Homemade Gherkins

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I’m a gherkin loving fool, honestly I am….. So when I saw these mini cucumbers at our local Woolworths, I knew it was time to learn how to pickle my own cucumbers. Don’t worry you can pickle regular sized cucumbers just as easily as mini cucumbers.

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Before we begin let me start by saying, you can make refrigerator gherkins or processed gherkins.. Processed gherkins are the one’s you buy at the store, they placed in boiling water for 5 minutes, the downside is that the cucumbers will be slightly cooked. Whereas the refrigerator gherkins have a shelf life of a couple of weeks instead of a year.

I didn’t use dills. I used what I had and I had onions, mustard seeds and dried chillies oh and of course vinegar and salt, anyway here’s what I did.

You’ll need:

0.5 large onion
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 dried chilli pepper
1 large pot
1 medium sized pot
Glass jar with lid
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 cup vinegar (White or Apple Cider)
1 cup water

First thing I chopped up my onion

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  • Secondly I chopped one dried chilli
  • Then I added the mustard seed to the onions and chillies

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  • Thirdly I added a litre of boiling water to a large pot with my glass jar (to sterilise the jar) and brought to a boil

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  • I then washed and dried my cucumbers
  • Cut off the stems, the stems contain enzymes that can make your gherkins limp

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  • Next I brought the vinegar, water and salt to a boil

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  • Add your onion and spices to the jar and then tightly pack in your cucumbers
  • Once the salt has dissolved, let the brine cool and then pour over your vegetables (well technically fruit)
  • Gently tap the jar on your countertop to release air bubbles
  • If you want to make refrigerator pickles just tighten the lid and leave for  at least 48 hours (The longer you leave them, the more flavourful they’ll be)
  • For a longer shelf life then process the gherkins, by placing the jar in a pot of boiling water, when the water comes to a boil again, wait 5 minutes then remove Image
  • Let the gherkins cool at room temperature, leave for at least 48 hours or longer before opening. processed gherkins will last about a year on the shelf and several weeks once opened
  • Refrigerated after opening

 

 

 

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Zesty Barley Risotto

One fateful Saturday morning I jumped over the fence to go visit my best friend I found her by the pool, enjoying something I had never had, I tried it and fell in love!! Ever since that day I’ve tried every new dish I come across to try and pin point what I had that Saturday. Why didn’t you just ask your friend you? You might be asking, well I did many times to no avail

Well fast forward 16 years to now, I finally figured it out, that chewy dish was nothing more than plain ol’barley. It’s amazing how something so inexpensive can be so darn good, I’ve cooked this ingredient many ways over the past two months and my favourite to date would have to be a recipe I came across on the internet, well I changed it up a bit, and I have to say this is one of the best dishes I’ve cooked thus far….

You’ll need:

2 tbsp of Olive oil
1.5 medium brown onion
10g. of button mushrooms
2 cups frozen corn (not thawed)
1 dried red chilli
Nutmeg
Ginger
Salt to season
2 cups/cubes Vegetable stock
3 cups water (5 cups if using cubes)
A ladle
2 pots

Directions:

Bring stock and water to a boil in one of the pots, turn the heat down to a light simmer and cover the pot

Chop your onions. Add chopped onions, chilli and 1 tbsp. of oil to your pot.

Once the onions are translucent, add in your mushrooms and grate in some nutmeg and ginger, stir frequently. Once the mushrooms are tender and cooked, transfer everything to a separate bowl and set aside.

Add another tablespoon of Olive oil and heat, then add in the barley and stir frequently for 7-10 minutes (this will fill your house with a nutty aroma) add the onions and mushrooms back in the pot.

Immediately add in your dry white wine (I used chardonnay) stir occasionally once your wine is evaporated add in the stock and water, one ladle at a time.

Stir frequently, once the liquid is absorbed add more liquid, keep repeating this step.

After 30 minutes taste the barley it should be tender but still chewy (I cooked mine for about 45 minutes). Once cooked remove from heat, add in your orange zest and enjoy

Enjoy this healthy risotto as many times as you please. As always peace love and prosperity xoxo

Bring stock and water to a boil in one of the pots

Bring stock and water to a boil in one of the pots

Chop your onions

Chop your onions

Add chopped onions, chilli and 1 tbsp. of oil to your pot.

Add chopped onions, chilli and 1 tbsp. of oil to your pot.

Once the onions are translucent, add your mushrooms and grate in some nutmeg and ginger

Once the onions are translucent, add your mushrooms and grate in some nutmeg and ginger

Once the mushrooms are tender and cooked, transfer everything to a separate bowl and set aside.

Once the mushrooms are tender and cooked, transfer everything to a separate bowl and set aside.

Add another tablespoon of Olive oil and heat, then add in the barley

Add another tablespoon of Olive oil and heat, then add in the barley

After 7-10 minutes add back the onions and mushrooms

After 7-10 minutes add back the onions and mushrooms

Add in your corn then your wine stir frequently till your wine is evaporated

Add in your corn then your wine stir frequently till your wine is evaporated

Add in the stock and water, one ladle at a time, repeat once the stock gets evaporated

Add in the stock and water, one ladle at a time, repeat once the stock gets evaporated

After 30 minutes taste the barley it should be tender but still chewy

After 30 minutes taste the barley it should be tender but still chewy

Gloomy Monday/ lentil soup recipe

Today was a cold autumn day, so I needed a warm meal to enjoy while I cozily watched the telly

Today was a cold autumn day, so I needed a warm meal to enjoy while I cozily watched the telly

I love mixing my lentils, it looks like jewels to me. I have green, brown and yellow in there.

I love mixing my lentils, it looks like jewels to me. I have green, brown and yellow in there.

You'll also need 3 carrots, 2 potatoes, 1 brown onion, a red bell pepper and half a green one

You’ll also need 3 carrots, 2 potatoes, 1 brown onion, a red bell pepper and half a green one

Add 2 and a half cups of the mixed lentils

Add 2 and a half cups of the mixed lentils

Dice all the vegetables and set aside

Dice all the vegetables and set aside

Add 2 cups of frozen corn, it can be either sweet or regular corn. Also add 2 cups of frozen peas

Add 2 cups of frozen corn, it can be either sweet or regular corn. Also add 2 cups of frozen peas

Also add the diced vegetables to the pot, then add a litre of boiling water

Also add the diced vegetables to the pot, then add a litre of boiling water

Add 2 dried red chillies

Add 2 dried red chillies

Add the salt once the lentils become tender but not yet mushy

Add the salt once the lentils become tender but not yet mushy

Add 3 teaspoons of curry paste, if the soup becomes thick add more water

Add 3 teaspoons of curry paste, if the soup becomes thick add more water

After an hour the yellow lentils should have disintegrated

After an hour the yellow lentils should have disintegrated

It’s Autumn here in South Africa and as the days get chillier and the boots and scarves come out to play, I fall madly in love with the weather, you see what I love about cold weather is the effort and creativity put into trying to get warm, shivering and over exaggerating about how cold you are… Anyway I decided to make my favourite easy peasy soup. If you make it yourself please let me know if you enjoyed it, I love the smell of this soup. I decided to enjoy my soup in bed with an old book of mine that I just refuse to finish, only because I keep rereading chapters. Well on that note enjoy you Monday wherever you are

Peace, love and prosperity

Dark Angel by Sally Beauman, a very intriguing read

Dark Angel by Sally Beauman, a very intriguing read