montjoye: (Default)
( Dec. 25th, 2013 09:17 pm)
Below are the first few paragraphs, written by Hugh bravely eats it all, from the forward to the River Cottage "Preserves" book by Pam" the Jam" Corbin. Beautiful writing I think. Ta muchly to [personal profile] doushkasmum !

"I love jam and all its jarred and bottled relatives, the extended family we call by the rather austere name ‘preserves’. Actually they’re not austere at all. They are warm, forward and friendly, offering up both generous feisty flavours and intriguing spicy subtleties to all who embrace them.

Mostly I love them for being so delicious. But I also cherish and admire them for something else. They epitomise the values at the heart of a well-run, contented kitchen. Firstly they embody and thrive and seasonal abundance. Secondly they are, or should be, intrinsically local, perfectly complementing the grow-your-own (or at least pick-your-own) philosophy. And thirdly, not to be sniffed at in these days of ecological anxiety, they are frugal, thrifty and parsimonious: they waste not, so we want not.

Jams, chutneys and pickles embrace the seasons, but they also, in an elegant and entirely positive manner, defy them. They do so by stretching the bounty of more abundant months into the sparser ones. We shouldn’t underestimate this achievement. Over the centuries, wizards and alchemists have used all the power and magic they can muster to try and catch rainbows, spin straw into gold, and even bring the dead back to life. They’ve failed of course. Yet all the while, humble peasants and ordinary housewives have got on with the simple business of bottling sunshine, so that it may spread a little joy in the leaner seasons… They call it jam."

I've had a quick flick through the recipes. There are several things I want to make at once! And rather a few for later.

I'm also both pleased and amused that the majority of my few pressies this year are related to preserving and cooking in general.

Soooo. Anyone got small jars I could have? ~250ml are excellent. Many of you should have empties from preserves I've given you in the past?

montjoye: (Default)
( Dec. 25th, 2012 04:34 pm)
The ermine one had goslings for sale, so I put my hand up for one for Chrissie lunch. There was a little nervousness as not only had I and my parents never cooked one, none of us had ever eaten one either. But we were brave, goose eventually turned up and was cooked.

I basically used a modificaiton of St Stephanie's roast chicken method*.  The stuffing was my version of a combination of a few recipes**

It was fabulous! that meat you can see below is breast meat believe it or not. So rich and tasty. Just as well we were only 3. The portions underneath the bird really needed more time in the oven.

Potato salad with mustard, mayo, parsley. Tomato salad with basil, little baby cheeses and balsamic. Orange salad with mint, macadamia oil and good white wine vinegar. Pear salad with spinach, fetta, walnuts and pear vinegar. Yum, yum.

Now the bones are boiling for stock, the tablecloth, napkins etc are being washed and the folks are asleep :-)



* 180C fan forced, rack in the pan, 1cm water. 30min with the bird on one side, 30 min the other, 1hr breast up. this goose was just shy of 3kg and needed more time. If I ever have opportunity for another try, then longer on each side would be useful I think.

2c good bread crumbs, dried
one stick celery chopped
grated rind one lemon
2 mushrooms chopped
2 egg yolks
splash sherry, olive oil
thyme, sage, S+P

montjoye: (Default)
( Dec. 24th, 2012 10:17 pm)

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, was great appreciation of the cool change.

My folkses are here, I have food plans in place, some have even been carried out. I realised I'd ended up with two desserts so we had rather yummy plum pud icecream tonight after smoked trout salad and a half work day. Lovely stuff. I'm even looking forward to tomorrow.

The new candle carosel is pretty and entertaining, but sadly seems to only turn until it warms up. We may figure out how to keep it running, eventually.

Merry Christmas to all of you. I hope you all have a lovely day tomorrow with marvellous people and too much excellent food,  possibly a present and beverages to please you.


For Dr Q: there is a German name for them: Weihnachtspyramide, or Christmas Pyramid. Ah Google.

I've been wanting to do a twig "tree" for years. So I'm glad I remembered in the nick of time to save some of the branches from the flowering plum that I pulled out this last winter.

This is much prettier in reality than the picture shows. The detail pic is better but still looks deader than the real thing.  I really ought learn more about photography some time. I have a very clever camera that I have used in nothing but auto mode for over a year.


Two of these ornaments below were bought by my grandparents in the early 50's, just after they got to Oz. Another one is made from a sea urchin shell*.

* I'm so glad I kept one of these. It turned out they are an unwise gift for a cat owner :-)
montjoye: (Default)
( Dec. 13th, 2012 09:25 pm)
I've had two lots of things drying on the back verandah for a few days.I had no idea it was going to rain, call myself a weather watcher? I brought the herbs in this morning for fear they would get too baked. The sand however that was very nearly dry enough to use to support my treeish plan, now very much isn't.  So the dry herbs are now bottled but the sand could hardly be wetter. Maybe I will just use the regular tree after all? I'm sure not drying the sand in the oven, some cat probably wazzed in it.

I went to a party at a funeral parlour last night. Not often one can say that. It was lovely fun, and I was most interested to see the place I had heard so much about. Darcy however really didn't like me being away so long. Poor thing needs more company. He get even more scaredy after he has been left alone. And he has pretty much no tail at all now, all chewed away. Chrissie will be good for him, more people for more of the time.
In the last four days:
-visited lovely peeps, chatted, hung, happy birthdayed, got fed, got visited, presented and received presents, fed peeps. Repeat.
-started up abs again. Need to do today's
-braved the boxing day sales. Came away with two frocks and two jackets that each make me feel fabulous. Ran home before I spent any more money.
-went to the 'Rat, assisted a bit with lime mortar, met a peep, fed peeps twice
- moderation on the drinking front, surprise. Involvement of childer and driving contributed

-attempted to go to work this morning. Well, went there but forgot all my passes. So temporary building pass enabled coffee with colleagues and a couple of impromptu meetings. Then I went home to use my computer pass and do some work, and all my laundry on such a lovely day. I didn' mean to leave my passes home, really. no really.
-carved into chunks and packed away the rest of the ham. It fed 5 for dinner, me for 5 days, 7 for lunch yesterday. In the freezer are 4-5 more gobbets for future dinnerand the bone for boiling. I've still got a box full to make dinner on Friday's VB flight.
-ordered indulgent DVDs

-I haven't done family Chrissie yet. That starts Fri night

rather later
-I'm all booked for festi!! I have a plan and fabric for my Lemming tribute frock. given the fact below- it is likely to include faced slashing (all of my frocks with said feature have been done at ...)
-I'm also all booked for Port Fairy after having last year off. Only 3 of us this year but I'm looking forward to it.



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