Sunday, June 19, 2011

MMM..More Marmalade and jam

The jam cupboard has been looking a bit empty recently so thought I had better do some restocking. With lots of frozen berries from summer in the freezer and citrus ripening in the orchard, jam and marmalade was on the agenda.
The loganberry jam went on the stove first while I chopped and peeled my way through various citrus fruit. I am still experimenting with marmalade with several recipes all with different methods of preparing the fruit. In the end I did a bit of everything, sliced, zested, juiced, strained out the pulp, guessed how much sugar and water to add by using two differing proportions from recipes. In the end I think I ended up with 1kg of fruit slices and juice, 1kg of sugar and 1 litre of water. I used lemon, orange, grapefruit and tangelo in the mix so am calling it 4 Fruit Marmalade (one up on last years 3 fruit version). It turned out a beautiful colour and having just had some on a slice of sourdough toast for breakfast, I can vouch it has a beautiful flavour as well. And not ever having been a great fan of marmalade, that is saying something!
When I was driving back from Hobart a few weeks ago, I called into the town of Oatlands where they make delicious sourdough bread from flour milled at the restored Oatlands mill. The bread shop also sells reed banettons imported from Germany, to rise your sourdough bread in before you tip it onto a heated stone in the oven. So I tested it out on this weekend and was quite pleased with the result.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ripened Camembert and more preserved Lemons

At last some more success with Camembert. I had a couple of failures with this cheese earlier in the year but this batch seems to be just right - coming to a stage of ripeness where the inside just oozes out. Tastes pretty good too. I was a bit concerned that it wasn't going to ripen as the initial mould formation sort of petered out when I turned them over. However, it must have been doing its job properly after all.

Of course this is the time of year when citrus comes to the fore so I just had to make another batch of preserved lemons. When you open the lid of the jar, it is one of my favourite smells! I just wish I remembered to use them more often in my cooking.
I have been out in the garden doing a lot of pruning this long weekend. It is very satisfying to complete my list  of fruit trees and bushes to prune. The vege garden has been cleaned up too - finally the very last of the tomato plants have been pulled out. I still have a few fresh ones to eat although they are not the best quality.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Yum........ Yams

A gardening post this week. I have just dug up one plant of the New Zealand yams I planted last spring and got a colander full. We have tried them roasted and also in a stir fry and either way they are delicious. A really nice crunchy texture if stir fried - a bit like a water chestnut. And the bonus is they seem to grow without too much looking after. Where they were planted in the garden didn't get watered a lot, and there was twitch grass growing as well., usually a big problem with vegetables. I left a few corms in the ground so there should be some sprout this spring as well. They are a member of the oxalis family, usually a pesky weed but not in this case!