Wednesday, October 25, 2017

In my garden, In my kitchen.

Spring has been so kind to us lately.

Just the right dose of warm sunshine and light drizzling rain have triggered a huge burst of growth. Its a bittersweet feeling. We experience such joy within this lush garden during September and October. But that joy is tinged with the knowledge that summer's fierce dry heat will sweep in and burn away the green in the months to come and we'll have to wait until the cool of April before the garden looks this beautiful again.



I spent all of Monday cooking up a storm. A large bowl of freshly picked cumquats and a bag of blood oranges transformed into jars of cumquat chutney and spiced orange pickle.

Both of these preserves are perfect Christmas foodie fare so get your jam jars out and get cracking!

Let's start with the cumquat chutney. 

I put the call out for some new recipes on the weekend and this little gem came back from my foodie genius of a friend, Julie. Its ridiculously simple to make and the flavour hit is something quite extraordinary.


2 cups cumquats, halved
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange or mandarin juice
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 star anise
3 cloves
4 cardamom pods
1/4 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp dried currants 


Cut cumquats in half, remove whatever seeds you can.

Place all chutney ingredients in a saucepan, bring to boil, then turn heat down and simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove any pieces of spice that are visible.

Spoon into sterilized jars and store in a cool, dark place. Refrigerated after opening.

The perfect accompaniment with cheese and crackers. 

The next recipe is one I pull out every year in the months leading up to Christmas. They look so pretty in the jars and are perfect to pop in a hamper of homemade goodies.


1.4kg blood oranges

1 teaspoon salt

400g caster sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons golden syrup 
185ml (3/4 cup) white wine vinegar 
125ml (1/2 cup) fresh orange juice 
6 slices fresh ginger
1 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed 
1 cinnamon stick 
1 teaspoon whole cloves


Place the oranges and salt in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Place a plate over the oranges to keep them submerged. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cook for 40 minutes or until the oranges are tender. Drain. Set aside to cool.

Thinly slice crossways.


Stir the sugar, golden syrup, vinegar, orange juice, ginger, peppercorns, cinnamon stick and cloves in a large saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Add the orange. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes. 

Transfer to sterilised jars and seal. Store in a cool, dark place for at least 3 weeks before opening to develop the flavours. Refrigerate after opening.


xx Em

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