Apricot and (Dunedin) Rosemary Jam


2014-02-23 16.10.542014-02-26 12.33.02

I am a bit of a jam tragic, if there is anything in abundance I need to make jam from it (or preserve it one way or another). I have a lot of apricots and Dunedin has a lot of rosemary. There are no genuine Italian food ingredients to be had over here, apart from all this rosemary. It grows in every garden, cascades down garden walls in the university grounds, grows vigorously several public spaces, parks, everywhere but in my garden. Why the inhabitants plant so much of it, I can not fathom, since I can not believe that they cook with it. But, I seem to be the only person in Dunedin who has not succeeded in growing a single sprig.  To get my hands on rosemary I have to resort to theft from lush bushes of the stuff overhanging various pavements around where I live.

Apricot and Rosemary Jam 

3 Kg Ripe Apricots

2 Kg White Sugar

20 g Finely chopped Rosmary leave

15 g Apricot Stone kernels, finely chopped

Cook everything together in a big pot for half an hour. Let it rest for some 12 hours.  Cook again until the jam consistency reaches the “Freezer Test ” thickness. Stir in a tablespoon of butter and take it off the heat. When it is cool enough to handle. bottle and seal. Sterilise the closed bottles as described before.

This flavorsome jam is ideal for eating with strong cheeses and using as a glaze for pork and poultry.

Peperoni Soffritti con le Uove (Sweet Peppers)

2014-02-26 - Peperoni

This is peperoni preserve time and I have been asked what to do with “Peperoni Sott’Olio” other than serve it as anti pasto – here is but one recipe. It could also be used in any recipe that calls for capsicum, or you can make a fresh panini with your preserved capsicum, fresh tomato and strong cheese or salami and a fresh bread roll just out of the oven.

Fry your preserved peperoni in some of the oil used to preserve it in for a few minutes until soft. Ad  some chopped peeled and deseeded fresh tomato. When the tomato and peperoni are both soft pour on two slightly beaten eggs (eight eggs if you use quail eggs), add salt and pepper, and cook very briefly until just set. Sprinkle with a bit of grated Parmigiano Cheese. Serve immediately with that bread that just came out of the oven – Breakfast fit for a King (and Queen).

The only problem is that the peperoni in the photo is not from my garden and I am still trying to grow it successfully in Dunedin – maybe next year!

Raw Milk Ricotta Cheese

2014-02-25 11.38.34

My raw milk ricotta has turned out very well.  I don’t even want to talk about the vile supermarket stuff,  but the raw milk effort is vastly different in taste and texture to the batch I made with supermarket milk. The high cream content, and the absence of added water makes a very rich, creamy, soft cheese. Here is a link to my ricotta cheese recipe, good enough but if you can, do it with raw milk.

I made bruschetta for lunch

Toast bread, rub with a clove of garlic drizzle olive oil over . Sopon ricotta cheese thickly on to the bread, add a few dabs of carrot top pesto, salt, pepper and another drizzle of olive oil. Eat it immediately befor the bread cools. Delicious. Link for carrot top pesto


2014-02-24 - Peperoni

One part water and one part vinegar (good quality) add salt and pepper to taste plus a few bay leaves. Bring to the boil. Cut peperoni in 3 mm strips and throw into the water/ vinegar. When the water boil again, drain the peperoni. While still hot put into the jars and cover with good olive oil – ad two fresh bay leaves and a few garlic to the jar and seal immediately. Keeps in the pantry for ever. Beautiful!

At the Stadium Markets every Sunday

The markets ended early on Sunday due to a sporting event. Sales in Quail eggs were brisk and I sold out again – may have to squeeze those quail hens a bit next week ;-). There was little incentive for the  stall holders who came to the Markets considering the limited trading time, but many of the regulars  did turn up. Visitors could still buy great late season apricots, peaches and plums produced by the vendor, fresh potatoes trucked in by the farmer, cheese, soaps, badges and more at great prices. The food vendors were in place and were trading well.

2014-02-23 16.14.24


Some of the lovely apricots I brought home




One of the regular stalls sell beautiful soaps made in Dunedin. Zingani have a range of skincare products as well.  Being a foodie and always keen to eat,  I at first thought they were selling something that looked really delicious!  Now I have looked at some of their ingredients, Olive oil, Sustainable Organic Columbian Palm oil, Coconut oil, Water,   Cocoa Butter, I am still tempted to have a nibble ;-).  This local manufacturer is worth a visit at  the markets  – have a look at their website http://www.zingani.co.nz – and support them! 


Ylang ylang

I did not have time to go around the stalls I wanted to talk about but promise to do better next week


2013-10-24 - Italian Coturnix Male No 1 2013-10-24 - Italian Coturnix Female No 2 2013-10-24 - Italian Coturnix Female No 3 2013-10-24 - Italian Coturnix Female No 1 2007-01-03 - Italian Group of Babies 2014-02-24 - Italian Coturnix Group of young Males


I am engaged in this project to improve the Coturnix Quail, consequently, I  monitor a lot of production parameters. One of my groups of Italian females has been in production  for 13 weeks now and has laid 100% eggs per day –  637 eggs in thirteen weeks from 7 hens – PHENOMENAL – and they are still going. (I commence recording egg production at 10 weeks of age). Above are photographs of three of the hens in this group as well as the male, which is from another high performance line I have (all the information at my disposal shows that these two lines are not closely related). I have also included a photograph of some of the chicks hatched out of this group, and young males from the same group at 28 days of age (average mass per bird at 28 days of age is 133 g -range between 123 and 165 g). Out of this group of young males I have selected only two outstanding males for future breeding. All the hens from this hatching are obviously going into the production unit.

I am again inviting breeders who would like to participate in this project to contact me. I am prepared to ship one of these young males FREE to a BREEDER in exchange for some offspring, or alternatively, should you have a phenomenal female of two, I would be interested to breed them at my place, again in exchange for offspring.