Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Plenty of Pickles , February 26th 2013

Its pickling time....the vege garden is exploding with produce so I need to do something with it all. This weekend I have made two types of pickles. First up I made pickled red cabbage – salting the cabbage and sliced onion overnight before bringing a pickling vinegar to the boil and  pouring over the jar packed with the washed brined cabbage. I don’t think I have tried this recipe before which has raisins and orange zest in the vinegar. Now I am looking forward to tasting it.

 Next day it was time to make bread and butter pickles from some small crunchy cucumbers.
 Again it involved salting the cucumber and onion overnight before rinsing off the salt next morning. The cucumbers are brought to the boil in the pickling vinegar before packing into the jar. 
Each lot of pickles has a different mix of spices so I won't know what they taste like until I get around to opening the jars. I have several recipes of these types of pickles so making and tasting them all could take a long time.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Plum Worcestershire Sauce and some dehydrated goodies for a hike. February 12th 2013

The plums are finished except for a few in the fridge. On the weekend, I made some Plum Worcestershire Sauce with a mix of Damson and Satsuma plums. Even though I halved the recipe, I still ended up with probably more bottles than I will use in a year.  It was very easy to make – just boil all the following ingredients for 3 hours until it thickens slightly. Strain and bottle.

 750g of plums to 2 cups of treacle, 10 cups malt vinegar,65g salt, 65g garlic, 375g brown sugar, 65g bruised ginger,30g cloves, 15g allspice berries and ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper.

 While the sauce was boiling, I was busy preparing pre-cooked meals to dehydrate for an upcoming hike. I bought a book recently called Backpack Gourmet which is full of new ideas for dehydrated goodies to take on a hike. We now need to go on lots of hikes to try out all the recipes! On the weekend  I made 2 dehydrated pastes to have with rice cakes for lunch. One used tinned tuna, white beans and tomato paste or salsa blended together then dehydrated.

The other ,Backpack Bruschetta, was a mix of garlic,white beans,tomato puree, lemon juice, salt and pepper. When we want to eat them, we just mix with a little water. I also cooked up some pasta and dehydrated it to go with some dehydrated bolognaise sauce sitting in the freezer, left over from last year’s hikes.  Last weekend I made a Chilli Turkey dinner with couscous for one of our dehydrated dinners.  As the meal is already cooked, all you have to do is to cover it with water and bring to the boil. It sure beats soaking and cooking individual dehydrated ingredients out in the wilderness as I used to.

                                                   There is still lots to do out in the garden. The zucchinis and squash are going crazy and I have making jars of zucchini/squash pickles, making zucchini slice, grilling them on the BBQ and still they keep coming. Luckily the chooks like to peck on the big ones. Here are the ones from last weekend that got away from me.
And then of course, you just have to leave some time for a few swims at my local beach to make the most of the warm summer weather. :)