A Golden Oldie

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Prompts from several different sources inspired me to make a Lemon Delicious pudding yesterday.

First, a Facebook group post encouraged members to make a post recipes for a childhood favourite food.

Second, my brother, sister and brother-in-law were coming for dinner.  What better, than to share a dessert from our common childhood memories?

Third, another Facebook group discusses how our grandparents lived, including cooking and preparing food.

I had not made Lemon Delicious since 2012 when I began eating a gluten-free diet, however, I was not going to let that stop me.

I have posted the recipe for Lemon Delicious on the blog previously.  See here.  Unfortunately the photos have disappeared from the old post and I am unable to retrieve them.

So, here it is again – with the addition of the gluten-free option.

LEMON DELICIOUS

1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons plain flour (use gluten-free flour if required)
Juice and rind of 1 lemon
2 eggs
1 cup milk

Cream the butter and sugar.  Add flour, juice and rind.  Mix well.  Separate the eggs, add yolks and milk to mixture.  Place the whites in a separate bowl and beat until stiff.  Fold the beaten egg white into the mixture.  Pour into an ovenproof dish.  Stand the dish in a tray of water (about 2-3cm deep) and place in a moderate oven for about 30 minutes or until the top is firm to touch and golden.

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The finished product is like a lemon self-saucing pudding.  This can be served warm or cold with ice-cream, cream or custard.

NOTES:

As a nod to past generations, I did not use my Kitchen Aid mixer to cream the butter and sugar.  I used a bowl and tablespoon – hard but satisfying work.  I also beat the egg whites using a hand-held rotary beater.  The results were equally as good as any I have made previously using electric appliances.

The ‘sauce’ of the pudding was somewhat thicker than other efforts and I think this was probably due to using gluten-free flour which does tend to absorb more moisture.  I would probably ad the juice of another half a lemon in order to rectify this.  Despite this, the pudding was extremely well-received by the dinner guests and I will definitely be making it again before too long – especially as the lemon trees are absolutely laden with fruit.

 

The Production Line

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Having a productive garden entails more work than just planting, watering and harvesting the crops.

The next step is to make sure that the produce is used wisely.  It is difficult not to have some wastage, especially when there is a glut.

At the moment we have an over-abundance of lemons and grapefruit and are doing the best we can to deal with them.

Lemons

On Saturday evening, The Duke and I juiced and froze about 3 litres of lemon juice and a litre of grapefruit juice.  Most of the lemon juice is in 1 litre quantities so that I can thaw it and make cordial when required.  However, I did put some into ice-cube trays for those moments when I just need a tablespoon or so of juice.  We have 2 lemon trees and it is only a rare time when there are no fresh lemons available but it is best to be safe and have some on hand.

Juice to freezeYou can also see more beans and carrots that we picked on Saturday.

What are you harvesting at the moment?

Winter Woes & What To Do

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While coughs and colds can strike at any time, the prevalence of these ailments increases with the onset of cooler weather.  This is not helped by houses that are closed up to prevent heat escaping, working in air-conditioned offices and sharing your daily commute with others who are coughing and sneezing.  Several of my work colleagues were off sick for a number of days last week but I managed to avoid succumbing.  I have managed to stay well despite having a sore throat about 10 days ago.

I felt less than stellar this morning when I woke and I have some minor cold symptoms so I slid back down under the covers for another 30 minutes and then caught the later train to work.

There are many and varied cough and cold drugs available but sometimes some simple home remedies can be just as effective, especially if you start as soon as you notice any symptoms.

Here are some of my favourites.

Warm lemon and honey drink – I am sure it is no coincidence that our lemon trees are laden with fruit just as the first of the winter ailments strike.  Freshly squeezed lemon juice, raw local honey and topped up with boiling water.  Sip to soothe a sore throat and just feel better all over.

Apple cider vinegar – mix 2 parts of water to one of vinegar and gargle at the first sign of a sore throat.  If you are feeling brave you can add a teaspoonful of apple cider vinegar to your warm lemon and honey drink.

Calendula ointment – you can make your own.  There are plenty of recipes like this one but I still have half of a small jar that I bought some years ago.  It is a useful addition to your first aid kit and is great for a red, raw nose that is often part of the deal when you have a cold.

Home-made ‘Vicks Vaporub’ – I found the recipe here.  I have not made it yet but it is definitely on the ‘to do’ list.  Some people swear by rubbing it on the soles of your feet.  Pop on a pair of socks and then climb into bed.

Disposable handkerchiefs – worn out pure cotton sheets can be ripped into squares for use instead of tissues.  They are much softer on your tender nose than tissues and can be discarded after use.

What tips do you have to ward off the evil bugs?

What We Have

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One of the principles of living simply is to make the most of whatever you happen to have.  Sometimes doing this is jolly hard work, especially when you are holding down a full-time paid job as well.

The harvest from our garden recently has been excellent but that has meant that I have a responsibility to use and store it safely and not let things go to waste.

I have made cauliflower and bacon soup.

Juiced and frozen many litres of grapefruit and lemon juice.

Prepared grapefuit for The Duke for breakfast.

Made more lemon cordial.

2011-10-01 04We have also been eating broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and snow peas as part of our dinner almost every night.

I was given about 30 apples at work the other day so those have now been stewed and frozen.  I will use them in apple pies and crumbles.  Here they are ready to go in the freezer.

2011-10-01 05I am struggling to find enough containers to freeze  everything.  I think I will need to get some more at some stage.

What do you do when you have a glut of a particular fruit or vegetable?


When Life Gives You Lemons………

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………….make lemonade, or in my case, lemon cordial.

It is winter and the time of year when the citrus trees are absolutely laden.  The branches are groaning with the weight of luscious fruit waiting to be harvested.

We have 2 lemon and 3 orange trees as well as a lime, grapefruit and a mandarin.  One lemon and one orange were here when we came but we have planted the others.  The original lemon tree is a Meyer variety which is actually a cross between a lemon and an orange.  This variety is particularly suited to the warmer, more humid climate of coastal Queensland.

The tree is only quite small and looks very ordinary, to the point where we think that each year may be the last.  Here it is with the few remaining fruit after I had picked most of them.

However, it keeps bearing amazing fruit.  Unlike other lemon varieties, you cannot leave the fruit on the tree once it is mature as it does not last and tends to spoil.

Late one afternoon when I was in the vegie patch picking some produce for dinner, I noticed that the lemons were very ripe – skin tends to turn to a golden yellow and a few were starting to fall from the tree.  It was time to harvest the lemons and I picked almost all of the fruit from the tree – 117 lemons!!

It is times like this that I am very thankful for technology.  I could not imagine squeezing all of them by hand.   There were about 6 buckets of lemons which yielded 11 litres of juice which is about 100ml per lemon.

My food processor with juicer attachment.

My lemon cordial recipe is an adaptation of the one with was originally given to me by my mother-in-law.  I have adjusted the recipe over the years and have reduced the amount of sugar as well as taking out various preservatives such as sodium benzoate.  What I am left with is lemon juice and sugar and I am very happy with the result.

Since the recipe has no preservatives I err on the side of caution and store it in the refrigerator and make about 2 litres of cordial at a time.  Modern appliances come to the rescue yet again as I store the excess juice in the freezer until required to make another batch of cordial.  Do not try freezing the cordial as it does not stay properly frozen, probably due to the high sugar content.  I freeze my juice in 2 litre ice-cream containers which easily hold 1.5 litres of juice with a little headspace.

LEMON CORDIAL

1.5 litres of lemon juice

750g sugar

Mix together until the sugar has dissolved.

Pour into bottle and store in refrigerator.

I choose to use raw sugar so my cordial is quite a dark, but not unpleasant colour.

Use within 3 months.

Mix 1 part of cordial with 4-5 parts of water,

We use this cordial mixed with soda water made with the Soda Stream soft drink maker to create an excellent substitute for bought soft drink.  This is what we serve at functions and special occasions.

As an added bonus, there are no plastic bottles generated in this process.