Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It's that time of year.

Trotski and Ash have made another calender featuring hungry-making pictures and seasonal recipes. I wonder if they are preserving anything this year? The perfect gift for someone. Last year's sold out fast and left many of us wanting, so quick sticks!

Friday, November 11, 2011


I got this Piccalilli recipe from the Time Life Preserving Book from THE GOOD COOK series. These books are excellent, and full of well illustrated techniques. Treasure!

This is half the original recipe, and makes 5 quite large jars. Plenty for us.

Any combination of vegetables may be used for this recipe, depending what is available. Choose from florets of cauliflower, slices of courgettes, pickling onions or shallots, cubed cucumber or squash, sliced french beans, sliced carrots or celery and peppers cut into strips. The vegetables should be of around an even size for equal cooking and chopped depending on whether you want a fine sandwich pickle or a more chunky style pickle. I tried to keep it quite fine, though it's tempting to go chunky, you do get a little tired of chopping.

1.5kg of prepared vegetables.
I used cauliflower, carrots, beans, onions, chili pepper and cucumber.
250 grams coarse salt.

Layer the prepared vegetables with the salt in a large bowl and cover with a plate to ensure that the vegetables really steep in the salt. Leave for 24 hours. Rinse the vegetables and drain them thoroughly.


1/2 tablespoon of ground turmeric
4 teaspoons of dry mustard
4 teaspoons of dry ginger
90 grams sugar
625 ml distilled vinegar
12.5 grams cornflour

Put the turmeric, ginger, mustard, sugar and 600ml of vinegar into a large pan. Mix well. Add the drained vegetables and bring to the boil, simmering gently for 15 to 20 minutes, testing the firmness of the vegetables occasionally. The degree of crispness or tenderness of the vegetables is a matter for individual taste, but do not overcook them.

When ready remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon and pack them into hot jars. Dissolve the cornflour in the remaining vinegar and stir into the sauce in the pan. Bring to the boil and cook for three minutes, stirring continuously. Pour the sauce over the vegetables and cover at once.

The piccalilli will be ready for use in six weeks. And is very good on a chunky slice of fresh bread with cheddar and fresh tomato.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Bird's house

These photos from the weekend meeting at Bird's house. A really good bunch, including Don's green tomato, Drew's pickled cucumbers, Fleischmann's eggplant relish, Rachael's szechuan peppers in tomato, Dell's piccalilli, Simon's Baltic Sea relish, Bird's beetroot and horseradish, Kate's tomato relish, the Ward's tomato chutney and Estelle's hot Rococo chili sauce. Everything was very tasty, and we made plans for the annual Christmas Hamper raffle. I'll keep you posted!