Tag Archives: Preserves

Pickling Cucumber the Traditional Way

Sliced Cucumber Pickle

Refrigerators have contributed a lot to the preserved and pickled food vanishing from our dinner table. In olden day we had some amazing pickled vegetables. Adding a bit of fermented food like pickles even aids digestion. Pickles are not only good for the taste but for heath too.

This recipe I picked up from my grandmother. It only takes 15 minutes to prepare and tastes great with fish meat or vegetables. Try it today.

  • 2 Small Cucumbers
  • 1 Table Spoon Table Salt
  • 1 Cup water
  • 50 ml White Vinegar
  • 100 gm Sugar
  • Bay Leaf One
  • Half Tea spoon All spice.

The Method:

  1. Slice the cucumbers to thin round pieces. Do not Peel the cucumber. This makes 5 -6 cups of sliced cucumber.
  2. Place the cucumber in a large vessel and sprinkle salt. Leave it for half an hour.
  3. Mix water, vinegar, Bay leaf and All spice in a sauce pan. Bring the mixture to a boil. When it starts boiling stir to mix and then remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature.
  4. Rinse the salt from the cucumber slices and squeeze out moisture using paper tissues. Using hands is the best.
  5. Place the cucumber in a glass jar and pour the pickling mix over it. Close the jar with a tight lid and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Now the pickled cucumber is ready. Add lemon juice for extra taste.



Cookers, jams and preserves…

Well spent most of the last week looking at cooker, as mine decided enough was enough. Given the nature of my kitchen I want a free standing cooker and after a bit of clever maneuvering (freezer now in wet room) I managed to make room for… drum roll, a Fisher & Paykel, 90cm freestanding 5 burner oven. I am over the moon. After long discussions with hubby re our finances and options for a cheaper model, we decided that given the cooking I do and the nice little income coming from selling at the carboots we could afford payments on a short term loan, so had a look around and decided on https://www.ferratum.co.nz/. I can’t wait till next week and delivery – also feeling antsy as not  cooked or jammed in a week. Kids loving all the barbies though!

New cooker Fisher & Paykel 90cm 5 burner large oven.
My New Oven…Yea

As with everyone one else I am constantly looking for ways to help my family eat healthily, and cutting down on the sugar is one. I know I jam for fun  & small business but that doesn’t mean I can’t reduce the sugar. While internet searching for recipes I came across this article, which I found interesting and helpful. I have used pectin before, easily bought from the store but this article got me thinking about using fruit to provide its own natural pectin. it makes the jams a bit less ‘solid’ but the taste is just as good. I am definitely going to give the strawberry and cream jam from the article a try and be interesting to see how it sells at the car boots. As we took out slightly more than the cost of the oven I treated myself to a couple of other essentials, a new thermometer being one of them and I treated myself to some bottling products as well. A bit like christmas and my birthday all in one.

A collection of items for jamming or preserving, all essentials in one nice gift pack
Great gift pack… hint hint!

Auckland Car Boot and a bit of China!

I thoroughly enjoy the car boot sales. Living in the Auckland area we have a number every month so can really get around. Usually really sociable and friendly. One of my favourite car boots is at Grey Lynn. They are held on the last Sunday in the month, its one of my favourites as it is only second hand – no new stuff, plus I don’t sell there so it is just a pleasure to wander around. I like Grey Lynn , wouldn’t mind living there, nice feel to it you know? My best buy ever though was at last month’s car boot where I found a wonderful preserving pan.  It was a copper one, I still feel like squealing over my find..eeek. To get a quality good one costs around 200$ plus, take look at this site if you don’t believe me. I was actually considering investing in one but I saved myself 150$ yep only cost me 50$.

Copper preserving pan a healthy alternative to stainless steel
Mine is not quite as shiny as this but still a great find.

Using it for the first time I actually made a batch of plum sauce, not the season I know but we seem to have eaten our stock up and my sister is having a party and asked for some. Fortunately I had some plums in the freezer, left over from March… yea I know. I had forgotten they were there but for this sauce they worked well. I had left the skins on them when I had frozen them and only slightly blanched them. I never throw fruit away, thats why we have such a big freezer, I get a lot from family who own farms and fruit trees, whenever there is a glut of anything I get it!!

Plum sauce – now I have my wonderful pan I  can double and treble the quantities…

Plum sauce made in a traditional Chinese way
Tasty Plum Sauce



5-20 small to medium plums

6, cloves garlic minced

½ cup red onion finely chopped

grated fresh ginger

¼ cup soy sauce

2 TBS sweet chilli sauce



Slice plums in half. Discard Stones. Cut up into medium sized chunks.

Put plums and rest of ingredients into a pan.

Cook on medium for 20 mins.

Blend with an immersion mixer until desired consistency.


Will keep in the freezer for 6 months or fridge for 2 weeks.

Happy preserving