Thursday, November 6, 2008

Italian festa

last weekend me and my fiance went for a lovely afternoon in leichhardt, to the italian festa on norton street. it was great. there were lots of street stalls, food and people everywhere. i ended up coming home with a large tub of green olives with garlic and oregano, italian honey biscuits, nougat, and some fair trade olive oil soap from persia... and some second hand books from the big bookshop on norton

Monday, November 3, 2008

Mulberry conserve with vanilla and orange zest

and here it is - the recipe
i had about 1 1/4 kg of mulberries that i had collected off our tree out the lounge room window and i had been freezing them. Don't attempt this recipe if you don't like mess!
i modified the recipe from 'windfalls' for mulberry jam


1kg mulberries (stalks removed)
800g sugar
100 ml water
juice of 2-3 lemons
teaspoon of vanilla bean paste
1 vanilla bean
1 teaspoon of orange zest

add the mulberries, lemon juice (and pips, you can scoop them out later and they have pectin) and water to a large pot and simmer until all the fruit is soft and mushy.
Once it is soft, turn the heat down and add sugar. When the sugar has all dissolved, turn the heat up high and bring to a rolling boil.
After a little while the mixture will bubble up really high, at this stage it is getting close to being ready, start testing for set. The bubbling will subside and when it does test for set often. it will happen quickly. When it reaches set point, take off the heat immediately and bottle. While the jars are still hot invert them to create a good seal and sterilise. and voila! delicious mulberry vanilla and orange zest conserve!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

mulberry jam...

i have finally made the jam! and its good :)
but first, here's the trees they came from, and a bowl of the glorious purple staining fruit that tastes like childhood

Thursday, October 30, 2008

not jam... but delicious

i have been looking at these gorgeous shoes!
pity they cost... i like the rasberry colour but they come in many many colours and can be custom made! perhaps i have found some wedding shoe contenders?
from here

Sunday, October 26, 2008

wedding patchwork

now, it may appear to you that i have had a lot of time on my hands... in reality i am a master of procrastination except when it comes to making pretty things
and so i present to you the largest inspiration board that ever existed - lol
i think its almost captures the many and varied ideas i have been having lately. our bridesmaids dresses, church, and the vineyard we will be having our reception at are all in there
photo credits to - peonies and polaroids
- martha stewart weddings
-moss and spy

and at least a million others who i cant remember!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

gorgeous photo and tasty idea

mmmm rhubarb and rosemary jelly...
from here

Friday, October 17, 2008

wedding jam favours

so, i am engaged :) and will be married in april
i have been seriously thinking about making little pots of jam for our guests
just like this -

i found this post on lovely morning... how lovely!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

botanical drawings...

on a side note, i love botanical illustrations. i am a biologist after all...
i found this one of mulberries which i really like

a mulberry tree!!

exciting news!
recently i discovered two old mulberry trees growing outside my lounge room window! (by just discovered i mean only just connected the large green leaved trees that i knew were there were mulberry trees because they are fruiting)
and this is very exciting!
so far i have made mulberry and white chocolate muffins using stephanie alexanders recipe for muffins from her bible - 'a cooks companion' - and will be making mulberry jam as soon as i collect about 1 kg of berries

recipe - mulberry and white chocolate muffins
220g self-raising flour
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk (i used soy)
1 egg
3/4 cup vegetable oil
a big handful of white chocolate bits
1 cup mulberries

with an over preheat to 180 combine all you wet ingredients (except berries) and whisk lightly to combine . Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl (sifting if you feel energetic) and make a well in the centre. Add the wet ingredients and berries and stir lightly until just combined. put muffin mix into muffin cases and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden on top
image via

Thursday, August 14, 2008

mandarin marmalade

Its delicious! and the rinds turn out very soft and unctuous. the recipe i have used comes from Sue Ruchels book - 'windfalls' with a few differences of my own. It seems like a long process, but if you soak your mandarins and shred the rind overnight it is all finished and bottled the next day, with a definite sense of achievement

Delicious Mandarin Shred Marmalade

1kg mandarins
2 lemons

The day before peel the mandarins and slice the peel very finely. Place the shredded peel ina muslin bag and reserve. Wash and roughly chop the lemons and segment the mandarins and place in a large non reactive bowl and cover with water. Put the peel in with the fruit and leave overnight.

The next day boil all of the fruit and water and peel until the fruit is soft and the liquid reduced by about half. remover the peel after the first 20 minutes. Pour all the fruit through a jelly bag and leave to drip for as
long as you have patience for - you can squeeze the bag if you dont mind a cloudy marmalade - i squeezed mine :) and discard the pulp.

In a large non reactive pot add the sugar to the juice in the ratio of one cup of
sugar to one cup of juice - a little less if you like it a little less sweet- and stir to dissolve over low heat. Boil the mixture hard until setting test is reached. Take off the heat, allow to stand and add the peel. stir and bottle while hot. Invert the bottles to create a seal and voila!

delicious marmalade to share with family and friends

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mandarin marmalade here i come :)

after i long hiatus from blogging...
i have moved and discovered a mandarin tree in full fruit in my new backyard!
how exciting
so mandarin marmalade is definitely on my agenda
will let you know how it goes - im going to try a shred style marmalade this time

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Cherry Jam

hello all
exciting news as yesterday i made my first batch of cherry jam! it is very tasy -sweet and a little tart - all i need now is a nice warm croissant. i used fresh cherries, that were quite ripe. a bit risky as cherries have low pectin levels, but there were a few bright red ones and with the lemons it set perfectly!
here is the recipe

Cherry Citrus Jam

1 kg cherries

around 750 g white sugar

juice of three medium lemons

zest of two medium lemons

small amount of water
1. wear some dark clothing and cover up... pitting cherries is a messy business! i used my fingers to remove the pip, but you can use a special cherry pip remover

2. place pitted cherries in a large pot, and cook, with a small amount of water until the fruit is completely soft. add lemon juice and zest during this time. smells delicious!

3. measure the cooked fruit, including liquid. for every cup of cooked fruit at 3/4 cups sugar (hence my estimated 750g sugar for 1 kg fruit). this sounds like a lot of sugar, but it is needed to make the jam keep for a long time

4. place the cooked fruit and the sugar together in the pot and bring to a rolling boil. the fruit will froth and bubble. stir attentively - it cooks fast!

5. once the bubbling subsides, the jam is ready to test for set. to do this - place a white saucer in the freezer, once cold bring out and drop some jam mixture on it. if after a minute or so the jam wrinkles when you push it with your finger the jam is ready. take the jam off the heat when testing, because you dont want to burn the jam!

6. once the jam is ready bottle and seal in sterilised jars
and ta da! tasty summery jam ready for eating