Apple chutney

Ingredients

  • 225g/8oz onions, chopped
  • 900g/2lb apples, cored and chopped
  • 110g/4oz sultanas, raisins or chopped dates
  • 15g/½oz ground coriander
  • 15g/½oz paprika
  • 15g/½oz mixed spice
  • 15g/½oz salt
  • 340g/12oz granulated sugar
  • 425ml/¾ pints malt vinegar

Method

  1. Put all the ingredients into a preserving pan. Slowly bring to the boil until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Simmer for 1½-2 hours, stirring from time to time to stop the chutney sticking to the pan.
  3. When it is very thick and you can draw a wooden spoon across the base of the pan so that it leaves a channel behind it that does not immediately fill with liquid, the chutney is ready.
  4. Turn into sterilised jars, seal and cool.
    Store in a cool, dark cupboard for two to three months before eating.

Two dollar ponies of port

 

Friday night often finds us at Millswood Bowles Club. It’s perfect for kids – they can run riot all over the floodlit bowling green, which means they can be far enough away that you can’t hear them and still be safe. Just right for our 8 year old’s sleepover party with 7 of her friends.

There are $10 meals of schinzel & chips or nuggets for the kids, and the beer is proper cheap.

The only problem is the 2 dollar ponys of port. Who can resist that for value and sheer alcoholic hit? Not me. Surprisingly I managed to convince a few of the soccer moms to join me. Unfortunately as it turns out 8 year old little girls are extremely loud in the mornings after drinking a port or two.

Melva’s fish paste

We were holidaying in beautiful Venus Bay, SA and for the first time so far in my fishing career we actually caught a lot of fish.

The best eating fish in South Australia is by far the King George Whiting, and we caught plenty of those. It would be a travesty to eat fresh whiting in any other way than simply & lightly fried with a little butter. In the markets it would sell for around $50/kg.

To catch the whiting requires a boat, and we were lucky enough to be holidaying in a group with 2 boats and most importantly Poppa Dennis’s years of hard won knowledge and experience.

But it’s not all whiting all the time. We also caught plenty of other species, trevally, tommy ruffs & salmon (not the same as european salmon). We developed a fool proof technique of fishing from the jetty involving dropping some chopped up bait to create a fish feeding frenzy and then gently dropping our baited hooks into the middle of it and immediately hooking eating sized trevally or tommies.

Bottom line is we had lot of fish. Too much to eat so we cleaned filleted and froze a few kilos of fish to take home and process. We’re following a family recipe for a delicious fish paste which kindly given to us by Melva. Try it dolloped onto some melba toast with a bit of sour cream and some snipped chives or dill.

Fish paste

Ingredients

  • 1 kg fish
  • 1 medium onion, finely cut
  • 60 mls spiced vinegar
  • 60 mls cooking oil
  • 100 mls tomato sauce
  • 150 mls tomato paste
  • 30 mls worcestershire sauce
  • 10 ml hot chilli sauce
  • 1 tsp salt

Method

  1. Skin the fish, taking out the blood line etc & cut into small pieces
  2. Place all the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil, simmering for around 15 mins
  3. Mash the mixture with a potato masher
  4. Spoon the paste into jars sterilised in boiling water, sealing the lids while hot
  5. Keep in the fridge & use within 2 months

Learning about viticulture

Viticulture (from the Latin word for vine) is the science, production, and study of grapes. It deals with the series of events that occur in the vineyard. It is a branch of the science of horticulture.

First I had to actually look up what the word means. The culture of vines. I’m working for a mob called Pridham Viticulture picking grapes in McLaren Vale, South Australia.

I need a job before by full time 9-5er starts in a couple of weeks. I need the money, the stimulation and …. the money.

It’s killer on your back of course, but as a means of getting your body in shape, there’s nothing like several hours of back breaking work in the vineyards for a couple of weeks to get you to fighting weight.

FOR leading Australian winemaker Chester Osborn it’s the realisation of a 13-year dream, but for South Australia’s McLaren Vale wine region Chester’s Cube could bring tens if not hundreds of thousands more wine tourists to visit one of the world’s most unusual and dramatic cellar doors.
Australian winemaker Chester Osborn’s Cube

It’s not so bad, either. The other day we were picking at the nearly completed ‘cube’ building in a secret vineyard in McLaren Vale. And today we were picking the most expensive grapes in McLaren Vale… the coveted Grenache from the secret vineyard with the Horseshoe.

They’re the very best, most expensive grapes in South Australia. They come from a very cool vineyard in McLaren Vale. The vines are planted in a huge horseshoe shape to take best advantage of the natural amphitheatre topographic of the area. There are bunches of Grenache grapes weighing a kilo each ready to snip and dop in your bucket.

Hot Cross Buns

It’s Easter and all over the world we’re scoffing hot crossed buns. Here’s how we make them using Laucke’s German Grain Bread flour. Here’s a recipe we’ve adapted from taste.com.au.

Ingredients

  •  2 x 7g sachets dried yeast
  •  70g set honey
  •  1 1/2 teaspoons mixed spice
  •  pinch of salt
  •  1 1/2 cups currants
  •  40g butter
  •  300ml milk
  •  2 eggs, lightly beaten

FLOUR PASTE

  •  1/2 cup plain flour
  •  4 to 5 tablespoons water

GLAZE

  •  1/3 cup water
  •  2 tablespoons caster sugar
  •  Butter, to serve

METHOD

  • Step 1
    Combine flour, yeast, mixed spice, salt and currants in a large bowl.
  • Step 2
    Melt butter & honey in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add milk. Heat for 1 minute, or until lukewarm. Add warm milk mixture and eggs to currant mixture. Use a flat-bladed knife to mix until dough almost comes together. Use clean hands to finish mixing to form a soft dough.
  • Step 3
    Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes, or until dough is smooth. Place into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until dough doubles in size.
  • Step 4
    Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Punch dough down to its original size. Knead for 30 seconds on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Divide into 12 even portions. Shape each portion into a ball. Place balls onto lined tray, about 1cm apart. Cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 30 minutes, or until buns double in size. Preheat oven to 190°C or 170˚C fan-force.
  • Step 5
    Make flour paste: Mix flour and water together in a small bowl until smooth, adding a little more water if paste is too thick. Spoon into a small snap-lock bag. Snip off 1 corner of bag. Pipe flour paste over tops of buns to form crosses. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until buns are cooked through.
  • Step 6
    Make glaze: Place water and sugar into a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil. Boil for 3-4 minutes. Brush warm glaze over warm hot cross buns. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Let them eat hot cross buns.

A hot cross bun is a spiced sweet bun made with currants or raisins, marked with a cross on the top, and traditionally eaten on Good Friday in Australia, British Isles, Canada, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa and some parts of America.

The buns mark the end of Lent and different parts of the hot cross bun have a certain meaning, including the cross representing the crucifixion of Jesus, and the spices inside signifying the spices used to embalm him at his burial. They are now available all year round in some places. Hot cross buns may go on sale in Australia and New Zealand as early as New Year’s Day or after Christmas.