Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Marmalade and More

There is a very short season for Seville Oranges in Oz and so when I spotted them at one of the local farm produce shops, I knew it was time to make some more marmalade. I'm down to half a dozen jars from last year's marathon effort so will attempt to make only about 40 jars this year.
I shall make quite a large batch of plain stuff and then a couple of smaller batches with added extras. Last time I came through Duty Free on the way back from England, Cointreau was on special and I got two 1.25 litre bottles for Aus$4o. So it's Cointreau in everything for a while!Here is Robert's hand stirring the peel which has to soften to "squishy " and then rest for 24 hours. The sugar gets added and boiled up tomorrow. The produce shop across the Avenue from the other one had Strawberries on special and they were lovely small ones. Small strawberries are so much better for jam making because you can leave them whole. So many strawberries these days are gigantic and white in the middle and so unsuitable for jam. They were selling at Aus$6 a kilo which is lovely and cheap for winter. Of course they have come down from Queensland because such fruit is not growing in Victoria yet.
I do try to use local and particularly, garden produce in order to reduce the food-miles as much as possible but at least Queensland is in the same country. The asparagus in the supermarket at the moment is from Peru!
I'll stick with the broccoli, celery and silverbeet from the garden till the local asparagus hits the markets in just a month or two.
I'm also expecting to wake up any day soon and find that the Loquats on the tree in the garden are turning yellow. Then it is a race with the birds, particularly the Rosellas to harvest them to make Loquat Jelly. The tree is very high so they get all the stuff I can't comfortably reach anyway.

Kittykate has suffered a wound to her tail, probably from Bob, the cat from next door. She is a bit of a sook and is resting up indoors, on my armchair and sharing my morning coffee with me. I think she will probably sleep with short breaks for morsels of tasty food, until it heals. At this stage it is less traumatic for her (and me!) to be spoiled at home rather than carted off to the vet in the carrybasket, which she detests.
In between the cooking and cat-nursing I have knitted one more washcloth. It will need a touch of embroidery to enhance it's features but you can see already that it is indeed an angel from here

A couple more batches of pickled onions have also been bottled so that the supply should see us through the year and provide lots of gifts for happy pickled onion lovers at xmas.

I'm off outside now to plant some sugar snap peas along the back fence. There are plenty of snow peas coming up around the archway already and then the bush beans can go in next.

Cheers to all, Gillian


  • Oh strawberry jam, how lovely. I will have to buy a jar of that when its done. I love your little angel washcloth, it looks very cute. Our silverbeet is still growing too, and I just finished picking some for our dinner tonight, even though I am the only one that eats it, together with some asparagus. I know its not in season here but I love to eat it. Your garden will be bursting at the seams by the time everything is ripe to pick, then you will have to get your chook shed finished.

    By Blogger sue, At 9:59 PM  

  • Ferg, your angel is just as sweet as she could be. Please tell me that people don't actually use these to wash dishes with! I hope that Kittykate's tail feels better soon. The marmalade sounds so good. Here is a link to the Heelys: I don't know why they aren't spelled "Heelies". I find it very annoying and just another example of how we try and "uneducate" our youth. The pictures in the link aren't very good, but basically the shoes have a wheel made into the heel. If the child wearing them lifts up their toes they can glide or skate on their hills. They are both overpriced and unsafe. And all of the children want them. Cheers!

    By Blogger Heide, At 2:17 AM  

  • Drool. Cointreau with everything sounds about right to me. Healing thoughts for the kitty.

    By Blogger Taphophile, At 9:32 PM  

  • You are getting a lot done. Reminds me of when I used to can a lot, when my children were little.

    Your angel looks really nice. It would be a shame to wash dishes with it, but it would make the chore more pleasant.

    By Blogger Becky, At 10:58 PM  

  • oh jam and dishcloths!!!!

    By Blogger Corrie, At 2:01 AM  

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