This is a recipe from my mother's recipe book. It was originally in pints and ounces, I converted the measurements to metric when I started making it. It really is as easy as mix and let it steep. I like it because it doesn't have the traditional anchovies in it, but still has a good bite. The longer the sauce matures the hotter it becomes.
2 L vinegar
30g chopped garlic
30g cayenne pepper
30g whole cloves
1 tin treacle
2 large lemons
Mix all ingredients together in a plastic bucket and stir to dissolve salt. Chop the 2 lemons and add to the mixture (skin and all). Cover with a tea towel or a cheesecloth. Stir daily for 6 days. Strain and bottle. Leave at least two weeks in a cool, dark cupboard to mature.
I use the glass 3 litre Ocean Spray cranberry juice bottles to store the sauce and decant into a smaller bottle for kitchen use.
This sauce just improves with age - the longer you leave it, the better it gets.
This week I've added 14 jars of diced tomatoes to the stockpile, for just $3.94. I was able to buy 6 kilos of tomatoes for 49 cents a kilo, and we were gifted another 2 kilos.
I've also added more toilet paper, rice and flour - I won't add any more rice, but toilet paper is one thing I have a fear of running out of so it's still on the list for a while yet :)
Kaylene emailed and asked me a few questions, one of which was why am I building such a large stockpile, is it because I know something about the economy that she doesn't?
That certainly made me smile, I know nothing more than anyone else, and probably less than a lot of Australians about the state of our economy.
I am stockpiling first and foremost out of habit. I've had a decent grocery supply in the house for 21 years now. It started off small, just a month or so of most of the grocery items we use. It grew over time to be a minimum of six months' worth of the basics, with up to a years' worth of some things I am able to buy in bulk.
But a couple of months ago we were given advance notice of some changes to our finances, meaning we'll be earning less next year than we have for a long, long time. And that means we'll have less money to spend on anything, let alone groceries. We've gone over our new spending plan and cut back where we can, including the grocery budget.
And so I've started to concentrate on building our food storage, cleaning supplies and toiletries and first aid needs.
I'm building this not out of fear of any national or worldwide economic disaster looming, but to ensure that no matter what happens, either within our family unit, the country or the world, we'll be able to eat, stay clean and have basic first aid supplies if they are needed.
I've been in the position of not having a regular income before. We lived for over four years on an erratic income. Sometimes we'd have money coming in, sometimes we wouldn't. I had to learn to budget and shop accordingly and run our finances like a business - just as though we were self-employed.
This time around we know what is coming and can prepare as best we can. For me as the main cook and shopper that means building our grocery stockpile as best I can with what I have.
We know our income is going to go down, but that's not the only reason to have at least a small stockpile.
What would happen if you were to get sick for a four or five days and couldn't get to the shops? What would happen if you found yourself without a car for a week or so? They are just two simple scenarios that could see you struggling - would you have enough food, cleaning supplies, toiletries and medicines in the house to survive?
There are lots of households that don't have even a day's food in the pantry, they shop daily. With either of the scenarios above they'd be, to coin an Aussie phrase, up the creek without a paddle.
I don’t stockpile out of fear of anything, I stockpile to save money, time and energy, to be prepared for a hiccup in our lifestyle and as a part of keeping our household running smoothly.
I encourage everyone to have at least a small back-up of pantry basics, just a week's worth, for peace of mind if for no other reason. It just makes sense to me.
From Debt Free, Cashed Up and Laughing
The name intrigued me. I'd never heard of Carrot Cake Jam. I LOVE carrot cake, so the thought of being able to have those delightfully spicy flavours anytime by simply putting jam on a slice of freshly baked bread or a scone warm from the oven was too tempting - I had to make some and try it.
It is delicious! Sinfully delicious. My favourite way to enjoy Carrot Cake Jam is on a warm scone, spread with cream cheese and topped with a dollop of this yummy jam. Oh my it is good!
It can be used to sandwich two layers of butter cake together, then top it with cream cheese icing sprinkled with chopped walnuts - that's good too.
For an afternoon tea treat mix some Carrot Cake Jam into cream cheese and sandwich between shortbread biscuits, they go down very well with a cup of tea let me tell you.
I'm sharing this recipe with you now, not that I wouldn’t share with you, because carrots and pears are cheap at the moment. And because winter is the best time to make jam as standing over the boiling pot isn't too uncomfortable.
But the main reason I'm sharing now is because this jam makes the perfect gift. If you're taking part in our handmade Christmas challenge and looking for something different to give, this jam is it. It's definitely not your run of the mill raspberry or apricot or plum jam, and you can be sure no one else will be giving it (unless they read my blog too :) ).
Carrot Cake Jam
1½ cups finely grated carrots
1½ cups peeled, diced and cored pears
1-3/4 cups canned crushed pineapple – including the juice (a large can)
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 pkt. Jamsetta
4 cups white sugar
2 cups brown sugar
In a large deep stainless steel sauce pan combine the carrots, pears, pineapple and juice, lemon juice and spices. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat so the fruit is at a gentle boil (not frothing up and boiling over) and cover. Boil gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally so the fruit doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
Remove from heat and whisk in the Jamsetta until dissolved. Return to the stove and bring to boil over high heat stirring constantly. Add the sugars all at once and return to a full rolling boil stirring constantly. Boil hard stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add in the nuts, if using them. Remove from heat and skim off any foam.
Ladle hot jam into hot, sterilised leaving 1cm headspace. Remove air bubbles and more jam if needed. Wipe off any spills and add the lids/rings. For long-term storage, process in a water bath for 10 minutes, otherwise store in the fridge and use within a month.
This recipe makes about 4 500g jars.
You need to use the Jamsetta in this recipe as there simply isn't enough pectin in the pears for the mixture to gel. You'll find it in the baking/cooking aisle of your supermarket, in a blue coloured packet, it costs about $1.75 a packet.
I used these very cute little pears that I bought at the weekend from Petty's orchard (they were windfall, hence the size) to make the jam. I bought a few kilos, they're a really nice size to nibble on when the hungrys strike too.
This recipe has a few extra steps in it that other jams don't, but it is worth the few extra minutes.
If you are planning on keeping the jam until Christmas then process the jars in a water bath to vacuum seal them and ensure they stay fresh and safe to eat until then. It only takes a few minutes and is easy to do.
From Debt Free, Cashed Up and Laughing
It's that time of year again. The fig tree is full of fruit, so full even the birds can't get it all. I picked a colander full this morning and will use them to make fig jam.
I love fig jam. It's a childhood favourite and the one jam my mum made every year without fail. I love fig jam on fresh bread with cream. I love it on hot toast. I love it on plain muffins spread with cream cheese , topped with fig jam.
It's great as a spread and it's great as a cake filling. It makes lovely little jam tarts. You can even use it to glaze a ham.
The recipe I use is a simple microwave jam - equal quantities of fruit and sugar, with the juice of one lemon. Platinum Cheapskates Club members can login find it in the Recipe File.
The kilo of fruit in the colander made two 500ml jars and one 120ml jar of delicious fig jam.