Thursday, January 27, 2011
This is the Wensleydale, cut after one month for tasting. It was very tasty although the sage didn't give it a lot of extra flavour.
The cider made with apples and pear turned out well. The juiced apples with store bought apple juice version was very tasty. The pear version was a bit bland. I think straining the juice would make an even better product but that can wait until we have some riper apples in a month or so. We have been having a real problem with crows developing a taste for knocking fruit out of the trees so now I have old CDs hanging all around the garden trying to deter them. Fingers crossed - it seems to be working so far!
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Tonight we are doing a bit of an experiment with some windfall apples and pears - put them through the juicer, pasteurise to kill off wild yeasts, add some cheap apple juice, the yeast and put on the Oztop. Maybe in a few days we will have Cider/Perry if all goes well.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
All the unseasonal rain has taken its toll on the garden this year. The potatoes have not taken kindly to torrential downpours and many plants collapsed in December, before this last lot of rain. Hopefully the few remaining plants still with green leaves might produce a bit of a crop. The plums which are starting to ripen now are so split from the various downpours they have endured, that they are not going to be sound enough to bottle. I think I might try to salvage some in a plum cake tonight. I am hoping the later fruiting varieties might be ok. The raspberry crop was still in full swing last week but I wasn't able to pick for several days in a row as they were absolutely waterlogged. I now have to leave them for a few days to dry out and then work out which ones are going to go mouldy and which ones are ok to pick. Luckily, I have picked quite a few kilos for the freezer already. Everything is a lot later ripening than normal and I doubt that I will get any tomatoes until mid February. I hope they are ok after all this waterlogging. I have just spent a few hours thinning out the lush growth to make sure there is plenty of air flow around them and to prevent mildew and rot.
Saturday, January 8, 2011
This is the time of year for fresh apricots in Tasmania and the south of the state is the best place to get them as it is a drier climate than here in the northwest. So when we were on our way home from Hobart last week, we called into a little roadside stall at Mangalore and bought 10kg of lovely slightly underripe apricots. I think Tasmanian apricots are far superior to in flavour and bigger than those that I remember getting in Brisbane when I was a kid. The flavour of these apricots bottled or stewed in absolutely heavenly! They are really easy to bottle and save on freezer space.
After washing, halving and removing the seeds, I pack them cut side down in 4inch Fowlers bottles, and fill with water (not syrup as I don't think the extra sugar is either needed or good for you!).
On go the rubber rings, lids and clips.
Monday, January 3, 2011
It has been a busy time with lots of visitors but now the summer harvest really begins. There will be lots to blog about in the weeks to come.