Sunday, March 6, 2011

In the Wake

We will always remember what we were doing when the earthquake hit. We were all down in the big kitchen preserving peaches and nectarines and everybody immediately said 'Christchurch'. We listened to the radio as we worked and I felt sick.
We've already welcomed new children to the school and Bill is up there today for a funeral. Cancer, this one. Life and death go on.

By way of light relief, sunflowers. They are already in far more spectacular bloom. There's going to be alot of seed, which is apparently good for sprouting. Just as well. Next time I would grow a multi-headed variety that blooms sooner so I won't be keeping it.

By way of even lighter relief, bottled spaghetti. To me it is pure Kiwiana. Never mind that no one in this household has ever really liked canned spaghetti. Nothing was going to stop me making this and more besides. It is delicious, very easy and at 30cents a jar I can't resist making more. Incidentally the family have come to the party and they like it. Recipe to follow.
It's what you make when you've already made pasta sauce, relish, soup, and dried tomatoes and there are still pounds of them to be picked. Oh to be always so blessed.
For the record, Mum had the good taste not to make this for us as children.

Beetroots are enormous this year and I can tell you the drawback. Not that they are tough but they take so long to cook, and it probably didn't help leaving them in the liquid overnight. Means the pickled beetroot doesn't have as much colour as usual. Never mind. I use Digby Law's recipe: to follow. Do we all eat the leaves? They are better than silverbeet.  
This is the brag shot. Third time lucky with the cucumbers. I'm really impressed with these telegraph type. They are very hardy and as of today these babies are ready to eat. (the photos are last week's) The plant is hardly full grown but starts to flower and set as it climbs, as do most beans that I've noticed. We have snow on the hills and temperatures have plummeted. Autumn is here and I expect to see growth slow right down.

Bottled Spaghetti
12 pounds tomatoes
1 pound onions
2 T salt
1 cup sugar
a few cloves garlic
1T mustard
1 1/2 packets vermicelli (750g)
Simmer together the sauce ingredients until soft. Put through the mouli, bring back to the boil, and add the cooked vermicilli. Simmer ten minutes and bottle. Makes 12 one pound jars. Amaze your friends.

Pickled Beetroot
Wash and boil a big pot of beetroot until tender. Cool, peel and slice. Reheat in 2C sugar, 3C cooking water, 4C malt vinegar. Bottle overflow method. Done.


  1. YUM that spaghetti look delish! I used to love it when we got to have spaghetti pizza (literally spaghetti and cheese on a home made pizza base...) It felt like such a treat but now I realize we probably only ate it when there was absolutely nothing in the cupboards.

  2. Hmm Miri I'm glad you've found a way to be thrifty and resourceful but spaghetti in any kind of preserved form wigs me out. I'm glad your kids are more openminded!

  3. Unlike Mary Anna, I am superimpressed by the home made beggi. We go through a lot of beggi in this house and I would love to be able to say that it was I who made it and not Mr Wattie.
    I just love everything in your photos, the beetroot, the sunflowers, the cukes. Well done!