About Glenda

I have spent the last 30 years living in the corporate world and now it is time to follow my passion of 'making my own'. This blog is the documentation of that journey. I alternate between the southwest of Western Australia and Perth.

First job done!

I have cleaned out my pantry and I am very proud of myself.

We had stocked up on a few items and the pantry was getting a bit full and very messy so I decided to do something about it. I am so glad I did because I had a few unpleasant surprises.  I recently bought two cans of fish but during my clean out, I found we already had three.  Damn it!  I am so grumpy with myself.  I hate doing that.  It looks like we will be having salmon patties and salmon mornay soon.  I also bought a few tins of sardines and there was one already there but, they are for the dogs, and will go quickly, so I am ok with that.  And I found some out of date noodles.  I will have to learn to practice what I preach 😦 . They may be a little too old to save.

We have two of a few things but I knew that was the case.   I have been bringing opened sauces and condiments etc back from our flat.  They weren’t being used quickly enough and I was worried about how old some of it was getting. But why I have two unopened jars of tamarind, I will never know.  I never use the stuff.

I also have vinegar galore, again, I was aware of that, I do like my vinegar, I found red wine, apple cider, caramelised apple cider, sherry, balsamic, white balsamic, Chinese black, rice wine, vino cotta, Mirin and 10 different bottles of Sticky Balsamic .  Wow!  I really do like my vinegar. Bloody Dora!

I found some truffle oil that some one gave me as a gift that I haven’t used as I don’t know what to do with it. I think that may be too old too, I may have to dice it.

The biggest shock was, I have just about every different type of sugar you can buy  – white, caster, icing, demerara, raw, light brown, dark brown, light muscovado, palm, jaggery and for good measure, a bag of dextrose !!!  I am totally ashamed of myself.  I knew there was a lot there but that is too much!  I really must do something about it.

Once the pantry was sorted I was back to pressure canning.  I have done another six jars of potatoes – I put Maus onto peeling duty 🙂 .  These ones look way better than the first lot as I used fresh boiling water instead of the starchy cooking fluid.

I also preserved four jars of rhubarb.  We don’t need it.  Normally, I would have given the fresh rhubarb away but because we are stuck here with no visitors, the options were: preserve it or ditch it.  I decided to preserve it.  I am going to break up the crowns this winter and only re plant a couple.  We are getting way too much rhubarb for our use.

I also pressure canned a few jars of onions.  I have preserved onions before and found them really useful, so I thought I would do a few jars ready for the winter stews.

Lastly, there are capsicums and I mean, Capsicums.  Last spring I tried to be really smart and jump start the summer crop.  I especially wanted to grow chillies and capsicums.  Clearly, it was still too cold.  None of the seeds I planted germinated.  About one month later, I tried again.  Still no luck.  I had all but given up then, one day, I was seeding a bought chilli and capsicum and decided to collect the seeds and throw them in the vegie patch.  Not one chilli came up but about 50 capsicum plants did.  I planted out as many as I could find room for.  I now have hundreds of capsicums about to ripen.  I pressure canned 10 jars the other day and will do another lot in a few days.  I am just waiting for them to get a bit redder. I need a few hot days.  (I never thought I would hear myself utter those words.  These certainly are unprecedented days.)

What is the next job?  The kitchen drawers and then, the WIR.

Keep safe everyone and stay home, for your sake, and for the sake of others.

Preserving potatoes?

Potatoes are a frustrating crop to grow because one day you have none and the next day you have a laundry basket full.

I was trying to be smart this summer.  Firstly, as soon as they began to flower, we started digging on the side of the plants, picking enough for dinner.  Then, even when I knew they could all be picked, I left them in the ground, again picking them only as we needed them.  I had read that this is a good way to store potatoes. But one day, I noticed new green shoots appearing and I knew it was time to act.  In an instant, that laundry basket was full.  That is a lot of potatoes for two people and I knew they would go all soft and wrinkly before we were halfway through so I began to think about preserving them. Continue reading

What to do?

I wanted to do something but I didn’t want to be joining the hordes buying up big.

I know that was very easy for me to say.   I live on acreage and have a vegie patch.  I have this year’s summer produce in jars or in the freezer or otherwise stashed away.    I have a cupboard full of herbs and spices as I don’t buy ready-made spice mixes and sauces.  I also have dried beans and peas and various flours in the coolroom and rice in the pantry.  But this has nothing to do with being a prepper or hoarding.  This is just who I am and how I wanted to live when I retired.  I also know I am in the minority.  I don’t wish to criticise any who feel the need to stock up.  Nearly all of our population does not live as I do.  They are busy, they have to work, they live in apartments, they have kids and extended family to look after and, of course, the majority do not choose to live like me.  And … they are scared. Continue reading

My tomatoes turned black!

I have never seen this before so I had to show you.  They looked like they were burnt black.  It was bloody amazing.

As you would all expect, it is tomato time in Western Australian vegie gardens and my Roma tomatoes are doing the right thing and producing a decent amount. Continue reading

Bread is so forgiving …

As you who have been following the last few posts would know, we stayed at The Lily Dutch windmill just north of the Stirling Ranges both on the way to Esperance and on the way back.

As I mentioned previously, the windmill is a five story 16th Century fully operational replica Dutch windmill. The proprietors produce wholemeal stone-ground spelt flour at the mill.  And of course, I had to buy some.  I had heard about the flour prior to my visit and I wanted to try it.  It is always good to try something new.

I have made spelt bread a few time before.  The spelt flour I use is Schapfen Feinstes Dinkelmehl Spelt wheat flour, type 630 from Germany.  I buy it from Kakulas Sister in Nollamara.   It certainly makes a lovely loaf of bread.  It is a very fine milled spelt flour which I like. I don’t like bread that tastes like its main purpose is to be good for you.

It was time to make bread and try out my new flour.  I had about 300g of my usual spelt flour on hand so I decided to combine it with my wholemeal stone-ground spelt flour and some ordinary bread flour to make my bread. Continue reading

Thai-style stir-fried green beans and pork

Hello, everyone. This is one of the three bean-themed recipes I made when we had our glut of beans.  I really wanted to post it since I know next year, when we are in bean glut, I will have no idea where to find it.  One of the other recipes is on a similar vein but it has more ingredients. This one is dead simple and tasted just as good.

Continue reading