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Archive for the ‘Jam Jelly Pickle and Relish!’ Category

So after the success of my Red onion jam I thought I’d add to my cupboard with some spiced Nectarine chutney.  I made up Armadillo labels up this time round.

Decided to add to the cartoon series inspired by these little labels too.  So here are my Armadillos with their stacked up chutney hoard :

And Llama Llama sauce for the Spiced plum rocket fuel I plan to make up tomorrow… As I’ve left it way too late tonight to start anything cooking now.

I like the simplicity of these pieces. With the handmade brown fibre paper showing through where I’ve left the Animals, borders and jars raw and unpainted.

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I’ve been procrastinating over a commission piece I’m supposed to be working on …I’m a little burnt out after the last one – Because it was a rush job with a window of only 3 weeks, I ended up working both days and evenings to complete it on time.

So instead of painting New Zealand birds and bush, I’ve been watching The Mighty Boosh – Which I have somehow never seen before – And making Red Onion jam.

I seem to have used up all my blank sticker paper, so had to make do with labels made out of the brown tape I usually use to back my canvases and picture frames. That meant I needed to come up with a sort of longish image to fit the tape, rather than the swamp monsters I did last time.  I think Narwhal jam is totally awesome! No Narwhals were harmed in the making… Though my finger came out a little worse for wear, after a run in with the serrated knife on the very very last 1/2 onion, of the 2kgs of onions I chopped up. Ouch!

Luckily the deliciousness of this jammy sticky oniony process way out-weighed the damage… I’m thinking now I need an excuse to make these cute as and uber tasty looking bite size Brie pops. Or maybe I should just go all out and bake a whole brie wheel and eat it with fresh baguette instead!?!

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My lovely friend let me pinch a whole bunch of lemons and limes off her trees on Sunday. So I thought I’d make some sweet preserves for a change.                        *I have managed to fill up a good part of a cupboard at my parents place with relish, chutneys and sauce… They just don’t eat it with everything like I do – So at this rate, their earthquake supply is : Chutney

Now lemon honey is a favourite of mine – and dead easy. But the jelly was a completely new experience for me. I had a bowl full of little apples left over from the last chutney I made, so it seemed a good use for these before they went soft.         Apple and Lime jelly seemed like a great idea, and it is quite delicious – Though you can’t taste any apple in it.  Pity the end result ended up looking like pond slime. So I thought it needed more appropriate labels than my usual traditional sort of preserving ones.Next time I think I will leave out the end part of the recipe which said put mint leaves in the jars!Lemon Honey recipe :

4 large lemons, or 6 med – small.

125 g  butter.

2 cups sugar.

4 eggs, beaten.

1Start by sterilising clean glass jars in the oven.

2Finely grate the rind from the lemons and place in a stainless steel bowl or double boiler. Juice the lemons and add to the rind along with the butter and sugar.

3Place the bowl over a saucepan of boiling water and stir while heating until the butter has melted and sugar has dissolved. Add beaten egg and stir over the heat until it starts to thicken. It takes a bit longer this way than if you do it over direct heat, but you are less likely to end up with egg white through the mix. However if you do, just pour the whole mix through a sieve before bottling.

4Remove from heat and pour into clean sterilised jars. Easy as that!

This is great served on toast or scones. And absolutely amazing as cake or pie fillings… think little neenish tarts mnnnn! Because of the fresh ingredients it needs to be refrigerated, even before opening. But will keep for 4 – 6 weeks.

You can also make it in a microwave – Place all the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and heat on medium heat for 8- 10 minutes stirring after each minute.  But I quite like slow cooking that is done by hand and with much love involved.

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Lime jelly recipe :

Day 1 :

1 kg apples – Crabapples or Granny smiths are good because they are tart, I just used the ones I pinched from the neighbors tree before the birds got them all 

1 lemon, juiced.

Day 2 :

6 limes – Peeled with a potato peeler, avoiding as much of the white pith as possible, and juiced. 

1.6kg sugar, you can use jam sugar if you want, but the apples and citrus have enough pectin to set on their own anyways so this sugar would make for a really set set sort of jelly.

1Rinse the apples and cut them coarsely into chunks, then put them and the cores and seeds, into a very large stockpot along with the juice from the lemon.

2Add the water, cover, and bring to a boil. When bubbling, reduce the heat a bit, leave the lid askew, and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until the apples are tender and cooked through.

3Line a colander with a piece of muslin cloth or clean tea towel and set it over a deep bowl, then ladle the apples and the liquid into the colander.

4Let stand overnight, or at least three hours. *No matter how tempting, do not press down at any time on the apples to extract more juice, or the jelly will go cloudy… This is not what you want!

5The following day, measure out the juice. Pour it into a stockpot and add the sugar, lime peel and  juice. Bring to the boil, and stir constantly. During cooking, if any white scum rises to the surface, skim it off.

6Cook for 5-10 mins until jelly starts to thicken. At that point, lower the heat and begin testing the jelly on a chilled plate from the fridge or freezer – Spoon a small amount on and let cool slightly. Push your finger through this to test when set – When it wrinkles and holds its shape, it’s done. If not, continue to cook and re-test it at intervals a couple of mins apart.

7Pour into clean glass jars that have been sterilised in the oven. If you want you can leave some of the rind in for decoration, or else sieve it out before hand.

I adapted this recipe from an apple and mint jelly recipe I had.  The original recipe calle for placing fresh, washed mint leaves in the jars before you poured in the jelly and I thought hey this must make it look good. I opted for this rather than leaving in some of the lime rind, wich by this time had cooked off to a yellowish tinge.  Next time I dont think I’ll add the mint leaves to the jars, as it fully just looks like pond slime… Ah well, works with the labels I guess!

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So I haven’t been able to do much painting, drawing or writing of late due to hurting my thumb. But I have been able to make chutney thanks to this wonderful kitchen gadget of my mums, which does all the ouchy chopping bit for me!I love love love chutney – This time I made an apple and smoked paprika one, with roasted fennel seeds. Its a really interesting flavour, and came out this gorgeous deep pinky red thanks to all that spice.  The fennel seeds smell amazing when you roast them, but you really don’t need very much as the flavour could be quite strong.Actually, I did do a tiny bit of writing for the sticky labels… Straight after lunch once the pain stuff I’ve been taking kicked in.Here’s the recipe if you’re interested :

Apple and Smoked paprika Chutney :

900 mls cider vinegar (I used a mix of malt, and white as it was all we had in the cupboard)

1 kg of peeled and cored apples (peeled and cored weight) – Actually, because I chopped these small in the blender I didn’t bother peeling them.

225 g onions, peeled and quartered

450 g sultanas, or currents

700 g soft brown sugar

1 1/2- 2 Tbsp Smoked paprika

2 tsp freshly roasted fennel seeds, ground

1 tsp sea salt

1Rinse and core apples, peel if you want. Then chop until fine in a food processor with 1/2 cup of cider vinegar and the onion.

2Add the remaining vinegar, and all the other ingredients to a large heavy bottomed stainless steel pot (make sure to use your largest pot, as the chutney will spit and is Uber hot!)  Bring to the boil, stirring constantly, over high heat.  Reduce heat to low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot, until the apple is tender and has thickened. I found the longer I had it on the stove, the more intense the colour became.

3In the meantime, prep clean glass jars in the oven.

4Once the chutney is thick enough (to your liking – remember that it will thicken some on cooling), ladle hot sauce into hot, sterilized jars.

You should really leave it to sit for a couple of weeks as the flavour gets better with time, but I’m impatient and use it right away.                              I got seven decent sized jars from this recipe, though I didn’t really weigh my apples – I just used what I had collected.  It needs to be refrigerated once open. Otherwise will store in the cupboard for a good year or so.

Hmmm… looking at the collection of chutneys I’ve made and stored so far, I think I may need to give a few more away this time!

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I quite like food pictures.  Heres a quick one I whipped up to go with the batch of plum sauce I made yesterday afternoon.  I was lucky enough to be given a huge bag of mixed plums off my lovely friends trees… Which was fantastic timing, as I seem to make chutneys or sauces whenever I am back on a visit here in Nz!  I’m thinking it might print off nicely to go on jar labels, or as postcards.  What do you think?

Spicy plum sauce recipe :

2 cups of cider vinegar (I used malt, as it was all we had in the cupboard)

5 lbs of plums (I used a mix of tangy red, and sweet little plums that were yellow inside… thanks Gretal!)

1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed

1  and 1/2 cups white sugar

1/2 cup honey

1 onion, quartered

4 large garlic cloves

2 small jalapeno peppers (I only had dried chili, so put it about 2Tbsp)

2 Tbsp mustard seeds

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1 Tbsp sea salt

1 Tbsp ginger root, or 1 and 1/2 Tbsp ground ginger

1Rinse and pit plums, then chop until fine in a food processor with 1/2 cup of cider vinegar, the onion and garlic.

2Add the remaining vinegar, and all the other ingredients to a large stockpot (make sure to use your largest pot, as the plum sauce will spit and will be Uber hot!)  Bring to the boil, stirring constantly, over high heat.  Reduce heat to low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick & syrupy… about 1 – 1 and 1/2 hours. *Make sure to scrape the bottom and corners of the pot as you stir so it doesn’t stick and burn.

3In the meantime, prep clean glass jars in the oven.  http://www.ehow.com/how_5109586_sterilize-canning-jars-boiling.html

4Once sauce is thick enough (to your liking – remember that it will thicken some on cooling), ladle hot sauce into hot, sterilized jars

The good thing about this recipe is that it doesn’t have to sit for a few weeks like chutney, you can use it right away – though it does need to be stored in the fridge after you open it.  Otherwise it’ll store up to a year unopened in the cupboard…. good thing cos it made 5 and a 1/2 medium – large pasta jars worth!

And here is the next one with the basic ingredients for a fantastic spinach soup.  I liked how the plum sauce pic turned out so much I thought I’d start a set.  Promise to post up a better pic with no glare once the sunlight stops streaming through our front windows quite so much!

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