Friday, 30 May 2014

DIY sultanas

Last month we harvested almost 15kg of grapes. Far too many to eat, too many to just turn into jelly, and we don't drink much grape juice (unless it is the alcoholic variety!). What to do? I decided to get out the dehydrator and try making sultanas.

I craqzed the grapes briefly (dip in very hot water) to crack the skins to assist in the dehydrating process, then left them in the dehydrator for about 24 hours (some a bit longer - probably didn't craze as well). We ended up with three decent sized jars of rather tasty home made sultanas. Slightly tarter than the shop bought variety, although th egreen grapes were sweeter than the red ones. Perfect for the winter porridge season!

Monday, 26 May 2014

Getting back to home made

It is well past time for me to get back into making more and buying less. I got out of the habit when overwhelmed with work+work+uni, but as the weather gets cooler and I have time before next semester I need to re-establish some good habits.

Step 1: Bread. I have a new sourdough starter fermenting which should be ready to start baking with it next week. In the meantime I will get back to making bread rather than buying it.

Step 2: I will start making yoghurt using the cultures I bought. I made a batch 2 days ago, and converted about 3/4 into labna (yoghurt cheese). My next experiment will be to infuse the milk with vanilla bean before making the yoghurt to see if I can come close to the flavour of 5am's very delicious (but expensive) vanilla bean yoghurt. I'll let you know how that goes.
Step 3: Get back into make some hard cheese. I think I'll start with caerphilly as it has a short maturing time, and we enjoyed it last time.

Step 4: Eat through the food we have in the pantry. We have loads of dried beans and I still have some ham bones and a hock or two so this excellent soup will be getting a few runs in the next couple of weeks. The presence of dozens of jars of fruit suggests that there will be a lot of crumble made and consumed in winter :-)
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