Monday, February 27, 2017

Barley Soup in Storage

barley soup prep

Over the last two weeks I have shared my dehydrating journey that leads up to packaging what I have recently dried into some convenient "soup-in-a-bag" meals.

I did promise to share what I put into my bags with you, so here is the recipe for your convenience:

barley soup bag

For the veg part I added into each bag some dehydrated:

Potatoes (next time I will grate them)

I didn't weigh them out, and just roughly estimated how much of each I put inside. Perhaps next time I will weigh them out so that I get evenly distributed bags :)

What I forgot to put inside was some kidney beans, but I will add these to the pot this time and next time will be sure to include them in the packets!


I added half a cup of barley to each bag.

barley soup in a bag

This is the finished bag.
I added 3 bouillon cubes, an oxygen absorber, and as I didn't have any silica bags on hand, I added a teabag which has a teaspoon of rice inside for moisture absorption.

barley soup sealed

To make, I will empty the contents into a pot, add 1 1/2 liters of water and simmer until ready.

Enjoy :)
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Friday, February 24, 2017

New Gadget - Soyabella


As we really like to have smoothies for breakfast in our home, I have been on the lookout for an easier way to make nut milks. The commercial milks available, although they taste good, come with a couple of additives and the price is not too shabby either!

Whilst browsing through Youtube a couple of weeks ago, as you do :), I followed a link which led me to a video introducing the Soyabella.

Of course I had to have one!

I received my new gadget about a week ago and have been making almond milk with it until now.

This is such an easy process, I am thrilled thus far.

homemade almond milk

To do this, all you do is the following:

  • Measure out a cup of almonds in the plastic measuring cup that accompanies the gadget
  • Place them into the sieve attachment and cover with water overnight
  • Empty the water, fill your soyabella with the desired amount of filtered water
  • I add 2 destoned dates for sweetness at this point
  • Attach sieve to motorhead, and mill (I mill 5 times)
The resulting milk is great!

I have dehydrated the leftover pulp and ground it down to make almond meal.

almond meal

making almond meal

Once I have enough almond meal I will be baking something with it, so watch this spot :)

I will be trying soy-milk soon and will let you know how that turns out!

Do you use a soymilk maker?
Can you tell me how to make rice milk with the Soyabella?

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

More Veg Dehydrating

This past week I continued on my dehydrated veggie prep for some soup storage (Meals in a bag)

I dried: grated celeriac, chopped cabbage, and sliced carrots.

All of the veg was blanched and the carrots were also sprayed with lemon juice before heading into the dehydrator. (dehydrated at between 50 - 60°C)

carrot dehydrating

cabbage dehydrating

celeriac dehydrating

The last veg I need for my soup is potatoes which will be done in the next couple of days, so stay tuned for the recipes which will follow!

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Monday, February 20, 2017


gouda homemade

Next on my list of cheeses to try (as well as my bucket list for February) was Gouda.

Above you see the cheese fresh out of the brine.

Now what I noticed at this stage is that either the curds did not knit together properly, or that those marks are from my cheese cloth that was a little short and so I couldn't stretch it enough to make a smooth cheese.

As I am a total novice, I am not sure which it is and what the consequences of this might be, so I will soldier on.

What I am guessing is, that it could create air pockets in the cheese over time, or that it will make for a very crumbly cheese which Gouda shouldn't be :(

But, as this is supposed to be a learning procedure, I will go through the motions, and will inform you once I open it as to what happened.

I once again followed Gavin Webber's recipe for Gouda, and as my culture used Flora Danica.

flora danica

Here is the Gouda before I waxed it. 
I put 1 layer of liquid wax coating on the cheese before waxing.

homemade gouda

and here it is after my first attempt at waxing :)


I can't wait to see how this cheese turned out, and will share it with you here :)


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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Baked Beans

Homemade Baked Beans

I have always wanted to try and make baked beans on my own.

Not the american kind with bacon, the English kind, the one that goes down a treat with a real English breakfast, or any old time of the day on toast or with mash and sausage :)

I found a recipe on the web and decided that I would let the "Cooking" take place in the canner.
So what I did was to soak the beans overnight, and the next day prepared the sauce, drained the beans and mixed them with the sauce, filled up my jars and pressure canned for 65 minutes (I used 500ml jars).

Here is the recipe I tweaked (I can't remember where I found this recipe as I had so many of them on hand, I do apologize)

500g Haricot beans (soaked overnight)
4 tins tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
4 Tbsp Worcester sauce
2 tsp Tabasco sauce
2 cloves
some mixed dried herbs

Fry onion and garlic until soft.
Add tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients and allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Drain beans and add to the tomato mixture.
Fill into 500 ml jars (this portion made 6 x 500ml jars for me)

Leave 2-3cm headspace
Pressure can for 65 minutes.

Here is a quick video to show you how they look as soon as they come out of the canner:

I will be tasting them this weekend and will let you know how they turned out :)

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Dehydrating for Storage


Last week I managed to dehydrate a couple of things which is always great!

I am processing a couple of veggies for some soup mixes which I plan to add to storage.

All of my veg gets dehydrated at between 50 - 60 degrees Celsius.

On the first day I dehydrated frozen veg:

dehydrating frozen beans

dehydrating frozen maize

dehydrating frozen peas

And on the second day, I dehydrated the stinkies :) So blanched onion, leek and celery stalks.

dehydrating onions

leek dehydrating

celery dehydrating

Issue I had: Onions, leeks and celery need to be dried on parchment paper or silicone sheets, as they almost dried into the tray :O 

I placed all of my dried goodies in jars with oxygen absorbers and will be using them once I have all of the ingredients I need to make the soup mixes.

I will share the recipes with you then, so do stay tuned :)
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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Farmhouse Cheddar with Peppercorns

Farmhouse cheddar with peppercorns

After making the cheddar, I decided to try cheddar with peppercorns.
I am very susceptible to cheese with pepper, so I can't wait to try this cheese :)

I followed Gavin Weber's Recipe which I find very informative and it helps you go through the motions step-by-step.

I used black peppercorns in mine.

The process is a little different to the original cheddar recipe, and quite a bit shorter, so if you are wanting to attempt cheddar making then I would suggest you go with this recipe first.

farmhouse cheddar day 3

Here is my cheese prior to waxing on Day 3.

It was nice and dry.
My only issue being that I have so many lovely peppercorns on my surface, which I will ultimately lose to the liquid coating :(

Next time I will be sure to keep the surfaces free of peppercorns.

peppered cheddar waxed

Here is my cheese, waxed and ready for it's new place in the cellar.

Yummy, I can't wait :)

Stay tuned!

The next cheese will be Gouda.

Are you a cheesemaker?
Have you made peppered cheddar before?

I would love to hear from you below.
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