My Pins

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Worcestershire Sauce From Foraged Apples

We had a wonderful warm, sharing night at our last Living Better With Less meet up last Thursday.
Our new venue provided by Bridgette Watts and her partner was a huge success and I can see some great sessions to come. A small kitchenette will mean that we can do some hands on preserving and soap making in the months to come.
The Urban Farm Tas group also had crates of apples and pears that they had picked that day surplus to farm requirements and Cindy brought along her Worcestershire sauce for a taste test that is ideally made with foraged apples - BONUS!
Again the sauce was a real hit so here is the recipe again....

(Extracted from SJ blog 01.10.13)
"I was extremely impressed with the taste and the simplicity of the recipe.
Cindy believes the secret of this sauce lies in the apple and she used foraged apples from the side of the road which are typically less sweet than the commercially grown ones.

Here is the recipe....
It was from a CWA book and credit goes to Maty Coleman Rosebud Branch VIC.

Worcester Sauce
1kg of apples
1/4 clove garlic
1 cup salt
4 1/2 Lt of vinegar
100g ground allspice
100g peppercorns
100g whole ginger
2 fresh red chillies
1 1/2 cups treacle

Cut up the apples and garlic coarsely. Cover with water and boil to a pulp, then strain through a colander into a large pan.
Gradually add the vinegar to the strained liquid. Add all the other ingredients except the treacle and boil for 2 1/2 hours.
Add the treacle and boil for another 30 minutes.
Strain and bottle. Store in a cool dark place. Keeps well.
Makes about 2 cups."

The Urban Farming Tas group also brought along their seed box (isn't it magnificent?) of free seed to share. This is just the autumn/winter planting selection! They are a great not for profit food sovereignty group who encourage, share, feed, garden and distribute food and seed. 
They will be holding a share market at Bracknell Tasmania next Sunday to celebrate International Permaculture Day. You can find the details here. Among the planned activities will be soap making, basket weaving, worm farming and seed sharing.
I'll be there for sure.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Fire Cider - A Remedy For Winter Colds

Looking down the funnel it really does look like a fire in the hole!

Autumn is the time to look to your herbal remedies pantry store.
Elderberry tincture is a must have in our house with it's anti-viral, anti-bacterial and immune boosting properties. A single dose at the first sign of illness is usually enough to stop it in it's tracks. I gather my berries in late summer and the tincture has infused and is now bottled and labelled in the pantry.
Next month I'll gather wild rose hips from the hedgerows to make Vit C boosting rose hip cordial. When you are under the weather it is lovely to sip in hot water.
But now is the time for fire cider making, a very old warming cold and flu remedy.

This is another infusion that needs to sit for a month but instead of a tincture of alcohol this one is made in cider vinegar.
Autumn is the time for harvesting fresh horseradish root which seems to be one of the key ingredients in many recipes and I especially thank Julie in Hobart for dropping some off into my letterbox. We've never met but have shared the same life interests via facebook for years-don't you just love this social net working.
There are many fire cider recipes on the net and certainly Rosemary Gladstar's you tube clip would be my most recommended go-to.

Roughly chop ingredients into small pieces, either by hand or use a processor. I am making my infusion in a Fowlers jar, so handy for many uses, and a wide mouth funnel aids the job here. You don't need fancy equipment in the kitchen but my word a selection of funnels makes life easier.

So here are my ingredients;
A large handful of scrubbed, chopped, fresh horseradish root
1 large or 2 small chopped onions
a whole corm of garlic chopped
A fresh piece of ginger about the size of my hand
1 large heaped tablespoon of ground turmeric
1 modest tablespoon of cayenne pepper
Place all of the above in a glass jar and cover with a good cider vinegar, raw and unfiltered still containing the mother. Cover and leave to macerate and infuse for a lunar month. Strain into a clean bottle and label.

You can take a dose neat as a tablespoonful or you could add it to water to sip and even use it as a salad dressing. If you are really under the weather, sip in hot water with a teaspoon of honey added and get into bed, you should feel thoroughly warmed and may even produce a good cleansing sweat. Do not underestimate the power of simple ingredients like the alums in this recipe and you can read more about working with the body to shed illness in this post here about a common cold recipe I use from Dorothy Hall.

(The above is not medical advice but simple folk remedies that I use. It is for information only and does not intend to replace or contradict any therapy or treatment recommended by your health care provider)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Home Made Nappy/Diaper Change Salve

This is a perfect salve for nappy change times and cradle cap and one you'll want to pin. It is made simply from the garden using the super healing properties of common plantain. Used with calendula, another wonderful skin healing herb also found commonly in most gardens and chamomile incorporating the anti-inflammatory properties, this salve will soothe, nourish, heal, cool and promote soft healthy skin.

Gather fresh leaves of plantain before the energy of the plant goes into seed head production. After dew has dried is the best time as the herbs need to be absolutely dry before they go into the oil or you risk rot in your infusion. 
The leaves can be simply bruised/crushed and placed straight onto bites, stings, rashes or sunburn as an immediate remedy making it an excellent first aid.

Place the leaves along with the calendula flower heads and chamomile flowers into a large glass jar and cover with olive oil. Place somewhere warm, my kitchen bench catching the last of the Indian summer warmth is perfect, and turn gently from time to time to make sure the oil is mixing through the herbs. Leave for a month to infuse.

After a month of infusion, strain well through filter paper or a cloth lined strainer.
Measure the amount of infused oil and grate 10% in beeswax.
For instance if you have 800ml of infused oil, grate 80g of beeswax. This gives a nice manageable set to the salve but it melts so readily when applied to warm skin.
On a very low heat gentle combine the oil and grated beeswax till melted. 
Remove from heat. At this point I also add a few drops of vitamin E oil to extend the preservation.
Pour into clean glass jars or pots and cover straight away and leave to set.
Label and date.
A great gift for new babies.

Best practice is to use a clean stick or spatula every time but that is not entirely practical at nappy change time. We simply use our right hand for wiping and cleaning and then our left hand to take a single scoop from the pot thus keeping it from contamination. You wouldn't want to wipe a bottom and then transfer that back into the pot.
28/06/14 - We had a salve making session at our Living Better With Less group this month and you can find additional information in the link here from some general Q&A that came up.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Winner Tomato Sauce Recipe

Rich, red, spicey, 
a winner of a recipe from
"Preserving" by Oded Schwartz
This book is more usually sold through those books to buy in lunch rooms thingy.
If you can source a copy DO NOT hesitate, I can't recommend it highly enough for great recipes, clear step by step photos, tips and rules of ALL types of preservation.

This sauce is reduced a couple of times throughout the process but so worth the few hours it will take. Once you've got your big batch done you are all set for the rest of the year and if you've made a really huge batch and followed the instructions properly, this sauce will last on the shelf up to 2 years because of the added vinegar to increase the acid content.

Note the bottom right hand corner of the page....
A Damson variation!!
What a great follow on from the last post about Damsons!
You can see another reason why I love this book. Just look at the way the recipe is laid out with descriptions and tips on the left and important information in point form on the right.

A fantastic book.
I started this post back on the 4th and got as far as the first sentence when I got a text message to say
"Mum they are wheeling me into the labour ward now, get here quick"
So this post may be coming a bit too late for those dealing with piles of tomatoes as they are finishing here now but do give this recipe a try next year.

7lb 11oz

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Market Discoveries - Damsons

Growers Markets are a great source of seasonal fruit seldom seen in the big supermarkets and even in little fruit and veg shops. Just last week at the ut si cafe growers market shoppers were spoilt for choice with four different apple varieties, nashi, quince and plums. 
The blood plums on the left are a delicious juicy eating plum and though they were also put to good use in a pumpkin and plum chutney, they really shone in the upside down plum cake post here.

Let's not overlook the Damson Plums though!
These are seldom offered in supermarkets and I wonder if that's because it is more of a cooking plum and people are less inclined to process their own food now. 
They are the size of a small egg and very ovoid in shape with a distinctive dusky deep blue skin that can be astringent. The flesh inside reminds me of greengage plums in colour but the flesh is much drier.
Most people make Damson Jam as they contain good pectin for setting and when cooked the flavours sensational.

My friend Lee tells me that she loves to make Damson Gin with hers. She covers whole Damsons in gin and leaves them to sit in a cupboard for about four weeks and decants. She assures me the flavour is even more luscious than sloe gin.
As for me, you know of my love affair with my dehydrator, especially when I am busy hands on with tomatoes at this time of year, I'm making prunes.

I simply wash and halve, remove the stone and pop them into the dehydrator till they are dried but still slightly moist and gooey then I store them in a jar in the fridge.
Chewy, jamy, almost figgy, with a tiny bit of sharpness but not too sweet.
These make great snacks for afternoons and pre-dinner hunger pains. Very welcome additions to warming porridge on autumn mornings. What about adding them to a gorgeous robust loaf or treacle cake.
Sourcing seasonal specialities at local markets ensures you are getting not only nutritional variety but provides flavoursome textural additions too. Sweet, bitter, salty, sour, are all part of the digestive stimulation and if we keep breeding our food to be only sweet it will be to our peril. Crunchy, soft, chewy, sticky, crumbly, all textures help stimulate our appetite as we start the mastication process and exercise jaw muscles and send signals to our stomach for digestive enzymes.

Last Saturday was the final market day for us for this current season and we will resume when daylight savings begins again. Do chat with the sellers at market because they know so much about the food they produce and can give you lots of ideas for use so you get so much more from your purchases.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...