Thursday, August 27, 2015

Pickled Gherkins

pickled gherkins

I have chosen to make some pickle with the gherkins which we harvested this week.
Here is the recipe I use:

1 kg Gherkins
5 Tbsp Salt
1 bunch of fresh dill or 1 teaspoon of dried dill
1 Tbsp Peppercorns
4 Juniper Berries
4 Bay Leaves
1/2 tsp Fennel seed
500 ml White Wine Vinegar
500 ml water
80 g Sugar

Wash the gherkins and rub dry.
Place in a bowl and add the salt.
Just cover the gherkins with water and allow to stand overnight.

The next day, dry the gherkins and cut into pieces.

Using a pestle and mortar, crush the herbs.
Add these to the canning jars, and add the gherkins.
In a pan, add the vinegar and water. Bring to the boil and stir in the sugar until completely dissolved.
Pour the liquid over the veg and seal.
Place bottles on their heads to vacuum.
Allow these bottles to stand for about 3 weeks before opening.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Harvesting Rewards

Homesteading Harvest

Our gardening efforts are paying out :)

This is what we managed to harvest yesterday:



green bean

black beans

Beetroot (a rather munched on beetroot)
Green Beans
Black Beans

I have frozen the green beans for later in the year, and am busy drying the black beans.


With the marrow I made a couple of liters of Ratatouille to freeze - this is a loved favourite in our home.

I am not sure what I will be doing with the beetroot, but I guess I will be adding it to a salad.

I will be pickling the gherkins - I will share the recipe with you tomorrow :)

See you soon

September Is Wine Month, Save 10% On Wine Storage, CODE: WINE10
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Friday, August 7, 2015

Garden Update

balcony tomatoes

Our balcony produce is growing like crazy!
I think the temperatures in this corner are optimal and the plants are loving it :)

These are our cherry tomato plants - They grew to a height of roughly 3m!

As you can see there is now a plank in front of them as they became too heavy for the pots and keeled over :(

I am hoping we haven't lost to many of them in the process, but only time will tell!

cherry tomatoes

Next up: Our Gem squash:

gem squash

It too loves it's place in the sun, but so far we have only been able to harvest 3 squashes and I am hoping that we will be able to enjoy many more of them before the season comes to a close.

balcony pumpkin

Here we have pot pumpkin and pot bell peppers.

So far nothing much to write home about, I do hope that will change soon!

In the garden things are growing nicely :)

garden views



How does your garden grow?

See you soon

Freeze Dried Emergency Food
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Thursday, August 6, 2015

Dehydrating for the Seasons Finale

dehydrating for storage

As the season is in full swing I have pulled out my dehydrator to get some preserves made and other goodies dehydrated for storage.
(If you would like to know more about our dehydrator you can find my post on that HERE)

I started out by dehydrating some peaches to make Chutney (you can find my Chutney Recipe HERE)

dehydrating peaches

how to make south african chutney

Look at that gorgeous goodness - if you are South African you will know what I mean :)

After the chutney, I dehydrated 2kg of carrots for my storage.

They went from this:

dehydrating carrots

To this:

2kg of dehydrated carrots

Yes, this is 2kg of carrots :)
If you would like to know how to dehydrate carrots, I explained my procedure in a post HERE

I have been wanting to try dehydrating some pasta sauce for a while now, so I thought that while I have my machine out I will give it a bash.

dehydrating pasta sauce

We haven't re-hydrated it yet to try it out for taste, but once we do, I will let you know how it tastes :)

Do you dehydrate your harvest for storage?

See you soon

September Is Wine Month, Save 10% On Wine Storage, CODE: WINE10
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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Peppermint Sirup

Peppermint Sirup

I was rummaging through the garden last week and weeding it.
Because I let last years garden go crazy so that the bees had a wonderful wild patch to go to, my mint thrived.
So much so that this year it keeps wanting to take over my beds!

We keep pulling it out, to have it all back a couple of days later.
So when I pulled out bushloads of the stuff last week, I thought it would be a real shame to get rid of it all the time, when I could just use it for something.

My daughter had just come home from a visit and brought home a bottle of homemade Peppermint sirup - That was the something I wanted to make!

It is so simple that I am going to share the recipe with you here today too :)


You will need:

Some Peppermint leaves - a good bunch of them (You can see how much I used for each batch in the above image) Remove the leaves from the stems
50g of Citric Acid 
3 litres of water
1,5kg Sugar

citric acid

peppermint in water

Mix the citric acid with the water and pour over the leaves.
Allow to sit for a day.

peppermint after a day

After a day the leaves will have turned a little brown.

Remove the leaves from the water and place the water in a big enough pot to hold water and sugar.

Bring sugar and water to the boil and then remove from heat filling into your bottles.

And there you have it - refreshing peppermint sirup that should last for quite a while in your storage (be sure to fill your bottles to the brim to vacuum them)

Did you try this recipe?
How did you like it?

See you soon.

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