Sunday, April 22, 2012

Use it or lose it

If you are going to live the life that we have chosen (ok now I do sound like I am starting a commune) you need to make sure that you are being a bit productive as well. Cows and chooks are cool, but if you are keeping them purely as pets then you want to make sure that you have the cash to be able afford those big pets.

That's why I try and plant as many fruit trees as I possibly can. Fruit is not cheap so every banana we don't buy is Lantanaland paying itself off. Sometimes you can fall into the trap of being a bit choosy, only eating and buying the things that you want. That was the thought that hit me as I watched The Wife take pictures of a lizard eating the guavas falling off the tree for him to gobble up. I don't particularly like them as a fruit to eat but what about them in some jam?

As usual I couldn't be buggered looking up a recipe so I just put the guavas, cut in half with two lemons roughly chopped in a pot with half the weight of the fruit in sugar and boiled it up. When it went a bit when tacky on a frozen plate I passed it through a sieve and hey presto, guava jelly. Unlike most of my jam it actually set too and considering it is almost all gone after my parents visited for a week, it must be pretty good.

Confident after my jam experiments I thought I'd have a go at some relish. This time I looked at a few recipes to get a rough idea of the sugar/fruit/vinegar mix. I boiled up the fruit with one lemon, a little water, some cloves, star anise, mustard seeds, cumin and bay. In another pot I sweated off two brown onions, eight hot chillies and a truckload of garlic. Once they were nice and translucent I added about a fifth of the weight of the fruit and onions in sugar and about the same or a bit more of white wine vinegar. (I didn't really measure this out, worse luck). Then I sieved the boiled guavas into the onion mix, added a tin of chopped tomatoes and boiled the whole lot for roughly an hour. I wish I had tomatoes at the moment as well but thems the breaks.

Of course the result was the best relish I have ever tasted, a just reward for not measuring and recording the whole process. Still, not a bad outcome, utilizing what is pretty much a weed here in Lantanaland. There are massive groves of it down the hill that haven't fruited yet so if you know me and live in SE QLD then I'd be thinking what you like more, guava jam or chilli guava relish.


  1. I'm all in for jelly! Any time or spare milk for cheese production lately?

  2. The trees down the hill have some flowers so should be able to do another batch soon. Only getting enough milk for milk at the moment. Not even enough for feta!

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