Sunday, June 30, 2013

A week in the Berg.

On the 21st of June local schools broke up for the winter holidays. We left that afternoon and returned on Friday after a lovely one week holiday in the Drakensberg Mountains.

We were expecting a very cold week, but instead enjoyed mild days with temperatures ranging from low to mid 20's (degrees Celsius). We spent our days playing miniature golf, giant chess, badminton, taking slow strolls around the resort, and just enjoying the stunning views. The evenings were quiet with milo in front of the fire and early bed times. It was just what we needed.
It's aloe season here and there were so many flowering aloes scattered on the mountains.

 As much as we love going on holiday, its always nice to get back home and back into the garden. A garden that had a very special surprise for me.
When I left last week, I had my first ever broccoli almost ready to harvest. I thought it would have a few weeks to go before it would be ready. Instead I came home to this:

Isn't it just too gorgeous? I had no idea that broccoli would bolt into such a stunning flower. I am actually glad that I didn't harvest it and got to see this. I still have a whole bunch in the office garden just starting to form heads so we won't be short of broccoli this season
And the flowers tastes great, every time I go outside I pick a few and put them in my mouth. But I must keep some so that it can go to seed and I can sow more next year.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Chilli Jam

As Autumn progresses and winter slowly creeps in, my chillies bushes seem to be going crazy.

One days harvest of chillies:

 I wanted to try something different, and I had never tried a savory jam before, so chilli jam it was.
The recipe ended up making one big, one little and one tiny jar of jam.

These ingredients are not exact because most of them I just poured in, but I will try to get them as close as possible.

6 or 7 tomatoes
7 or 8 chillies (more if you like it very hot)
3 cups sugar
1 cup vinegar (I used a mixture of apple cider and white)
1 tablespoon powdered pectin

In a food processor chop up tomatoes and chillies until all there are no big pieces left.
In a pot, heat the vinegar and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Add the tomato/chilli mix.
Bring to the boil. Mix the pectin in a little bit of sugar so it doesn't cause lumps and add to the pot.
Boil for about 15 minutes, or until the jam gets to gelling point, it could take longer.
Use a cold plate to test for gelling.

Pour into sterilized jars. This will keep for quite a while in the fridge, otherwise you can waterbath it and store in your panrty for much longer. I didn't process mine because I know it will not last that long.

Delicious with crackers and cream cheese!