Sunday, 23 February 2014

My kitchen runneth over .

It's been a really busy week in the coast  kitchen, The man of the house went off away  to work and I decided,in my wisdom that I really needed to pull the proverbial finger out and get something accomplished and have something to show for all my time here alone.
So I decided in my wisdom to  stock up on my Apple Pie Moonshine supply as as it was  getting pretty low and I had found some cute jar mugs for $1.00 each
in our local cheap shop that I thought would be perfect for the job.I was really pleased with the result and am sure that they will be a big hit at our next  social gathering that we  organize .
Next  item on the agenda was "Habanero Gold", we had grown Habaneros for the first time this year specifically to make this gorgeous golden jelly with a kick  and thought that if I didn't do it soon, they would fall off the shrub and all would be forgotten ,which would be such a waste..
So, I picked the hot little blighters (wearing gloves) and prepared them(wearing gloves) along with the other ingredients and  produced these beautiful little jars of the most tasty jelly to have with cheese and crackers  during happy hour. I have also been told it is  lovely as a baste for chicken and fish before grilling and warmed a little as a dipping sauce.
This  batch is supposed to last me 12 months, but there is fat chance of that happening, so as more habaneros ripen looks like  I will be making jelly again.
The next item on my to do  list was dilled carrots, I had purchased a 5kg bag and had big plans for them, half into the dilled carrots and half for  some salad pickles.
I had decided to make some Vietnamese  Daikon radish and carrot pickle. There had already been an earlier batch made of this  a few weeks ago, and I quickly realized that the supply I had was definately not going to last very long, as we were consuming it at the speed of light(or should I say The Man of the house was !).So, here goes, this is how I make it.....
Firstly I peel and  julienne Daikon long white radish and the same for carrots. I think there was about 2 kgs of each when done.
Then in a deep stainless steel saucepan on the stove, I heated up 6 cups of white vinegar,6 cups water, 3 cups white sugar,and about 2 tablespoons grated ginger root, until boiling, adding the carrot and radish and bring back to the boil and simmering for  1 minute.Then take off the heat.

Then into the bottom of your pre -prepared jars place 1 Star Anise (a beautiful aniseed tasting  spice).
Next pack the carrot and radish into the jars and pour the sweet  boiled liquid over the top of them leaving about a 1/2 inch head space at the top.You will then need to  release any bubbles with a non metallic utensil and then re-adjust the head space level again.
A quick wipe over the rims  with paper towel soaked in vinegar, and pop on the pre-simmered lids and screw on the rings finger tight and all is ready for the water bath.

We then place the jars in the water bath preserver (electric in my case) and cover the tops of the jars with a couple of inches of water, place the lid on ,bring to the boil and maintain that for 10 minutes.

After the 10 minutes is up, turn the heat off, and remove the lid and let the jars sit for another 5 minutes before removing them  onto a towel covered bench out of cold  draughts  to cool down .
The jars are  left  to cool for 24 hours before removing rings, washing and labeling and storing away in the pantry(minus the rings).
Another job  I decided to do  was to use up the peelings of the radish,carrot and some celery leaves  that I had saved  to  make  some vegetable powders by dehydrating them and  grinding them up..

So I loaded all these into my great little dehydrator and set them going. I had to do this in two loads which took most of the day.After they were ready ,they looked like the photos below.

After they had all dried and been ground up this is what I had, celery powder, Tomato powder(from a previous days work) and a mix of carrot and radish together.

These powders will be a wonderful addition to my pantry to use as fillers and flavours for many dishes to come out of my kitchen, without the added salts and chemicals and preservatives that are found in the commercial products.I was very pleased with the final results and will continue to make and use these extra little  bits and pieces that would normally have been wasted to a certain degree.
So until we meet again next time,
I bid a cheery farewell to you all,


  1. You sure have been busy Jane! I love those jars with the handles, and those vegetable powders I'm sure would add lovely flavour to your meals. Well done!

  2. Thanks Melissa,
    I really fell in love with those Jar mugs too, couldn't believe my luck that there was a dozen on the shelf , and got them all for $1 each because two were missing their lids.(I had those 12 checked lids stored away from come other jars I had bought earlier. )I have been really trying hard to not waste things lately and think of a use for everything. Thanks for popping by and hope you and your man have a lovely anniversary next month.(Loved your cruise post)!