Monday, December 31, 2012

Welcome New Year 2013

A nice tick.  Vintage Elgin pocket watch, 1920s era.
(from my personal collection)
 Wishing you a very happy welcome to New Year 2013.  It's almost here !

I hope any and all who have been enjoying end year holidays have had a fab time.  I know it is cold and wintry for those of you reading from your cozy dens and lounge rooms up in the northern hemisphere.   As you know, it is summertime here.  Rather warm and no rain, which is a pity (the gardens and vineyards would all like a little rain about now).  But the days are long and brilliant, with a lot of sunshine.
grapevines in an old cottage garden
in Angaston

Along my walks this week I snapped this pic of gorgeous grapes growing in a garden of an old house in town not far from here.  The vines are very old and are a small two rows, to side of the house, right beside the fence at the foot path (sidewalk).  This garden does not irrigate or water (anything) and it is possible the house is derelict and vacant (think so, never seen anyone living there).  We saw a bloke pruning them in winter though, so we will be watching to see what happens with the grapes on the old ancient vines in coming weeks.
"We want to be Jam"
Said the bowl of red raspberries and red currants

And summer's bounty from the Barossa Market tempted me to steal some of the red fruit I bought for Christmas dessert and make jam instead !  The dessert did not get shortchanged too much, I just picked something that was not only about the fruit !  The red raspberries were amazingly bright and fragrant.  To them, and on a whim I added red currants, little jewel like berries that had a burst of tartness to them.    And on Christmas morning I whipped up a batch of jam with the fruit you see here.  This is the joy of having all the stuff to make jams now, I have all the tools and can make up a batch fast and on a moment's notice.  I keep a variety of things in the pantry at the ready.  Besides that, just need good fruit and a bit of prep and off we go.

In this case the batch was small, because raspberries are never very inexpensive and I only had half kilo to contribute to the cause (had to save some of them plus a few red currants for the Christmas cake !).

Red Christmas Jam
The batch turned out amazingly well, 3 small jars all sealed nicely.  Labels put on jars--Kim's Red Christmas Jam.  All in time to tidy up and start a dark chocolate torte, before preparing the Christmas roast.

Amazing blushing apricots,
 for more Jam

Hiding inside the fridge was a bag of the most beautiful and largest apricots I have ever seen.  Thursday I got them out and let them come to room temperature, and took in their fragrance.  I cut and de-stoned (pitted) them  and prepared a vanilla bean pod too.  These became a batch of Apricot and Vanilla Jam.  Also delicious.

stainless steel funnel,
filling jam jars
Apricot Vanilla Jam.  

I have three more batches of jam to make in coming days.  Then will pick back up on that again on my return from the January work travel out.  Something to look forward to on my return.  The kitchen here likes being a good country cook's working kitchen (who knows what jams and preserves it has supported in its history ?!).

Happy New Year !!

Meanwhile, back to enjoying the New Year's arrival.  Toasting your health, good fortune, and happiness.  May 2013 bring all you hope and wish.  Cheers !

No comments:

Post a Comment