Monday, January 26, 2015

Tomato Peach Chutney

Always losing this recipe.
Just posting it here so I know where to find it.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Apricot Jam

Had 3 goes at my first batch and couldn't get it right.
Too runny.
So put it back in to cook it some more.
Too stiff.
Then tried to loosen it up with some water.
Still too stiff.
Temperature is a funny thing with jam.
It's fairly critical.

I've since learnt;
218 degrees = syrup
220 degrees = jell (or is it gell?) point for jam
220 degrees for 5-10 minutes (which takes it up around 228) and you're on your way to chewy lolly.
The other thing I learnt - if you don't put your fruit in the fridge
overnight with the sugar, the fruit will boil away to nothingness.
Fine, if you like a pureed type of jam.
Not so good if you like it with globby bits of fruit.
And.....I also learnt about picking apricots.
Was there ever a more delicate fruit?
(Maybe figs).
If they are perfectly ripe when you pick them - kind of orangey with overtones (or undertones?) of red,
they will bruise extremely quickly.
So those ones, you pop in your gob while you are under the tree.
They are little explosions of heaven!
You want to pick the ones that are firm to the touch and have just lost the last
little tinge of green - sort of orangey-yellow.
Then there are the ones that still have a bit of green on them - they are ok to pick too.
But they have to sit on the bench for a couple of days to ripen.

Anyway, I'll keep the first batch (too thick) for jam drop bikkies
and one jar to Mum who loves chewy, lolly jam.
The second batch - following Delia's instructions was much more successful.
It really is THE most glorious colour, isn't it?

Photos:28,30,31 Dec '11 and 1 Jan '12.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Coffee and Walnut Cake

It was one of those booky, readingy, coffeey, listening to laid-back music kind of days.
I was hanging with my trusty side-kick Buster thinking it's more like an
Autumn day than a Spring one.
The ghosts of 'autumn cakes past' were calling me.

I had a recipe I was keen to have a go at so I chopped some firewood
and stoked up the old range (or more accurately, clicked the gas gun
and fired up the white enamel Chef cooker) and set to work.

This recipe has a big slurp of sour cream in it and then it's all the
regular gang, butter, flour, eggs, sugar.
A whizz around with the electric beater then in the oven.
Easy Peasy.

You can't beat the flavour of baked walnuts in a cake, can you?
I love 'em.
Think I'll pop on over to my neighbours and share a big fat slice.

Photos: Spring, 2011

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Pear, Macadamia and Creme Chantilly

Beautiful juicy pears from the vacant house over the back.
Recipe from the June 2011 iss-yoo of Real Living Magazine.

I'm trying to think of the right word to describe this cake, but I keep
coming back to "flat on the tongue".
I dunno even know what that means!
You know that flat feeling that goes across the mid back of your tongue?
Just me then?
It's very cocoaish - without the sugar.
The first piece I had, was while it was still warm, and I was disappointed.
The second piece - the next day, I liked A LOT better.
The flavours seemed to compliment one another much better.
And the pears!!!
I think by my third piece, I'll be totally in love with it.
It's a grown-up kinda cake.

Wanna taste?
I'll slip some in the mail.

Added: can most DEFINITELY confirm - after pieces 3,4,5 & 6,

Photos: June, 2011

Friday, June 3, 2011

Apple Jam with Caramel

I'm not really sure what to do with this.
Any ideas?

I had some apples from Pendlebury Hill and some from the vacant house over the back
and really wanted to try this Christine Ferber recipe....
but it's kinda sticky, toffee'ish jam.
Not really "on your toast" kind of jam.

I suppose I could go jam drops or
warmed up on ice-cream.
What else?

Photos: May, 2011

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tomato Chilli Pickles

Our 2 tomato plants produced thousands of kilograms of fruit this season!
(Black Russian & Green Zebra).
As I write this, one week out from the beginning of winter, I have just
plucked the last tomatoes from the vine and it's STILL making flowers!
Psycho tomato.

Another Sally Wise recipe.
She's a pretty potent brew!
In the whizzer is a mix of garlic, ginger and mustard seeds.
It dissolved the little smelling hairs in my nose!

As an afternoon snack, I am a bit partial to cheese and bickies.
You can keep your fancy schmancy water crackers and stinky smelly cheeses,
give me good old Jatz crackers and cheddar cheese and some pickles and I'm happy.
I remember as a kid in the 70's when Mum and Dad had people drop by for drinks in the afternoon,
Mum always made a plate of Jatz and cheese and cocktail onions
- sometimes we even had the green cocktail onions - fancy.
Oh yeah - and stuffed pimento olives.
I can't buy Jatz down here in Victoria.
I can only get Savoys or Ritz (errr - shudder).
these pickles are superb on my cheese and bickies.

Photos: March & May, 2011

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Pear, Pistachio and Chocolate Cake

Well, hello there, season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.
I see you've been conspiring with your mate the sun
to fill all fruit with ripeness to the core!
You're awesome!
(apologies to John Keats)

This is such an easy recipe to make.
If you are new to baking I'd thoroughly recommend giving this one a crack.

It comes from an excellent little book
my sister, Leigh found for me - The SBS Foodies' Diary.
As soon as she saw the type of recipes it featured,
she knew it was for me!

We (Mum, Clarrie the Morris Minor and me
- Vince had to stay home in case Clarrie packed it in and I had to ring him to come and get us)
took the cake - still warm - on a picnic.
I felt obliged to give it a round of applause after I polished it off.
It was just like a big gooey nutty peary jaffa.
What's not to love?

Photos: April, 2011
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