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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In My Kitchen – January 2017

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Happy New Year, everyone!

I haven’t written an “In My Kitchen” post for a while as I haven’t had anything new but I do now!

In my kitchen:

Are cherries.  As I mentioned in my previous post, we harvested cherries this year for only the second time in 20 years.  Clearly, the weather was just right for them as the trees produced their crop despite total neglect. Continue reading

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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The need to make chestnut flour

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Life is complex.  I say that often, but no truer words have been spoken.

I have long-held an ambition to make flour.  Let me explain.

I have long-held an ambition to make wheat flour.   I don’t mean buying a grain mill and some wheat and grinding it.  I mean growing the wheat, harvesting the grain, thrashing it, grinding it and making a loaf of bread with it. Continue reading

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

Preserving rhubarb.

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It’s rhubarb season.  If you have a couple of crowns in your vegie patch, it won’t be long before you are over stewed rhubarb and custard.

Last year was my first rhubarb season.  At first, I stewed it and told Maus she had to eat it all because I planted it for her.  When that didn’t work, I took to freezing the excess but I have limited freezer space so, very soon, I had to come up with another plan. Continue reading