Saturday, January 23, 2010

Plum Sauce

Plum Sauce
1 kg plums
1 cup cider vinegar
1 large onion
6 cloves garlic
3 cm root ginger
1 tsp crushed chillies (more or less to your liking)
6 cloves
2 tsp coriander seed
2 tsp all spice berries
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick, about 8 cm
1 tsp salt
1 ½ cups brown sugar

Wash the plums and place in a large pot with the vinegar. Cook over a low heat adding and stirring in the other ingredients as they are prepared.
Peel and roughly chop the onions, garlic and ginger. Process in a kitchen whiz until finely chopped. (or finely chop by hand). Add to plums along with the crushed chillies.
Crush the cloves, coriander seed, allspice and peppercorns in a pestle and mortar, (or use a hammer). Add the cinnamon stick broken into small pieces. Heat these spices in a frying pan until they smell aromatic. DO NOT BURN. Add to the mixture.
Place the lid on but slightly ajar and simmer the sauce for 20-30 minutes, until the plums have turned to pulp. At this stage I use a potato masher to crush the plums so as to free the stones etc.
Add the salt and sugar and bringing the mixture back to the boil. Turn off the heat and allow to cool a little (15-30 mins). Push the mixture through a coarse sieve scooping out the stones as you see them. Any left over mixture can then be whizzed in the kitchen whiz again and pushed through the sieve. You should only have about 1/3 cup of waste left. If there is too much waste the sauce won’t be thick enough.
Gently reheat the sauce again, stirring, then pour into heated glass bottles and immediately screw on the hot metal tops tightly. I use oil bottles and orange juice bottles with the screw tops that sort of seal.
Keep in a cool place and refrigerate after opening.

This is a reasonably fun recipe. It is from Alison Holst’s, The Ultimate Collection, cook book. She says you can be sampling this by an hour. It took me longer but then I did change the recipe a bit.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Mumsey’s Muesli

The story behind this muesli is that it comes from the maternity home in the next town where I had my last two cherubs.
We all loved the muesli they made there and it was what got us out of bed in the mornings and kept us going all day. Some said that was why they kept having babies so they could eat the muesli!!
We were given the recipe in the hope that we would make it ourselves and not keep coming back to eat it!
I have adapted it to my own liking by adding the weetbix, Bran flakes (the sort you find in Sultana Bran), ride bubbles, apricots and papaw.
So you could add or subtract what you liked I suppose, to make it your own.

4 crushed Weetbix
4 cups Rolled oats
4 cups Cornflakes
1 cup Bran
2 cups of processed Bran flakes
1 cup coconut
¼ cup raw sugar
4 Tblsp oil
4 Tblsp melted honey

2 cps Wheatgerm
1 cup sultanas
2 cups rice bubbles
dried apricots and/or papaw chopped.

Mix first seven ingredients together in a large roasting pan.
Add the oil and honey blended together and stir through.
Bake in oven at 180oC for 15 minutes stirring three times during baking.
Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Stir through other ingredients and store in air tight containers.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Mumsey’s Fruit Loaf

I make this loaf when I am baking something else and do the first part of the recipe at the beginning of my baking time. This allows the mixture to cool as when the baking soda is added the mixture foams a bit too much if it is still too hot.
You can use any combination of dried fruit but this is what I like.
I know the “half’ measures for the dry ingredients seem odd but the original recipe I have adapted to suit me was for two loaves.
If I have been baking muffins where I use a paper kitchen towel and some margarine to grease the muffin tins, I use the same towel to lightly grease the loaf tin.

1 cup sugar
25 gr butter
250 gr of dried fruit (I use, 150gr Sultanas and 100gr chopped dates)
1 cup water

½ heaped tsp baking soda
½ tsp mixed spice
large pinch of cinnamon
½ small tsp salt
2 cups flour

In a large saucepan place the first four ingredients. Bring to the boil slowly and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
Cool a few minutes.
Prepare the loaf tin by lightly greasing it then lining with baking (or butter) paper.
Add the other ingredients and mix well.
Bake in loaf tin for about 1 hour at 180C.
Leave to cool in tin and slice when needed.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

New Year Resolutions

Its that time of the year when people have made their New Year Resolutions and by about a week later they have broken them.
You know the sort: stop smoking, loose weight, drink less, exercise more.
In the dictionary "resolution" means "resolve character, temper or conduct...." that's a big ask.
Hey it's the holiday season so we are on holiday for goodness sake. I didn't used to make resolutions at all but over the years (Being on a forum and seeing others make them) I decided there were things I wanted to do (not the impossible) so I sort of challenged myself.

It was more a "setting goals" to see if I could get the changes I wanted done.

About three years ago I would read about two books a year and so one of my challenges was to read more. Because it was "out there" so to speak, I did read more and ended up reading 43 books.
One of the goals now each year is to keep it up.
Another was to start looking after me, the person who gives out to others, and recognising who I was. I now have lots of things in place that I do just for me and so the goal is to keep it up, review it and maybe add more.
Part of that is watching my weight and so eating good things and walking etc. Its a package not a resolution that if I don't do it "I lose"!

I am also introducing more natural cost friendly cleaners etc. into the home and trying to make them myself.
This is to reduce the budget and to help with the environment - another goal.

These and becoming the person God sees me as are the challenges I focus on each new year..
It is learning to love and look after me and so in turn those around me.
I will no longer treat myself in a way that means I beat myself up over things I have failed in.
I would not do that to anyone else so I will not do that to me.

So if you are a resolution maker and then breaker don't be so hard on yourself and look closely at what you want to truly achieve, making them achievable, and so be able to gain the prize you set out to win.

2 Timothy 4:6-8 (New International Version)

6For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

1 Corinthians 9:23-25 (N I V)

23I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
24Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
25Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

Proverbs 21:2 (N I V)

2 All a man's ways seem right to him,
but the LORD weighs the heart.

Proverbs 20:24 (N I V)

24 A man's steps are directed by the LORD.
How then can anyone understand his own way?

Psalm 37:23-24 (N I V)

23 If the LORD delights in a man's way,
he makes his steps firm;
24 though he stumble, he will not fall,
for the LORD upholds him with his hand.

Proverbs 16:7 (N I V)

7 When a man's ways are pleasing to the LORD,
he makes even his enemies live at peace with him.