My Garden ~ a Kiwi's take on life

"I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o'er vales and hills," William Wordsworth

My Garden ~ Cauliflower Pickles and Strawberry Jam

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Fresh and spray-free produce from the garden to the pantry. I’ve never been so organised.

cauliflower.jpg cauliflower-pickles.jpg

I’ll probably serve these pickles with whatever’s on hand – variety of cheeses, cracker biscuits or breads, carrot or celery sticks and the like – not forgetting the drinks.    

The cauliflower is cut into small florets, the onions are finely sliced and salt is sprinkled over the vegetables to be left overnight. I have two recipes I use. One includes finely chopped fresh mint leaves, turmeric, cayenne pepper, allspice. The other includes crushed pineapple, dry mustard and curry powder.  Both are simmered in white vinegar and then thickened with flour. 

strawberries-in-cointreau.jpg strawberry-jam-07.jpg I like to add Cointreau when making strawberry jam.

Much later:  I got carried away with being pleased with my ‘organised’ efforts in the kitchen that I took my eyes off the saucepan and the jam mixture boiled up and over onto the cooker top.  What a mess (or pickle!)! Luckily the jam was cooked and is okay. While it set well, retained its flavour and colour, the boiling sugary spillage continued to bubble turning into a blackened burnt ‘toffee’ that adhered like super-glue to the cooktop surface. It’s taken me nearly an hour to clean the ceramic cooktop. It’s now the cleanest it’s been for ages. Moral of the story – a watched jam pot never boils over. I’ve done enough in the kitchen for this weekend. It’s raining (the garden needs watering so that’s okay), so I’m going to read the Sunday papers, do the Sudoku and Cryptic Crossword, and have a coffee.

Author: Jenny

A few years ago when I began blogging, I was in awe of the creative, the witty, the informative, the insightful posts by writers on WordPress. I was challenged by my son to write, to set up a blog, to expand my garden diary scribblings. Never did I think from scratching and grubbing in my garden dirt would sprout words of reflection, thoughts about life lived as I know it. My garden is where I lose myself, or as Himself likes to tell others, I lose either my coffee mug or wine glass. Well at least I do put them on a gatepost so they are easily found. Always, there's something to write or chat about life lived as I know it. I have a certain sense of amazement that my blogging community is expanding. In a previous life, I once was a teacher. A four-walled classroom is an artificial construct. When thirty or so teenagers with diverse learning needs filled the space, the more I listened, the more I observed my students, the more I learned. They had stories to tell, to write of things that interested them. Luckily for me we embarked on amazing journeys of discovery and learned together. Some say a lifestyle block is a no-lifestyle block. We like being able to grow seasonal food, to enjoy fresh air and open space. Himself and I thought we had retired, about to define this older stage of our life together, but family commitments continue. And so it another phase of discovery happens as I share this place with Himself, son and grandsons and a menagerie of living creatures who rule the roost.

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