Seedless Raspberry Jam

Raspberry Jam

We’ve got Raspberries coming out our ears. It’s divine!

All our care and pruning paid off and we have been rewarded with a glut of fat, red fruit.

Raspberry JamWhen you’ve got this much fruit it can actually be a challenge to deal with it all before it spoils so we eat it fresh, we freeze it, we give some away and then, when there is still more left over, we turn it into jam.

After all, it would be wrong NOT to make fresh jam when you have the fruit to do so. Home made jam is so much better than the store bought stuff. And it’s so simple to make, especially Raspberry jam.

New comers to home made jam often come to the task thinking jam is difficult to get right.

There’s seems to be a common fear of the jam not setting and then having a great sticky batch of boiled up fruit to deal with, as well as the concern over hygiene and making sure you’re not preserving the nasties in your jars for consumption later, along with your jam.

But honestly, jam can be really easy and once you’ve got past the hurdle of trying it, you won’t ever look back.

Seedless Raspberry Jam

I decided to make our jam seedless this year since my step son tends to turn his nose up at the Raspberry Jam, just because of the seeds. He likes the flavour but, like most kids, he doesn’t cope with the texture.

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Zucchini Relish

Courgette Relish

Courgette RelishRecently we had a lot of rain, followed by some really warms days.

Which is optimal weather for growing lots of oversize Zucchinis.

It’s awesome to get so many large Zucchini, but it’s also a bit of a problem because a) Zucchini tend to get quite watery and a bit tasteless once they get too big and b) there really aren’t that many ways I enjoy eating Zucchini so getting through them is a bit of a challenge, even after we try and give away as many as possible.

But there are two ways that I LOVE eating Zucchini that is helping make a dent in our stash. I love Zucchini Fritters, with sweet chilli sour cream, and I love Zucchini Relish with a delicious slice of aged cheddar on a good cracker.

I started making Zucchini Relish 3 Summers ago and it has quickly become a firm favourite of our family, friends and random locals from the neighbourhood. When I first sold jars of this relish 3 years ago, I created a demand I couldn’t keep up with!! I had one particular old lady who used to buy all the jars I put out at once, returning the old jars, and would then knock on the door a few weeks later looking for more.

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Preserved Beetroot

Cooking Beetroot

Cooking BeetrootI’ve never been a fan of Beetroot. 

I think I was put off it as a kid when it would come in a burger (common addition to a New Zealand burger) and even if I took it out, it would leave a big, soggy, bright red stain on the burger bun that I would then have to eat around.

Or maybe it was from reading too many historical novels that would describe a hideous sounding meal including boiled beets.

Either way, they’ve never been a vegetable I’ve warmed too, and so it is another vegetable that I never used to grow.

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Preserving Leeks – Caramalised Leek and Garlic Jam

preserving leeks

preserving leeks

Last year, we grew a LOT of Leeks.

We enjoy Leeks. I wouldn’t say they are either of our absolute favourite vegetable but they definitely make a regular appearance on the table.

Even then, there was no way we were going to get through the 20 or so sandwich bags we had full of them in our freezer.

We had already given away a dozen or so bags, but I have to say, Leeks don’t seem to be a particularly popular vegetable among my friends and family so it was difficult to even give them away.

I really wanted to find a way to use our supplies up though. I didn’t want to waste them since we had gone to the effort of growing them and I just knew we had to find a way to enjoy more of our home grown Leeks.

Maybe there was a way of preserving Leeks, other than freezing them?

After searching around online I didn’t really find anything that excited me but I started thinking about all the Onion Jam recipes I had seen, and whether using Leeks would work just as well.

So, with 3 bags full of Leeks, a few other ingredients and my preserving pan, I went into experiment mode.

With fabulous results!!

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Mint Sauce Recipe

how to grow mint

Mint sauce is a firm favourite in our house. A lamb dinner just isn’t the same without it.

Following on from yesterday’s post about our bi-annual herb refurb, I had a couple of requests to post the Mint sauce recipe I follow to use up the excess Mint growing in the garden.

Mint sauce is incredibly easy to make and the home made stuff tastes so much better than store bought.

And it keeps well so you can make a large batch and store it in the fridge.

We currently have a 4 litre mason jar full of Mint Sauce in our fridge right now so I won’t need to make any for a while.

Which is lucky given the current state of our Mint patch.

So, here’s the recipe I use for Mint Sauce.

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