hams before at Xmas, but they have always been prepared by Mum or Nan. But for the rest of the year, my life passes me by with little ham in it. I have never baked a ham myself, and I certainly don’t understand what all of the fuss about having a ham…

A ham in a week (2kgs)

Different stages and timings for ham Ham takes a while to make – but it isn’t hard. You just need some time on your side. I bought a 2kg ham and it took a week to cure and soak it before I could cook it. Then it took a few hours to prepare before I…

Makin’ bacon – anyone can do it

I am glad I wasn’t bought up Jewish, or I would be having serious issues sticking to the ‘no bacon’ rule. I would not really call myself a pork eater except for bacon. Recently my local permaculture newsgroup made me aware of an interesting program on the ABC called ‘River Cottage Spring’. There is a…