We stripped our rosemary bushes that we had to pull out for the plumbing re-route, air dried them in an old net curtain
Brian had grown a row of Nicola potatoes, the same variety we grew last year down on the coast with prolific results, unfortunately they were not quite as productive here, but we still dug a respectable amount.
We had a terrible tomato crop this season and decided to use up what we could salvage
On the last pick as we pulled the bushes out, I decided that I would make Quetta, a lovely old recipe for a spicy tomato relish that has sultanas in it ,.
So I peeled the tomatoes by nicking the skins with a knife, blanching in boiling water and then dropping them into iced water so that the skins slip off easily. This just makes a nicer finished product, but doesn't affect the taste.
At the end of our two week babysitting stint we arranged to meet our daughter in Newcastle to swap the children back over, so we took advantage and took with us out portable fridge/freezer to go to the chicken factory outlet shop to purchase some bulk chicken.
The fillets, we chopped and raw packed into smaller Fowlers number 20 jars, added salt only, no liquid as it makes it's own under pressure, sealed and pressurecanned 1hr 15 minutes at 15 lbs pressure also.
below is a jar of dumsticks after opening, the juices combined with the marrow bone set into a tasty gel.
A few months ago when we slaughtered a steer between us and the neighbours I had the bones in the freezer to make stock out of at a later date.
I decided to make up a batch of beef and red wine stock a couple of weeks ago, so I roasted the beef bones with garlic and other seasonings, put them into a big stock pot, added celery, onion and carrots, sauces, red wine,water and practically anything I could find on hand and then simmered it away on the stove for many,many hours until I was happy with the taste.
I then drained all the vegetables and bones off( fed them all to the chooks when cold) and poured the stock into containers and refrigerated them for two days.
When I removed them from the fridge, I scraped off the set fat layer( which was minimal) and poured the stock( which had jelled slightly in the fridge) back into a pot and heated it up again.
This beef stock I will then use as the base for many other soups and stews that I cook for both eating straight away and canning, it just adds such a wonderful flavour to them.
It has been a big preserving few weeks with more that I will add later.
I have found that the new kitchen works really well for processing and canning the wonderful bounty of food that we have been fortunate enough to receive and that my pantry shelves are beginning to fill up again and be a great store for us to shop in as needed.
Take care everyone until we meet again down the track,