Monday, January 24, 2011

Pineapple & Mango (But Mostly Pineapple) Chutney

Chutney: no self-respecting Indian meal would be without a generous dollop of the stuff. For those not in the know, a chutney is a combination of fruit and veg, slow cooked in vinegar with sugar and spices, and then stored for a long period of time to intensify its flavour. Chutney, in all its many and varied forms, is but one of the many gifts the fine people of the Indian subcontinent have bestowed upon the world. Taking its place alongside Buddhism, call centres, using rocks down at the river to do your laundry, chess, and the largest film industry on the planet, chutney is indeed a bright star, doing its motherland proud. All this, and tasty, too.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sweet Pickled Cherries

I still have cherries to get rid of, so this was my next project: a sweet fruit pickle. Less acid and much sweeter than a typical pickle (chortle), this rich preserve is ideal for spooning over ice cream or other equally delicious treats.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Cherry & Walnut Jam

Do you have so much fruit that the kids in your neighborhood have given up raiding your fruit trees and are instead honing their shoplifting skills in town? Here in Hawke's Bay, tree after tree after tree is laden with the summer's bounty. As a result, I find myself with quite a few kilos of fruit, particularly cherries, so it made sense to start preserving some of this excess goodness for later use - time to make some jam.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Raspberry Vinegar

"Here is a pleasant 'refresher', specially suitable for the young after lawn tennis or sports on hot days, but acceptable also to their elders when exhausted by church, depressed by gardening, or exasperated by shopping."

"Take one pound of raspberries¹ to every pint best white vinegar². Let it stand for a fortnight in a covered jar in a cool larder. Then strain without pressure, and to every pint add 12 ounces white sugar³. Boil ten minutes, let cool and bottle in nice medium-sized bottles saved perhaps from some present of foreign liquers."

"A teaspoonful stirred into a tumbler of water with a lump of ice, or introduced to a very cold syphon will taste like the elixir of life on a hot day, and is as pretty as it is pleasant."

Recipe from "Kitchen Essays" by Lady Agnes Jekyll, 1922 (subsequent reprints, Persephone Classics)

¹ one pound = 450(ish) grams
² one pint (imperial) = roughly half a litre (0.568 ml)
³ 12 ounces = 340 grams

Monday, January 03, 2011

Brown Bread Ice Cream

I recently made a wholemeal rewena loaf, promptly forgot about it, and then re-discovered it several days later in all its stale, dried out, brick-like glory. It seemed a waste to feed it to the birds (and given its state, chances are they'd only pick it up & drop it back off on my doorstep), so I thought I'd give that classic English dessert, brown bread ice cream, a try.

Playing Chopsticks

Having difficulty convincing your child to eat their vegetables? Frustrated by the constant appearance of broccoli on your wallpaper? Are your threats of boarding school or millitary academy laughed off by your impudent 2 year old? Then teach them to use chopsticks!