Preserving Summer: The Benefits of Canning and Preserving Produce

FREE chapter of Canal House Cooking, Vol. 4 below!

The bursting flavors of summer fruits and vegetables can be made to last all year by canning and preserving them. Canning can brighten your pantry throughout the year, extending the life of perishable produce and utilizing those fruit and vege ‘gluts’ that can sometimes occur when growing food at home.

Quince Jelly Recipe, Apricot BBQ Sauce Recipe, Mandarin Marmalade Recipe

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Books Update

Today I finished ‘The Music of Dunes’ by Mike Williams (Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 2006). It was hard to put down and overall a total pleasure to read. I have to say though, everything I’ve read so far by Western Australian authors I’ve loved. I’m so impressed – our writers are producing some damn tasty fiction. But this book in particular, it really nourished the soul. It’s also one of the few books I’ve read lately that has had a happy ending.

If I wrote a book I’d want it to be like this. Well crafted, effortless to read. Full of beautiful imagery, emotion, a bit of philosophy, good humor, good music, good food. It gives value to the simplest but the best things in life. It was nice to read a story about characters who value the same stuff in life that I do. I also loved all the references to familiar music, musicians, and artworks. The adventures of Queen Anne (the protagonist’s cat) were hilarious.

So to update:

So far (in this challenge) I’ve read…

1. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
2. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – Phillip K. Dick
3. Wide Sargasso Sea – Jean Rhys
4. Giovanni’s Room – James Baldwin
5. In the Skin of a Lion – Michael Ondaatje
6. The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje
7. Paradise – Abdulrazak Gurnah
8. Gilgamesh – Joan London
9. Careless – Deborah Robertson
10. Milk and Honey – Elizabeth Jolley
11. The Music of Dunes – Mike Williams

Now I’ll finish reading:

The Well – Elizabeth Jolley

…Then I’ll return all my books to the library on Monday (oops – they’re overdue a few days) and hire some more.

I hope to hire ‘Old Jazz’ by Mike Williams, which apparently precedes ‘The Music of Dunes’ and is linked to it.. or at least the protagonist is the same guy. I really enjoyed reading Ondaatje’s ‘In the Skin of a Lion’ and then ‘The English Patient’, so I was excited to find out that there was another part to ‘The Music of Dunes’. If I can find a copy of ‘Old Jazz’ at the library I’ll be reading them back to front, but oh well. I’ll probably read them more than once anyway.

Love’s Harvest

Tonight a series of short films, called ‘Loves Harvest‘, started on SBS. Tonight’s one was about a family who grow organic garlic. What a great series!!! Next week’s one is about two teachers who gave up their jobs to raise goats and produce cheese.

Here’s a brief synopsis of the series from the website:

“Love’s Harvest is a series of four beautiful and intimate stories about organic farmers. Each episode portrays the experiences of couples and families toiling hard for their belief in organic goodness and the love and life it provides.

The demand for organic produce is on the rise but the perils and uncertainties of farming remain steady for those on the land. The farms in Love’s Harvest yield rude awakenings, happy surprises, heartbreaking loss and small, overdue fortunes. The beauty and serenity of rural life is jolted regularly by the reality of hard work and uncertainty. Relationships are strained or reaffirmed by the challenges of losing crops or feeding stock, while carefree country kids learn to be savvy business entrepreneurs.”

The next three can be seen on SBS over the next few Wednesdays, at 8.00pm.

Beef, Veg and Blackbirds Baked in a Pie

We got one of these retro pie blackbirds recently and tried it out in this pie. It worked really well!

Food Blog of the Week #17

I’m not quite sure how it was that originally I stumbled across Road Food, but it has to be one of the most interesting places on the web – even if you live outside of the U.S.

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‘Simon Johnson’ Tomato and Chilli Penne with Prawns and Parmesan Recipe

Today I decided that it was about time I cooked up the gift that my boss gave me for Christmas – a food hamper containing all the ingredients for a pasta dinner for two.

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Food Blog of the Week #16

 

 

Welcome to the 16th installment of food blog of the week!

This week I want to introduce you to the fabulous blog What’s for lunch? Maybe its the romantic French setting.. or perhaps the wonderfully crisp and evocative photography… or maybe it’s simply the fabulous mouth-watering food? Whatever the reason(s), I find this blog utterly captivating.

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Food Blog of the Week #15

Welcome to the 15th installment of food blog of the week.

We stumbled upon Dish A Day today while perusing recent entries on Food Porn Watch. Set in Thailand, the blog is “about but not limited to: Thai snacks, meals, and cantankerous commentary.”

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Food Blog of the Week #14

Well, I’m going to cheat a little this week because instead of presenting a food blog, I’ll be writing about a more general food website.

ABC TV’s The Cook and the Chef is one of our favourite programs. On top of being partly hosted by the wonderful Maggie Beer, the show is set in her dreamy, cosy kitchen in the Barossa Valley, South Australia. This has to be one of the most beautiful places in the world and definitely on our future travel ‘to do’ list.

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Food Blog of the Week #13

Welcome to the 13th installment of food blog of the week.

This week we recommend one of our new favourite food blogs, shucking oysters, shelling peas. Aside from having a very cool name and a delicious-looking assortment of meats adorning its header (as pictured above), this blog features a wonderful collection of mouthwatering home-cooked meals that use healthy, wholesome ingredients.

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