Preserving Basics



Preserves are a great foundation for a sustainable lifestyle, allowing you to use produce from your own (or family and friends’) gardens, process it, store it, and use it later on. I love that I have fruit ready to serve simply on its own, or with yoghurt, custard or icecream.  I also use the fruit to make cakes, tarts, pies and desserts, and in some cases to accompany a cheese platter!

This is how I grew up.  Fruit was preserved in season, it was not only my mother in the kitchen, but often times my sisters and our father also joined in the process.  The fruit was used throughout the year, and generally when the next season rolled around, there was nothing left.

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Preserving Basics Session  (downloadable pdf)

Sessions & Bookings:

A little knowledge sharing…

After years of wanting to do this, but not having the confidence to venture forward with the idea, now, after receiving much encouragement from those around me, in less than two weeks time I will be running my first Knowledge Sharing Session at a local Neighbourhood House.  Yes, I am a little nervous, but I am also a little excited!  So I thought I would share what we will be doing in the first session.  It will be all about sauerkraut, or as they call it in France, choucroute, and we may even touch on growing your own cabbages at home.

Sauerkraut or choucroute, has become increasingly popular in recent times.  It’s seen as a way to improve gut health, easing digestive symptoms and supporting your immune system by adding probiotics and enzymes to your diet.

I just love toasted sourdough with a little Dijon mustard and melted cheese, topped with sauerkraut for breakfast each day.

Toast with Dijon mustard, melted, cheese and sauerkraut.

The other great benefit of making sauerkraut, and one that I think sometimes gets ignored in these times, is that it is a fabulous way of preserving cabbage when it’s in season.  I love to use this sauerkraut to make delicious, warming, comfort food during the colder months of the year Continue reading

Majestic Magenta

Hmmm… I started with the title Pretty and Pink…, then thought maybe Radiant Red…!

But really I think Majestic Magenta describes the colour at the end…

A while ago we were in Melbourne for a few days to spend time with our son and his family.  This meant that I was able to visit my sister, Sonnie.  Sonnie is an amazing cook, and had just finished making a batch of her late husband’s grandmother’s pickled red cabbage, a jar of which, she had kindly set aside for us, I was so excited and very grateful.

Since then I’ve started receiving a regular delivery of fresh, mostly Gippsland grown, vegetables, and the fun thing with the vegie (Farm) box is that each week is different.  With produce that we don’t normally use, and being one who hates waste, I’ve just had to get a little creative.

After receiving red cabbage in my mystery veg box, I instantly knew what to do – I would make Grandma Martin’s Pickled Red Cabbage.  I often prepare braised red cabbage, but this time it was definitely going to be a batch of Grandma Martin’s Pickled Red Cabbage, and with my beautiful sister’s permission, I can now share the recipe with you. Continue reading

Rosehips from the garden

As I walked passed the glowing orange rose hips on the exquisite climbing rose, Mme Gregoire Staechlin, I knew that it was time to make Rosehip Jelly, a must for when I’m putting together both cheese and charcuterie boards.  But yet again, I could not find the recipe that I normally use, and could not remember which book it was in, so made it from memory…

The day before yesterday I did a quick search on my computer (why didn’t I do that earlier?) and there it was, all written up nicely, including details of the source!  The recipe that I had been looking for is from the beautiful book, salt sugar smoke by Diana Henry.

Rosehip Jelly

Continue reading

Rhubarb & Roses

I hope that I am not becoming to boring with all things rhubarb, the vegie patch and the greater garden… Today I am going back to Rhubarb, yet again. It is proving to be a great staple in our home.

A vegetable that masquerades as a fruit, this wonderful plant is so easy to grow, and even easier to use in the kitchen where it can be prepared for breakfast or dessert, turned into an accompaniment for your favourite pork dish or charcuterie or cheese platter, gosh, it can even be made into an amazing salad! Continue reading