My Garden ~ a Kiwi's take on life

Life is a lot like a garden

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

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 put them on a gatepost so they are easily found. As I see it, we are here on this place to respect and to preserve nature, not to develop the land. I love how the totara trees stand in silent witness to our human activity. They keep me honest. I love to wander along the stream bank. I like being able to grow fruit and vegetables. I enjoy green open space. My son challenged me to write a blog using my garden diaries to start. Writing a blog is quite different to my diary scribblings. It is for a different audience. In every post, I have to make a conscious effort to get free of an academic style of writing. I write about things I know and do in my everyday life. I am not a photographer but the images I use are taken by me. I believe this adds veracity to my voice in each post. Learning to setup and to manage a blog has been a major effort and remains a work in progress. Who knows where this will lead. Himself and I thought we had retired, about to define this older phase of our life together. But family commitments continue. As it happens, I share this place with Himself, son and grandsons and living creatures who live charmed existences. I watch on as they serve as actors weaving their ways across the stage of daily life. Shakespeare wrote in As You Like It: All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; Always, there's something to write about life lived as I know it.

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