It’s a never ending tussle in my mind. To work outside or inside! There’s always plenty to do on either side. And the thing about growing food is, sometimes in addition to your usual cooking there is pickling and preserving to do. These are good problems to have though, and in the end it all gets taken care of one way or another. And there is also the absolute certainty that it will still be there tomorrow! ; ) It’s been a busy time with my second child leaving home, getting his licence (yay!) and getting on top of chores around the house and in the garden, ready for the most exciting and productive time of the year for us. The rain has been falling which has been so lovely and welcome, so far we have registered 50mls in our rain gauge. The cooler weather has been bliss too. It’s just such relief. The tanks that supply our water to the house have been overflowing, so as any wise woman would do I have been taking just a little longer in the shower. Oh the spoiling!!
I made this lovely relish yesterday with this old recipe card that was shared on a group post. I think it’s a Women’s Weekly one, I did a few things differently. I did not separate the tomatoes and onions. I placed them in the same bowl together with 1 Tbsp of salt not 2. And I did this early in the morning then made the relish in the afternoon. I didn’t do the seperate boiling times, I put everything in the pot and boiled until it was reduced down and nice and thick. To skin the tomatoes, you score the bottoms of them with a sharp knife then place them in or pour boiling water over them, drain then put into cold water. I always sterilise my jars by boiling them, so once the relish was in the jars and sealed, I placed them in the pot of boiling water with the lid on and let them boil for a few minutes, then turned it off and let them sit in the pot overnight. By morning all the lids had sealed, even the cheaper jars which I can sometimes have trouble with.
While I was in the kitchen yesterday I also made 2 boiled fruitcakes, one for us and one for a gift. This is a lovely recipe and the great thing about fruitcake is it keeps getting better and better!
Boiled Fruit Cake
- 125g Butter
- 1 Cup Water
- 1 Cup Soft Brown Sugar (I used Rapadura)
- 1 tsp Mixed Spice
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 200g Chopped Dates
- 80g Sultanas
- 80g Mixed Fruit
- 1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
- 1/2 Cup Rum (Sherry or Port)
- 2 Eggs
- 1 Cup Plain Flour
- 1 Cup Self-Raising Flour
Place the butter, water, sugar, spices, fruit, bicarb. soda and rum in a large pot and bring to the boil. Pour into a mixing bowl ( this will allow it to cool down quicker) leave to cool, heat oven to 150 degrees celcius. Grease a deep 20cm round or square cake tin, line the base with baking paper then grease again.
Whisk the eggs then add to the mixture along with the flours. Mix until well combined, pour into tin and bake for about 1 hour or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
You can coat the outside of the cake with a little more alcohol if you like, I use a pastry brush and just lightly go over it, this will help it to keep for longer.
Well as well as working in the garden, I have been organising in the house. Adjusting to cooking for 3, and marveling at how the house stays cleaner with one less person, who would of thought!! Amazing!! It also made me think of how hard we can be on ourselves. Sometimes we just don’t realise or appreciate all the other contributing factors going on in our lives and homes. We are human!! So have a cup of something you really enjoy and take some time for yourself, because it will all still be there, but your peace may not if you don’t take that time to just be still and breath.
I have more I want to write and share but I’ll save it for my next post, it’s so lovely to be back, see you soon : )