Stocking Up

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I have spent today in the kitchen but most of it was not preparing meals.  It was about making and bottling jam and sauce.

There were 6kg of cherry tomatoes squirreled away in the freezer ready to make sauce and today was the day.

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The recipe for the sauce is here.

Next up was the 10kg bag of onions I bought yesterday.  I set 2kg aside for a friend and then sliced and diced another 7kg and have packed and frozen them.  I decided to turn the last kilogram into onion jam and the taste test indicates that it has been successful.  The recipe I used had carraway seeds in it so I bought some this morning when were shopping.  I have never bought carraway seeds before but if it looks as though I will be making onion jam in the future I will definitely get some more.

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Finally, I made some plum jam which is GMan’s favourite.  It turned out better than the batch I overcooked last year which was closer to toffee than jam!

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The recipe is very simple.

1.5 kg plums
1.25kg sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup water

Place in saucepan, boil until setting point is reached.  The stones can be removed with a slotted spoon during cooking.

Tip:  Count the plums before you start so that you know how many stones you are trying to remove.

I also made another batch of spreadable butter.  Here is the recipe.

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The only problem with cooking all day is that I did not get the ironing done!  However, we do have ironed clothes to wear to work tomorrow.

 

 

Kitchen News

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Tonight I have a quick update on the subjects of the last couple of posts.

The dehydrated onion has now been ground and here is the result.

2015-07-29 01This is a 450g Vegemite jar which is about 3/4 full.

While the powdered onion can be used as is, it is actually part of a bigger plan that I have.  I hope to make my own vegetable stock powder and have noted that the commercial varieties have onion powder and celery powder as two of the main ingredients.  Since I have celery growing quite profusely at the moment I plan to try dehydrating some celery, including the leaves as they have the strongest flavour.  Watch this space for more on the progress of this venture.

On the appliance front, we took some time on Monday to look for a new microwave oven.  We have chosen one and I am going to buy it tomorrow.

Finally, I am hoping to collect the breadmaker which has been offered to us on the weekend.

Onion Tears

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Do the tears flow when you start cutting up onions?  Here is a way to minimise the suffering in the long-term.2015-07-27 01I bought this 10kg bag of onions last weekend for $7.99.  I shared a couple of kilos with a friend and had used a few myself but today it was time to prepare them.  I peel and quarter the onions before chopping them in lots using the food processor.

First I filled the four trays of the dehydrator.

2012-02-02 01When the onion is thoroughly dried I will grind it to make flakes/powder.  It takes up very little space and stores well.

I bagged the remainder of the chopped onions in as many ziplock bags as I could muster.  I do not buy ziplock bags.  I collect mine through “dumpster diving”.  There are people in my office who bring 2 Weetbix to work for their breakfast in a brand new ziplock bag, tip them into a bowl and toss the bag in the bin.  If I open the bin and the discarded bag is on the top I simply bring it home and wash it for reuse.

Anyway, I digress – the chopped onion is in ziplock bags.  I pack 150g which is equivalent to a medium onion in the small bags and 300g in the larger bags.  I ended up with 10 small packs and 7 large packs of diced onion.  Because I packed the diced onion fairly flat, it is easy to break off a section if you only want a small amount of onion.

2015-07-27 03I sliced the remaining onions by hand and they are packed in the red lidded container.

This means that that I will not need to chop or slice an onion for several months.

Don’t Cry For Me…..

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…because I have finished preparing and freezing the onions.

We grew onions this year from a punnet of seedlings I bought at the Yandina Markets.  From 1 punnet of seedlings bought for $2.50 I had 90 seedlings.  They were tiny but I separated them and planted each one individually.  74 survived and here is the harvest..

Here they are drying on a rack after I pulled them up today.

We do not really have an ideal climate for growing onions as you should really have dry weather when they are maturing so that the tops die off completely and then they can be stored.  Since we are coming into our wet, humid weather I decided that since they were a reasonable size I would harvest them and then dice and freeze in packs of 150g (about the size of a medium onion.

Thanks to my wondrous food processor I now have 7 kg of diced onion in the freezer as well as another 1.5 kg of the lower end of the stalk sliced and bagged up.  When I get time I will use this to make stock.

By next year I hope to have a dehydrator so that I have some more options.

Despite the less than ideal growing conditions I will definitely be planting onions again next year as a harvest of  8.5kg of onions for $2.50 seems like a pretty good return on my money.