The easiest pumpkin soup recipe ever and … my pressure canner to the rescue

Everyone has their favourite pumpkin soup recipe.  My favourite is one I have posted before – Pumpkin, cashew and coriander soup.  It is a beauty (check it out here) but it does take a bit of effort.  And there are plenty of times when effort does not figure.  For those times, I have been dreaming of a recipe my mum used to make.  I had it hand written in my recipe book but somehow I lost it.  I did ask my sisters but to no avail.   I remembered the ingredients – chicken stock, pumpkin, tomatoes and onion but I couldn’t remember the proportions.

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A country life… all you need is patience

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About 18 months ago, I decided we needed a retaining wall built behind our garage.  I was reluctant to call the guy who had built another wall for us.  It was not that the garden wall he had built was not good – in fact, it was bloody good.  The problem was he took ages and ages to come.  I remember ringing him on a regular basis until, finally, he arrived.  When he did come, he came with a smile, did a good job and did things over and above what was called for.

In the end, I decided to risk it and called, let us name him, ***.

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A dog day afternoon

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It’s summer glut time and I’m suffering badly.  I find it impossible to let produce go to waste.  And I don’t like giving away produce if I think I may need it sometime in the forth coming year.  Cucumbers I am happy to give away because I am determined not to make any more relish or pickles until we have eaten what is in the pantry – and there is not much else you can do with cucumbers. Continue reading

Candied pumpkin

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I still have 14 pumpkins from last year’s crop and I am told it is very difficult (impossible?) to store them over summer.  Shit!  I was under the impression that they could last out the year.

Oh, well, …  I haven’t given up hope.  Everything I have read says keep them in a cool dry place.  As you all know, there is no such place during an Australian summer.  The only other advice I have read to prolong their life is to wipe them with disinfectant.  This protects them from  bacteria.  I washed my pumpkins in diluted Pine-O-Cleen, made sure they were perfectly dry, then put them in the cool room.  Here’s hoping.

Postscript:  I have just read this post where a pumpkin soaked in a weak bleach solution was still perfect after nine months.  There is hope. Continue reading

Kasundi

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 After a cry for help regarding the abundance of tomatoes in my vegie patch, I received the following comment from a reader named Jenny:

What about some kasundi with the next batch? We love it, and eat lots of it – with curries, as a marinade for meat, as a cooking sauce (thinned with bottled tomatoes), stirred into stews etc, with sour cream as a dip or topping, with cheese …

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Passionfruit Jam (Revisited)

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As you all know, I recently made passionfruit jam (and did a post on it).  I was intrigued by the idea of making jam from the soft inside part of the passionfruit shells so I decided to give it a go.  I was very pleased with the result.  The jam tastes amazingly good but is quite thick and both Maus and I prefer our jam to be on the runny side. Continue reading