Vino di Fiori di Sambuco (Elder Flower Wine)

2018-12-24 - Elderberry Harvesting Team

The Elder Flower Pickers hard at work. We had a trial run a few weeks ago making Elder Flower Sparkling Wine. It was delicious. We set out to harvest enough before the flowers disappear, at which stage we will attempt elderberry wine!

Vino di Sambuco ( elder flower wine ) Recipe as it happened step by step

2018-12-03

Add about 1 Liter Elder flowers, stems removed, to a 10 L plastic drum and cover with 5 Liters of boiling water – seal

2018-12-04

Stir in 1 Kg of Sugar until dissolved

Ad lemon zest of four lemons

Ad lemon juice of four lemons (about 210 ml)

Re – hydrate yeast by adding 6 g ‘GoFerm’ and 5 g ‘Lalvin EC1118′

(the seller is called Make Wine) and 50 ml of cooled boiled water Leave for 30 minutes

Add re – hydrated yeast to the must

Add 4 g ‘Ferm Aid ‘ to the must

SG (Specific Gravity measured with a Hydrometer to determine the sugar content) – 1.055 (Ad more sugar later)

Stir very well and put lid on tub – ferment on the must

Stir twice daily

2018-12-08

Rack and filter into two X 5 Liter Damigiane or large glass wine bottles. Top up with about 0.5 Liter each of 1.09 SG sugar syrup

Airlock and Ferment

SG – 1.06

2018-12-11

Rack and Filter

Airlock and Ferment

SG – 1.04

2018-12-15

Rack and Filter

Airlock and Ferment

SG – 1.02

Top up with 200 ml (100 ml per Darmigiana) of SG 1.09 Sugar Syrup

Taste – Pleasant, sweet and a bit bubbly

SG – 1.04

Airlock and Ferment

2018-12-20

Still fermenting slowly

SG – 1.02

Rack, Filter and Bottle in a Champagne bottles

Drink and ENJOY!!!

 

 

Cured Salmon

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Today was Salmon curing time. With a beautiful, fresh fish I like to keep things simple, adding as few flavours as possible to enhance the taste but not change it. Fish, salt, sugar and lemon rind only. Smoking overpowers the fish and all the freshness is lost. This cured Salmon recipe is so easy and tastes wonderful. I vacuum seal the cured salmon, after processing, in smaller portions and it lasts for several weeks in the fridge.

After filleting, I remove all the small pieces of flesh from the carcass and then freeze these in smaller portions for making a very tasty and quick risotto. Everything remaining – bones, head, tail, etc goes into the stock pot wit some onions, celery and carrots. Add water and reduce the liquid by at least a third before portioning and freezing.  Use the stock for soups, risotto and fish stews.   NOTHING WASTED!

Rabbit Pie

AE87D4B3-C0F6-4F5B-91FF-E11F6A1652E6Every time I shoot a rabbit or get some as a gift I make stock with the ribs, neck, tails, flanks and all the cut offs, keeping the prime cuts for roasting. Into the stock pot goes a few carrots, onions and celery. Somehow some leeks became too woody for normal use, so this time, I included those as well. Just add water and boil down to about half of the quantity you started off with. I don’t  add salt or pepper. Pour the stock off using a pasta strainer or colander and freeze the stock for soup or stews later. What is  left are  the meat and vegetables. Mrs BYF has been fretting about how to make the best use of these stock ‘leftovers’ . The chickens were never impressed with them and composting after tossing out the meat and bones seemed criminal, so she decided to spend the time and make a rabbit pie. This was delicious, well worth the time picking meat off the bones!

Rabbit Pie
Off cuts of about 4 rabbits
4 Large carrots, chopped
6 Small leeks including leaves, washed well and sliced thinly
2 Small onions chopped
3 Large cloves of garlic, chopped
6 Medium field mushrooms, roughly chopped
3 Tablespoons flour
3 Cups rabbit stock, more if needed
1/2 Cup sherry
Salt and Pepper
100 g Butter for frying
100 g Butter for the sauce
6 Tablespoons of olive oil
Livers, hearts and kidneys of the rabbits (optional)

Cook the stock and strain. Freeze the stock or keep in the fridge for a few days. Pick as much meat off the bones as possible, keep separate. Dice the cooked carrots. Compost the rest.

In a big enough pot to hold all the pie filling, pour the olive oil.  Fry he onion, garlic and leeks over low heat until soft and translucent. Add the carrots. Meanwhile fry the mushrooms in some of the butter until almost cooked, add to the vegetables. Stir a few times and cook for a few minutes until heated through. At this stage I fried the livers, hearts and kidneys in a bit of butter and added them to the mix. I suppose you could use chicken livers, but this is optional. Add all the fine rabbit meat you picked from the bones. In another pan, melt about 150 g butter, add the flour and salt and pepper. This will make a paste or roux , cook for a minute without burning. Add the stock a little at a time, stirring fast, until you have a thick gravy. Add the sherry, and pour the gravy into the pie mix.  Mix well and heat through.

I made one pie big enough for 3 and 4 small individual pies. With the leftover pie filling I intend to make small hand pies.

We had a lot of very tasty pie filling from ingredients we used to throw out or give to the chickens! Zero waste is still our goal!

Do not store your Potatoes too well !

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I harvested about 80 kg of potatoes from my garden three months ago and was very chuffed because I would have had enough potatoes to keep my grandson, who is an absolute potato fiend in great organic potatoes for a very long time as well as having a bit over for the rest of the family.  I  very carefully stored the potatoes in plastic drums – one layer of potatoes followed by a layer of hay repeatedly until full. I filled about 5 X 25 liter drums, tightly sealed them and stored them in a cool dry place out of the sun – at the southern side of the house. The unforeseen, by me, has happened and the potatoes which were VERY GOOD for some months have gone sweet. Grandson does not eat sweet potatoes so he has refused my lovely baked offerings for the last few meals and reproached me for planting sweet potatoes instead of the real stuff. Knowing that I did not plant sweet potatoes I decided to read up. Apparently the place where I stored my precious harvest was too cold. Easy mistake to make in Dunedin, especially during the end of winter. Here is a link to the article explaining why cold potatoes become sweet https://indianapublicmedia.org/amomentofscience/cold-potatoes-black-bananas/

The next crop would be stored in a warmer space with a north facing window and wall! Never too old to learn. I now have a lot of sweet potatoes to eat myself, but there is hope as you presumably could partially reverse the sweetening process – next experiment!

Pasta con la Rucola

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We had lemons from the tree of a friend of a friend and lots of flowering rocket that we had to use or lose. Mrs BYF came up with this delicious pasta using the ingredients at hand, while I was busy making cheese.

Lemon and Rocket Pasta

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves of garlic

1 chilli or some flakes, as much as you prefer, but at least a bit is essential

2 handfuls of fresh rocket + 1 handful of fresh rocket

zest of 2 lemons + zest of 1 lemon

juice of 1 lemon

cracked black pepper

1/2 cup of grated parmigiano reggiano

Add the pasta to salted, fast boiling water. While the pasta cooks, make the sauce.
Heat the olive oil and add the garlic and chilli in a pan that can hold everything including the cooked pasta. When the garlic is translucent add the 2 handfuls of fresh rocket to the pan. When the rocket has wilted slightly add the zest of 2 lemons and the lemon juice. When the pasta has cooked, add a few tablespoons of boiling pasta water to the sauce. When al dente, remove the hot pasta from the pasta pot, drain the water and add the hot pasta to the sauce in the pan. Stir the sauce through the pasta. Portion out the pasta into the plates and scatter a few of the fresh rocket leaves, a bit of the lemon zest and cracked black pepper over the pasta. Add liberal amounts of parmigiano reggiano and serve immediately.

Do not forget a glass of home made red to finish it all!!

ENJOY!!!

 

Multi Purpose Rocket

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Yet another crop with many uses! This time it is rocket which is in abundance in our garden at this time of the year, sowing itself all the time.. Apart from great salads and pesto, the flowers make a really nice display for the kitchen window sill. Also enjoy the pesto as a pasta sauce, with fish or on fresh bread or toast

Pesto Recipe

100 g Pesto Leaves

25 g roasted Pine Nuts

20 g fresh Garlic

150 g Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 g Salt

Blend all the above ingredients well in a blender, or if you have the energy, mash it up in a mortar and pestle

50 g grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padana cheese

20 g grated Pecorino cheese

40 g melted Butter

Fold the above indigents into the blended product

 

It will last up to a week in the fridge, but is better fresh (after resting for about an hour from making it – the pesto not you)

ENJOY and do not forget a glass of the home made red!!!