It’s a good plum year, and they’re falling fast. I’ve already cooked some and frozen some, now encouraging Mr C to make some plum wine …

09. August 2015 · Comments Off on Blackcurrant jam · Categories: Food, Gardening


Yesterday I picked about 4 litres of blackcurrants. About half went into the freezer on oven trays, so we can have free – flow frozen berries for winter baking and for the kids’ “cocktails” (bubbly water with frozen berries). The rest went into a small batch of jam.

We eat very little jam these days, so I make small batches with low sugar content and freeze it in silicon muffin trays. One jam muffin is just the right size to plop into a jar and keep in the fridge.

Just look at all those lovely currants! I was never a big blackcurrant fan as a kid. I have a memory of them being small, a bit dry and kindof disappointing. Maybe the NZ climate isn’t right for them, or maybe the varieties have just changed a lot over the years. In any case these are plump and juicy and sweet.

One particular bush produces these huge berries, the size of small grapes. A lot of these ones never make it into the bucket!

The only crop the slugs don’t want!  I harvested on Sunday and made the first braid last night.




24. July 2015 · Comments Off on 2015 harvests · Categories: Food, Gardening

I made a decision not to weigh my harvests this year, because I’m so defeated by the slug problem.  But with the exception of salad leaves (there’s been a lot of those from the veranda vege patch), I have been diligent in photographing all our harvests, and I’m putting them all into a gallery, here.


23. May 2015 · Comments Off on Harvest · Categories: Food, Gardening


Radishes, mint, chives and rhubarb. Harvest time starts at last!

22. March 2015 · Comments Off on Chilli babies · Categories: Food, Gardening


It’s that time of year again. I just repotted all my baby chilli plants. Now it’s time to get the tomatoes started.

30. January 2015 · Comments Off on What do you do when … · Categories: Food

… your weekly food delivery mistakenly contains 17 cartons of cream?

First, you make a batch of ice creams. This is especially clever if you have any birthday parties for 6 year old coming up. And if you do it when the kids are in bed and your husband is tinkering in the cellar, you get to lick the bowl.


Next, you make butter. You spend a lot of time turning 3 litres of cream into butter. When your arms start vibrating from holding the beater, you wish you’d just gone to the cellar and dug out the food processor. But after much beating, you finally end up with butter. Lovely lovely butter.



Ever wondered how much butter you can make with 3 litres of cream? Now you know. That much.

13. January 2015 · Comments Off on How I eat · Categories: Food

About four years ago I read a Swedish diet book called “Matrevolutionen” – translated: “The food revolution”, all about the Low-Carb, High-Fat (LCHF) diet.  Since then we’ve moved our diet over to what I would call “Liberal LCHF”.  I say “Liberal” because we eat small amounts of pulses and root vegetables, that the hardcore LCHF-ers would frown upon.

Just before Christmas the English version of this book was finally released.  You can read about it on the author’s blog, here:

LCHF in Sweden is becoming more accepted as more and more research points to the invalidity of the old fear of fat.  But it’s still kindof controversial.  So why do I do it?

1. Because I’m in a high-risk group for type-2 diabetes, and my blood sugar on a high-carb diet is a source of total misery

There are enough cases of type-2 diabetes in my family to put me in a high-risk group.  I also know now, with the benefit of hindsight, what a high-carb diet was doing to my mood.  Every day at 4pm my blood sugar would hit rock bottom and I felt like crap.  At one of my jobs with an all-too-accessible vending machine this time of day became known as the four-o-clock-choc, because I would be heading for a snickers bar every afternoon.  After a few months at that job, I could no longer fit the clothes I bought for the interview.  Years later after having my second child, 4pm became the point where I would sit down on the floor and cry, because I clearly couldn’t handle two children and still make dinner and keep the house reasonable and what kind of a useless person was I anyway?

2. Because eating starches gives me IBS

I used to think I was lactose intolerant, because I would have slightly less stomach pain if I avoided lactose.  It turns out I’m basically starch intolerant.  I can eat as much dairy as I like now, as long as I keep starch to an absolute minimum.  Wheat is the worst of all, with other grains close behind, and rice and potatoes coming in third.  Occasionally I eat small amounts of brown rice or potatoes, or oats.  Too much of these things and I’ll spend the whole evening massaging the brick in my stomach and wondering why I did such a stupid thing.  But the difference is that I used to lie in bed and massage the brick in my stomach every single night.

3. Because it shook off that last bit of post-pregnancy weight

I didn’t have a huge amount of weight to lose, but it was so easy to lose it this way.  Combined with the removal of my IBS bloating, it felt like I had a whole new body.

4. Because in general, I just feel better.  A lot better.

I’m very rarely hungry, very rarely crave sweet things, and hardly ever snack between meals.  I have no idea how many calories I am eating, and I don’t care.  A little fat keeps me feeling full for longer than a lot of carbs do, and my blood sugar never tanks so my mood is much more stable and I’m a nicer person to be around.

In practise I don’t think that I even eat that much fat – I take full-fat cream in my coffee instead of milk and sugar (and I thought I would never be able to drink coffee without sugar!), and we have a tendency to eat creamier, cheesier evening meals.  If I need a snack I’ll have nuts, or vege sticks, or a piece of cheese, or yoghurt with nuts (we buy the highest fat turkish yoghurt we can get, which is 10%).  We don’t eat more meat than we used to (it’s not Atkins) but we do eat more vegetables (win-win!) and less fruit (and other sources of unecessary sugar).

But the best thing, the very very most bestest thing is this: it is not a diet.  It’s a lifestyle change, and once you get used to it, you just can’t entertain the notion of going back.

08. January 2015 · Comments Off on Oh kimchi. How I missed you! · Categories: Food


For some reason we haven’t made kimchi for months. I really don’t know why, it’s so simple and we like it so much. On Friday night I finally got it together and set off a batch, and now it has reached crunchy, tangy, spicy perfection.

04. October 2014 · Comments Off on Autumn · Categories: Food


There are things to love about every season … And most of them are food 🙂