Can’t get more Kiwi than this

My Grandma was a great cook, growing up in the country feeding the men on the farm, recipe after recipe passed down from generation to generation, friend to friend.

I remember making jam with grandma, it took ages, but oh my- nothing is as amazingly sweet, tasty and  satisfying as making your own preserves.

It makes me sad to think it is a bit of a dying art. Jams, relish, chutney, pickled vegetables all these things that everyone’s fridges are filled with, bought from the supermarket, costing a small fortune.

When all you really need to do is check what fruit or vegetables are in season, buy in bulk from the fruit shop and spend a day pottering in the kitchen.

Who has time, I hear you say… no one really- but make time. Teach the kids how to make a beautiful jar of something to give to their favorite teacher, or great Aunt? Invite a friend over and make it together, while the kids play- that is if you have kids. If not invite a friend over spend the day making relish and celebrate a hard days work with some wine. My parents meet up once a year with some friends and they spend the day pickling onions and gherkins- if you all chip in it costs next to nothing and you go home with a car boot full of tasty wares.

Mr Lid and I will spend a day pottering, he will make beer or fruit wine, while I make relishes to go with our favorite cheeses.

I had a flick through Grandmas Recipe book the other day and found a recipe for Kiwi fruit chutney- the hardest thing about making your own preserves it that it takes time to develop flavours, but I can not wait to open it and try some in a week or so.

Kiwi fruit Chutney

1.5 kg Kiwi Fruit- peel and chop

2 3/4 cups Brown Sugar

1 cup Raisins

2 3/4 cups Vinegar (I used Malt Vinegar)

6 Onions- peel and cut finely

3 Tbs Ground Ginger (you could use 2 Tbs fresh grated ginger)

1 tsp Ground Cinnamon

1/2 tsp each ground Cloves and Allspice

Pinch of Cayenne Pepper

Put everything in a pot EXCEPT the Kiwi fruit.

Bring to the boil and turn down to a simmer for around 30min- keep an eye on the liquid levels, if you find these are getting very low add some water or more vinegar.

You want the onion to be soft before you add the Kiwi fruit- this may take longer than 30 min.

Add the Kiwi fruit and cook for another 20min or till desired consistency.

Do not be afraid to taste the chutney while cooking (be careful not to breath in the vinegar vapors)

Like Grandma used to do make alot of this and put in steralised jars to keep in the pantry for ages- although it always gets eaten before then.

While the Chutney is cooking sterilise jars and lids

Instructions:
1. Preheat your oven to 150°C.
2. Wash jars and lids with hot, soapy water.
3. Rinse well and arrange jars and lids open sides up, without touching, on an oven tray.
Note: If lids contain a rubber lining or look ‘fragile’, place them in a saucepan of boiling water and leave to ‘simmer’ on the stove while the jars are in the oven.
4. Leave jars in oven for 15-20 minutes.
5. When you remove from the oven, avoid contamination by moving the jars from the tray using sterilised tongs that have been dipped in boiling water for a few minutes. Avoid using towels or your hands, especially around the lid of the jar!

Tips: Bottle hot preserves in hot jars and cooled preserves in cold jars.

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The Block

Saturday brunch. Oh how I love thee. The fact that you are two meals in one so you can eat a treat. Something yummy that you know is kinda bad for you- all washed down with a coffee.
After seeing our first choice was full on a drive by we decided Blockhouse bays newest addition The Block was the next best thing…
Plenty of seating options- outside on the undercover deck was a lovely choice- although the chairs were proving a little stiff for one of our party who had put his back out a few days prior.
The menu looked delicious, we found it a little tough to make a decision- don’t worry we did.
Tempura prawn salad with cashew sambal and chilli dressing, eggs Benedict with salmon, selection of three mini sliders and chunky hand cut fries with smoked salt and aioli.
We were so looking forward to this!!
Coffee was strong and hot, the soy chai latte was spicy as ordered, then came the food…
Maybe they were having an off day- I understand totally. Weekends are tough with a never ending stream of people.
My salad looked amazing- although I was a little sad that either the dressing wasn’t as flavourful as it read or they forgot it completely, three whole prawns were huge but on closer inspection they were wrapped in vermicelli then tempura’d leaving them doughy and heavy rather than thin and crisp like tempura should be. The ol’ classic of eggs Bennie was lovely, generous portion of salmon but again the sauce lacked punch like a great hollandaise has- nothing some more lemon wouldn’t have fixed. Three mini sliders were just that 3 mini sliders on a plate, free range chicken, beef and fresh fish all with a relish or sauce to help enhance flavour, but at $18 that’s $6 a slider… A touch expensive for what it was. Hand cut chips- a generous portion with loads of aioli, couldn’t taste the smoked salt tho which was a bit disappointing.
Like I said it might have been an off day, the counter food looked yum- might give that a go next time.
Come here for a strong coffee and some people watching- give the Menu a try and let me know if all your brunchy dreams came true.

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Hash cake- the other kind.

Making something yum out of leftovers is so satisfying, I have said it before. Last nights leftovers are no exception and the dish I am going to make is great for any time of day, especially brunch.

Super quick and delicious corned beef hash cakes served with a soft poached egg, its golden heart oozing bringing a richness to the dish.

Corned beef hash cake

Last nights leftover cooked corned beef shredded

Finely sliced spring onion

I also added some brussel sprouts, you could also add cabbage or any other greens you like.

Potato- semi cooked and grated- I love Agria potatoes.

When cooking the potato make sure they are dry and not too wet- cook by putting the whole potato in the oven or microwave- if boiling, once the water is strained off leave to steam to dry out a bit.

Mustard to taste- you could use relish or mayonnaise – any flavour you like

(you could add cheese if you like)

Salt and Pepper

Combine everything in a bowl and mix well- form into patties (I use a ring cutter to help shape the cakes) pressing together firmly.

Let sit in the fridge till ready to cook.

In a pan or on the BBQ melt a knob of butter over a medium/low heat as you want to brown each side slowly so that the center gets hot- or you could brown each side and finish in the oven. Be careful with these as they could fall apart- if they are very crumbly you can bind the mix with an egg.

I am serving these with a soft poached egg and some brussel sprout slaw- finely slice the raw brussel sprouts, add dried sour cherries and toasted almonds- mix with dressing of your choice- I am using a balsamic honey and mustard dressing.

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Better than you remember

Corned beef is an old classic, traditionally served with white sauce. I remember my Grandma making this, I never really understood it. Growing up corned beef was really salty and not that pleasant. The older I get either I enjoy the salt more or modern corned beef is not as it used to be.
Tonight my parents are coming for dinner- all by accident! I invited them this morning thinking they would politely decline as the roadworks between our house and theirs is a pain- but to my surprise… Mum happily accepted.

Corned beef

Corned beef- rinsed well to remove excess brine

Zest of an Orange

2 Bay leaves

Peppercorns

Carrots

Onion

1/4 cupVinegar (I used cider vinegar)

2-3 Tbs Golden syrup

Put all ingredients in a pot (I use a pressure cooker for an hour) cover with water and cook till tender usually a couple of hours.
Serve meat in thin slices- don’t forget to eat the carrots they are amazingly sweet and tender. When you buy a corned beef buy one bigger than you need as the leftovers are great for sandwiches, or dinner the next night! Keep an eye out for tomorrows recipe!

Leek sauce

1 Leek

Butter

White wine (1/2cup)

Chicken stock (I used a stock cube in a cup of water)

125g tub Sour cream

Mustard

Slice the leek, then over a low heat cook in a large knob of butter till soft (chefs say sweat) Add wine reduce down to cook out the alcohol. Next add stock and reduce by about 1/3, add mustard to taste- I like dijon to add a bit of spice. Stir in sour cream before serving.

Despicable me

Today I am taking my niece and nephew to the movies- I am not sure who is more excited- them or me!!! I loved Despicable me 1 and I am sure Despicable me 2 will be just as great!
Here is a cake I made a couple if weeks ago for a little girls birthday- wish I had been invited!!

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The Food Loop

I remember growing up my Dad would always truss the Christmas Turkey, every year without fail there would not be a ball of string insight when he went to do this. There was the odd occasion we found a ball of red or green string reminiscent of the blue soup scene from Bridgette Jones diary flash to mind! Skewers were also used a couple of times, my Dad is great at good ol’ kiwi ingenuity, or he would have a rummage in the garage for twine- oh so hygienic!

A couple of years ago Mr Lid and I hosted the Family for Christmas Lunch and I was not going to suffer the same fate as my Dear Father! So Mr Lid and I went out with the soul purpose to get string for the turkey what we came home with was better than we could have imagined!

I introduce to you… The Food Loop

It is made from silicone so it is resistant to high heats, it is washable, it is reusable, it is brightly coloured so you don’t throw it away with the bones, it can be joined together to make it longer, it can be used on so many more things than just turkey.

fish

http://www.thefoodloop.com/

The new Vogels

I could waffle on about making bread, how satisfying it is, how good it smells, how yummy homemade bread is- but I wont.

This afternoon I was meant to go to the supermarket to get Mr Lid more Vogels, to those not in the know Vogels Bread is wonderful hearty wholemeal bread that you can actually see the grains, the goodness, the flavour.

Then I remembered an amazing looking recipe I came across a while ago- and as much as it annoys Mr Lid it was on one of the million tabs I have open at any given moment.

Its quick, very easy, healthy, by healthy i mean gluten free and packed full of good oils nut and seeds and you can adapt the recipe to what you have in the pantry. Did I mention its delicious and I can’t wait to toast it tomorrow morning smother it in butter and marmite.

Nut and Seed bread

3/4 cup Raw Cashew nuts (I actually had roasted unsalted cashews and it turned out fine)

1/4 cup Raw walnuts (you could just use 1 cup of nuts if you have them)

3/4 cup Pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup Sesame seeds (Again a cup of any seeds would be yummy)

1 cup Almond meal

Pinch Salt

6 Free range Eggs (big ones)

1 tsp Baking Soda

1 Tbs Lemon juice

60g Olive oil (again, you can substitute what ever you have-  nut oils would be lovely)

50g Rice Bran oil

Pre heat the oven to 170-180c. Line a loaf tin with paper.

Place the whole nuts and seeds in a food processor and blend till the consistency of bread crumbs. Combine the nut mixture with the Almond meal, salt and baking soda.

mix all the wet ingredients together and add to the dry ingredients.

Pour into the lined tin and bake till a knife in the center comes out clean- around 40-55min.

Let the loaf cool on a rack before eating.

Adapted from http://scandifoodie.blogspot.co.nz/2011/03/nut-and-seed-bread.html

http://www.vogels.co.nz/home

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