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Posts Tagged ‘Food & Cooking’

I made Strawberry Jam!

This is the easiest jam to make too – really!

And since it’s strawberry season now in South Africa, why don’t you try too? I used the recipe in Kook en Geniet.

You will need:

Strawberries, washed and stems cleaned off (I used 1 kg)
Sugar in equal weight as the strawberries (i.e. 1 kg)
Sterilised bottles to store jam in.

Place strawberries in a big pot, pour sugar over and let stand overnight. Do not add any water, the sugar will extract the juices from the berries.

Heat slowly and stir until all sugar has dissolved. The jam mustn’t boil before the sugar is dissolved.
Let Boil for about 30 mins then test. Drip a few drops of the jam onto a saucer, let cool for a few seconds (it’s VERY hot); run your finger through the jam (draw a line). If the jam doesn’t cover the line up again, it is ready to be bottled.

Carefully spoon hot jam into bottles. Keep a little bit of syrup separate. If the berries stayed whole enough, ensure they are covered by syrup; use the extra saved syrup to top up the bottles. Seal and store in a cool, dry place. 

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My adventure with the jam was a bit of an ordeal. I got distracted and the pot boiled over. Henk and I spent the rest of our Sunday scrubbing the stove. So my jam came out a bit darker, and not quite as spread able. 😉

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Had a gastronomical birthday. Seriously, it feels like all we did since Friday is eat and eat and eat.

Started off Thursday evening after picking up the munchies for work; I got myself a pecan-nut-pie. I love pecan-nut-pie. Still think the Pick ‘n Pay in Plumstead makes the best ones. Henk doesn’t eat it. So I had me a little pre-celebration slice (quarter) of pie).

Friday teatime I dished out the munchies. We’ve eaten so much cake the past month (Amelia’s birthday I brought cake to work. Working on the budget Marianne brought us cake. Yusuf retired and we had cake – all chocolate nê). So to break the habit I got us some mini chicken pies, and savoury tarts, mini milk tarts and hertzoggies and mini spinach-feta quiche.

Friday evening Henk to me to a Paiter’s Grill for my birthday. I didn’t want anything big this year, will save that for the big three-oh. Dalene came to baby-sit Amelia. She complained that there was nothing to do baby wise. Before we left I put Amelia down to sleep. She didn’t stir the whole time we were gone.
The food was delish: my filet tender and perfect colour; baked cheesecake like velvet.

Saturday morning I dropped Amelia off with Dalene again while I ran some errands. Apparently she was a handful, lol. My last few stops I tagged Amelia along. At 11 kg’s she gets a bit heavy to carry – no, she isn’t walking yet. That’s another story. And she’s a babe magnet. Everywhere I go people stop us and talk to her. Never mind the backs of crockery I’m also carrying.

Saturday evening Henk had some friends over for a braai. I don’t like salad. I eat it, but I’m not fond of making it if I don’t have to. So I shoved some veggies in the oven and baked them with some olive oil. The woman can’t stop raving about how no one she knows ever makes veggies for a braai, and it’s a stunning idea. I’m still not fond of salad. Again we ate like pigs. Great pun since we had pork neck.

Then yesterday the same bunch of us, kiddies in tow, bundled into their Mercedes Van and had lunch at Muisbosskerm at Lambertsbaai. (Almost, but not quite like a buffet) I’m still stuffed from all that food. I tried everything. From the steamed mussels, snoek, baked fish, paella, affal pot, wildspot and waterblommetjie bredie, bakbrood and koeksisters. Amelia even nibbled on a crayfish leg.

Got home around 5pm. I just wanted to sleep, but Amelia had other plans. She went to bed around 7pm. We followed soon after.

All in all a great time. I’m on call for the next few weeks, so can’t gallivant around too much.

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So I found a cheaper brand of oats, and obviously buy it. Disgusting. I want to give it away now. Problem is it’s a whole dollar cheaper than the brand I usually buy (About R8 cheaper), then again, by the time I publish this entry, and the dollar would have gone weaker still and it’s only 78c cheaper.

Seriously, I try to cut down on the grocery bill, and then I end up with bad oats. I really though I was getting my money’s worth. The box packaging was pretty; it even had one side rounded so it’s not quite square. It claims that it’s Organic. That’s it. That’s the problem. It’s organic. Tastes like dirt. Where the brand goes off the tracks is with the individual sachet’s packaging. It’s plastic-cellophane stuff. Not the papery one from my favourite expensive brand, no. This organic oats is using cellophane as packaging. Rubbish. Save the earth worm, kill a fish type thinking there.

Back to the Rand-Dollar issue. The excrement is going to hit the fan soon-soon here in RSA. Yesterday it was R8,16 to a dollar! I was still waiting for it to drop to about R7,05 or even below R7 so that I can make a donation to WNF. But now, I don’t know if I must just get it over with and pay my R100, or wait and see if it gets better. Ok, if it drops by tonight, I’ll wait it out a bit, if it climbs, I’ll make the payment. The only good thing is that our gold prices are sky high now. As in, the index watchers would have said it was impossible for gold to reach that price 2 months ago. It’s over the $1000 mark now!

I decided to do a bit more about our energy crises. I’ve always been conservative with electricity in my house. No unnecessary lights; I just leave the bathroom light on as it gets used a lot and switching the light on and off repeatedly uses more electricity than if we just leave it on ‘till bedtime. Also Henk is working all hours during parstyd, so I only have my computer or TV on and 1 light inside and 1 light outside. I can pee in the dark. However, I never bothered with the geyser. I worked out that it uses more electricity to heat a tank of cold water than to keep a hot tank warm.
We moved into a new house, and this one’s geyser is outside in full afternoon sun. So this morning I switched off the geyser. I just have to remember to switch it back on tonight. It’s 34C out there today; I don’t think the water will get too cold. Another incentive for my saving initiative is because at this new house we have to pay our own electricity bill. It used to be included with the rent. Now we are more responsible. I’m glad that the pump connected to the irrigation water has a manual switch, so we switch it off when not in use.

Lets see if the geyser thing works. I’ll keep my eye on the bill.

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