Thursday, 22 December 2016

Summer Break

The forecast for Adelaide is around 40 degrees for 25th and 26th December 2016. Food choices for the festive season is going to be interesting because there will probably be a total fire ban. That means NO outside cooking, even on a BBQ. 

It's pretty sad to have this kind of heat so early in the season as we have had little time to adjust to silly temperatures. Beaches will be crowded, there will be a lot of young and the not so young that will get excessive dehydration,(excessive alcohol), sunburn and caught in rips! I hope everyone is sensible! 

Keep an eye on your neighbours, especially if they are elderly. Remember to drink lots of water and restrict alcohol when it's really hot!

My family is planning on some very early or late afternoon beach trips, trying out new salad and ice cream recipes and keeping as cool as possible - the oven is not going on during those temperatures.

I am taking a blogging break for a couple of weeks - it's been a very busy year and I am really in need of some down time, although I will still be playing with food, of course.

These are my favs for eating over the holidays - red cabbage salad with dried figs, lentil and currant salad, asparagus and fennel salad, nut roast with passata, sour cream and cranberry ice cream, vegan chocolate truffles.

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I hope the next few weeks allows you to have time with your family and friends, eat lovely fresh and healthy food and have a wonderful start to the year. 

Don't forget your new year's resolution. Are you going to stop, start, make, go or take up something new? I'm pretty good at making resolutions and honestly, I really believe I'm going to keep them and then something happens and I fall off the wagon. This year I will be a little more sneaky and make sure I make a resolution I can really keep.

Thanks for your following over the last twelve months, it's been fun. I'll see you on the other side. 

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Apple and Cranberry Chutney

Not many of my friends make their own preserves. They probably think I am a bit nutty because I tend to make everything I can. Just to prove how right they may be (well just a wee tiny bit) here are the contents of my preserve cupboard I've just cleaned out.

Cherry and Vanilla Conserve  9 jars
Seville Orange Marmalade    14 jars
Grapefruit Marmalade with Whiskey 1 jar (Obviously need to make more of this)
Indian Lemon Pickle 2 jars
Pear Jam                 2 jars
Ginger and Pear Chutney 1 jar
Preserved Lemon             4 jars
Tomato and Chilli Chutney  4 jars
Apple and Cranberry Chutney 6 jars
Brinjal Pickle    1 jar
Spiced Nuts     3 jars
Onion Confit    1 jar

See what I mean? There's not nearly enough for the coming year; and I have some luscious green apples to use and teamed with cranberries you have a fabulous festive chutney to give to friends for Christmas. I know there isn't much time left but this recipe is so quick and easy you can make it in a jiffy!

It's not easy to find fresh cranberries in Adelaide but a good alternative is frozen ones. The recipe works just fine using frozen and they are readily available in the supermarket. Other great things about this recipe is that it is very quick to make, as well as being a versatile chutney for vegetarians because it teams so well with vegetable dishes and the colour is stunning. The origin of this recipe came from BBC Food but I have changed the recipe quite a lot to suit my taste. But to be fair, this was not an original recipe of mine and I need to acknowledge that.

So in order to add more colour to my preserve cupboard I am making another batch of this chutney. Let's go!


2 kg cooking apples - peeled, cored and chopped into bite size piece
1 kg  eating apples - peeled, cored and chopped into bite size pieces
1 kg white sugar
1 kg cranberries frozen or fresh
500 ml of verjuice or apple cider vinegar
1 kg brown onions sliced finely
100g grated fresh ginger

1. In a large pan add onions, apples, verjuice, ginger and sugar and sit on a low heat stirring until all the sugar has dissolved.

2. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer until the fruit is nice and tender. This will take anywhere between 30 minutes and 1 hour. The mixture should be thick and chunky.

3. Add the cranberries. Cook for a further 10 mins. I like to burst a few of the cranberries with a wooden spoon and leave the rest whole.

4. Spoon the mixture into hot, sterilised jars and seal (if you are not sure how to do this check out my post on Cherry Jam).

5. Keep in a cool dark place to mature for a few weeks. Refrigerate on opening.