Friday, July 30, 2010

Grainy Rosemary Mustard

I have just bottled some Grainy Rosemary Mustard that I have made today. It is quite nice now, but give it a couple of months and the rosemary will have permeated the mustard and made a really delicious flavour.
This is a really easy recipe requiring some overnight soaking of crushed mustard seeds and finely chopped rosemary in cider or white wine vinegar and then adding a little mustard powder, flour, oil, salt and pepper today. So easy, so quick. It is great spread over a piece of beef you are going to roast or mixed with honey and oil and drizzled over some vegetables to be roasted. Great for Christmas hamper gifts too.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Potatoes in the Patch

It's that time of year to start putting spuds in the ground. This morning Max and I dug over some ground and planted some Bismarck potatoes to harvest later in the year. Luckily it was Max and not me who put the fork through the water pipe! Bit chilly today to get in the way of a geyser.   When we get around to digging some more ground over, we plan to put in some Pink Eyes, Dutch Creams and a few Kipfler potatoes as well just to have plenty of variety. I haven't seriously grown potatoes for some years and have just relied on self sown spuds which pop up in the garden to give us some new potatoes in spring. Last year I grew the prized Pink Eyes for the first time and they lasted for a few months after harvest hidden away in the dark. I have had the seed potatoes hardening off suspended in a basket in a shady shed to make sure they are very green and hard. To make the seed potatoes go further, I cut some of the bigger ones into 2 or 3 pieces and dusted the cut surfaces with cement, a trick my late father-in-law used to use. I think the lime in the cement probably sterilises the cut surface and ensures the "seed" doesn't rot before it starts to sprout. Now I can look forward to some lovely new spuds in late spring.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Dried Broccoli - great for bushwalking

After a long day's hike carrying a heavy backpack, you need something tasty for dinner to replenish your energy levels and soothe those aching muscles. At the moment I have broccoli going crazy and sprouting lots of little heads. Rather than let it go to waste, I have dried some in my food dryer to have on hand for the next big bushwalk. Mixed with other dried veges like tomato, corn, onion, carrot, added to some dried tuna and pasta, it makes quite a decent meal. The broccoli keeps its colour well and rehydrates to an almost crunchy texture.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Gooseberry Jam and Halloumi Cheese

Soon we are heading to Brisbane for a holiday and to see my family. One of my sisters mentioned that she was really enjoying my gooseberry jam and could I bring another pot if I could fit it in the luggage. Today I have had a look in the jam cupboard and there seems to be every flavour except gooseberry. I knew I bagged up and froze some berries in summer for a reason! So today in the Preserving Patch kitchen, it has been gooseberry jam making day. Now I am set to go!
Halloumi after pressing

Salting the halloumi after heating in whey

Halloumi in brine

Yesterday I had a cheesemaking day. I made another batch of fetta first and then tried my hand at Halloumi. This time I used incubated starter culture and rennet which I had bought online. It was much more fiddly than Fetta and required a cheese press for part of the process and then soaking the pressed cheese in heated whey. Despite a bit of a calamity with the make-do cheese press crashing into my sauerkraut pot and cracking it, the cheese actually turned out really well and was just the right texture and flavour. Delicious grilled.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Quince Cheese Chocolates

In autumn, a friend gave me a couple of bags of quinces from her garden. After stewing, freezing, bottling and turning some into jam, there were still quinces left over. I decided to have a go at Quince Cheese following a recipe from Sally Wise's book "A Year in a Bottle". Straining the stewed quince through a sieve took forever but eventually I ended up with little squares of quince cheese. They have been sitting in an airtight container in the cupboard since then. Today I melted some couverture chocolate from Anvers Chocolate at Latrobe to dip them into. I think they look pretty tasty. In fact I know they are very tasty. And pretty as well.