Monday, November 21, 2011

A bottler weekend...

Something that has awed me about living in the country, or about living in this part of the country at least, is the fantastic way Nature gets on with her job with very little help from us. So many gorgeous flowers and fruits just appear in season. Aren't they clever?
We decided on the weekend that we had to do something about our abundance of peaches and tomatoes, so we tried bottling for the first time.
We made brandied peaches, which we haven't tasted yet, but we gave a bottle away on Sunday and have had reports that they're beautiful. Here's a pic of some of them... oh, and those are the first of our plum crop, too, and I have to say they are the sweetest juiciest plums. Yes, we did plant all the fruit trees, but this is the first year we've been around at harvest time. Yum!
Then we made  spiced roasted cherry tomato relish.
First we roasted the tomatoes with a little oil, cracked pepper and fresh thyme.

Have to say, they smelled gorgeous and I could immediately think of all sorts of uses for them.
We also cooked onion in cider vinegar.
Then added the tomatoes, more vinegar, salt, sugar, whole cumin seeds, whole coriander seeds, a chopped chilli and some tomato puree. The result had  a bit too much liquid, so we strained some off before bottling. Should go rather nicely with our home cured ham.
Meanwhile, our orchids this year have been spectacular!! There are some growing naturally down in the rainforest as well. Lovely Nature. So clever...

And yes, I'm writing too. Getting back to it now. I'm on 53 thousand words which is the longest I've ever written, but I have 37k to go, so head down.


Anne said...

Oh, wow, they all look gorgeous, Barbara. The brandied peaches... yum! And the spiced tomato relish looks wonderful, too. I've never dried tomatoes before.

And that pot of orchids reminds me of when my parents used to live in Penang and had huge sprays of orchids as a matter of course.

Lilian Darcy said...

What beautiful pictures of your process and results, Barbara. I hope the creativity and hands on frees up your muse for those remaining words!

Trish Morey said...

Oh yum! Those spiced cherries look gorgeous, and the peaches! How delish.

What a fabulous way to feed into the creative process.

Here's to finding those extra words.

Lacey Devlin said...

It all looks so yummy! How delicious :-)

Congrats on your 53K!